You can’t pour from an empty cup

Sorry this is another self-indulgent post (although quite a positive one ;)).  Seemingly not tied to home ed but of course it is all inseparable from life.  I know I’m a much better at giving my children what they need and deserve when I’m feeling ‘together’ myself.  I’m sure we all are.

As anyone has read the blog for a while has probably spotted I’ve not been that ‘together’ for a good 6 months, possibly longer.  There have been some very embarrassing on reflection, over-sharing, quite frankly raving posts.  I fixated on one particular aspect of my life as a major (if not only) cause and I really thought once I’d removed that stress from my life, ping I’d feel myself again.   Hasn’t happened unfortunately.

A good few months ago a friend queried if I might be hitting the perimenopause.  I had never heard of it and said ‘don’t be daft I’m 36’.  This last week though quite a few coincidences have pushed it into my consciousness and I suspect that actually I may well be, I seem to be a walking textbook case of symptoms and even Pete can recognise a lot of them.
The mood swings and crippling anxiety that are the things I’d most picked up on and probably most evident here.  But lack of ability to concentrate (have really struggled to be on form with work), mixing up words, general ditziness (I tried to put a tassimo disc in the washing machine drawer to make coffee yesterday 😀 And things like that seem to be occurring almost daily…  not since the seriously sleep deprived baby days have I been this bad) have all been there.  Plus a long list of physical symptoms, the most obvious being really bad insomnia, nightsweats and frequency of migraines that I haven’t experienced since a teenager.
Unfortunately (sorry for the tmi) the most clear symptom that something is awry won’t work for me so am left with arm chair diagnosis based on other symptoms or going to the doctor for tests.  Don’t like doctor and not ready to resort to treatment yet so going to delay that option for now.

Instead I am going to settle on I don’t know if it’s the perimenopause or just the fact that I’m 37 in a few weeks and there are hormone fluctuations as I get older. Or even that it’s not that at all and I’m just a bit stressed and all the symptoms are in a way contributing to each other, lack of sleep can account for a lot.  Whatever the cause the treatment needs to be to look after myself better!

So plans are

  • Work on diet.  Both for weightloss as put a bit back on over the winter (still well over a stone and a half lighter than this point last year but could do with losing that again) and also on quality of what I eat and upping intake of various vitamin etc.  Not sure I completely subscribe to the food as medicine view but can’t hurt.
  • Supplements/herbal remedies.  I’m wary of many of the herbal treatments I’ve seen listed for menopause, some of them have listed side effects I really don’t want.  But prepared to try some of the milder concoctions.  At the very least replacing some of the coffee I drink with herbal tea has to be good.  Having seen my Mum really suffering in her 40’s with osteoporosis I know I need to do something with calcium in my diet and suspect that I don’t and never will (milk doesn’t agree with me) eat enough.
  • Exercise.  I’ve sorted out pilates and yoga classes.  Yes I know!  Exercise and other people, two things well out of my comfort zone ;). Whether I’ll keep going with both I don’t know, probably too much in terms of money/evenings out.  I’ll try both anyway and see which fits in better.  We’ve sorted a good time in the week for me to go for a long walk alone.  Plus trying to build more opportunity for ‘activity’ for Sam as well into our weeks.
  • Mentally give myself a break.  Much easier said than done.  But will try.
  • Get out more.  I’ve been really anti-social lately and the less I speak to people face to face the harder I find it to do.  Even people I like very much!  I will never be a social butterfly but I do need contact with others or I’m going to become a mad hermit, so need to make more effort.
  • I also need a project, probably something voluntary, ideally with not huge commitment (probably not weekly).  Something that can give my organising need a bit of outlet, somewhere I can make a difference.  Organising stuff home ed wise just isn’t doing it, need something outside of my family.  Have a few ideas.

A plan in place already seems to have shaken me out of the doldrums a bit.  I’m in full on planning mode which makes me happy 🙂

8 thoughts on “You can’t pour from an empty cup”

    1. Yes it’s the length of time it drags on for that I really am not looking forward to. On plus side made me realise that I really, really don’t want more children. Love mine hugely but they are enough. Love the independence and the companionship of having older children.

  1. I’ve really enjoyed reading your ‘over-sharing’ posts. They’ve shown a side to you that I’ve loved getting to know. A vulnerability not all of us are brave enough to show to the world, I admire you even more than I already do (your London travel knowledge, alongside your HE knowledge is invaluable!).

    As for the peri-menopause. Welcome aboard! I started when I was about 35/36. I’ve experienced everything you’ve described and more. I’m 42 now and still in the midst of it but now see it as a really positive thing. Reading up on the subject helped loads and I highly recommend the book ‘The Wisdom of Menopause’ by Christina Northrup, to help you see how it can lead to the greatest time of your life, as well as giving practical advice.

    Just be prepared for the ‘not giving a s**t, angry’ episodes or maybe that’s just me!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation. Yes there’s more going on that make me think almost definitely hormones. I don’t see it as a negative, happy to pass out of childbearing days. Just hope to do it without offending too many people and doing anything too daft 😉

  2. The lack of conversation between women about perimenopause and menopause really annoys me, I had some hormone tests last year as my GP thought I might be perimenopausal and like you I’d never heard the term and what I know now is just from google. In the end and after various tests it would seem that my symptoms were all stress related and have sorted themselves out now.
    Whatever is going on just being proactive can make you feel better and it sounds like you’re on the case with that. I should have a working car by the end of the week so I just need to find some nerve from somewhere and we can start getting out a bit more.

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