Looking After Me

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Here we are with our second weekly Reclaim the Menopause Blog. We have had an exciting week and already have an international presence with visits to our site from Italy, USA, Canada and Hong Kong. I have been intrigued about the menopause for some years now and it’s been interesting gathering menopausal stories from women. I have felt honoured by the stories women have shared and how often I hear from women, that they have chosen the menopause transition as a time to reflect on their own needs. Maybe the fact that women no longer have the ability to conceive or that those that they have borne have flown the nest, frees them of the nurturing role and putting others interests first.

The following story was written by Cleopatra in 2011, after visiting Africa and reflecting on her new found sense of freedom, during her transition through the menopause.

I was originally writing this to my husband who has for years not been able to take out any time for me, and I was desperately shouting at him through my writing as my verbal pleas were falling on deaf ears.

This is not a male bashing exercise, but more a realisation that I really don’t have to continue doing what I’ve known for a long while, yet I continue to resentfully do. I have felt like this for at least the past 5 years and am sure that my depressive bouts, tantrums and outbursts at my husband, are a result of my spirit not being where it wants or needs to be. I love my family dearly, but have to accept that they are all carving out a life for themselves and my work, as their constantly on call mother, is no longer required. I go to work every day and return home – my life has become very boring and indeed it has not felt like a life for some considerable length of time. The relationship between me and my husband has become strained as a result and I‘ve often told him that I feel like a widow within this marriage, yet it falls on deaf ears. He continues to ignore my pleas, so I must move on with my life and do what I need to do for myself.

As I have entered the menopause and with my travels to ‘Afrika’, I’ve had the time and space to reflect on my life and what it is that I wish to do going forward. It definitely isn’t to continue my miserable life in England. I had informed my husband 25 years ago that I wanted to live in Jamaica and due to circumstances we have remained in England. Thankfully he had the foresight and fortitude to start building our house in Jamaica which is where I’m going to reside.

Why now?

I’d taken a year’s sabbatical from work to travel through’ Afrika.’ My journey there opened my eyes and made me ‘apprecia-love’ the opportunities that I have gained in England. My up-bringing, education and work experiences. The majority of women living on this continent have not had such privileges, yet they survive and are living a life as they raise their children and look after their homes. All of this I have done and now need to create my own enterprise and find the deeper meaning to my life. So I cut my wonderfully liberating journey in ‘Afrika’ short so that I can use the money that I’d saved to start my own enterprise.

I know that England and the life there is eating away at my soul and I feel more resentful every day at my husband for not being ready to settle in Jamaica. Well, as he constantly tells me, “We’re not joined at the hip.” So, I can move on with my life and if that means me being separated from him for some time of the year then so be it. I will of course miss my young adult offspring, but I have to acknowledge my desires and dreams and work towards them. I have acquired a range of skills and I’m now ready to utilise these in my quest to find joy and happiness in my life on the sunshine isle.

My Desire

‘Afrika’, the sunshine; washing my clothes by hand and them drying in the natural air and sunshine; the drenching rain; the amazing thunderstorms (reminding me of my sudden outbursts); waking up with the dawn chorus of the birds and the cockerels; being in complete darkness at night; the lushness of the land; eating the fresh fruits and vegetables; swimming in the open in sparkling clear water; being in the majority as opposed to the minority. I no longer want to be away from this and I really don’t have to be. My whole body, mind and soul reaches ecstasy right now and I don’t wish to return to the drudgery of grey London, the Canary Wharf tower, or indeed to spend the rest of my working days pecking away at the keyboard as old mother hen!

I’m sick of waking up in the dark, dreary, winter months of England, I’m sick of the 9-5; I’m tired of working the day job and not having something of my own to look forward to on a daily basis. I give thanks for the time and space I’ve had to take a stock of my life and do what it is that I need to do for me. I am for once doing what I want to do, whether or not I have the approval of my husband or my children. I’ve put my life on the back burner for the past 30 years and now ask the universe to provide me with the health and strength for the next 30 years to enjoy some sunshine as I accomplish my personal dreams and enter another stage in my life.

I love you all, but most of all I love myself so I’m sure you’ll ‘over-stand’. I’m thankful to ‘Afrika’ for giving me the time to re-balance my emotions and to centre myself. I give thanks for the time, space and climate to realise what I no longer want in my life and for reinforcing what it is that I’m yearning to do. I can no longer do, what I no longer wish to do, and make my life and the lives of those around me a misery. I refuse to postpone the fullness of my life any longer and turn myself mad. I need to be living my life to the maximum and be overflowing in abundance, happiness and joy. I know I can lead a successful and contented life in Jamaica. So here – and whoever else wants to join me – I come!

I am experiencing enormous changes right now (mentally, spiritually and physically), which will bring me and others who are with me (mentally, spiritually, or physically) many great blessings.

Hotep, Cleopatra

If you have a story that you would love to share with others please get in touch with us.

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