As a 44-year-old working mum of two active boys, I know what it means to feel tired at the end of a busy day. But as I head rapidly towards being in my mid-40s and possibly perimenopause, that feeling of general tiredness has recently felt overwhelming.
I first noticed this shift in the lead-up to Christmas 2022.
I used to enjoy getting into the festive spirit, but last year for the very first time, Christmas just felt like something else I needed to add to my never-ending 'to-do' list.
Around this time, my parents arrived from overseas, and a specialist diagnosed me with osteoarthritis. I was busy, tired and suddenly feeling sore and sorry for myself, but weirdly I found it was the small things that upset me.
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I fretted over what to buy for dinner, making healthy lunches that my kids wouldn't complain about, and trying to schedule personal appointments into my increasingly busy schedule.
Eventually, after having a meltdown about the logistics of a family trip to Melbourne (something I would usually enjoy planning), I took myself to the GP who referred me to a psychologist.