Updated: Nov 10, 2021
That is quite a title, but that is the summary of my week so far. I will write a separate post about the perimenopause, because it deserves a post of its own. However, I will say this: I turned 43 this year, and perimenopause symptoms have driven me to dive into my feminine side in a way I have never done before. Honestly, I feel a bit sad about that, like I neglected a part of me somehow.
I have had very regular, and pretty much pain-free, menstrual cycles all of my adolescent and adult life, and because I was never interested in having babies, my only concern with my periods was to know on which day they would start and when they would end. Period (pun intended). Of course, I am now becoming much more aware that there are a lot more going on with this monthly inconvenient phenomenon. Spoiler alert: hormones! A part of me feels cheated by an education system that considered a couple of hours on the female reproductive system 'taught' by a condescendent male biology teacher pushing 60 an adequate and sufficient amount of information on the subject. And yes, parents have the responsibility to educate also, but I feel that this subject is pretty much an individual journey into self-discovery; at least it feels like that for me. I never spoke about my cycle or my hormones with my girlfriends. Anyway, there is no need to dwell too much on the past, I am getting interested in the subject now, and that's all that matters. You're not ready until you're ready I guess.
So, on the day of the full moon I began my investigation into what I have been experiencing lately and the correlation with my cycle and the havoc caused by my hormones being majorly out of whack. I won't lie, as saddened as I am by the fact that I am only becoming more aware of it now, it has also been fascinating. Our bodies change all the time, so it is quite natural that I would experience some changes four decades into my lifespan. It's also interesting that my inner journey into my feminine energy is coinciding with the autumn equinox, a transition into a slower time of the year, a time of shedding and letting go.
With every change of season, I fast for three days as a way of letting go, making space and welcoming. I was going to revisit the fifteen days fast I had started before I got sick, but my research into my menstrual cycle also led me to read up some more about fasting. I found some interesting information about adjusting my fasting lifestyle around the different phases of my cycle so that the fast is more supportive of the hormonal changes which take place during my periods. Therefore, after a lot of reading, podcast listening and video watching, I concluded that I would stick to a three days fast for now and synch my longer fast with the first day of my next period. I am also thinking about incorporating intermittent fasting into my daily routine at a 16:8 ratio. I do IF every so often, although not consistently; I think it would fit my needs very well. I usually eat a good few hours after waking up anyway, and I prefer to do my physical activities in the morning; I don't like eating a lot before exercising. I would like to add longer stretches of daily fasting to see if it provides some relief from the symptoms I have been experiencing. IF can help re-establish balance in hormone levels in some women. We'll see.
I just finished the 72 hours fast, and I do feel better emotionally and physically. I went pretty dark there. The thing is, the world we live in is shite, really. I truly believe that, and that belief never goes away, even when I am not in my despair mode and can see the beauty in this fucked up world. I have always been extremely sensitive to the environment around me, the daily injustices and atrocities etc... However, I have also always been a dreamer - I can't fucking help it. So, despite the sadness I feel about the state of the world, I also believe we can make it a better place. The combination of the two inevitably results in an emotional rollercoaster. And now perimenopause has just come along and added another level of rollercoaster fun with its hormonal changes. At least I am aware now, and understand that how I am feeling is not SOLELY due to the fact that I am a sensitive human being. I can now make some changes to my lifestyle, so that it serves this next stage in my life in a more efficient way.