When you have a public face that you present to the world and everyone is used to seeing the smiling face and that “in control” having a fabulous time person it is difficult to admit that all is not OK.
Sometimes it is hard to be a woman as we are meant to be so many things – wife, lover, in my case business woman and with the constant pressure to look fabulous, be a certain weight and act in a certain way with a window on the world through social media but inside you are crying with self doubt of if you are measuring up to ALL that you should be!!
Over the years I have got very good a putting on my “happy face” smiling through being in control and not showing how I am really feeling inside. But like many people I struggle with periods of depression and self doubt.
I have always been a confident person and not cared what people think of me. And as I get older that is even more true but sometimes it is hard to smile when inside things are not so fabulous.
The menopause has hit me hard and I am suffering big time with mood swings, anxiety and depression. Some days I just getting of bed is a struggle, sitting crying in my PJ’s is all I want to do. Other days I am on a frantic high running around doing loads of stuff but not actually achieving anything. Night sweats are keeping me awake leaving me exhausted, irritable and snapping at everyone.
Last week I gave in and started back on the HRT as it was obvious that I needed more than the herbal route I have been on when I was thinking about ending it all. Considering how long the menopause could go on for I can’t go through possibly the next 5 years not feeling in control of my life and feelings. I had hoped that I would be able to work through this time with out resorting to drugs but sometimes you just have to admit defeat and do something that gives you back a sense of normality.
It is a hard thing to admit that everything is not as fabulous as we show in those little squares of Instagram posts. There is a big campaign out there “ok but not ok” to encourage people that are suffering with mental health issues to not shy aware from saying when things are not all fine when in side you are crying so I am not Ok all of the time but am working through making it better.
Recently I have gone back to being a vegetarian after eating meat for a while and have found that it has made a difference to how my body feels and I am going to up my exercise from relatively zero to slowly build up my fitness, add is some yoga for some balance and get back to my dancing both swing and ballet.
The HRT will give me back my sanity while I work on building my body back to it’s strength and fitness. Sometimes you have to just stop and take a look at what you really want from life and what makes you happy. There have been lots of sad deaths of people recently who seemingly had “perfect” lives but underneath the public persona were struggling and took dramatic steps to end their suffering.
Life is short and we need to make the most of everyday so my first step is to admit what I need to do to get the most out of life. One thing I do need to do is get my life/work back into balance and starting to make a little time for me as well as for my hubby and I to spend more time together just having fun without work and negative feelings getting in the way.
Life is a struggle and it is not always easy but when we admit that and ask for help if we need it – seek advice, talk to friends and family it becomes a little easier to deal with.
So I am looking forward to making it through the other side, coming out stronger and getting the very best out of life.
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to deal with the menopause or times of self doubt.
Portraits Kerry Curl