So there I was on a lovely sunny saturday morning having coffee with my fabulous mum telling her my tale of woe. ‘Mum I’m just so tired, no matter how much sleep I get I still feel terrible all day, I can’t concentrate, I’m irritable and moody. It’s so hard!’
I’ve been telling her this same story every so often for the past three years now. I was 7 months pregnant with baby number 3 watching my two little girls play and a new feeling came upon me. Irritation. I had never felt irritated by my children before but I woke up one morning and I was tired. And that tiredness never went away. Even after I gave birth, or after I stopped breastfeeding when my son turned 6 months old in a hope to increase my energy levels. I felt exhausted all the time. So after two months of negative pregnancy tests I went to the doctor. A routine blood test and a week later I was diagnosed with an under active thyroid.
I was given a piece of paper telling me what my thyroid was and what had gone wrong with it along with a ‘prescription for life’. I went home took another pregnancy test by the doctors orders and – oh, it’s positive! Without sharing all the gory details things got a whole lot worse before they ever got better. But with tons of support, love and prayer and determination, perseverance and hard work I’ve learned what it means to overcome and not succumb to living with a dysfunctional body part.
It’s been a pretty big year so far. The year that was supposed to be my peaceful, calm and restful year is turning out to be my fullest, biggest and hardest working year yet. And if there’s anyone I can pour my heart out to its my mum. But, one thing my mum is most certainly not is a pitier. She’s an encourager, motivator and edifier. And once again her wise words have left a footprint on my heart and mind. The longer you’re around the more you’ll realise that every women has got something working against them. Be it our thyroid dysfunction, physical disability, mental instability, emotional trauma or whatever else. We all have our tale of woe. You just have to stay focused on God and be willing to do the hard work necessary to overcome it, she said (paraphrasing).
Hard work! Did you say hard work??? Please no more!!! Now some of you may understand what I’m talking about (as 1 in 4 women have a thyroid dysfunction), but for now just know that the symptoms creep up slowly on you until you almost feel like you’re having a nervous break down. Praise God it can be stabilised, regulated and maintained through medication, but that’s not much fun either. Itchy dry skin, weight gain and hair loss are a few of the physical side effects, but then comes the irritability, sleepless nights, mood swings leading to depression, lack of concentration and brain fog – its true, that really is a symptom!
This brain fog can be the one that really gets me down the most. Missed appointments, forgetfulness, incomplete thoughts and sentences, and a total lack of patience. I hit a 4pm wall and then my brain just shuts down on me. I can’t answer any questions I can no longer multi-task and I feel like it’s 4am and all I want to do is sleep.
So how am I possibly going to overcome this!?! Well starting on my knees in prayer and realising that I can’t do it in my own strength. I need to gain strength from my God who can give me back my joy. ‘The Joy of the Lord is your strength” *. When we lose our joy we lose all our will to keep trying. Don’t give in and don’t give up. Lean into God, get your joy back and gain your strength from the Lord.
I have to chose to not give into my ‘feelings’ but chose to trust in my God that he supplies for all of my needs. I have to accept that I have to work harder than all the other ladies who have perfectly healthy bodies and adjust and be disciplined with healthy habits. That means spending time with Jesus – every.single.day, keeping organised in the home for a healthy and happy family life, eating super healthy and exercising consistently.
If you’ve been where I’ve been I want to encourage you to keep fighting the good fight of faith. We don’t have to do this on our own. When we are weak our Saviour’s strength is made perfect. Let God show you his strength and open your eyes to the source of strength within you. Because He has overcome, we have overcome. Accept his truth in your life today to live out his success story in your future.