It’s not all just ‘in my head’. It’s in my uterus. But thank you for dismissing me.

I once had a couple of people (who most likely were well-meaning) tell me the anxiety I had, the worry, the exhaustion, the muscle aches, the overall body weakness – everything I had – was in my head and due to my doing the Christian thing all wrong. I didn’t pray enough. I didn’t pray right. I didn’t rebuke right. I didn’t “take authority” over the demons attacking me right.

So, listen, I know that part of the anxiety I deal with is ‘in my head’ but guess what – the anxiety I deal with is also in my uterus. It’s hormone related. How do I know this? Because one week out of the month I barely have anxiety, I’m not exhausted, my muscles don’t hurt and I don’t feel weak all over. The rest of the month I’m a total mess. It’s definitely a pattern and definitely follows a “cycle”, like a menstrual cycle – get it?

For two weeks out of the month, which, yes, means almost the entire month, I am weak, I have brain fog, my muscles hurt, I’m severely dizzy, I have heart palpitations, my legs feel heavy, my skin feels weird and my brain tells me I’m going to die at any moment or my family is going to be taken away in the blink of an eye. I also feel like I can’t eat. I feel like I have morning sickness when I don’t. It’s a nightmare and I become agoraphobic. Leaving the house is a battle.

Every day is a constant mental battle. During those weeks I am a shell of who I used to be. I am afraid to take photography jobs because I don’t want to pass out or have a low blood sugar moment. I’m afraid to take my children anywhere. I’m afraid to live my life and many days I just don’t.  I don’t do what I want to do because I know one of the weird physical symptoms I have is going to limit me. I’m afraid even when I know I shouldn’t be afraid.

But this week? This is a good week.

This week I got up without anxiety gnawing at my gut. This week I went to an anniversary dinner with my husband and I didn’t think I was going to pass out at the restaurant. This week I took my dog to the vet with my kids and didn’t think I couldn’t breathe or I’d pass out or my legs wouldn’t be able to hold me up.

I don’t understand why I have these symptoms one week and not another. I am almost certain it’s a hormone thing because of some other signs, which I will not share here (I know you’re thankful for that!). I am also almost certain it’s a hormone thing because I’ve met women online who are having the same symptoms

“Go to a doctor!” a family member likes to tell me, (which is perfectly fine advice, don’t get me wrong.)

I did. The doctor looked at me and said: “You’re too young for that..see you in six months.” So right now I am on my own to figure it all out and I am finding things that are helping, some days anyhow, so for that, I’m grateful, but on the days I can’t seem to control it all, I wish I had people in my life, beyond my mom, who had taken the time to understand instead of simply dismissing me as “not enough.”

While I don’t know what exactly causes the hormonal rises and falls and haven’t yet pinpointed a definitive way to manage the swings, what I do know is the worst thing that has happened to me is being told it’s all in my head.

If I had cancer, maybe I would have been treated differently, and not like I was less than for battling these physical symptoms along with the mental. If I had a heart issue, maybe I would have been treated differently and not looked down on. I don’t know and I don’t want to find out.

But because I am a Christian and I have anxiety that is not all from Satan and not all from me being “weak and faithless” I am not worth the time of many other so-called Christians.

If you are a Christian and you have anxiety – don’t let anyone tell you that it’s because you’re not a good enough Christian. Don’t let them tell you that you don’t pray enough, you’re not faithful enough, you don’t rebuke enough. Some of those things may be true, at times, but they aren’t always true. Sometimes there is something physical going on in your body creating these symptoms.

Trust in God to walk you through the physical and the mental trials facing you and tune out the Christians, (some of them well-meaning, with no ill intent) who are telling you that you are experiencing these trials because you are doing something wrong. Maybe you do need to pray more, read your Bible more or tell the spirits of infirmity and anxiety and depression to get away from you, but your physical ailments should never be referred to as a punishment from God.

Maybe you are doing something right by holding on to God as he leads you down a difficult, challenging, heartbreaking path that will eventually prosper you, not harm you.

 

 

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Lisa R. Howeler

As a writer, photographer and former journalist, Lisa R. Howeler writes a little bit about everything on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She's a wife and a mother and enjoys a good John Wayne movie and a cozy Jan Karon book. She's also a freelance writer and photographer who is a contributor to various stock agencies, including Lightstock and Alamy. Her photography work focuses on documentary and photojournalism. She recently released her first novel 'A Story to Tell' on Amazon.

24 thoughts on “It’s not all just ‘in my head’. It’s in my uterus. But thank you for dismissing me.

  1. Lisa, this is an old old story for us women. A hundred years ago they use to put women in mental hospitals for our hormonal issues. I had to put a huge, look at me, I am a person bug in my doctor ear on listening to me. I am sometimes too honest for her so I always say, now don’t freak on me when I say I am thinking about trying weed, pill form of course. I haven’t yet but I am not against it and by the way , I am a blood washed God fearing women, saved since I was 35, am now 72, lived in two third world countries so I have had to learn to be forward when it comes to my self care. I think doctors want to help us but they all of us they get tired to and bored and wish they had not become a doctor. I say, amen to you for speaking up, looking into other ways to treat your issue. we must first care for ourselves or no one else will. Just say to the doc, look at me, sit down and listen to me. well you have heard what I think…blessings.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I actually had a great aunt they said has schizophrenia and sometimes I wonder if she really did or if it was something hormonal. And if you use some CBD oil, that’s not really the same as weed 🙂 but if the weed helps and it’s legal where you are I say go for it! Don’t tell my mom I said that! Ha! I have been forward with a couple of doctors and they were great. My current one is a total useless ditz who I only use to get my bloodwork done for my thyroid. Thanks for the tips on how to talk to my next doctor though!

