I have found this to be especially true for myself and others I’ve interviewed for this piece. Allow me to take a few moments to briefly summarize my experiences since I’ve entered midlife and began noticing symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. A few years ago I started waking up during the night, drenched in sweat. I knew without a doubt that I must have had cancer or some other medical condition; I was too young to be experiencing “night sweats” associated with menopause and middle age. So, off I went to the doctor, describing my symptoms and explaining that I would face whatever illness I had with confidence and bravery. If I must endure radiation, chemotherapy or some other type of treatment I would willingly do so in order to stay on this earth and witness the upcoming events of my children and future grandchildren. Well, no need to worry; I was simply experiencing what so many other women go through as they enter midlife and the transition into menopause.
No big deal, right? I could handle sleep interruptions, waking up soaking wet. Then, the next symptom popped up, although it was probably gaining momentum without my notice. I was fat; my midsection looked like it came straight out of a cartoon. Once again, I quickly got into “solution” mode and decided to tackle the stubborn and unwelcome fat that had become my midsection. Fortunately, I eliminated the extra weight gain and was able to lose several inches, regaining what resembles somewhat of a youthful and toned physique.
I decided this “midlife thing” wasn’t so bad, but then life events have come into my world, thus testing my resolve to get through menopause with a positive and uplifting attitude. You see, I was so very proud to witness my oldest daughter graduate from college; she would be experiencing life and all of its glory, getting a good job and becoming an independent, successful and confident young woman. It was soon discovered that she and her fiancé (also a college graduate) were expecting a child. Prior to my grandson’s birth I was living with a constant worry for the happiness of these two young people – hoping they would be mature enough to handle the responsibility of a child, marriage and all that goes with these life-changing events. Fortunately, my daughter, son-in-law and grandson are a beautiful family and excitedly expecting a new addition. So, yes, I was able to get through this particular time in my life. I didn’t sink into a deep depression, even though my hormone levels and life situation could have easily triggered such a downward spiral. I continued taking care of myself, eating well, exercising and always trying to see the positive side of situations; after all, constant worry doesn’t fix anything, right? As long as I have my health and my family, nothing can be that terrible.
Again, my ability to remain positive would be tested over and over again. As I write this particular piece, I’m at the gym on this beautiful morning working out, riding a stationary bike. Normally, I would be on the elliptical, but my leg is in a cast. Still, I keep going. Also, under normal circumstances I would be at the gym in the evening, but – oh yeah – I was forced to leave my job (I’ll save that story for another article). Still, I keep going. My husband is working out with me this morning and it’s nice to spend some time together. You see, he can be here right now because he’s currently without a job too (laid off due to a sluggish economy here in the Midwest). Still, I keep going.
As you can see, I’ve recently faced many life events that should keep me a little bit down, at the very least. But why? I have good health, despite my menopausal symptoms (as well as my cast), I have a wonderful family and I look forward to my future and all of the challenges and joys that will come my way. My husband is somewhat miffed about the fact that my glass always seems half full, and I guess I question why his is just plain empty. Much research has proven that there really is power in positive thinking. I’m living proof that having a positive attitude can assist women in having the ability to experience this next phase of their lives with confidence and good health, likely reducing many symptoms that can result from entering the menopausal years. I challenge you to look at life a little differently – with much hope and anticipation. I do believe you’ll begin to feel a greater sense of well being, which may make a tremendous difference in how severe your symptoms of menopause will be.
By: Susan Megge
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