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    Understanding ?the change? in women and the changes it brings
    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD posted:
    As women face perimenopause — the time leading up to menopause when they can have uncomfortable symptoms — they often look mortality in the eye as they review their life and question whether they like what they see.

    It is a time of transformation, a kind of death of their old selves. They begin to really focus on what they want — and don't want. Letting go of unnecessarily worrying about what others think, they also begin to express themselves more. They might end relationships, change jobs, or explore new spiritual beliefs. In doing this, they realign themselves with, and choose to live out, their values.

    This stage of life is a challenge for the women who go through it; and for those close to them. But with the right perspective, it can also be a time of great opportunity for personal growth for all involved, and for a deepening of their relationships.

    Can you relate? Read in more detail about this topic in my post on The Art of Relationships blog.
    Chris_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Dr. Becker-Phelps are you sure you're not in my house living with me?

    Boy did this blog hit home for me. No one told me about how difficult perimenopause was going to be. It's not so much about the hot flashes that everyone talks about, but the mood swings and second guessing myself, and yes not loving what I see in the mirror, yet not sure what others think, nor do I think I care. I actually care more about me then I ever have before. That make sense?

    My kids are pretty much grown, I have 3, my youngest being 21 and entering his senior year in college, so for me I think that's enabled me to finally think about me.
    It's freeing and very frightful at the same time!

    It's important to remember there is help for us. And even more important to remember to reach out for help to your own health care professional during this very difficult and changing time.

    Change is good, I'll figure this out yet! :)
    Thank you so much for this Doctor!
    Chrissy~ Life is too short, so kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly. Author Unknown
    cjh1203 responded:
    I went through menopause 14 years ago, when I was 45, and I had a really easy time of it for a while. Everything was pretty normal, periods always the same, and then they just stopped -- never any spotting or anything. I didn't start getting hot flashes for quite a long time, but I do still get them occasionally -- not too bad, though.

    At the time, the hardest part for me was realizing that, despite my protests, I really was old enough to go through menopause!

    As time went on, the brain fog was the worst thing. I felt as though I was incapable of a clear thought, and I had a hard time comprehending things that wouldn't have fazed me a bit before. I was always very quick at math in my head, but got so I had to write everything down. I still feel that way to an extent, although maybe not quite as bad as a few years ago, and it's so frustrating. I used to be pretty intelligent and quick, and now I feel as though my head is full of oatmeal and spiders!

    But, as you said, there are things that you let go of that were never really that important in the first place, and I think you're better able to filter out things that aren't worth your time and energy. I feel as though I have more common sense and all of my experiences have made me smarter about life in general. Although I've always been a pretty calm person, I feel a calmness now that is different from when I was younger -- it just sort of spreads out from the inside. And I've learned that the people I care about will not always be here, and I try to appreciate the time I have with them now.
    sb2361 responded:
    I definitely can relate to the author's concept of "a kind of death of...old selves." As much as I mourn the loss of my younger self, I also think this time of life helps me to focus much more sharply on what I want to accomplish and achieve for myself in the time I have left. I've spent a lot of time living for others, and while I don't want to become selfish, I realize that I need to put myself first some of the time in order to be able to live the best possible life that I can. (Luckily this realization comes at a time when my children are so done with mommy hovering over them! Not that I won't miss those days, as well.)
    alaska_mommy replied to cjh1203's response:
    I don't mean to butt in, since I'm not near that time in my life yet, but I just have to say, I loved the "oatmeal and spiders" bit, cjh! You gave me a chuckle today! :)

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