I’ve been doing a lot of menopause research recently as I complete my training in becoming an Executive Menopause Coach for the Kathryn Colas Academy. I’ve been exploring the effect of the menopause on physical and mental health, and as I have done so, have been going on a journey of awareness of my own health. I’ve found out some things about myself that I knew, but can now confirm their origins as hormonally related. I have re-assessed my mental health and levels of anxiety, trying to understand my needs and to make sure I re-connect with myself at all levels, physically and mentally.
Currently I have been feeling mixed emotions (although guilt is not one of them) about not being the ‘Good Samaritan’ for a friend – did what I could, but didn’t do what that person would have done if the situation were reversed. But equally, if the situation were reversed I would not have left myself needing the level of support that was wanted …
So I’ve been confused and trying to rationalise my behaviour, which feels like I was being unkind, which I would never deliberately do and realised that actually, this is the reason I could not do more … this person drains me.
Bringing myself to this awareness has been a journey, not wanting to have been unkind or caused distress to anyone, but recognising (finally) that this ‘friend’ in my life is actually causing me harm.
Time to change … awareness means we can move on.
It is important to surround yourself with people who encourage, support, motivate and enrich your life. Not everyone will be supportive of everything all the time, but there will be enough negativity from your own doubts, without seeking it elsewhere. A true friend is one who will allow you to express your emotions and experience them, whilst providing you with the space to move on, with encouragement and support.
Sadly some illnesses, like depression, will create that feeling of negativity so that you feel unable to see any positive at all. This is when your patient friend can remind you that there is a way forward if you just keep on going, things change, they do get different, if not immediately better. If you are able to support someone going through their illness, without harming yourself, then do so. Even if you cannot be everything they need, providing a calm positive outlook will help them. But do not let yourself be dragged down with them. There is no point in jumping into a hole with them if they will not follow you out. In my experience of depression, the individual needs to reach a place where they want to improve even though it feels impossible, the tiny glimmer of hope to recognise that this situation is not permanent and this too shall pass. No-one can do that for them, except themselves. This is what therapy is for at this time, a professional providing guidance, allowing the individual to come to their own realisation of the possibility of something else.
We all have our own struggles and difficulties, we cannot live other people’s lives for them or cure all their ills but where we can we should endeavour not to make them any worse.
It is because we have our own struggles that we need to ensure we do not expend or overstretch ourselves and render ourselves incapable of self care. Every one has their own journey, yours is just as important as theirs.
So what is the message from this long ramble – actually its a message for me:
You are allowed to be happy, and if to do that you have to let go of things or people that do not support that, that is ok. In fact, it is absolutely necessary.
Maybe it is a message that would help you too? Menopause is a time of change, let it happen and who knows where you will end up …