Sasha Davies

By Sasha Davies

mbg Contributor

Sasha Davies co-wrote “The Menopause Companion” with Tori Hudson, ND, a naturopathic physician, clinical professor, and nationally recognized expert on menopause.

Image by Ivan Gener / Stocksy

June 27, 2023

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The biggest learning from my conversations with people in the midst of or on the other side of their menopause transition was this: Their ability to navigate the experience was defined less by the symptoms and emotions they encountered than by how well-resourced they were. Resourced here doesn’t mean that they had money, though that is helpful; it’s about having a network of people in your life who keep you feeling connected and supported through the ups and downs—the folks who are committed to being there for you even when they don’t understand exactly what you’re going through.

It’s the partner who hears you out about not feeling your sexiest. Instead of insisting that you are, they tell you that, although that’s their experience of you, they can imagine how crummy seeing yourself that way must feel. They ask what, if anything, they can do to support you. It’s the group of friends you do happy hour with each week who hear you’re taking a break from alcohol and do a little legwork to find bars and restaurants with great non-alcoholic cocktails, making sure you will have choices that are more fun than a fizzy water. It’s the doctor who makes you feel accompanied in subtle ways, like saying when they talk about your treatment options, “We are going to figure out how to get you some relief from your symptoms. Let me just run through what I heard when you described what’s going on so we know that we’re not missing anything.”


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In short, these are the people who thoughtfully consider you and your needs; the people who make space for your experience.

The kind of community support you need during menopause looks a lot like the kind who would support you in everyday life, with a couple of important additions like buddies you can talk with openly about body stuff and also maybe some medical expertise. If you are in a situation where you feel that your network is strong (yay!), you might be looking for ideas about how to ask your wonderful web of people for help.

We’re going to review menopause-specific resources you might need, ways of asking the people in your life for the kind of support you need during your transition, and how to talk about menopause with others.

Who can you ask?

Knowing what kind of help you need can guide how (and who) you ask for support. Here are some examples of various types of help and support you may need throughout your menopause transition with suggestions of how you might ask for them.

Even though I believe wholeheartedly in the power of having another person witness my struggles, I’m not always ready to show the gnarliest parts of myself to anyone else. If you don’t think you can say your worst thoughts or biggest fears aloud to another human being yet, try shouting them at your car radio or into your pillow. I’ve also whispered a few in the shower and imagined them flowing right down the drain. The idea is to release the pressure that’s built up inside you gradually, like the release valve on a pressure cooker, allowing all of that steam a graceful way to exit so it doesn’t hurt anyone (including you).

  • Advice/insights: When you’re seeking sage advice or insights on how to solve a problem, look for that person in your network who has navigated a similar situation or a person whose way of being you admire. You don’t have to ask this person to tell you what you should do, though you can. You could say something like, “Hey, I’m struggling a bit with this situation, and I’m wondering if I could tell you about it, and you could tell me how you might approach it or think about it. I’ve always admired how you think about things, and I wonder if hearing your thought process might give me some new ideas.”
  • Logistical support: Moving, lifting, and accommodating everything from your schedule to your physical comfort, or energy level—all of these are examples of tactical help you can request from other people. Think about who you know who has offered to help you in the past or look for someone who seems well-positioned to help you with little effort. For example, if you want a ride to school for your child while your car is in the shop, maybe you know another parent who lives nearby and has room in their car? One of the reasons people hesitate before agreeing to help people with logistical stuff is that they worry if they do it once, they’ll be on the hook to do it forever. Taking a beat to think realistically about how much help you need and for how long, and then being clear about those parameters when you make your request, can create some natural boundaries for you and the other person.
  • Listening: If you’re in that zone where you want to kick anyone who glibly offers you solutions to your problem or you are totally twisted up in your own situation, it might help to ask someone if they can hear you out without weighing in. There are so many brilliant tactical minds out there, conditioned to serve the world by offering solutions to every problem they encounter, but maybe what you’re looking for is that person who has a knack for making you feel accompanied in the struggle and that the way that you are, even at your worst and whiniest, is OK. And all you might need to say to them is, “Can I just vent for a minute?” Once you’ve said your piece, it’s up to you if you want to follow it up with something like, “You know, I feel like I’m spinning on this topic; can you tell me what you heard in what I just shared?” You might be surprised what you’re able to hear in your own words when they come out of someone else’s mouth.


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