Growing up was extremely challenging for me. I am a deep thinker and an extremely passionate person. I am a very empathetic person and it’s easy for the problems of this world to consume me and weigh me down. I’ve always said I was an open book. I was willing to tell anyone how I felt or thought about any given subject. In some ways I was and in a lot of ways I was not. I didn’t realize it back then but I struggled emotionally and couldn’t find a way to tell anyone how I truly felt inside.
Unfortunately, I struggle with a disorder called PMDD. This makes it very difficult at times to see things with a clear picture. I easily fall into a deep dark scary depression. The best way to describe it is my perception literally changes. The thoughts and feelings are so overpowering and so overwhelming there is no way a normal person could possibly understand and help. When a person goes through this they may or may not even realize it’s happening. They hesitate to reach out. It’s embarrassing. People assume you are just sad about a situation when in reality; you may not even know what your upset about. It seems as if your mind has come up with some fictitious scenario and the reason you can’t talk about it is because what is there to talk about? “I feel annoyed, angry, hopeless, bored, miserable and uncomfortable and I don’t even know why.” I feel as if I am no longer in control of my own emotions or even thoughts to an extent. I perceive that people are angry with me. I am not as patient as I usually am. I feel like I can’t get happy or joyful regardless of what I try. Thoughts of suicide creep in. Thoughts of how horrible my life are seep in. I suddenly forget all the blessings God has bestowed up on in the last decade. I argue with my husband and I misunderstand his body language and his words. I feel like nobody sees me. I feel like I’ve failed as a mother, as a wife, as a Christian. It’s an extremely scary feeling when it happens. I am in a completely different state of mind. I make mistakes at work and can’t for the life of me explain why I did what I did. To say the least, I am a total wreck.
Sometimes I catch it and I know when it has started and sometimes it creeps in. I find myself crying uncontrollably, situations seem to pile up and are magnified and appear much worse than they are. When I say “depression” I don’t mean sadness. This is one thing that I feel a lot of people do not understand. On a spiritual level you can call it spiritual oppression. The definition of oppression is prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control. When PMDD hits It’s hard to talk about or even explain to people who do not deal with this problem. It’s embarrassing and I find myself constantly apologizing to the people around me for my behavior. I’ve been told I view my behavior way worse than anyone else sees it on the outside. It certainly doesn’t seem that way to me. I plan my life around PMDD. I typically choose not to plan activities and events around this time.
Why explain all of this to you? This is a real problem that so many people deal with. This is what it is like to have a mental disorder. When a person struggles with any type of mental disorder whether it be hormone related or something else, it’s debilitating. It can render the most together person a complete wreck. It is almost as if they are held captive in their own mind. There is a saying that “the mind is the devil’s playground. “When I was growing up and I didn’t know anything about this, there were so many times I begged God to end it. To just take me out of this world.
The only thing that I can truly say kept me from ending my own life was the fact that at 6 ½ years old I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart. The Holy Spirit dwells inside of me. And because of this I have always had hope. Every time the thought of ending it came into my mind, the Holy Spirit was there to remind me there is a true and living God and He created me for a purpose. He knew my life before I was born. He created all the outs I would need for all the captivity I found myself in.
When I go through an episode where I feel like the world is against me and that I can’t trust anyone and that nobody understands me, I am reminded that this is temporary. That Hope is ALWAYS right around the corner. No situation ever stays the same. I look in the mirror and tell myself, this is not real. This will pass. It hurts so much but it will pass. God sees me even if I don’t see myself. He sees how I am feeling. When I am consumed with every horrible thought that enters my brain as if I am in the middle of a tornado, He is there waiting for me when it passes. He is my anchor. If I can just manage to hold onto Jesus I know I will be okay when this storm passes.
For so many people that do not have that One Hope, anchor to cling to, it’s the scariest most painful thing mentally and emotionally a person can go through. Sadly, so many people choose to end their life because they do not have that hope. I can only say that Jesus Christ is my anchor. I know that even when I don’t feel like praying or reading a devotion or the bible that I can just yell and He comes to my rescue. Sometimes all I can do is cry and yell and tell Him I don’t like the way I feel right now and I don’t understand. The Holy Spirit speaks to my soul. He reminds me that this will pass and I will come out unscathed. And every time I do.
If you have felt this way or if you go through anything similar, please know that there is relief is right around the corner. Hold onto that one hope that this is a season and even if you may go through it again, this one will pass and there will be relief. Just run to The Lord and break off those chains and throw them away. Cling to The Savior. Get so lost in His promises that you are only consumed with Hope.
Psalm 23:2-4 says; “2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of His name. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
And Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
I’ve mentioned this poem before but I will mention it again, “Footprints in the Sand” has been my theme poem. This poem describes a person walking on the beach with The Lord and looking up to see their life before them and looking down at the footprints in the sand. They see two sets but at the lowest and most hopeless scenes there was only one set. This is when The Lord says He carried them. It represents how God is always with us and we are never on this journey alone. He is our one truest hope in a whirlwind of all consuming thoughts.
My hope is that you understand you have an out and it doesn’t have to be the end. That you never have to feel that no soul out there could possibly understand what you are going through. That we are acknowledging your thoughts and feelings and that the God who created you has a purpose for you. Jeremiah 29:11 says For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.