Ring of Fire


Last night I stayed out on the patio long. I was feeling what my Grandmother would have called “a bit blue.” Lately, I have felt out of step with the world around me. Like I am a few beats behind everyone else. Sometimes it helps to go outside and sit very still, to listen to the bigger rhythm. It’s like putting your finger on the earth’s pulse when you can no longer trust your own.

I lay my head back in the chair and was surprised by the moon directly overhead. I don’t know why it surprised me but I didn’t expect it to be there, it was too high in the sky, but who am I to argue with the moon?

This morning I stumbled over both the previously frozen peas and the ice pack that I use at night to beat back the flames that rise like coiled snakes that come from nowhere. I picture a cartoonish Satan in a red suit, shoveling coals, stoking the furnace within me with a gleeful smile on his face. I am up about 3 times a night exchanging the frozen peas with the ice pack and vice-versa.

My Doctor recommended a place that sells things that may help but she told me it was cash only. What does that even mean? She is into a more “holistic” approach to medicine and I agree, I don’t want to take synthetic hormones. Someone told me about Black Cohosh so now I am taking 540 mg a day. I can’t be sure it’s helping but I will keep taking it for now.

There is an upside. If sweating is healthy, I can’t have any toxins left in my system. I am my own mini-sweat lodge.

I move heavily through most days with a leaden soul. I miss the old me. I miss the self I used to be. I have fleeting moments of happiness and then it’s back to the dull gray wash. I have learned that sometimes all you can do is move through the moment obediently and grab onto the joy when it comes.

I feel like a bit player in my own life and an imposter at work going through the motions. Like on “Seinfeld” when George Costanza got that job that he didn’t really get and went in to work everyday making up things to do in the office that wasn’t really his.

I joined a gym to beat back the ravages of time as well as all these symptoms and it does make me feel better, but I haven’t lost a pound. Most of the time I want to eat whole pies and plates of cookies.  It seems, the same furnace that stokes the flashes, stokes my appetite as well. If I am at home I look for things to graze on continually. I have sunk to dipping cookies in frosting, I am worse than an alcoholic.

And attached to everything else in this new phase of life, I feel a profound sense of shame that I am becoming “less than” “diminished” “devalued.” Being shown the back seat by the universe. I know that what I am feeling is temporary, and I know that God still strives with me.

He brings me little things like doves and blooming flowers and the moon.

And people I love who are always there for me. Above all, I haven’t lost my gratitude because I still have so much.

Despite it all, He remains my well that never runs dry. I will come through this, victory is mine. It always has been, through Him.


6 thoughts on “Ring of Fire

  1. Reading your post was rather eerie for me. It was like someone read my mind or like the proverbial “fly on the wall” who has seen into my life and decided to write it all down. My doctor prescribed a very low dose (25 mg twice a day) of Venlafaxine, which has helped a bit. Like you, I just keep holding on to Jesus, knowing that He loves me despite all the changes. 🙂

    1. Pam, I guess it makes me feel better knowing I am not alone, let’s encourage each other, shall we. This thing will not last forever, we will get through it! My mood has been uncharacteristically down, that’s not like me. I just keep treating it with prayer and exercise! Thank you……Yes He does.

      1. Sounds very good, Lori. It really does help to know someone else can relate to what we are going though. Keeping you in prayer.

  2. Ugh. I know where you are. Many blessings for you to find your way to cool and away from that hearty appetite.

    Note: It’s a weird time of life to move in that direction. FTR — I didn’t take anything. I just knew it was a season for me and the season would come to an end. It did. I was blessed.

    At first, I thought you had done something to your back, sprained your ankle, or tripped on a stump. Glad to hear it’s just “natural.”

    He loves us much, and He designed us. 🙂

    1. Yes, He did design us, but then there is the fall…UGH we did that ourselves! I am educating myself on finding the right foods to eat that will not fuel the cravings, but sugar has always been my downfall…..this too shall pass! Love to hear from you dear friend!

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