I have a mission – to enable people to achieve the ‘seemingly impossible’ by being whole and re-defining what makes us all a true success. I want to normalise ‘telling it how it is’, to share our failures as well as our successes and to show our vulnerability whilst sharing our compassion. In pursuit of this mission, I write and vlog openly and honestly about my challenges, in the hope that others who face them will not feel so alone. I am a management consultant by trade. My comfort zone is order, logic and applying analytical tools to solve problems. I have discovered that these tools don’t always work, in the face of life-changing circumstances, hence my mission.
To the point of this blog, I am 47 years old today and only just starting to ‘get it’. I want my life to matter – in a way that transcends traditional measures of success – money, class or seniority. I want it to matter because it made a difference to someone somewhere. That’s about as complex as it gets for me. Make what you do matter and please value and be yourself no matter what.
Below, I have shared some of my mad ramblings about life and how we can change our perspective for the better. They are in no particular order – just like our experiences in life. They are just a few observations that I genuinely hope may help you in some way.
Death, I know the discussion we all avoid. But we do need to address it. In the words of Brené Brown “being clear is kind and being unclear is unkind”. Never truer than when it comes to life and death. The grief experienced with the loss of your loved one is all-consuming and heart-wrenching. We need to and indeed can, manage the trauma surrounding death far more effectively – simply by having the difficult but necessary conversations. There are a number of books out there and the RSP has issued a new report, to help doctors have honest conversations about what lies ahead and ultimately, death.
My lifeline came too late, sadly I didn’t find the amazing book written about death by Dr. Kathryn Mannix, until after my dad’s death. Had I read this before, it would have helped enormously. Please don’t avoid the difficult conversations, we can manage death and our emotional trauma far better with them rather than without them.
The reality of the menopause.
I visited my consultant yesterday who is helping me with the menopause. I came out and sobbed. I sobbed with relief, relief that there is a reason I cannot get through a day without sleeping or crying, that I will not always have to feel so crap and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
To cut a long story short, my menopause has decided to take the black run rather than the blue run – my estrogen has dropped through the floor, my testosterone is virtually non-existent, my folic acid and Vitamin B12 are seriously low and my insulin is running riot. Result chronic fatigue, irritability, anxiety, muscle ache, and weight gain.
The good news is that all of this is treatable and I now have my new cocktail of supplements and hormones to get me back on my feet – and I’m not joking I do most of my writing and emails lying down as I have literally no energy to do anything more. The bad news is that I got an accurate diagnosis and support because I paid to go to a private hospital. I went private because the NHS simply could not identify and meet all of my needs – for example, GPs cannot even prescribe testosterone gel, you can only get that on a private prescription at a cost of £38. That means that there are potentially 1,000’s of women out there not being diagnosed and supported properly throughout their menopause.
Now that might be ok for some women if the menopause is kinder to them but for others, like me, it’s not ok. So yes, I am beyond relieved – I had begun to think I was in a deep depression and maybe in denial as I am so tired and anxious. But whilst that may or may not be true, the chronic symptoms are being caused by the menopause.
It’s not a joke, it feels awful and we need to get more support both medical and practical to help women get through this. I’m lucky, I have a way through but my goodness we have a way to go as a society to make it easier for all women, not just me.