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Losing my edge

There was a moment in the not-too-distant past when I felt like I was completely losing my edge…. 

A subtle, squeezing tightness in my chest. An unpleasant lump of dread lodged in my throat. What ifs wildly swirling around my mind. The perpetually nagging feeling that I was forgetting some random, yet important to-do item on the list….

Heretofore well-organized, systematized, and reasonably calm, I now found myself regularly questioning my resilience, efficiency, and ability to act as the dependable rock on whom my family counted. 

Thankfully, I still managed the daily necessities reasonably well, able to fully bring my game to work with clients, but that was about it. Zero extra; zero room for fluff. 

Operating in survival mode, I doubled down on only the absolute top priorities. Anything else requiring my energy—emotional or otherwise—was consequently relegated to the nope, cannot pile.

Now, to be fair, I am no stranger to anxiety. 

Over the years, however, I’ve worked hard to avail myself of habits, tools, and methods to prevent, cope, and ungracefully muddle my way through periods of high stress.

In the past, life, as it does for us all, would happen in stressful spurts, spiking my level of worry and unease. After grappling for a bit, I’d make the necessary adjustments, recalibrate the balance, and settle in once again.

Now, though, my previously trustworthy capacity to flourish was proving to be woefully inadequate.

Confusing and elusive at the time, it has since become abundantly clear. 

The culprit? You guessed it… perimenopause.

Menopause researcher, Nina Coslov of Women Living Better, refers to this experience—a heightened stress response and lowered ability to cope—as fragility

(Side note: I’m not a fan of the fragility word choice, though I do understand it. To me, it connotes a negative, delicate sensibility and inaccurate quality of helplessness—the exact opposite of how I view women in this phase of life. Though we may be mightily struggling through perimenopause, we are nothing if not resilient and strong.)

Women in Coslov’s research describe it as “feeling more in a state of fight or flight,” “less able to calm down,” and “a revving feeling.” I’ve also heard it described as wired and tired. 

Whichever the nomenclature, our stress response works overtime and our ability to regulate is less efficient. This is due, largely, to wildly varying levels of estrogen. When estrogen drops, it affects serotonin and dopamine, causing anxiety-like symptoms to spike. 

Chronic sleep deprivation due to insomnia and night sweats certainly does not help. 

I share this with you, as always, not to garner sympathy (I’m good! Feeling so much better.), nor to depress the hell out of you further. No ma’am.

I share it because:

1. If this sounds familiar, you are not permanently losing your edge or in immediate need of blowing up your life to divest yourself of everyone and everything that is currently driving you bananas. The simple act of recognizing and normalizing perimenopause as a likely cause can be hugely relieving. 

2. There are steps you can take to address it. Depending on your other symptoms and medical history, you might benefit from hormone therapy and/or an SSRI medication. (If the mention of either strikes fear in your heart, more on this coming soon. For now, know that there is SO MUCH MISINFORMATION out there. Message me and we’ll talk.) 

You can find a certified menopause provider HERE.

3. There are practical shifts, tools, and habits you can employ to lessen your prevailing anxiety and heightened stress response. 

Movement, nutrition, meditation, mindset, boundary setting, reframing negative self-talk—it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the possibilities that we end up taking no action at all. Thankfully, a little goes a long way.

Talk to your provider, your partner, your friends. Garner support. Take action (even if you feel too exhausted; especially if you feel too exhausted.). You will get there.

4. Consider joining us in Reclaim Midlife, my virtual, live group program where you’ll rediscover your power and learn to thrive in perimenopause. 

Because everyone’s symptoms and situation are unique, this is precisely where research-backed information, support, and accountability are crucial.

Find out more here or message me to chat and see if Reclaim is right for you.


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