Why Community Matters In Perimenopause
I’m really glad you’re reading this today. You may be one of the millions of women going through some rather difficult life changes. As with most changes that accompany life, these changes come and they go. That goes for the good, the bad, and everything in between.
Kicker is, you may be one of the women who is truly suffering through the hormonal changes we experience during midlife. And all the while you’re trying to keep a strong face about it. It’s a face many of us show to the world, yet inside we feel anything but strong.
Now that I think about it, is strong really what matters most?
I’d venture to say “strong” in this instance is over-rated…resilient is a more fitting feeling to shoot for. No matter the term attached to what you’re feeling, I want you to know that if you’re experiencing any of the following, they too shall pass. And you don’t need to suffer through them in the meantime.
If something hits home, stick with me to the end. This is dedicated to you.
Can you relate?
- Your nerves are shot and everyone’s on that ONE you’ve got left;
- You can’t lose your stubborn belly fat no matter how little you eat or how much you exercise;
- You’re hot one minute and freezing the next;
- You can’t stay asleep at night and can barely stay awake during the day;
- You feel like you’re crawling out of your skin one moment and feel totally numb the next;
- You feel lost, alone, and at a loss for “what’s next”.
The way you’re feeling right now is not the way you have to feel forever.
The experiences I just mentioned are often part of perimenopause. Perimenopause or peri-, as you’ll hear me refer to it, is the period of time before we have our menopause. There is no definitive timeframe. Our menopause occurs when we go 365 days without a period. And brace yourself…perimenopause can last upwards of 10-15 years according to some researchers.
That’s the technical definition in a nutshell. I like to describe it as the time before your menopause when you experience menopausal symptoms but are still having periods, though they’ve most likely changed from your “normal”.
Now, don’t fret and really tune in here…
You can have a tremendous effect on how you go through perimenopause, by doing and not doing specific things. I know this because I’ve worked through close to every single thing I mentioned above and have walked alongside numerous other women on their journeys.
There comes a point in every woman’s life when her body mounts a mutiny. Her mind rides shotgun and appears to be reading a map of Mars…upside down.
All in all, it is a tumultuous time and a downright confusing one as well. And it can be lonely. So lonely.
That was what I was experiencing a few short years ago. And I was doing it in the closet. Marinating in shame because I “should” power through it like I did every other thing in my life. Just like a modern, independent Wonder Woman.
To add to my “should-fest”, I am a seasoned holistic doc with 25 years of direct patient care under my belt, though expanding at that time…and I was completely blindsided by what was happening to my own body and brain right around the 45-year marker.
You see, there is no powering through perimenopause. In fact, in my experience, the more we try to power through, the more peri- pushes back.
During one of my spiritual pleadings early on in this transition, I vowed that I would not let another woman suffer through perimenopause like I was if I just made it through it!
Ever pray to the porcelain gods? It was like that but the nauseating head-spinning feeling did not end in 24 hours or less…
I was having a very difficult go at it and looking back, I’m not sure how I held on in the beginning. I’m still in the throes of peri, but I am no longer going it alone. And you don’t have to either.
I’m building a community around me and I am inviting you to take it for a spin. If you jive with us, you are welcome to join us.
We are Unraveling Together. A community of women in hot pursuit of reclaiming our health and our inner truth. We want a holistic, more natural approach than the “here, take this” mentality of conventional medicine. We are curious and quite rebellious when measured against the status quo.
You have to channel your inner rebel to wade through the muck and the BS conventional wisdom slings at us in midlife. They disguise it as beauty, anti-aging, and other buzz terms, but we’re on to their shenanigans, and we’re not buying what THEY are selling.
This community is inspired by many whom I’ve studied over the decades. Much of what is discussed therein can be attributed to those who’ve blazed a trail. One such amazing human is Brené Brown. In a 2018 article she called “The Midlife Unraveling”, she discussed how she came to coin this phrase. The following excerpts sum it up.
“As it turns out, I was right about one thing—to call what happens at midlife “a crisis” is bullshit. A crisis is an intense, short-lived, acute, easily identifiable, and defining event that can be controlled and managed.
Midlife is not a crisis. Midlife is an unraveling. By definition, you can’t control or manage an unraveling.
Whatever the issue, it seems as if we spend the first half of our lives shutting down feelings to stop the hurt and the second half trying to open everything back up to heal the hurt.”
The way Brené hones right in on the spirit of the experience at hand is why she is someone many of us consider our virtual BFF. She has inspired me on many levels, and that is why I pay homage to her by naming this community, “Unraveling Together”.
Now let me go on record…this is NOT a Facebook group.
The Unraveling Together community is a place for all who are navigating perimenopause to lean into this powerful time of transition. As we lean in, we grow in ways we’ve not been able to do just yet. The alchemy of navigating perimenopause with others in the same situation allows you to tap into this transition and come out the other side at peace with your body and your life.
