Before I get into the details about my light bulb moment, I want to openly admit that this is not my usual type of blog post. You know what I mean...the kind where I share hope, encouragement, and faith. Instead, this one is simply going to be about the hard places that I've found myself in for the past six months.
I am going to be real about the rough spots I've struggled through along with the fact that sometimes I do not view life through a rosy lens. Rather, when my faith is tested and I'm overwhelmed with uncontrollable circumstances spinning my life out of control, I come to see how human I am. There are unpleasant moments in being human when I confront that I do not have it altogether.
My life is messy. My marriage is not blissful. Being a published author is not what it's all cracked up to be. There is discontent with layers upon layers of disappointment, disillusion, and disenchantment. Not just about my lack of not being where I want to be or having a marriage that has fallen to pieces, but overall there's been such a dark cloud over my head that nothing seems to matter anymore.
So this weekend, I tripped upon an article that led me to another website, which somehow managed to lead me to my light bulb moment. What I have been experiencing in this suffocating dark pit of despair actually has a name; Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. The good news is this explains my 35+ negative symptoms that are debilitating and brought me to a screeching halt.
Prior to connecting the dots to Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, I couldn't make logical sense of these horrific symptoms. I knew something was not quite right, but I was too consumed in the struggle of it to clearly distinguish an actual chemical and hormonal condition. For those suffering Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, very often brain fog, memory loss, insomnia, and depression are a daily (and nightly) battle. For those who may not be familiar with this medical condition that impacts over 80% of the population, here's a list of some of the disabling symptoms:
- Unable to fall asleep, despite being tired
- Wake up in the middle of the night and you can't get back to sleep
- Feeling wired and unable to relax
- Low blood pressure
- Excessive fatigue or exhaustion
- Foggy thinking
- Low libido
- Excessive thirst and urination
- Needing caffeine to get going in the morning & afternoon
- Cravings for salty snacks and/or sweets
- Inability to handle stress
- Caffeine triggering adrenal rush/adrenal crash
- Difficulty to bounce back from injury, illness, or stress
- Food sensitivities, especially gluten and dairy
- Premature menopause
- Temperature intolerance, especially to heat or sunlight
- Freezing cold hands and feet
- Muscle pain
- Inability to concentrate or focus
- Grave's Disease
- Fibromyalgia or an auto-immune disease
- Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
- Dark circles under eyes
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Lyme Disease
- Body feels tense all over and hard to relax
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Lack of interest in life
Due to the lengthy list, you may want to do your own research or check out credible holistic experts, such as Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Michael Lam, or Dr. Joseph Mercola. Keep in mind that not all conventional physicians believe in or treat Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. As for myself, I believe education is crucial to recovery. As a huge advocate for taking accountability in one's health, I am on a new wellness journey to heal my adrenals and hormones.
From the symptoms up above, you can probably imagine that it's no picnic for those who suffer Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. I will be the first to admit that it has most certainly knocked me off of my feet. Yet I am grateful that in the midst of the messiness, I have discovered what is at the root to my issues and I can now focus on restoration one day at a time.
Realistically, this is not an overnight recovery. Rather, it's a long road that may involve a major lifestyle change. For me, it means to take a closer look at what needs to be reduced or eliminated. While I can reduce certain stressful things, a large amount of stress is beyond my control, such as when my husband was laid off from work for two months and my lab, Samson, past away. Honestly, it's these uncontrollable situations that break us to the very core.
To watch our marriage slowly unravel. To go from counselor to counselor without positive results. To have separation or divorce on the back of your mind, but you are so stuck in a rut with no resolution in sight. And when we are truly honest with ourselves we can admit that the grass is not greener on the other side. There's no win/win with going separate ways because everyone gets hurt, including the children. Yes, I agree that a toxic relationship is taking a major toll on my body, mind, and soul, but after 27 years of marriage I'm not ready to call it quits. There is still a little glimmer of hope that maybe someday God will work a miracle and for now that's what I'm holding onto.
While my rocky marriage and financial hardships are very stressful, what weighs so heavy on my heart is the fearful thought that my mom who is fighting malignant brain cancer is not going to be around for much longer. Seriously, I do not know how I am going to make it without her. She has always been someone I can confide in, rely on, emotionally supportive, a shoulder to cry on, and my best friend. So my nights are beyond challenging because I stay awake tossing and turning trying to prepare myself for whatever God has ahead of me.
Today, as I force myself out of my comfort zone to write transparently, I find being "real" liberating. It's alright that I don't have it altogether. It's alright that you don't have it altogether. We are imperfect human beings who may have messy, painful, broken lives, but in the raw places of being transparent we can accept that God loves us just as we are. He never meant for us to be perfect. That's why He sent us His perfect Son.
We may not have the answers to what ails us, but Jesus does. He is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) Now that I've had this light bulb moment and can come to terms with my present circumstances, I continue to look to Christ as my source of light. No matter how much darkness or suffering comes my way, I still trust that the Lord will be with me. He helped me heal naturally before and He will help me again.
Instead of getting caught up in why I must endure a stormy season, I let go of the "why" and simply run into the tender arms of my Savoir. Diving in deep, I lose myself in His sweet embrace. The most amazing of all, this is where He can use me. During the cold hard moments of brokenness, He wants to use me for His highest glory - stumbling and all.
With tear stained eyes, I gaze heavenward. Softly, God whispers, "This too shall pass." So I lean in a little further. Confidently, I determine that with the Lord on my side, my present troubles are only temporary. Overcoming trials may not be easy, but God makes it possible and today that is enough for me.
"For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NLT)