Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Private Pain

I cannot believe it has been 3 years since I wrote the light hearted What Do You Call An Old Chicken. This was the absolute beginning of my journey. My journey to....

I'm presently still camped in the long stretch of Peri-Menopause. That is a real thing. Google it. I'm updating for two reasons; one, because it helps me to do some research and to write when I'm experiencing something and two, because I believe I have a voice (albeit a small one) and if I can help anyone else who is suffering from makes everything worth it.

Suffering. I don't want to be heavy, but this is actually more serious than you may think. Well it has been for me.  Three years ago when I was first diagnosed with classic symptomatic perimenopause, I had only a handful of symptoms. 

Let's say I presently have 8-9 from the left column and all 7 from the right plus a few others like (irregular heartbeat, and a sense of being overwhelmingly overwhelmed.)

These are so fun. You feel like you are on fire on the inside of your body and then it just oozes out of your pores. Best when it happens in the middle of the night and you wake up with the fan blowing your soaking wet self, sheets and pillows. 
For me the physical symptoms are not as bad as the emotional ones. To sum it up, I have cried/sobbed hard close to 3-4 times a week since September. I've run away 3 times (not getting very far), I have felt like my life was falling apart at the seams. I have kept this all inside for the most part. I have a couple friends who really know what I'm going through (and they have either gone through it or are experiencing some similar symptoms). I've confided in my husband...although it wouldn't surprise me if he recognized my symptoms before me.

Is this the same lady that wakes up in the morning, spends her time with the Lord, journals her prayers and believes God with supernatural faith? YES! One in the same. 

So that I'm not depressing you, I should put out there that I have serious thyroid issues too. When I was giving birth to my twins I lost over half of my body's blood, putting me into a coma for 4 days. I had 8 blood transfusions to help save my life. With those transfusions I inherited an antibody that ate my thyroid. I've been on medication since. Sadly, my numbers are so crazy out of whack..I'm sure this is just exacerbating the perimenopausal issue, so perhaps your journey will not look as bleak as mine.
Just look at how long that blue box is. We have to get through all of this first.

Ladies and gentlemen (if any read this) we need to be aware that when we are feeling this way (or when your wives are feeling this way) it is fertile ground for the enemy to attack. 

My husband told me that that's just what the enemy wants. He wants me to be alone like a wounded gazelle so he can devour me. I have totally felt alone and wounded...totally (but the toothless lion has yet to devour me - I'm thinking He despises the taste of the blood of Jesus - praise God!)

The truth is this is very private pain. I think its so private because we feel like we're going crazy and we don't want anyone to know it. SO if and when we can, (and that's a big if/when) we put on our happy face, suck it up and muddle through until we can get alone and cry again. I know it sound pathetic, believe me it feels pathetic, but it is really very real. 

SO now what? Well for me, I have options. I can go the medication route...and I have tried some of that. We can eat right, exercise and continue to stay on our face in prayer. I think it is important to remember some key things when we're in the middle of this. OK here is the part that I call therapy, the reason I'm writing this is first for myself remember. I don't have this mastered, I just got back from running away for 4 hours to the river first and then to a friend's house (today) where she promptly, prayed with me, then called an endocrinologist and an OBGYN.  SO I'm writing this for myself, and if you happen to be reading and need to be's for you too.

Encouragement #1 - although as you can see from the graph above, this process can take YEARS, but it will eventually end. My closest friends tell me - it is actually quiet wonderful when it does.

#2 - Because we are children of God, we can take comfort in the knowledge that it is who we are the inside that matters to Him. (Prov. 31:30) We shouldn't fear the aging process. 

#3 - We have the assurance that God's grace is sufficient to get us through whatever life throws at us. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2nd Corinthians 12:9

#4 - God will never leave us or forsake us! (Heb. 13:5)

#5 - Let's remember when we are feeling like we are unravelling - we need more than ever to take all of those anxieties to the Lord in prayer, seeking His wisdom and strength in order to overcome. (1 Peter 5:7)

#6 - If we're married, we should confide in our husband and communicate as best we can why we might be behaving erratically or why we suddenly cannot cope anymore. Listen, after 25 years of marriage as much as I don't like to accept the reality of it, husband's are NOT mind readers. God has the perfect design for marriage - and so if you are married, review that design in Eph. 5:25 and adhere as closely as possible to that.

#7 - If peace of mind is what you're after (and trust me we are) Philippians 4:6-7 says it best "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

#8 - Approach the throne with confidence and as often as needed! (Heb. 4:16)

#9 - Make Him your dwelling place, your refuge and He will command His angels concerning you... (Psalm 91:9-11) Running away to the river can help sometimes and/or to a friends house (I did both of these today), but be sure that your friend runs to the cross with you...because that is where I always find peace. 

Do we have to suffer in private pain? NO Do I sometimes still? YES However, I'm encouraged just by writing these scriptures down, because His Word is alive and active in me and it is TRUTH!! And we all know the truth sets us FREE!  Write down those scriptures ladies! And remember to bear with those who may be suffering in private pain - pray for them, don't be too hard on them, it will pass.