It is inclusive and welcoming, just like moi…and we are certified as a 100% Body-Shaming-Free Zone.
We all experience menopause by a certain age, the average is 51. We’ll come by it as a natural progression or through surgical or medical intervention. Either scenario has one commonality, we have no control over the timing, and in many of our situations, it can be a real wrench in the engine of life.
Especially when it coincides with us hitting our professional stride. Keeping in mind that average of age 51, perimenopause can start in our late 30s. I’m halfway through my 51st year and haven’t made it to my Day 365 as of yet, but I’m gunning for her with open arms! I am embracing this period of transformation and reframing the conversation around perimenopause as I make my way. The #MenopauseMindset is in full swing in our community.
Menopause is something we just don’t talk about and perimenopause is something most have never even heard of, let alone know to talk about it.
There is a pretty wide knowledge gap to bridge and that is why I’ve created the Unraveling Together resource hub + community.
Unraveling Together is where rebellious midlife women learn what is happening to them (and for them) during perimenopause, and where they learn how to cultivate more meaning in their lives.
I specify “rebellious” because you have to be a little rebellious to buck the system and step out from the shadows cast by the ever-ubiquitous Status Quo.
Channeling one’s inner rebel is challenging for most.
She’s in there, I promise. She’s just been silenced over time and weakened because she’s been starved of oxygen, and everyone knows a good fire needs oxygen to grow. Now it’s not “oxygen” in the molecular sense, mind you. This oxygen is whatever it is that gives you that spring in your step. That reason for doing the tough stuff. That reward for a life well-lived.
We’ve been constantly told to “be nice”, “don’t buck the system”, “don’t speak too loudly”, and a whole mess of other messages that have resulted in us losing our footing along with our direction. Losing sight of what lights us up in life.
This is where your community comes in.
Who’s in your community? I’ll tell you a bit about the one I’m cultivating.
The Unraveling Together community is built upon the foundation that women are stronger together. When it comes to doing the inner work in midlife, we do it collectively to harness that strength.
Unravelers (that’s what I call us), we’re willing to roll up our sleeves, wade into the uncomfortable, and do the work.
This sense of unrest amplified at midlife isn’t only in our thoughts and emotions. It is felt at a cellular level. We’ve accumulated toxins, depleted nutrients, and ignored our own cries for help. These cries come from our heart, our mind, and our body.
Unraveling Together is the place we talk about the things we just don’t talk about. Especially as women.
Unraveling Together is an information hub and online discussion forum focused on issues affecting women in midlife. Unravelers are encouraged to do the work for themselves but are never by themselves as they do it. When you are in need of an assist, you have all of us right there alongside you.
The bottom line on every single topic we work through together… Ending the War With Our Bodies. It’s time.
A Quick Mental Tour Of Our Community
Let me take you on a quick mental tour of the Unraveling Together community. You can join us through our desktop or mobile app. I chose to host it on Mighty Networks because the user experience is second-to-none. You’ll be welcomed with open arms by our community liaison and shown a couple of nuggets you’ll want to start with as you immerse yourself in what will prove to be the most supportive network of women you’ve ever experienced.
If you’re new to my ecosystem, you’ll quickly see that I’m a holistic lifestyle-slinging hope dealer. And I make no apologies for my enthusiasm, nor my sarcasm. I am who I am and I show up 100% for you every single day.
Here’s what makes the Unraveling Together community stand out from all others…
We take a holistic approach to menopause and the rather long period leading up to it. Perimenopause is a natural transition period for women and we tap into the power of Mother Nature as we are going through it.
Now, there are two ways to approach midlife; with a fixed mindset or one that favors growth. We are Team Growth in everything we do (and don’t do). In Unraveling Together, you do the work for yourself, never by yourself. Think of navigating midlife with Sister Unravelers as the DIY Project of your lifetime.
Learn what makes you “tick” and what makes you a “ticking time bomb”. We look to the Enneagram and deep dive into its ancient wisdom for navigating our modern world. This is the ultimate study of “Self”.
We focus on eating real food that satisfies your nutritional needs so you can kick cravings to the curb along with all the products that over-promise and never deliver. Real food is where it’s at!
If only there was a way to hit a button and all our stress would evaporate into the ethers. There is but it’s not something you hold only in your hand, you hold it in every single cell within. Developing your personal mindfulness plan is one of our top priorities in the Unraveling Together community.
We stack the deck in favor of restorative sleep. So much of what we “deal with” in life can be transformed by getting ample and deep sleep. We are all about that and put the “multitasking” hustle to bed. (See what I just did there?)
All in all, we meet one another where we each are to connect on a deep level.
I wish something like this existed when I was where you are right now. I couldn’t find it, so I created it. (I’m an entrepreneur to the core.)
Cruise on over to my LinkedIn profile, @ Dr. Sam Graber, and send me a DM that you’re interested in learning more about Unraveling Together.