‘I’m go­ing through a hor­ren­dous menopause’

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - HAIRSPECIAL - Hazel

I’m 52 and it started in my mid-40s. My symp­toms are made worse by the drugs I’m on after hav­ing breast can­cer at 49. I’m so tired from night sweats, I’m in pain ev­ery day and have no li­bido, which is mak­ing my mar­riage a mis­ery. My hus­band finds it hard to un­der­stand how I’m feel­ing and doesn’t cope very well with my mood swings. I’m 5ft with big boobs and I’m strug­gling with my weight. I’ve never been a slave to fash­ion but I like shoes and pre­fer trousers to skirts. I try to stay pos­i­tive but I’m sadly fail­ing. I just want to feel I’m worth the ef­fort, be val­ued, be lis­tened to and look nice, even for a day.

It sounds as though you have a tremen­dous amount on your plate. In your longer let­ter you seem to blame your­self for how you’re feel­ing, but none of this is your fault. Get­ting your phys­i­cal en­ergy back will help you feel that any­thing is pos­si­ble. There are med­i­ca­tions and sup­ple­ments that may help you sleep bet­ter and re­duce your pain (see be­low right). I also feel it’s time you learned to phys­i­cally love your­self. Wake up your skin with ex­fo­li­a­tion, ap­ply a vi­ta­min C serum to give your com­plex­ion a glow, then mas­sage it with a fa­cial oil, as you need some tac­tile nur­tur­ing.

Make time for a bit of fun, a glass of wine and a laugh. I want you to con­sider a so­cial ‘uni­form’ (see right). Dress in a way that gives you shape: grade your colours, don’t break up your body with con­trast­ing shades. As you are pe­tite it’s key to show off your an­kles in a cropped trouser sil­hou­ette, a fit­ted bre­ton top – clas­sic and time­less – and sin­gle-but­ton fit­ted navy jacket to give your­self a good waist. Buy in a size down, wear un­done and turn your jacket sleeves up. Team with a cool trainer/sil­ver shoe and navy socks (I love Falke) by day – this will elon­gate your leg. For an evening out wear a pair of fab­u­lous white high-heeled mules. Add a red lip and you’ll look sexy but not ‘out there’.

You feel this dis­tance be­tween you and your hus­band, and your sex drive is in a slump, but don’t for­get that you are in the prime of life. Per­haps he doesn’t re­ally know what the menopause is or how to deal with it. In my ex­pe­ri­ence, men love to find a so­lu­tion, and if they can’t, feel re­dun­dant and with­draw. You both need some respite, and a trip away to­gether could be the next thing on your list. But focus on your­self first.

Al­ways re­mem­ber… ‘TO LOVE ONE­SELF IS THE BE­GIN­NING OF A LIFE­LONG RO­MANCE’ Oscar Wilde

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