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First off, I want to express my dislike for the word 'Menopause'. I have no shame in admitting it gives me the ‘ick’. I didn't really want to write this blog post, It felt a little out my comfort zone, which is why I have done it. Oh and guys, if your've started reading this and are just about to 'tap out'...don't... because If you know a women, it would be in your interest to read this too.

Menopause is a word that has been cropping up more in my life, clearly because I am now 40 and acutely aware that my hormones are doing weird shit.

To be honest, they always have. Ever since I started my period at 16, those two weeks before the flow, my mind and body just bounce around all over the place from up and down mood, to physical expressions which could include bad skin, tiredness and general aches and pains. 

The last few years Ive welcomed two boys, and I can honesty say, the love they bring and feeling of completeness is immense. But so are the highs and lows of moods, thanks to exhaustion and hormones.

Now, I don't want to jump the gun here and self-diagnose myself as ‘peri' (as I am still producing milk 18 months post birth), but with more and more awareness and insight being spread about this on socials, the more this topic interests me and makes me think... 'maybe this is me?'. I also started thinking... how many women around my age also have young kids and blame all those mood swings, tiredness, and weird bodily stuff on just being a mum with young kids? What if you are perimenopausal but also exhausted from mothering? Because if that’s the case, it would explain so much of the additional wild moods and bodily weirdness.

Did you know that you can be symptomatic 7-10 years before you even transition to actual menopause?! I mean WTF? I never heard this until a Doctor online shared studies on this now fact. 7-10 years?! So if the average age to hit menopause is ranges from 45-55, then women could be displaying symptoms in their late thirties?! Also - let's not leave out the 3% of women in the general population who experience either spontaneous or induced premature menopause. I mean this is (in my mind) young women, not this old, geriatric idea we have planted in our brains.

Since delving into this new space, I have also become aware of my aniexty around this entire topic, laced with a little shame and unacceptance.

 It saddens me, because I know these thoughts and feelings that crop up were seeded in me growing up. Another round of applause for that Western Culture that love to label this shift in a woman's life with stigma and Shame. It's the same old story isn’t it, when it comes to women… 'don’t talk about that', 'keep quiet', 'your getting on', 'you're no longer fertile', ‘your past your prime’, ' time is running out for you'… 'you're pretty much dead now, go and get in that fucking coffin and just be wrinkled, worthless, infertile and dead'.

Shocking. Shocking and just a completely untrue and unhealthy way of thinking!

The beauty about growing older is the wisdom and awareness that comes with it. I know my own thoughts and beliefs about this word and the menopause in general are false… it's just a matter of rewiring this belief that Western society imprinted.

In many cultures, menopause is seen as a significant milestone in a woman’s life. It’s associated with wisdom, maturity, and the attainment of a new level of spiritual and emotional growth, instead of shame and isolation. In Japan, for example, it’s associated with years of renewal and regeneration. In fact, women celebrate through the tradition of ‘Kanreki” which marks the completion of a 60-year cycle of life. It's seen as a time of rebirth and renewal, and women often receive gifts and participate in ceremonies to commemorate this milestone. It's the western world that rains down suppression and negativity on this beautiful milestone in a women’s life.

I also loved reading that in Chinese medicine, great emphasis is placed on balancing the yin and yang aspect during the transition. Menopause in China is viewed positively and as a natural part of a woman's life cycle. There also seems to be a shared openness and community where herbal remedies and calming practices are encouraged to promote the flow of energy and wellbeing while navigating the shift.

African cultures have a rich tapestry of menopause traditions and is generally viewed as a time of transformation and spiritual awakening. Again, you read about elaborate ceremonies and rituals where the women are regarded as wise elders and honored for their contribution to their community. It's Fucking beautiful, but on the flip side, just screwed up that in my head (because I grew up in England) I have picture of doom and awkwardness with the words ‘your done’ painted on it.

As I reflect on my initial feelings of shame and embarrassment, I find them transforming into irritation and dissatisfaction with my conditioned mindset on this, and the lack of education there is, especially in the western medical area. It deeply saddens me to consider this suppression women endure, feeling isolated and awkward as they navigate this significant life transition with little support. While some women may not experience extreme hormonal fluctuations, millions are currently facing the physical and mental disruptions of menopause as I write this blog post... and many may be enduring a range of physical symptoms without realizing they are related to menopause.

What does soothe my own apprehension when it comes to this change is learning and finding credited advocates and doctors that are breaking down the walls of silence and shame. Something we can give social media and the internet a huge amount of credit for. I see women banding together and changing the narrative on a subject that should never have been awkward and silenced in the first place.

The challenge (I feel personally) is knowing for sure if you are experiencing perimenopausal symptoms... or whether it’s the breastfeeding, post-birth hormones, PMS or general stresses of life that are to blame? or it is in fact peri? Blood tests, especially given by GPs, are not an accurate indicator. I think we are our best judge when it comes to recognizing that feeling of 'things just seem off', and if we are 38+, studies show that hormones start to change, so there power in this knowledge.

What I am understanding is that community is key, and although we lack this in Western culture, more and more women are talking about this and spreading awareness so we don’t feel alone. We have the resources available online to explore, conduct our own research, and experiment with practices and therapies that work for us and our unique hormone journey.

Writing this is also my way of sharing and connecting with other women through my art and my blog, who feel the deep moods and pulls of life, because we all experience them, and there’s immense comfort and empowerment in realizing you're not alone. The more we can openly discuss menopause like we talk about PMS or birth control options, the closer we come to building a stronger, more connected, and resilient community of women.

If you liked this post and want to dive deeper into this topic, I highly recommend checking out Mary Claire Haver, MD. She has a fantastic book and a wealth of content dedicated to perimenopause and menopause. Mary Claire Haver also recently appeared on 'The Diary of A CEO' podcast, which is incredibly educational and fascinating to listen to!

Sending you lots of love with this post,

I'd love your comments,

lots of love,



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