Earlier this year I shared with you the news that I was struggling with postpartum anxiety, induced after labor & delivery of my sweet baby boy. To catch up with that article check it out:
Just a few short months after I gave birth my body began acting very strange, the worst of it being my mind vulnerable to anxiety and fear. I had heard of women experiencing postpartum depression, but I wasn’t depressed. I couldn’t define what I was encountering as postpartum depression, so I continued to search, forced by the never ending onslaught of negative thoughts and seeming attacks coming against me.
I never knew that postpartum anxiety was a struggle that moms can experience. I was unprepared for the overwhelming fear that loomed. I was incredibly scared that my health would decline and I wouldn’t be able to take care of my baby. I became a hypochondriac, rushing to the doctor’s office any time I felt something strange happening with my body. And because I was so hyper-focused on myself, even what once was normal became eerily unfamiliar.
During this time I found out that my thyroid was inflamed. My body was being affected by daily changes as my thyroid crazily went from hyperthyroid to hypothyroid. This is when I started researching the thyroid and it’s role in my body. I soon discovered that the thyroid controls hormonal levels and that going into overdrive contributed to heightened anxiety.
To be honest, I was really disheartened by all that was happening. All I wanted was to be a good mom and wife, tending to my family and enjoying this season of life. Yet, I was distracted by fear and frustration… and all the sensations that stirred inside me feeding both of those emotions until they got out of hand.
One day at church I was weakened by another fit of anxiety. I felt weird tingling sensations through my leg and a few numb spots that had me believing I had MS or a stroke or something like that. I wasn’t exactly sure what was wrong with me, but I leaned over to tell my husband that we would be heading to urgent care after the service. Before leaving I went to the front of the sanctuary to seek prayer from an elder. As I explained my prayer request, I was encouraged to talk to another woman who had been battling the same issues with her thyroid. Her name, Melissa, had popped up in conversations throughout the previous week, so I knew I should definitely reach out and talk to her. As my husband and I left church I saw Melissa. Although I still wanted to go to the doctor’s, I told myself how the detour might be beneficial.
I sat down next to Melissa asking her if we could chat. Her beautiful smile welcomed me warmly. Suddenly tears began to stream down my face as I told her all that I had been experiencing. With tears in her eyes she shared her journey as well. We had some differences in our stories, but we also had many similarities. It was encouraging to me to hear how someone else was enduring what I had been and it was reassuring knowing that I wasn’t breaking down or just going crazy. Melissa also explained that although she hated all that she was going through she had hoped God would use it for good.
We sat there holding hands, crying through our pain, and trying desperately to lift each other up. That day blessed me so much. I felt more confident that I could handle what I was encountering and I had someone who I can walk with and ask questions about everything. I am so thankful that God led me to Melissa! She was a light in my dark world, a beacon of hope, a friend, a prayer warrior. I wanted to share more of Melissa’s story with others who relate to the suffering caused by hypothyroidism. Please check out this interview I had recently with Melissa:
I am getting ready to celebrate my son’s first birthday, which is also a reminder for me of when all the changes in my body began. I cannot believe it has already been a year. Experiencing postpartum anxiety and living with thyroid problems wasn’t in my plan. Yet, my sovereign God has allowed me to endure it, teaching me about Himself as well as more about my character along the way. Every day I am humbled by my physical body and reminded to trust in God.
I really wanted to give you this update to let you know how I have been doing. Life has been challenging and some days are much harder than others. However, I praise God for being on the mend. In May I asked for prayer and many of my friends from the marriage ministry at church gathered around me to lay hands on me. They prayed in faith that the Lord would heal me…And you know what…I went home that night covered in amazing peace. I believe it was in that moment of prayer that the Lord had mercy on me and began to restore my thyroid. Gradually I began to feel better, and my body continues to show signs of improvement as I pray in faith that my thyroid balances out. If you remember, please pray for me as I go and get it checked next monday! If you are battling any type of health issue at all please consider seeking prayer and believe that God can heal you! It doesn’t mean that He will, but that should never keep us from asking! He is our Heavenly Father and He desires us to ask of Him!
Having an issue with my thyroid has really had a strain on my marriage because with it comes a whirlwind of resulting affects including mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and so on. Unfortunately, my husband and my son have been exposed to my crazy when it comes. However, knowing that I have an issue with my thyroid does help put a name to the problems we encounter and gives us some specific things to pray about. I am so thankful that I have an understanding and forgiving husband.
I also wanted to share this update to encourage you to find a friend. Whether you are also battling a thyroid issue or postpartum anxiety or depression, or maybe you have a different health condition or an addiction that rules your life…no matter what you are going through it is vital to have a friend who can walk with you on this journey, pull you out of the mire, give you hope and feed you encouragement. We are limited in our flesh and our spirit needs fellowship. So I encourage you today to reach out to a friend or two and talk about all that you are experiencing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or prayer. Don’t listen to the lie that you are all alone or that people will judge you for your crazy! We all got a little!
I hope you have a great day today and I hope these stories encourage you!
Have you ever had issues with your thyroid? If so, how did it affect your marriage? Please share in the comments below!