Slowly Drowning In A Sea Of “Not Okay-ness”
The people who identify me as “their person” are women in midlife. My words resonate with those who have hit their 40s-plus and are asking themselves the deeper questions in life.
One such question…“Is this it?” This 3-word question gets asked of just about every facet of their life.
I’ve climbed that corporate ladder… “Is this it?”
I’ve hustled away the years…”Is this it?”
I’ve had the kids…”Is this it?”
I hitched my wagon to someone…“Is this it?”
I’ve accumulated the pretty stuff…”Is this it?”
The specifics one can ask this question of go on and on. The thread that weaves them all together is that there comes this point in life when we realize we are not okay with how things are.
This “not okay-ness” can be surface level or it can be fathoms deep.
The deep questions of life are rarely asked outside our own head. We choke down the feelings, often aided by a glass (or several) of wine before we hit the sack to try to sleep, yet again. All so we can get up the next day and “try” to answer that 3-word question, yet again. Now if you’re anything like the majority of us who ask the deeper questions of ourselves, you know that alone in your head is a scary place to look for answers.
Primary reason midlife women jive with my vibe?
I talk about the things we just don’t talk about. I am right smack dab in the throes of midlife myself and I’ll tell you what, it has been lonely. And downright confusing.
As I always do, I hit the digital streets in pursuit of information to help me navigate the waters. In doing so, I realized there’s a massive resource gap in the market when it comes to helping women understand what is at work during perimenopause.
Perimenopause is the time period of up to 10 years preceding menopause. Menopause is technically something you can only realize has occurred in hindsight. Menopause is an event and it occurs when you can count 12 calendar months (cycles) during which you did not have an active menses. In other words, if you didn’t have your period for the previous 12 months, your menopause has happened.
There is a massive void in the baseline of knowledge women are exposed to. This widening resource gap adds not only to the confusion and the anxiety around this time of a woman’s transition, it further drives a wedge between a woman and her connection to the natural cycle of all things female. Those producing the bare bones information do so to support their agenda that is built around messaging that there is something wrong with everything we experience during perimenopause. This message is fueled by an undertone of “it’s complicated”. And the complicated nature of it all stems from the fact that we are female. Just look at each and every normal facet of being born female. If there’s a diagnosis, there’s a billable “code” for it.
Now of course, in our world today this messaging is primarily generated by Big Pharma or those whom they fund directly or indirectly. Their agenda is to make a profit for their shareholders. That is the ultimate motivation. And the #1 reason all messaging they generate is suspect until proven not to be. I recommend that even then, still give ‘er the old side-eye…just to be sure.
Effectively, the message is: “There must be ‘something wrong’ because you have (what we are going to label as) symptoms.”
All the messages we women get throughout our lifetime are essentially that if we exhibit some sort of response, or have a feeling that may bring about some discomfort, or a reaction to something that may very well be a noxious stimulus (something that should elicit a reaction), AKA a symptom, there’s something at work that shouldn’t be. In essence, we shouldn’t “experience” such things.
We shouldn’t feel highs. And we certainly should not feel any variation of a low.
We should always just be kind of in this little steady Middle Land of Feelings. This is the messaging relayed to us women from childhood. This “should” be our experience as a woman. Steady and middle of the range is what the human experience is supposed to be when we have two X-Chromosomes.
Well to that I say,
By the time we hit midlife, we’ve accumulated habits that both work for us and against us. Much of what reinforces said habits is beliefs we’ve picked up along the way. The act of picking them up has not been conscious, for the most part.
The messaging has permeated every facet of our life. And when we start to realize we’re living a life we just don’t love, let alone like for the most part, we have this moment of reckoning that can disturb so much of what we think, do and feel. It can be uncomfortable at best and life-derailing at worst. Most of us find ourselves somewhere between the two.
Slowly drowning in a sea of “not okay-ness”.