How do you deal with change when it’s you that’s changing?

I’ve been writing on this blog for 14 years. If you’ve been reading as long, you’ve travelled a moderately bumpy road with me – childbirth and rearing, pregnancy, lost pregnancies, in and out of work and career changes, my sister’s death, a move to a whole different county.

More recently there’s been the autism thing – suspicion, diagnosis, self analysis and acceptance. You’d think it might be time for a more settled period, all things considered.

Apparently not. Recently my body has been playing up a bit. Shoulder pains, back spasms, extra periods, and then suddenly, no periods at all. I took myself to the GP and was sent for blood tests and referred for an ultrasound. I don’t need the ultrasound though, as the blood tests confirmed that I’m heading full tilt for menopause.

This surprised me a bit. I’m only 46 (nearly 47) and I thought that that all happened later. There’s no pattern in the family for a variety of reasons, not least being I’m the eldest. And I realised that I don’t know anything about it – what to expect, how to tell, do I prepare, are there benefits? (Lower shopping bills at the very least?) First of all I was angry – I felt like something had been snuck up on me – what if I wanted another child? Had my last chance evaporated without me even noticing? (I don’t want another child. Well I do, but only in the same way that I want all the books, I don’t actually want to go through pregnancy again, and my heart and hands are pretty full with the four I have already.)

It’s just, I don’t know how to be this next me. We set a lot of store by our roles in life, and somehow, to me at least, the role of mother includes fertility. I’ve had hiccups with that before (I mentioned the miscarriages above) and those dented my self image somewhat but it all sorted itself out, and I was still a bearer of children. But if I’m not any more, I need to think about who and what I’m going to be.

I know, I’m overthinking it. It comes with the territory of being me, whoever and whatever that means, and I could as easily stop overthinking as I could stop squinting, being deaf or short sighted. Actually, stopping being short sighted would probably be a lot easier, I think there’s an operation for that. Overthinking, not so much.

So, next steps. Could it be time to finally accept the whole growing up thing? Or is it time to admit that’s never going to happen, and given that the alternative to changing is less than palatable, I guess change is what I’ll do.

Any hints, tips, health recommendations from those who’ve gone before? I’ve not had any hot flushes yet – is it possible to get through this without any at all? The GP said my hormone levels implied I would have had some, but I really don’t think I have. And could all of this be linked with misplacing my words – I had wondered whether my art and photography experiments had pushed the words out, or perhaps it was an autistic burnout or regression, but now I’m wondering if all of these changes are interlinked.

I have more questions than answers. I *am* more questions than answers. But that’s not unusual either.

The sticky blogging webinar I just watched told me that what I need to make it as a blogger are great headlines, story with emotion and something else I’ve forgotten already. Does all of this qualify?

About Jax Blunt

I'm the original user, Jax Blunt I've been blogging for 14 years, give or take, and if you want to know me, read me :)

Oh, and if you'd like to support my artistic endeavours, shop my photographs and art at redbubble

Comments

  1. Right here with you all the way my friend. I’m going through it too with the hot flushes xxxx

  2. Haha no! I won’t go into graphic detail but let’s just the nights are very damp! What I’m really annoyed about is that, just as I’m finally starting to be able to track the various stages of my cycle and how they affect me, it’s getting towards of that being useful information! I don’t have any of the painful feelings about no longer being able to have children, I just can’t wait for it all to be done with. I was on an IG group for a while for peri menopausal women – we’re actually the older end of the scale.

  3. I have all the menopausal symptoms – I’ve had them for about three years now but my periods keep coming. Erratically whereas once I was regular as clockwork but still. Every time I have one I say. “What do I need this inconvenience for” But when I think they’ve stopped I get a bit sad.
    One advantage of being an older mother is that most of my friends are making weddings for their children and becoming grandparents. So I feel lucky to still have my daughter snuggle up in bed with me and beg for a story. But I also see that the next stage isn’t so bad either.
    And yes, the nights are very damp. And sometimes a moment in the day can bee too so always carry tissues to mop yourself up. And sometimes you just need to go to bed and sleep for a couple of hours at 4pm. And when you find yourself getting irritable with the kids, just know that it’s not you, or them, and it will pass.
    Lastly, however optimistic you are, it probably won’t all be over by Christmas.
    Lots of love and I wish you an easy ride. xxxx

    • Jax Blunt says:

      Ah, thank you. I’ve no symptoms except the erratic periods, which is why I was somewhat taken aback. The not knowing what’s going on its somewhat stressful. Will add tissues to my bag, and maybe stick in some wet wipes too.

  4. I appear to have managed to go through menopause without any of the expected symptoms. I’d been on one of the progesterone only pills which suppressed my cycle and having stopped taking them in March I’ve not had a period. My mother was in her early 40s and my younger sister went through about 2-3 years ago.

  5. Same here, very irregular periods, brain fog and very emotional, but no other physical symptoms. I’ve been trying to be extra kind to myself, focussing on good quality food and plenty of fresh air and exercise. Have been reading Wisdom of Menopause by Christiane Northrup, love it, none of the negativity found in many books on this topic.

  6. No symptoms for me either apart from very irregular periods for about four years. I guess brain fog could have been a symptom but I think my brain is like that anyway. No hot flushes although if I did get hot in the gym it seemed to take a little longer to cool down. We are all different so definitely don’t overthink it, treat it like treating your babies teething, it’s going to happen anyway, relieve the discomfort as best you can, remember it’s a phase that will pass.

  7. I think acceptance is the greatest skill you can practice! Once you accept how things are for you, you can find ways to work with it rather than against it. Nature will have her way! Life is always full of changes and never finished anayway – like you’re not finished just because you’re entering menopause! There will be new and fascinating facets of it still to experience. 🙂 All the best. x

  8. This is tough hon. It’s like your choices have been taken away, even if you weren’t going to chose them, but still. I suspect I’m not too far behind as I turn 39 +1 this year 😉 I have always admired your writing and how you deal with the challenges you face. I have no words of wisdom for this, sorry. But I am here for you if you need me

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