Am I still a menopause campaigner?

I’ll apologise now because this is probably going to be a very personal blog post – I’m not even sure if I’ll put it up. It’s midnight on Friday and I’m aching with tiredness, but sleep won’t come. Tears will, though, because today, a week after boldly stating I would be in parliament for World Menopause Day, I decided I couldn’t, after all.

My reasons? Well, mainly, I’ve been asked to do some talks and to hold informal menopause cafés for the NHS, as well as helping host an evening event to keep women in business with Adelle Martin, the Executive Midlife Coach.

It’s a busy day when you’re a menopause campaigner.

And therein is one of the reasons why I’m now crying – because am I a menopause campaigner?

Twelve months ago, I would have said “yes” without any hesitation. But since the rally last World Menopause Day, it feels as if the ground has shifted and I’m unsure where I stand anymore.

The growing awareness around menopause has been wonderful and I love seeing people come out and talk about it. Perimenopause was even mentioned on Sewing Bee without any need of explanation!

But there have also been downsides to that as money has become involved. For example, instead of fighting for better menopause awareness, I suddenly found myself fighting over the use of the name “Pausitivity”. Where once there was informal agreements and respect, there was talk of trademarks and business registration.

Distinct bands of campaigners have grown, depending upon what social media platform they use. I see names on LinkedIn I never see on Twitter and names on Twitter I never see on Instagram. Support feels split

Not that it has all been sweetness and light over the last three years. There have been incidents and words said and I have no doubt that I have been as guilty as others, especially when the hormones have hit and I’ve felt out of control, as if I’ve lost myself.

On the whole, though, it felt like there was a community working together. No, we didn’t all get along, but we were working towards the same cause and that was what counted.

Or perhaps I was just naïve?

Maybe, instead, it is just me – a jumped-up little Geordie who thought she was making a difference and now I see the truth?

Because tonight, I feel like a washed-out middle-aged nobody. I look at the plans – and hopes – I had and they feel… hopeless.

And of course, there is life. Covid restrictions have meant I have been unable to see my mam as often as I want and when I do, I see the woman I knew slipping away. I know I will never again get a hug – or more like it, a word to get over myself and get on with it like a northerner – when I feel lost.

Who will tell me to “tell them to sod off” now?

I hope, I pray, that this is the doldrums of the Covid attack I had. Because otherwise, my brain is telling me this is PMDD again and this is my last chance for HRT to work. And I’m scared this might be who I am for the rest of my life.

A woman who doesn’t know who she is anymore.

I would like nothing more than to finish this with a rallying cry, but I can’t. So I will end instead with a call to be good to each other. You don’t even have to be kind, just be considerate.

Because you never know what the other person is going through.

5 thoughts on “Am I still a menopause campaigner?”

  1. My mental and physical condition now would have been vastly improved had I not been told by a female doctor that it was time for me at 72 to come off HRT…as a result of reluctantly taking her advice I have found myself with a list of medical conditions with the effects of Spinal Stenosis that I know now could have been prevented by staying on it!

  2. I have just come across 50sense, already found it very useful Had a life of PMS, heavy periods & Endo, been on Prostap for years but is became less effective. Just had ovaries removed, Endo tissue scrape, had Mirena coil fitted and experiencing blood loss, pain / cramping, low mood, about to start oestro-gel, so still feeling awful but hope things settle.
    I work in public health, background in fitness and health promotion, so know the importance of knowledge, support, empathy, you have really helped as I felt hopeless.
    I think you have helped many women but you need to DO YOU first. You may need ‘time out’ to focus on your health, follow your gut instinct. X

  3. Love your blog’s. It’s like having a good friend who reassures me I am not alone. It’s ok to feel down – we all have those moments. Oh and one more thing, tell em all to sod off!! With love all the way from Australia – that’s the effect you are having xx

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