Menopause and our day to day lives
I am now on the other side of menopause; meaning I am not in the thick of hot flashes, sleepless nights, anxiety and extreme memory loss. But it does not mean that I am menopause free. I still have hot flashes but they are far far less frequent, far less “hot” and much much shorter in duration and my anxiety is limited to small doses. What has continued and has heightened is my claustrophobia.
Claustrophobic by nature
Like many, I have had mild claustrophobia most of my life. I have always been able to get on elevators (funny story about this at the end of this post), small rooms don’t bother me, I can go to crowded concerts/theaters, but I can’t sit in the back seat of a passenger van/large SUV.
Menopausal claustrophobic symptoms
But my claustrophobic nature that has set in is in the silly things in life. Like putting on a tight pair of faux leather pants, OMG, just yesterday I had to take a deep breath and talk my “head voice” into being able to wear a tight pair of pants. Pants! mind you.
I need the aisle seat on airplanes. Pre menopause I could sit anywhere, heck I just wanted to travel. But in menopause I practically cry on board if I am stuck in the middle seat. A claustrophobic persons nightmare. And I kid you not, every tall/larger than me (I am only 5’6) person that walked by and looked near my seat I wanted to cry. Honestly, I had to fight back the tears! This is not me.This is just another example of how difficult menopause can affect us…
True story about me being stuck in an elevator
I was on vacation in Hawaii with my then teenage son. We are the first few to enter the lobby elevator. And then other guests pile in and we are now against the back wall. Door closes and nothing happens, buttons pushed, open doors button pushed and nothing! Now we are on the first floor so no worries about us being injured. But! I am in the back, any person with even mild claustrophobia worst case scenario.
And the one thing that kept me sane was the look on my sons face. He knew that this was my worst nightmare. My son looking at me like-don’t panic, don’t make a scene we’ve got this. Thank goodness it only lasted about 10 minutes and we were able to walk away embarrasment free. However I did walk the 5 flights the rest of the trip.
Continuing the Menopause Talk
I will continue to talk about menopause. I believe we need to share our stories. Menopause is no walk in the park but knowing that we are not alone in the journey will and does help us understand our symptoms and help us get through this together.
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