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Mental health & menopause

Here I am, going through life, as we all are, just trying to maintain. Enjoying the good days and drinking an extra glass of wine on the rough days. I've been squaring up with life and I won't front, that heifer can fight! But I ain't no punk so I've holding my own. But suddenly, some extra swings have been taken and they are against me! Not only have they been beating me down physically, but these "extra" hands have been beating me down emotionally and mentally! Now, keep in mind, I just said I ain't no punk, but life and her newfound friend decided to jump me! Who is this friend, you might ask? MENOPAUSE! Who knew menopause has hands like Mike Tyson in his prime!!!

I remember when my mom was experiencing menopause and I thought it was funny because all I saw her suffer from were extreme hot flashes. I thought to myself, surely it can't be that bad BUT I thought I was prepared. What I didn't know is that menopause fights you with so much more than hot flashes.

Lately, I've been having some of the worst mood swings! Not even angry moods but sad and frustrating moods. I cry more than I have ever cried in my life. I have gained more unexplainable weight than I would like to admit. That in itself can take a toll on anyone's mental. I don't like being around people. I barely like to even come out of my room, let alone leave the house. My stomach is always in knots. One day, I'm literally starving for the entire time that I am awake. The next day, I don't want any food at all. Phone calls and text messages go unanswered and unread. Important and exciting events are being missed. It takes every ounce of strength I have just to go to work. But I have been pushing through. I kept thinking to myself "something is off" and that eventually I would go see a doctor or a therapist. But being the "strong" black woman that I am, I kept putting it off. But here is what I was not prepared for...the suicidal thoughts. I said, "Ohhh menopause, you raggedy bitch! You don't play fair!" That's when I knew, I had to seek help! Because as tough as life can get, I never want to end it on my own. I love my family and close friends! I love being invited to different restaurants to do food reviews! I love flying to different cities and experiencing new things just because I can! Suicide is one thing that NEVER crosses my mind. I always knew menopause could affect your body, but I never knew just how much it could affect your mind.

But here's one thing menopause wasn't prepared for; for me to fight back with God, medical attention, and the love and support from my loved ones.

Women, especially black women, have to start paying attention and listening to their bodies! It's a must! Don't put off seeking help. And don't feel ashamed talking to close and trusted family and friends. I have been holding this to myself for so long that I think it did even more damage. But honestly, when I told my mom what I have been experiencing, I felt a little better. Advocate for yourself! Don't let anyone tell you that you are crazy, or what you are experiencing is all in your mind. Don't let these doctors just brush you off because they feel like you are lying or just simply don't have the time to be bothered. And when it comes to menopause, stop letting people tell you that you are too young. They are several factors that contribute to a woman starting menopause. And this doesn't only pertain to what I'm going through. This is for every woman who just hasn't been herself lately, whether it's physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Nobody knows you better than YOU!

Here a just a few lessons I have been learning over the past few months...

-It's ok to not be ok

-Be the strongest advocate for yourself

-Learn to love yourself enough to know when it's time to get help

-Trust in those people that love you to know they will not judge you

-It's ok to say NO

-Take time for yourself when you need to

-You are not and cannot be everyone's hero

-You will never be able to pour from an empty cup

-There's someone out there that loves you and wants to see you win

-And the most important...God is bigger than any problem or battle that you face

Learn how menopause can affect your mental health
Mental health vs Menopause

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