Sophie’s Story: Mindfulness and Relaxation for Menopause
Last year there was a perfect storm of me losing my mum, and starting to realise that what I was going through at the same time was perimenopause and that I had been going through it for for a few years. I’d been to the doctors and although they were lovely, they didn’t seem to know what it was and prescribed antidepressants. Eventually I found my way to another doctor who was open to helping me with my perimenopausal symptoms and it was also through the doctor that I discovered the mindfulness for menopause course. At that point, I was pretty desperate. My partner was very worried about me, and I knew I needed to do something.
I contacted Ruth at Manchester Mind and was able to get on a face to face course. I was quite apprehensive about it. I didn’t know if it was going to be for me because at the time, I didn’t know if I could speak to people. I was in a dark place because of the grief but also everything else that was going on in my mind and in my body. I kept thinking, if it’s awful and if I can’t do it, then I don’t have to go again. I spoke to Ruth beforehand. She’d called just to have a chat, and had said that if you don’t think you could do it, that’s fine, but why don’t you just come along and try. She was extremely supportive and that put my mind at rest. I went along and there was a group of women, all from different backgrounds.
It was good, really good. It felt safe and good just being able to talk to people who were suffering from similar feelings, physically and mentally.
Each week we worked through different exercises, and we had homework to do. There were weeks when we cried, in fact, we all took it in turns to cry. But it was okay, it felt safe. Some of the activities worked more than others but overall I felt calmer, I started sleeping more. I had tools to use if I suddenly felt overwhelmed – and I still use them in times of panic, or overwhelm. I felt I had more control. I didn’t feel as alone. I felt it was going to be okay. And that there will would be days where I would feel shit, and that’s okay. Because I can ride it through because I knew it was going to be okay.