To honor all the ways we menopause, you’ll meet four women who are at various stages of their journey, from peri through to post, and learn about their experiences and top tips and tricks for navigating midlife.
This week, we chatted with Kindra community member Lavette Strickland and learned about how she embraced menopause through community support and acceptance, plus realized that aging should be celebrated and not feared.
Please introduce yourself in whatever way you see fit?
Hi, my name is Lavette Strickland and I'm 58, post-menopause. I'm currently living in Portland, OR, and have been a Kindra community member for the last year.
Did you know anything about menopause before going through it yourself?
Before going through menopause, I had only heard older women talk about it in secret, complaining about hot flashes or discussing HRT options.
I didn't grow up in a family of women that spoke about menopause and often kept their symptoms a secret.
How did you know you were in peri-menopause?
Around 42 I noticed that my period began to change, but didn't think anything of it at first as I had always had semi-irregular periods. It wasn't until I started experiencing night sweats, trouble sleeping, and dryness that I thought that I could be in peri-menopause.
No one believed though since my transition started on the earlier side.
How did you feel when these changes started to happen?
At first, I felt really uncomfortable knowing that I was starting this transition so early. I had feelings of inadequacy as a woman and as a wife. But after sitting with myself and thinking about it, I started to accept and even welcome the change.
I realized that menopause had nothing to do with the difficulties my ex-partner and I were having - who knew we just weren't compatible lol, I made the decision that HRT wasn't for me, and that I didn't feel stress or anxiety about this new part of my life.
After accepting it and myself for this part my life, I couldn't wait until the official 12-month mark!
What’s helped you / how have you gotten support through menopause?
Creating a community of women who support me. I spent a lot of time learning about myself and embracing aging and change all while trying to stay present and positive.
I also took a lot of time just for. To read, to explore, to find out what my "new" self loved and who she wanted to be.
What’s something that’s gotten better since menopause?
My attitude towards aging, acceptance of myself, and my outlook on life!
What’s one thing you’d like to tell pre/ peri-menopausal women who are worried about this next phase?
While it seems trite now as you're experiencing this, I'm here to tell you that you're gonna be fine. Remember that it will pass, that this is a personal journey, and you’re in control of your own story.
Oh also, love and celebrate yourself. You deserve to treat yourself often.
What do we still need to do to move the conversation around menopause forward?In mainstream media, we often have conversations about relationships and having babies but not enough learning about this phase of womanhood and when we do hear about it, it's usually women who don't look like me and are celebrities.
I'd like to see more generational mentoring and conversations with real women of different backgrounds and experiences, so we can get a holistic outlook of what it means to be peri-menopausal.