My mom was in her early thirties when she went through menopause. I was a freshman in high school and wasn’t sure what was happening. I remember her spending days in the bed experiencing a lot of emotional upheaval. She cried much of the time and was pretty incapacitated. All I knew to do was to help with laundry, house cleaning, and meals, and carefully prepare my conversations with her, not knowing what would bring a fresh onslaught of tears.
I’ve known other women who’ve been so affected by hormonal changes that they seem to go crazy or lose all mental bearings. (I hope you’re consulting a doctor while you’re in the “M” season who is monitoring your health because some women experience serious problems.) For most of us, we may feel like we’re going crazy, but in reality this comes with the territory and is considered “normal.”
Yesterday I gave you a few tips for navigating this season and today I felt like I needed to continue by telling you a few things:
* You are NOT going crazy!!
Let me assure you, just because you feel like you’re losing your mind, it doesn’t mean that you are! I have felt very strange: like I must be getting alzheimer’s, like I’m reliving that “pregnant but brainless” state! Trust me, you may feel like you are certifiable, but you’re not. This craziness is a “normal” part of the process. Some women may have such extreme chemical fluctuations that they need to seek medical attention, but for most of us, this brain “impairment” just goes with the “M” season and will eventually level out.
* Everything you’ve always been told that you should do applies even more now!
You know the drill: Drink plenty of water, exercise, and eat lots of fruits and vegetables! We hear it all the time, but there really is benefit in this admonition, especially during this season. I pay for it on the days I don’t exercise. When I pulled out my mountain bike and started getting a work out and fresh air, I noticed a decrease in hot-flashes and I started sleeping better. I still have symptoms and some days are worse than others, but eating right, decreasing my caffeine intake, drinking plenty of water, getting some exercise and endorphins going, really makes a difference.
* Don’t miss out on some redemptive activity!
Waking up promptly at 3:00 a.m. as a regular routine is not my idea of fun. For a few years the hot flashes and insomnia have served as my alarm clock. I determined not to go the route of sleeping pills or other meds, and although it’s been tough at times, now the symptoms are growing less intense. I still have hot flashes, but I don’t wake as often or for as long. When I do wake up, it is my call to prayer. If I can’t sleep in the night time hours, I can do spiritual battle through prayer. Sometimes I go ahead and start my day and have been amazed at the grace God gives for me to function on 3 hours’ sleep!
* Recruit your man for some serious prayer cover!
The problems associated with women’s hormones—whether it’s the monthly cycle, pre-natal, or during the wretched “M” season—are a mystery to mankind. Literally. Your man doesn’t have a clue, really, what you are facing. He’s probably just hoping you won’t explode like a time-bomb and may be avoiding you if you look like you’re about to blow!
It might be helpful for you to give him some (non-emotional, if possible) information. Let him know how you’re struggling and what you’re facing. It might help to pull up a good article on this topic and read the symptoms and explanations together, and then ask him to be your prayer warrior. Let him know you need him to be covering you with prayer, for everything from your night-sweats to your emotional break-downs . . . you need him lifting up specifics in prayer (with you . . . not just saying “I’ll pray for you”).
My husband is faithful to pray over me every night before I go to sleep. I’ve let him know how much I depend on him as my spiritual warrior and he courageously steps up to cover me with prayer. If you’re married, I encourage you to communicate to your husband your need for this.
To end this series on the “M” season, I want us to close this chapter by reminding ourselves of a precious truth that never ceases to bring me comfort:
[box]“The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him.” (Nahum 1:7)[/box]
He knows all about the “M” season. Don’t miss out on taking refuge in Him as you walk through to the “other side of womanhood.”
Dear friend, I pray He is your refuge today, no matter what you are facing!