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  • Simone Jacob


Photographer: Stephan Glathke

I never found any of my birthdays threatening, until I turned 50. Until now, I just got older and hardly took notice. With the prospect of my 50th birthday, it was different. Fifty meant a change. A change from fertile to infertile woman.

Since puberty, almost 35 years, my hormones ensured that I got my period every month and was more or less ready to conceive. My BEING was determined by this monthly rhythm. A high during ovulation, followed shortly before and during my period, by a low with crying fits, bad mood, stomach and back pain.

I often longed for menopause with my friends so that this evil would finally stop. And then suddenly they were at the door. The menopause. It quickly became clear that the periodic torment was only being replaced by new unpleasant symptoms. I felt like I was going through a second puberty.

My head became a construction site. I could remember names more badly, was annoyed more quickly, and was clearly built closer to the water than usual. A report about suffering animals, human fates or sentimental music, already the tears flowed. No matter where! On the street, on the plane, at work. It was not easy to deal with it.

My skin was also changing. Due to the decrease of the hormone estrogen and the pre-hormone DHEA, the skin loses the ability to retain moisture.

In addition to the wrinkles I had accumulated up to my menopause, there was now a loss of elasticity in the skin. Until then, my body had been firm and tight. Now the skin as a whole began to give way. Very subtle though, but still visible to me.

In fact, I remember looking at my changing body in the mirror with amazement and thinking, "Well, well, so that's how it goes, the getting older thing." I remembered the saying, "Growing old is not for cowards." And that was just the tender beginning.

The sooner I made friends with the woman in this new, old skin, the better, I thought.

For every woman, menopause proceeds somewhat differently. I was spared many typical symptoms. I was able to sleep, had no hot flashes and did not gain weight thanks to interval fasting. Okay, maybe the desire leveled off a bit. But I did not and do not find it unpleasant.

Everything becomes a little less agitated and leaves more room for love and feeling.

At 54, I was finally through with menopause. Instead, a new serenity and generosity came into my life. Through the change helped me, among other things, the conversations with girlfriends, lots of exercise in fresh air and sports hormones as a helper, I never took.

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