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I Am Woman Hear Me Roar -- How Menopause Can Be Empowering

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I never expected menopause to be so empowering. Sure the hot flashes make a person crazy and there are mood swings, but I’ve always had those. The interesting thing is that suddenly I don’t feel guilty about putting myself first. For years as the caregiver of my family I did everything for everyone and now all of a sudden I just say no.

I read recently that when a woman enters menopause that her “nesting” or “caregiver” instinct diminishes. It’s an actual chemical/hormonal function. So when the laundry is piled to the ceiling and everyone is waiting for me to do it they can just keep waiting – or do it themselves. The cries of “help me - I’m needy” fall on deaf ears a lot of the time now as I sit and think “do it yourself”.

Another thing about this time of my life is the new level of anger I experience – and the fact that I no longer feel compelled to hold it in. I tell it like it is more than I ever did. These days when invitations come in the mail for events I don’t care to attend I simply refuse. I don’t feel like I have to make an excuse or tell a white lie. I just don’t want to go and that’s that.

After years of putting everyone else’s needs first it feels good to decide things for myself and not feel guilty. No I will not reschedule my appointment, I will not be quiet and tolerate things I hate, and no I will not deny myself some well-deserved alone time.

Do it yourself, don’t nag me, don’t expect me to jump for everyone and don’t expect me to nod politely at your “constructive criticism” comments. I have paid my dues time and again. I’ve made the sacrifices, I’ve played it safe, I have done everything that was expected of me. Now it’s my turn.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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