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The Menopause Diaries: The change brought me back to myself, and I will be eternally grateful for that


by Helen Seymour
20th Dec 2018
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Helen Seymour is in Peri-Menopause, or at least she thinks she is. In her weekly column we follow her on her journey towards the Menopause, learning as she does all about the big M


Merry Peri-Menopause !!  Happy HRT !!

2018 has been a kick-ass year.  Some of it has been down to luck, some of it down to hard work, and a lot of it has been triggered by my Peri-Menopause. I wouldn’t have started writing this column without it, and the response I’ve gotten to it has been amazing, plus it’s brought a whole bunch of really nice new people into my life, which has been lovely. Thank you to all of you who have read it, and given me such positive feedback. It means a lot.

Believe it or not, today is the 21st column in this series. And boy have we covered a lot. Hot flushes, alternative therapies like Snake Venom tablets (which worked), Osteoporosis, Vaginal Dryness, Bio Identical versus Body Identical Hormones, Traditional HRT, Weight Gain, Exercise, Ireland’s first dedicated Menopause Clinic “The Menopause Hub”, the truth about the incorrect link between HRT and Breast Cancer, the role Oestrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone play in our lives, the different kinds of HRT different types of women need, Fake Periods, and how Menopause really makes you face your age.

The Menopause is traditionally referred to as “The Change”.  And any kind of change is uncomfortable. None of us like it. Even the most radical people, are secure in their own brand of chaos. This last year has been a whirlwind of change for me, and it has very much been a year of two halves. The first six months saw Hot Flushes, Depression, Temper Flashes, a complete loss of Confidence, weight gain, and a general feeling that I no longer had control over what was happening to my body. I struggled, greatly, and I hit an all-time low in July. Which was when I wrote the first of these columns, and sent it off to IMAGE, not really expecting a response.

Since then, partly through writing these columns, and partly through me, Helen Seymour, deciding enough was enough, the things I struggled with not only no longer exist, but life has sky-rocketed in a way I could not have previously foreseen.

First and foremost, Menopause got me writing again, having not written properly in two years. And I love writing.  I had missed it. Greatly. Menopause kicked my ass back to the desk and let me be “me” again for the first time in a long time. Menopause brought “me” back to ME, and I will be eternally grateful for that.

Menopause made me face to the fact that I could no longer drink the way I used to. Alcohol is now largely a thing of the past, and I don’t miss it. Not one bit. In fact I feel healthier and more energised now that it’s gone.

Menopause made me face up to the fact that now more than ever I need to exercise. I need to bulletproof myself for my later years. I don’t want to be all stiff and bent over at eighty. I want to be able to get up out of a chair with ease, to stand straight, and to not feel aches and pains that I don’t need to feel.

Menopause has made me review my diet. I’ve always been a foodie. I’ve always eaten organically and very healthily. But I’ve also always been highly addicted to sugar and caffeine. I’m not out of the woods on either of those yet, but Menopause is forcing me to review them, and it’s made me take a long hard look at the amount I eat. This is an on-going challenge, but that’s okay. Because the other thing Menopause has made me do, is be my own best friend. I’m not beating myself up any more. I’m working with me, for me, and boy does it feel good.

So yes, I am ringing in “The Change”.  Menopause brings challenges. Big ones. And the best thing you can do is face them. Because right on the other side, something truly marvellous is waiting. The rest of your life. Go get it.