So you know my post about depression? Yeah, I’m feeling better. I asked several friends to pray, and I started feeling better. That, and I actually rested a bit and stopped eating some stuff that was making me ill. Yay for not feeling the blues and being back to my normal (weird) self.
Ugh. Just ugh. I’ve been feeling so down lately. It’s been hard to get motivated to do much, even to blog (and just when I got my site back up and running). It’s especially frustrating because I honestly have nothing to be depressed about. Life is grand! … I guess. What’s more, I’m not naturally a depressed person; I’m naturally cheerful, upbeat and optimistic.
I don’t want to answer emails. I don’t want to return phone calls (or pick up the phone at all). If fact, I’d rather just avoid all people completely if at all possible – even my friends (sorry friends). I don’t feel like getting the house cleaned or doing dishes or laundry, but I do those things because they need to get done. Work (stamping) is kinda enjoyable because I get to create something and I am bringing in money (which helps with our sinking fund and school loans), but it’s not fun like it usually is.
So what’s with me? Well, it’s probably my thyroid. I’ve been here before, when I hadn’t yet started my synthroid and I was dealing with brain fog, hair loss and inexplicable sadness. Now, after diet changes (fasting), extreme stress (hello Women’s tea!) and a few missed doses of Synthroid (grrr doctor’s office, call me back!), my body seems to be needing a break from everything, and that seems to be including my cheerful, upbeat outlook on life.
It’s an extremely odd feeling: almost like I’m a stranger looking in at myself telling me to “COME ON, CHEER UP!” After all, I am deeply familiar with people who are in much harder situations, I have so much to be thankful for, and everything in my life is honestly wonderful. But the depression won’t quit; it’s like a cough that just won’t go away – you may be on the upswing, but there’s that cough again, attacking and leaving you paralyzed at just the wrong moment. But you know that eventually, you will stop coughing because you can’t cough forever, right? Right?
I write this because my depression is not who I am, but it is something I experience. It’s not something I enjoy, but it is something I have learned from. For one, depression to me has become a physical state. It’s hard to mentally pull myself out of the physical gloom, but they are two separate things. There’s that little cheerleader inside of my going, “everything will be okay” that keeps me feeling fine, even when all I want to do is go back to bed in the morning.
But the real secret? That little cheerleader inside isn’t me. I on my own could never manage to be continually positive in the face of the physical heaviness depression causes day in and out (though I grant you, this spell has been blessedly short thus far).That cheerleader is the Spirit, speaking truth to my soul, encouraging me that I am not alone, that I do not need to fear. For each time I find myself ready to break down and cry, ready to give up or just go back to bed, I hear that quiet voice whispering (or sometimes shouting!):
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phil 4:6-7
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God. Psalm 40:1-3
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, Psalm 46:1-2
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Phil 4:12-13
…And countless other verses. I am not alone, and therefore cannot be lonely. I can be sad, but there is always someone there to comfort me. No matter how lost, sad, anxious, or afraid I may feel, there is a ever present peace that reaches out to cover me. And while I generally prefer the rejoicing and thanksgiving, I will certainly take the comfort and peace when I feel lost. I certainly am grateful to be able to experience both aspects of God’s love in my life. And even though the darkness sometimes seems overwhelming, it is never pervasive – it never swallows or consumes me because there is something much brighter dwelling inside.
Funny enough, one of the drafts I have to work on is titled “Joy” – I think I need to save writting that post until I’m a little more, um, joyful.
Really, it seems like my family has been besieged by illness in the last month or two (not to mention all our other issues!). This latest cold is really throwing me for a loop – I have lost my voice for the last 3 days, which is irritating in itself, but as if that weren’t bad enough, I also get the brain fog, exhaustion, sore joints, and everything else that goes along with my hypothyroidism because my medication somehow ceases to work when I am ill. I am SO done with being sick. Done, done, done.
So I’m up to my 3rd week of no gluten. I have felt SIGNIFICANTLY better. My head is clearer – the brain fog has lifted. I haven’t had any headaches to speak of (I was getting them all the time). My stomach has felt much better; the bloating I’d felt constantly for months went away. I was teetering at 200 lbs (I hate to type that out, but I’m going to be honest here), and I am slowly dropping my weight back down. (I have never been that heavy in my life – not even when preggo.)
Anyway, so on Sunday we went to this lovely dinner with friends from church. Steak, asparagus, mashed potatoes, caprice salad, mushroom, and … mac ‘n cheese. My husband looks at me and says “should you eat that?” I look at him and go, “yeah, no prob!” – thinking about the sauce, not the noodles. DUH. He shrugs, thinking I’m just trying to be polite.
About an hour or two later, I get up to pack up leftovers. I sway a bit and grab the counter. I feel dizzy. I mean REALLY dizzy. Like seriously drunk, but I hadn’t had any alcohol. I sat back down and my head was swimming. I’d had serious dizziness before – a type of seizure – but this went on WAY too long. I felt nauseous too. I sat for another half hour until we decided to go. I barely made it to the car and the dizziness lasted for hours. I couldn’t eat until the middle of the next day. I had thought it was another seizure (not the Grand Mal type), but after research, it seems more like I was … GLUTENED (dun dun DUN!). I didn’t even know that was a term. Anyway, so I’ve been more careful with gluten this week and I’ll be watching to see if it happens again. I think I might have figured out where my numerous heath issues stem from. Finally.
P.S. The mac and cheese was really good. It might have been worth it.
I’m into the second week of being Gluten Free. I am feeling much better. It took about 4-5 days for the serious hunger to go away, but I have more energy and a lot of the issues I’ve had forever (stomach, headache, foggy brain) are starting to slowly go down! I hope it continues!
I decided (after a bit of research and a few “coincidental” meetings that were a bit too coincidental) to try going gluten free for a few weeks and see what happens. My body has been so out of wack since I got diagnosed with Hypothyroidism (well, before that, when I started showing signs), and in all honestly it’s never been normal. So here we go on an interesting adventure of going gluten free for a few weeks to see where it takes me. At the very least it’ll give me a much better appreciation for what my MIL (a celiac) goes through.
Day one (yesterday): Soooooo hungry. Nothing seems to make me feel full. Found out some alcohol (inc whiskey!) is bad, as well as several other things I never would have thought of, like soy sauce.
Day two (today): Still so hungry. Feel less bloated. Less stomach issues. Made a beautiful salad for lunch and went to get salad dressing only to realize it wasn’t gluten free (had soy sauce mixed in) – also realized I’d given it to MIL before and felt really guilty. Decided to use just a tad of the dressing since I already made the salad and didn’t have anything else to put on it. Soon after starting to eat it started having bad coughs and a headache (coincidence?)
Very interested to see what tomorrow and the following weeks bring. I know for certain my weight should go down – there’s nothing to snack on but fruit in the house!