Winter blues? Hormones? Send me to Mexico

Mexico shells

It’s winter. It’s cold. The sun is out, along with the pollution, but I don’t want to be out in it. I’d like to board an airplane and going to Mexico. Hawaii. The Caribbean. Southern California. Then I’d go stretch out on the beach and let the sun just soak into my skin and penetrate to my bones.

Dreams! That’s not about to happen. So I do other things, like listen to French and music (like I described yesterday), which helps make my day more enjoyable while slogging through the edginess I feel. Why am I edgy?

Twice each month I cycle through hormonal changes that really are a trial. My whole physical state changes, and I feel exhausted and low in reserves in all areas. Going to church is particularly hard: sometimes I practically weep through most of the meeting, and not because I’m feeling the Spirit. AWKWARD. I am so not a weepy person. I hate it! I went home after the first hour and went back to bed. It was much easier catching up on sleep than tearing up every couple of minutes.

This last year has been such a challenge with hormones (and energy, muscles/joints, sleep, etc.) that it has really made me look forward to some gloriously distant day when I am through menopause and hopefully won’t deal with this so much.

But back to the French listening. In his address to the priesthood, Elder Cook spoke about being authentic when posting on the internet. I have tried to share some of my challenges on my blog, but being a private person and also not wanting to be negative, I haven’t shared nearly as much as I feel. So I thought that perhaps I should create a new category that helps me to do that when I feel like it might be helpful to someone else to hear about my problems. (But that is my question: who wants to hear about my problems? Will that help them?)

So “Brr” stands for “Balanced Report.” It also sounds like how I feel all winter long. I do NOT like being cold. Which makes for a long winter season living in Utah.

Back to edgy again.

In my heart of hearts, I am cheerful and optimistic. I love the light and gravitate towards things that help me feel light, physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. At the same time, I regularly fight negativity in my mind. Sunshine is who I am at my core. (I think it’s why my mom called me “Sunshine” when I was little.) But clouds and storms are constantly blowing my way.

I have battled depression like people deal with diabetes. The cure that has come to me has been an increased ability to cope with and help prevent the symptoms. Depression is always within arms length, particularly during the winter and bi-monthly during hormone changes. So I have one good week, one hard week, one good week, one hard week. The hardest part this year has been the increase of physical difficulty on the hard week. I wake up and feel like I can not even lift my muscles, they are so sore and achy.

We are looking for answers to help . This morning I was grinding up a huge calcium/magnesium tablet to add to a morning protein shake when Anna asked me what I was doing. I told her that because I am lactose intolerant and don’t eat a lot of dairy products, I hope that the calcium supplement will help with the muscle achiness that I feel most days. She was so sweet. She told me that she would help me when I’m not feeling well. I was so touched by her compassion. Such a compassionate child. It is one of her gifts.

ANYHOO, before this gets too long and boring, I will just try to explain how the edginess feels and blow the whistle for today. (If I write too much, I will start to feel sorry for myself, which by now I have learned is never helpful. Compassion for self is OK, but self-pity works against us.) SO. The edginess I feel is a distinct kind of feeling: it’s like I have this anger volcano inside that would really love to erupt all over, blaming and criticizing and being mad at anyone who crosses my path. I know: Scary! So I try to keep the volcano from erupting and exercising patience. When I don’t, I really regret it. I have come to recognize that this is a hormonal thing, and I just have to be super patient with myself and others until it passes. This can take a lot of energy!

I don’t always do very well. A recent day will testify: I had almost every child up in arms in tantrums and blaming and frustration towards me and me towards them. It was hard for me to respond to their questions, requests, or comments with any normalcy. I got a pulse on how my children could sense my inner battle when one of my daughters asked me, “So what was good about your day, Mom?” LOL. By the end of the day, I was so glad to go to bed so that we could all have a break from our strained interactions.

Here’s what helps: Prayer. Talking with my husband. Reading scriptures, even if it is just out of habit and I feel dull spiritually. Laughing. Sleep. Serving others. Slowing down. Exercising. Dwelling on the positive. Housework at a slow pace. Counting my blessings aloud. Writing a thank you note. Taking a nap. Taking a shower instead of staying in sweats all day with greasy hair. Reading a great book! Not worrying about it.  The tide will turn and the burden will be set aside again. Some people never get a break. I do. I am so grateful!

OK, enough for now. I’m going to go DO something. 🙂

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