Through history, women have shared their experiences and solutions to pass along information they didn’t get anywhere else. Now with a boost from the Internet, we honor this tradition by compiling a collection of menopause stories, updated every week. If you’d like to tell us about your menopause experience, please answer eight questions here and include a photo of yourself.
When did you go into menopause?
In my 50s
What did you know about menopause before you hit it?
Menopause is a womyn’s sacred rite of passage into her power as a wise, elder Crone. Herbs are powerful allies during the transition into Cronehood.
What you wish you had known?
I feel I was prepared for the journey by other sisters. A dear friend (who’s been around the sun more times than I) was reading The New Menopausal Years by Susun Weed and was chatting about how helpful it was for her. I later bought the book for myself and gave several copies to dear sisters.
Most vexing symptom?
Menopause is a part of a womyn’s journey. It is NOT a disease!!!!!! “Symptom” as applied to women and menopause is perpetuated by the patriarchy to disempower us. Power surges were the most uncomfortable aspect. However, they were greatly eased by herbs.
Susun Weed’s book was essential for me in navigating the sometimes uncomfortable waters of transformation into a Crone. Her reminder of who we are as wommin and her herbal suggestions worked miracles. Avoid HRT if at all possible! The best part of being a Crone is being confident in myself in a way that wasn’t available to me before, finally not giving a F**k what others think, and embracing myself as a Crone (including growing out my previously henna’d hair).
How do/did you treat symptoms?
Again, Menopause IS NOT A DISEASE. To ease the discomforts, read Susun Weed’s book on menopause. Vitex, Black Cohash, nettles infusion, and more. Also radical self care such as physical movement (dance, martial arts, and/or yoga anyone?), massages, naps!!, and being gentle with yourself are a bonus. Wine helps too.
Also, re-languaging how one speaks of menopause helps too. Rather than “hot flashes,” speak of them as “power surges.” To paraphrase Susun, power surges teach us to embrace and hold our power by giving it to us in smaller quantities. Once we have ended our monthly moon cycles, we hold our blood and our power. For me, if I held all my blood and power at one time, I would have imploded!
Most memorable menopause story?
A womyn practitioner who was known for her good work with wommin’s health prescribed an HRT cream for me. I tried it. After a few moments, I washed it off and disposed of it! It was unnatural and made me feel icky.
Three words to describe your menopause experience?
Powerful. Journey. Transformation.