I spent the next couple of years trying various remedies. Melatonin, tons of herbal concoctions, teas, essential oils, acupuncture, just to name a few. In the meantime, my health and quality of life was deteriorating fast. It was all I could do to drag myself out of bed in the morning and deal with whatever the day would bring. During this time, our house was on the market, the economy had tanked, my husband was traveling a lot, and I was homeschooling our kids. Stress was my middle name and I was barely making it.
Much of my research during this time confirmed what I’ve always suspected. Our health is directly tied to our emotional well-being; we cannot isolate that important fact from other areas of our health. One aspect of Western medicine that confounds me is how the body is separated from the mind and emotions during treatment of chronic illnesses, hormonal issues (both men and women), arthritis, etc. This may sound existential, but we are clearly not one dimensional people. This was an area I did not want to face.
Fear is a powerful motivator. For as long as I can remember, fear has been a part of my life. There are many psychological and practical reasons for this, but that is not the purpose of this blog. Only in the past few years have I realized what a hold fear has on me. For this Christ follower, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. I am redeemed, yet enslaved to my thoughts. Trust me, when you’re lying awake in the middle of the night, the fear is palpable. How can I reconcile my fears with my spiritual life? I felt like a constant failure because my desire to live humbly and peaceably deeply contrasted with my reality. I was broken by life, relationships and heartache. Where do I go from here?
While a huge part of my struggle was spiritual, there were also physiological aspects contributing to the slippery slope. A gut imbalance from years of antibiotics, a hormonal imbalance, neurotransmitter issues, adrenal fatigue, and, I suspected, a gluten intolerance. I was overwhelmed with all of it. My precious family was suffering, I was suffering and I could not see a way out of it.
“Fear not; I am with you; do not despair; I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my righteous right hand” – Isaiah 41:10.