Shortly after my 40th Birthday I started to notice a change in my menstrual cycle, nothing major to begin with. My cycle had always been between 24 & 28 days and I was beginning to experience much shorter cycles the “odd” time. My periods started to get heavier too. I remember chatting to friends one weekend we were away together celebrating our joint 40’s and one of them was having a similar experience. She was having tests done to check for fibroids etc so I decided I would keep note of them for a while and then get myself checked too.
I had experienced “bad” periods during my teens so this was familiar although quite different at the same time. I had started getting breakouts on my skin too, mainly around my chin, which usually comes hand in hand with PMT or PMS.
Over the next year I was well and didn’t have too much trouble with them but did notice a change. My daughter was doing her leaving cert and my eldest son was just diagnosed with dyslexia at the end of first year having struggled badly through the school year. I felt a lot of guilt that it wasn’t caught sooner. I was a busy mum of 4 children, running my yoga studio and teaching a lot, looking after the kids, the school runs & collection, sports drop offs, homework, dinner, laundry, shopping, etc etc
Over the next 18mths my periods got worse. To the extent that I was in bed for a couple of days a month, unable to work. I was completely drained mentally physically and emotionally. This could have been linked to stress also so I was hoping it would pass and things would settle down soon.
I felt like I was unraveling.
I was getting sometimes 2 periods a month so that was 4/5 days out of action. Along with that I was having really bad PMT, around the time of my periods I would not be able to sleep due to night sweats and I was experiencing really bad anxiety for the first time in my life. An actual heaviness in my chest, unable to breathe at times.
To be honest I wasn’t thinking about menopause. I thought that was women in their 50’s maybe & maybe not all women 🤔 Safe to say, I hadn’t a clue!
Anyway, I did go for the checks, I had pelvic scans on my ovaries and uterus and all good. I was told I was too young to be in the menopause and not given much support anywhere. I started doing my own research and decided that I would go to the doctor about my periods anyway as they were having such a big impact on my life. The marina coil implant was recommended to me and it has helped immensely! I stopped getting the PMT, night sweats and periods so job done ✔️ For Now …
Last year I attended a “Yoga for the Stages of Menopause” training and learnt so much from that. The first weekend we all spoke about why we were doing the training and it was like a therapy session 😭 The tears!!
For the first time I felt heard and supported and acknowledged that I am still a strong and capable woman. It had been a really tough couple of years and I wish I had the knowledge on how to look after and support myself during this time before it had crept up on me like that!!
I recognise that self care can seem like the opposite of what the world tells us purpose looks like. It is not idle time, it’s intentional time, a space to gather yourself and fine tune. A space to recognise your power, through self-love and resisting a world that promotes giving your power away.
The practices of yoga, breath work, meditation, mindfulness and yoga nidra all offer us a way back home to ourselves.
Tools to nourish our body, mind and soul on a deep level, while meeting ourselves with an open heart of compassion and kindness.
I am really only starting out on this journey, having stumbled, fallen and found a way over this first hurdle, for me. I would be honoured to share my journey and any help anyone feeling a little lost along the way.
It is a time of change, change can be beautiful and scary at the same time. To be happy we have to make peace with our past, love the present and feel excited about the future.
And I said to my body, softly, “I want to be your friend”. It took a long breath and replied “I have been waiting my whole life for this.” ~ Nayyirah Waheed