In my first blog post of this series, I shared with you a bit of my story with surgical menopause and explained how it differs from natural menopause. Part two covered serenity through acceptance. Enjoy this third excerpt from my new book, Come Back Strong. Whether you experience natural or surgical menopause, choosing the right perspective can help you feel empowered and hopeful.
Choose the Right Perspective
I believe perspective plays a huge role in how we enter menopause, regardless of whether it is natural or surgically induced, as well as in how quickly we heal.
Think back to when you first got your period. What was your perspective? Did you view it as an honor as you stepped into womanhood, like my friend Susan? Or were you more like my friend Stephanie, who viewed it as terribly embarrassing—always having accidents and not being able to go in the water at the beach for fear of bleeding through? For me, I understood that getting my period made me a woman and enabled me to have children. With my young naïve mind, I thought that the day I got my period I would become pregnant. Silly? Or the power of a child’s brain who takes things literally?
What is your perspective of menopause? Is it a time of distress and discomfort? A signal of aging? Do you fear the best years are behind you? Are you focused completely on your symptoms? Or do you see this transition as a rite of passage and a time to discover or rediscover your power, purpose, passion, and authenticity?
I love that the Chinese refer to menopause as the second spring. They consider it a time to reflect on life and turn our focus inward to nurture ourselves. That rings true for me, as this season of my life already has had an ongoing theme of self-love, self-care, and self-reflection.
Just like surgery may have benefits of alleviating pain or risk of disease, menopause can be a wonderful transition with positive side effects such as:
- No more periods, cramping, tampons, or pads.
- We can finally wear white pants again, any time of the month.
- We can enjoy sex without risk of pregnancy.
- We may have greater confidence and self-assuredness.
- We don’t have to schedule our sex lives, athletics, or vacations around our periods.
After my surgery, it took time for my body to heal physically. It took even longer for my mind and emotional health to stabilize.
There were times when I felt broken. I had to constantly remind myself that I was in a state of healing and change. Even though I felt broken, I told myself that I was whole, strong, and valuable.
Surgery and surgical menopause can be both frustrating and exhausting. The last thing we need to do is to beat ourselves up. And isn’t that one of our greatest strengths as women? We think we should heal faster, we shouldn’t cry for no reason, and we should be able to do it all… even right after a surgery. The only thing we need to do is cut ourselves some slack and remind ourselves that this too shall pass.
That’s a perspective I can embrace.
If you would like to read more about my story and how I found balanced wellness after surgical menopause, I invite you to check out my book that I mentioned at the beginning of this article.
Stay tuned for Part 4 of this series next week where I will share about Managing Expectations.
– Lori Ann