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I always wondered what my 40s would look like, well now I know

By Nina Steele 

Life in your 40sAbout a year ago, I woke up in the middle of the night completely drenched in sweat. I knew that it was a hot flush because I had read about it. I was officially in the perimenopause phase of my life. I readied myself for more of those, but it turned out to be a one-off, at least for now. Then recently, something much more worrying started to happen. I have been experiencing sharp pains in my breasts, the type of which I have not experienced before.

My thoughts instantly turned to the dreaded C word. I checked my breasts for lumps and there were none. There is no history of breast cancer in my family that I know of, but that of course does not mean that I should not be careful. The one thing I know about life is that nothing can ever be taken for granted. An online search about breast pain put my mind to rest. It turns out that it is another sign of the perimenopause.

I won’t miss no longer having my periods when that time comes. To be honest, it will be a relief. They have been a real pain in my life, and I mean that literally. I went through years of intense pain in the early stages. Then the pain subsided in my mid-20s. I still had to take pain relief tablets until late in my 30s. The heavy bleeding on the other hand has continued to this day. So the sooner the whole thing goes away, the better, as far as I am concerned.

Apart from the impending arrival of the menopause, overall, my 40s are proving to be a fulfilling time. Everything seems to be finally coming together. After years of trying to make sense of my life and what I want from it, I am finally at peace. Gosh, the amount of baggage we all carry! I may be finally at peace, but I do understand that working through past pains will continue until the day I die. I don’t think that there is ever a stage where we are completely free from past pains. Their intensity may lessen with time, but all it takes is for something to be triggered in us, for the whole pain to be brought back to life.

I am definitely not one of those people who would rather go back to their younger self. Like many people, there are parts of my childhood I would rather forget. Some of those experiences were so traumatic that they could have changed the course of my life. Thankfully for me, my yearning for a better life and a peaceful one, was far bigger a force than even I could ever anticipate. So yes, I am living my best life now in my 40s, and things can only get better.

This is my personal experience of the perimenopause and may differ from that of any other woman reading this. Please seek medical advice if you are in any doubt about your symptoms.

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