I know I said that SPRING is all about RENEWAL, but I’ve been pondering about LOSS lately and that renewal has to be preceded by a dying off of sorts for Spring to arrive. It made me revisit Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s 5 Stages of Grief, and the parallels to what one goes through during menopause really struck me:
DENIAL: Do you remember when you were first told, or it was implied, or you realised, that you are too old for something? For me it was Krav Maga! I signed up with bravado, was the oldest in the class, came home and had to ice my hand, shoulder etc after every class and eventually ended up with a rotator cuff injury that is still bugging me! What was your denial moment?
ANGER: Yes! The MENOPAUSAL RAGE, we have spoken about in this group. Mine coincided in a big way with the #metoo movement and I had so much anger about everything I and my daughters and women in general had endured at the hands of men. I’m glad for this anger, it’s given me a voice. Are there things you bottled up before, that come out now?
BARGAINING: I don’t think for me the bargaining has stopped yet, or will ever stop! You see it here as I struggle to get my weight back to my #glowpoint, always bargaining between what I want to eat and should be eating…the botox, hiding the grey…it’s like trying to pull the brake on a runaway train… Ok, I’ll accept the plumper figure, but please spare me the saggy skin. Or, ok, take my body, but please leave me with sound mind! What are you bargaining with yourself or with your God about?
DEPRESSION: How can we not be depressed? A pandemic, livelihoods devastated, rampant corruption, a collapsing world, an uncertain future…and on top of that loss of our youth, empty nest, loss of parents…it is overwhelming! And sometimes I just go there and sit with it. There is no shame in taking a blue day every now and then. (I’m not talking about clinical depression.) My coach says, “Acknowledge your thoughts, but don’t have tea with them.” This has helped me tremendously, as has gratituding my way out of it. How do you stay aware of the pull of depression and how do you deal with it?
ACCEPTANCE: TBH I don’t think I’m there yet. The 1st of September is called the fake start of Spring. The picture below is of me and Dana having a swim on the top of the mountain on 1 September. It definitely wasn’t a Spring swim! There was snow on the distant mountains and is the coldest water I have ever dunked in! But I am going to mindfully spend these days in the run up to the real start of Spring, the Equinox on the 22nd, to let go of regrets (oh, how they love having tea with me) and move towards acceptance. Probably imperfectly. But imperfection is something I have already accepted! What do you need to accept and let go of, in order to renew?