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  2. I went to a nurse practitioner who dealt with hormonal issues. At one point we were doing testosterone, which turned out to have negative side effects at my age, but she listened and knew about body balances and such.

    Point is, I agree with your commenters. Find someone who knows and push for your needs.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think so, or they are just desperate like I was. I’ll figure it all out at some point and at least I have some methods of coping, which is better than what I used to have. It’s just important to me that we all remember not everything is just in a person’s head. We’ve all been there, we have all thought it, but it’s important to remember sometimes there are physical problems.

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  3. I am very sorry to hear you are struggling with all of this. However, i am very glad to hear you have had some good days and are aware that what is going on is related to your body. Could it be something in your diet? My husband has recently (within the past year) developed food allergies. Whenever he eats certain foods he feels awful. So we have been learning to eat differently and it’s helped tremendously. Not saying that is what is going on with you, just maybe something to consider? I’m glad you are finding some natural remedies to help as well. Have you considered trying a naturopath? Just a thought, they might listen with a more open ear, if you can find a good one in your area. Also, when my mom was going through menopause she used spriulina. It made a huge difference for her. Again, just a thought about something to look into. I will be praying for you and you are absolutely right, as Christians we need to be careful not to label or “judge” others and decide that they just don’t have enough faith. That is NOT the case at all. Our bodies and our environments affect us so much, we need to be aware that these things affect people and not be so quick to judge. God Bless!

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    1. I’ve cut a lot of foods out so I don’t think that’s it. If it was I wouldn’t feel like garbage two weeks out of the month and good one week because I don’t stop eating certain foods only one week a month. I’ve also gone to two naturopaths and that’s why I am still paying thousands on a credit card. They don’t take insurance. 🙄 I’m trying to use some of the advice they gave me with all of this and sometimes it helps me.

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  4. I’m so glad I just came across your post and then discovered your blog.

    I have many of the same symptoms you do, but they’re there all the time in one form or another. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression in January. I’ve been unwell 7 years now with all sorts of tests but everything came back negative. I’ve been to the Doctor’s numerous times only for them to pretty much give up, I switched to a new Doctor last Fall and again she ran tests but things came back negative which is how we got to anxiety. I still wonder in the back of my mind if something serious is wrong when things are really bad.

    As you say, if it were something else I believe we’d be treated differently. I think mostly that’s because they can “see” something to be treated, whereas with anxiety and depression it’s not visible.

    I’m currently going through CBT and my therapist also diagnosed panic disorder.

    Like you, when things are bad, I pretty much don’t go out. I do the essentials which is take my parents to their appointments and do the food shopping, that’s it. I do not socialise, take vacations, have days out etc. 2 or 3 times a year I’ll venture into town if I’m feeling like it.

    It’s horrible and it’s hard to find anyone who understands. I don’t have ‘real life’ friends only online friends. A couple have had different kinds of anxiety ie their symptoms aren’t the same entirely so it’s been good to talk to them.

    I’m new to faith and was searching for Christianity blogs on WordPress when I found yours, your post was the first one and I felt like you were telling my story! So thank you for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I almost didn’t post this because I didn’t want to sound like I was whining. The fact someone actually got something from it means maybe I did the right thing by not overthinking this one and just hitting “publish.” My friends are mainly only online now. My “real life” friends just don’t want to deal with me anymore so they don’t even ask me how I am. I stopped asking them how they were when they just stopped responding or asking me as well. The majority of my days are nightmares with physical and mental symptoms but the last two days? Amazing! I have no idea what’s different other than it has to be a hormone thing. This is not to say hormones are the only thing causing my issues. I’ve had anxiety my whole life. What is different is I can barely manage it some days now. I don’t want to do the medicine because I know I can manage the symptoms without it somedays so I’m trying some natural supplements. I’m finding hemp oil is actually helping. Not even the CBD. I don’t know why I’m walking through this time of chronic illness and loneliness but it’s nice to know God’s got me no matter what at there are others out there, like you, who are struggling similar to me. Isn’t it good to know we aren’t alone! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Go to a different doctor. 😛 But really, I’m learning a little from my knee problems to be more active with my health, even if it means seeing different doctors and specialists until I am getting answers — even if it isn’t the answer I want (lose weight, for example…pfffbt!). That said, your post is a good reminder that sometimes you are good enough, no matter other people might think. Personally, I think you’re enough (in fact, you’re more than enough — too much — most of the time 😉 — and I know, right back at me).

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    1. I would do that with doctors but I owe thousands because I did and not many had any answers that helped me, though some did and I am still using their suggestions. I think “go to a doctor” is actually great advice – I just mean that sometimes doctors can only do so much. We do have to be our own advocates. And yes, you are also too much at times 😉

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      1. Really? You’re saying that *I* am TOO MUCH?!? Really????!!!! How DARE you!!!! Too much? Me????? Maybe a bit much, but too much? Hmmm. 😛 And yes, doctors only can do so much. I hear ya, sister. 🙂

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