We may have got to this point in our lives using controlling strategies to make us feel safe. And they may have worked for us until now. But, as with other areas of our lives, the law of diminishing returns applies. What worked for us in our 20s and 30s just doesn’t cut it anymore. Plus, we may seem to be hit with a whole load of things that don’t respond to our control techniques anymore. We drink night to numb the painful or difficult feelings of the day but can no longer wake up the next day feeling clear headed. Or we try to get a good night’s sleep and can’t drop off. Or the jogging we used to control our anxiety in the past doesn’t cut it anymore. Suddenly the old ways of coping no longer work – or at least not as effectively as they did in the past.
So, we’re left with a choice. Carry on complaining and spiralling down, putting more effort into our old ploys, with less to show for it. Or we are willing to consider that there might be an alternative way to approach our lives. New habits and ways of being that initially feel a bit uncomfortable or scary. Tips you don’t read about in the “20 ways to cure hot flashes” articles you may search out online. Because we’re going to use the menopause to investigate and uproot every way we have looked at life until now. Some things may work for us – and in that case we acknowledge and continue to use them, but with more awareness. Other ways we realise aren’t as much a part of “us” as we thought and are ways of thinking and acting that we can leave behind us with a sense of relief.
In the next few blog posts, we’ll look at the subject of control in more detail – why we do it, and what the alternatives might be.