Can we talk about Menopause?

Can we talk about Menopause?

Rachael Bermingham
Can we talk about Menopause? Are you in it, over it, not experienced it yet?
 
For over a year now (could be 2) I’ve been in Peri menopause & the last 6 months in particular I’ve found the few days leading up to my period almost impossible.
 
I have been unbearable some days (even I think I’m unbearable!!) and with a house full of boys (a few teenage boys & a set of twins) thrown in to the mix, our house has been anything but balanced, peaceful & happy at times. At times I mean for around 3-4 days most months (not all, but most!).
 
I have had moments where I feel like I’m floating above my body watching myself think, say & do things I’ve never done/said/thought & cringe. I can feel myself winding up & it doesn’t matter how hard I try I just can’t seem to stop the launch. It’s like I’m bloody possessed!
 
I can rage up
I cry.... no, I bawl!
I get sooooo sad
I can be mean
I contract - I feel like I’m holding my breathe & take these shallow breathes because my behaviour even takes my breathe away and I am overcome with this anxiousness
I can be so bloody irritable
And in those few days I feel like I have NO tolerance - honestly don’t come at me with any bullshit - I’m likely to tell you where to go. But I keep it together as best as I can and try not to vent out because I know it's not their fault, it's not even my fault, it's just bloody menopause!
 
I have been so anxious, and soooo moody—it’s irrational. I have had broken sleep & I can get so tired I feel like sleeping for hours on end during the day. I have days where I completely lose my confidence.
 
Then............ a few days later sanity prevails, balance is restored, I’m smiling again & happy.... I feel great, my body feels great, my confidence is back, I feel like myself, my true self, my self at my highest most awesome capacity...until the next month or 2 when we ALL brace ourselves for the next onslaught.
 
It has pained me that this happens.
 
I have absolutely everything crossed that I’ll go through it fast like my Mum did, but over the past few months I've really battled with it.
 
It crept up on me, I'll be honest I've never had a talk about it—I was completely un-prepared & I didn’t see it for what it was. I’ve felt on some days that I was losing my mind. I’ve tried my best to be kind to myself on those days I wished I wasn’t born, but it's been hard work.
Why don't we talk about this? Where is the conversation about this? Does it take for us to hit the wall completely before we even discover what it all means? There seems to be so many of us that have been feeling this way and have been unaware that it's menopause or hormonal? Isn't that terrible? What kind of life is it? For you and for everyone around you?
 
I can’t remember a time where I’ve felt so fucking angry & irritable! And then there’s the crying - oh my bloody god! I can be fine one minute & then 20 minutes later I can literally be talking to someone & I well up if not just burst into tears! It’s soooo embarrassing!!! I’ve cried at least a dozen times in as many minutes throughout the Voice tonight! Pass the tissues...
 
Last month, I sought out a doctor. I don't have a regular doctor, I simply just don't go to them. I'm well! But it got to the stage where nothing I was trying was working and it was getting worse! I needed help, so I reached out. I didn't want to go through another month feeling like this.
 
I'm a big fan of essential oils and have been using them for over 10 years, I chatted to my oil gurus and who knew there was actually a menopause blend! And it's been working!!!! YAYYYYYY. It's a blend of Frankincense, Ylang Ylang, Lavender, Wild Orange, Clary Sage - remember with oils they need to be in their most natural form (so that doesn't mean you can buy them from a supermarket ladies!) you can get them at wholesale prices online to make your own blend far cheaper and easier than anything you can buy - use this link to get them at wholesale I'd also suggest you get some Vetiver, Cedarwood, Roman Chamomile or Vanilla Bean to help you sleep through too. It felt so bloody good to finally get a good night sleep! Plus I can add you to the hormonal support group!
Then I went on the search for a doctor suited to me - one that had both a traditional and alternative experience and approach to health. I found an integrated doctor called Tracey John (Pulse Integrated Medical Centre - Jessica Boulevard Minyama for those on the Sunny Coast). My first appointment with Tracey went like this...
 
I sat in the waiting area, trying desperately to hold myself together, on the verge of tears at any minute. Tracey's door opened and she calls my name and welcomes me into her room. I literally walk in say hello and burst into tears! Sobbing, I manage to ask her 'do you mind if I just sit here & cry?’ to which she smiles, hands me a handful of tissues and gives me a hug and the space to just get it all out. And I do, for the next hour I speak about what I'm feeling and how ridiculous I feel.
 
Tracey was brilliant, she asked me a million questions in the hour and a half I was there (and no, that wasn't just because I walked in and lost my bundle—she spends that time with EVERYONE she see's, who knew those doctors even existed anymore hey?!). She had my bloods done, and prescribed me the most disgusting hormone balancing and cleansing alkalising herbal food that if you didn't feel so off you'd never in a million years take it—it tastes like Kava! It's bloody horrible, but the alternative is worse right?
 
Here's what I'm currently trying - I'll come back on next month and tell you how I'm going with it all - keep your fingers crossed!
 
* Tracey's prescription of a Vitamin B injection
* Tracey's prescription of a daily dose of Fem21 (which has slippery elm, milk thistle, withania, chaste tree berry, Siberian ginseng, barley, rosemary, broccoli, pomegranate, dandelion, raspberry, ginger, bladderwrack, kale, black cohosh among other things), as well as iron, zinc and vitamin c.
In addition (since I decided I didn't want to go through another month of all this - I've been SUPER proactive about changing it so I may be in overkill here but too much of a good thing is TOTALLY ok right?) I have also added
* A relaxant drink of magnesium when I'm feeling pent up ( thanks to the lovely Bronwyn at Kunnara who had to deal with me through a sea of tears one day) and....
* Menopause liquid crystals that Raelene sent to me from an SOS - https://raelenebyrne.com
 
Most importantly throughout this I have been soooo bloody grateful I have incredible support from Sparks & my tribe of boys (now they know I haven’t lost my mind or become possessed)—I love how they just slide past you & often ask ‘how are you doing Mum? Need anything?’ And they’ve learned to give more cuddles & not be so freaked out by my tears—and big thanks also goes to my other family & friends in particular Mandy who has been a daily pillar of strength for me. God the tears she's heard me shed!!!
 
I plan to get through it as quickly as possible with laughter wherever possible, by keeping busy, exercising, taking my bloody horrible herbs, lathering myself in my beautiful essential oils, taking my liquid crystals, getting enough sleep & being enveloped in the caring, considerate & supportive arms of my loved ones on THOSE days.
 
Apart from that I’ll do my best to love & nurture myself & not slap someone out along the way.
 
Feel free to share how you got through it to help a sista out & give us all some hope.
 
I’ll keep you all posted because if there’s one thing I am so grateful for it’s that me being real about it has helped other women here to understand themselves & what’s happening as well