Last Wednesday, October 26th, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Exhaustion, sadness, feelings of being completely overwhelmed and even…dare I say it…depression.
We had an incredible morning at our play group and I thought I was just worn out. Andrew and I were supposed to facilitate a class that evening and our babysitter was due to arrive.
I went and laid on the bed for a minute and could not get back up.
“I think I just need to stay home tonight.” I told Andrew.
“Just pretend we both left and lock our bedroom door so the kids don’t know I’m here.”
I spent the whole evening under the covers on the verge of tears.
What is happening to me. I wondered.
We had noticed that each time my period would approach I seemed to handle it horribly, but since having my third baby, each cycle has hit harder.
I looked at the calendar and realized I had fallen into a hormonal pit.
The days that followed were really awful. I thought I was experiencing extreme anxiety. My chest felt like it was being squeezed with a giant fist, I couldn’t cope with anything that was happening in our lives and I was so immensely tired.
One lunch hour I lay curled in a ball crying on my bed. My back hurt so badly and I felt stuck under a dark cloud.
My husband said he was calling the doctor because he knew this wasn’t me.
The next day I sat down with my doctor and explained what was happening. She did an anxiety test and told me confidently that I do not have anxiety, but that this was most definitely PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) and I was experiencing temporary dysphoria and “mini panic attacks” along with exaggerated physical PMS symptoms.
“Honestly, I feel really scared. This isn’t me. Normally if I exercise, eat healthy and stay connected to Jesus I can handle a lot while working and taking care of my family with joy and peace!”
My doctor understands me and she smiled.
“Do you know that studies show that when someone has faith they can handle a lot more? This will probably go away in the next day or two and I am confident that you and your husband will know what to do to help you deal with this.”
She printed off lots of information and ordered blood work to make sure everything else was ok and sent me away feeling very encouraged and prepared for next time around.
My period started and within hours the horrible feeling left me and every day since has been an ascent from that deep pit, with yesterday being my first day feeling 100%!
Why am I sharing this? Well, I have never experienced such a terrifying feeling as I did then. It was scary and I wasn’t myself. If my husband hadn’t called the doctor and forced me to go, I’m not sure how much worse it could have gotten.
When we don’t know what’s going on or why we feel a certain way, the enemy gains access to our minds and tries to trick us with terrifying thoughts.
My thoughts were assaulted with lies that if I was feeling this way I couldn’t help anyone, or if I was this depressed suddenly, I should resign as co-pastor. I almost deleted my blog because was sick of being vulnerable!
If you are in a situation that doesn’t seem right to you, maybe in your body or in another area of your life, you need to know three things:
- A relationship with Jesus Christ makes life significantly easier! Even in the darkness of that hormonal pit, I journaled, prayed and allowed God to hold me tight even though I felt like everything was falling apart inside. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine doing life without him!
- Trust those close to you. If someone you love thinks you should see a doctor or talk to someone else, trust them. Often our judgement is clouded and we can’t think straight! Mine certainly was!
- Don’t be ashamed. I was so afraid to admit what I was feeling. I thought I was failing as a person. Turns out there was a rational explanation for it all, and we are empowered to move forward! Shame only chains us to where we are! Honesty and openness unlocks the door to creative solutions!
Once again I feel like y’all know way too much about me, but I trust that God put this on a my heart for someone to be impacted.
I’m vulnerable because I love you!
Feeling better and rocking my courage key necklace all weekend!