Jo Cracknell, 53
Client Sales Manager, Vodafone UK
I didn’t realise that I was going through the menopause until last year, when I started really losing my confidence. I started being emotional and short tempered, which isn’t me. There were lots of things that were happening to me that I couldn’t work out in my own head.
I found Vodafone’s menopause toolkit, which is absolutely brilliant. I had a look at Doctor Wendy Sweet’s online broadcast, and that made me go to my doctor.
There was a lot that went on in my world last year. I would’ve normally coped with really well, but because of the menopause I didn’t. In March this year it really came to a head, and my doctor just hadn’t got my drugs right. Vodafone told me to take some time out to get my head straight. So I had 4 weeks off.
I felt so much better afterwards, and so much able to cope with the whole thing. It made me focus on me for a change rather than everything else that was going on.
My line manager was absolutely brilliant. He’s not one for emotion, and I phoned him and cried – and he was amazing. He said, ‘Just take what you need, take your time, keep in touch with me if you need anything, give me a shout.’ There was absolutely no pressure or anything. He had looked at Vodafone's toolkit.
What’s interesting is that you suddenly start talking about it within your friendship groups. Because I was off work, my friends were asking me if I was all right. And slowly, you realise that everyone is going through this – there’s the odd friend that has got away with it really lightly, but actually most of us are all the same.
We hadn’t seen each other for months, and then all of a sudden, we’ve all got fat backsides and double chins! And it’s like, YES!