I'm thinking it might help to know a little bit of my history at this point… nothing too detailed, but just a general idea of who I am and where I'm at.
About 18 months ago my menstrual cycle stopped. I was 45, and not expecting to be cold turkey into menopause. But, I was. I began to experience all of the symptoms that you have no doubt heard about, or even experienced yourself if you are with me in this phase of life… hot flashes (a tingling feeling in my head followed by blood rushing through my body and face - like being embarrassed all over), night sweats and sleeplessness, weight gain (not a lot but enough to be frustrating), moodiness, lack of focus, lack of desire, irritability (yes, even more than usual!), and I went to my Doctor to investigate what next steps there might be for me as I walked through this change of life. The Doctor said it was just a matter of managing things, and making adjustments as necessary.
OK, I thought, and I did a little bit of research (talked to my Mom and various friends) to find out their insights, what worked, what didn't, and proceeded to make some adjustments to my life, including walking more and eating less, wearing cotton and in layers that I could easily remove when necesary, and lowering the expectations I had for my productivity in lots of areas. The symptoms came and went, and things were going well for the most part, except for the difficulty in focusing on tasks, or completing them in a timely fashion. And, the overall feelings of anxiety and depression were sometimes quite strong.
And, all this 'mental' stuff was and is going on in someone who is supposed to be filled with hope and joy and all the other trappings of being a 'woman of God'. It wasn't the first time I've found that depression and faith are polarized, but here I was again… feeling ashamed, on the outside looking in, embarrassed to share the truth of what I was going through for fear of being 'too much' for those around me. So, I began to withdraw from relationships, and spend more time alone. (YIKES - not the best choice really)
Again I sought 'medical' help, and ended up finding some great nutritional supplements that are still helping me to regain some of my energy and vitality again (Macaroot). Some days are better than others, and there are even stretches of good days where I'm not even aware that there is this new reality for me… I feel like the old me those days. But, most days are different and I'm still trying to figure out what my new reality is.
All this to say that I'm tired of pretending that all is well all the time, that I've got it all together, and that being a Christian is the answer to everything.
I need you to also know that God is my foundation in life -- he really is. I believe that God is close by and understands and provides, but that is not a bandage solution for me. I don't think it's fair to the rest of you for me to say one thing and then experience another. How much worse things would be for me without God in my life is hard to say (probably a lot worse)… but to say that all is well all the time would be a lie.
So, my passion being writing, and my purpose being to let my life be an open book, I decided to write my way through this time of my life… sharing the ups and downs and realities of these days with you. If you catch me preaching, forgive me for that, and if you catch me being a wet blanket, I hope you can forgive that too.
What I simply want to be is real. I'm tired of pretending, hiding, and making excuses for who I am.
This is me. A sometimes suicidal mama. This is me with God. A sometimes suicidal mama with God.
Maybe somehow my life experience will help you?
4 weeks ago