I totally forgot how much havoc postpartum hormones wreak on your body! I have to keep reminding myself that this isn’t me.
This is the crazy hormonal version of me and she’ll only be here for a few months.
Then it’s back to only semi-crazy me :)
The hormone situation is intensified when coupled with lack of sleep, so some days around here are very, shall we say, interesting.
If I get a crappy nights sleep it’s pretty much a guarantee that I will be grumpy and emotional and overwhelmed and on the verge of tears all day.
I’ll feel like I’m failing Grace by being too tired to engage with her.
I’ll feel like I’m failing Avery by not loving every second of the newborn phase.
I’ll feel like I’m failing Andy by being short with him and being irritated by his efforts to love on me.
I’ll feel like I’m a terrible homemaker for not being on top of the dusty living room and the grimy kitchen floor.
I’ll feel like things will never be “normal” again and that I’ll be stuck in this hormonal, sleep-deprived body forever.
And now….just writing all this down makes me feel like I’m being overly dramatic. Which makes me want to delete it all and post that things are going great.
What is that all about?
Why do I have such a hard time being totally honest about my struggles?
It’s because I have a almost DNA-level fear of being needy and less than fully capable. There is nothing that makes me as nervous as needing help or coming across as weak.
You can imagine how this affects my relationship with Andy. He tries to help me and I feel like I shouldn’t need help so I push him away. But inside I start feeling bitter and hurt.
That right there is a lose/lose situation.
None of this is rational or logical so I’m totally blaming it on my hormones.
But, truth be told, it’s not just my hormones. This tends to be my M.O. much of the time.
I don’t need help. I can handle everything on my own. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone.
The good news is that this isn’t a life sentence. God has been revealing this pattern to me lately and I’m opening myself up to living differently.
Part of the Bible study I’m in right now involves reading the book The Gift of Being Yourself. Man this book is good! I won’t try to do it justice by summing it up, but I’ll highly recommend that you shell out the $10 to check it out for yourself.
The chapters I’ve been reading the past couple of weeks have addressed the “false self” that we all work so hard to maintain vs. the “true self” that we were created to be.
A few quotes/passages that have particularly resonated with me about the “false self” are…
“Our false self is built on an inordinate attachment to an image of our self that we think makes us special.”
“The core of the false self is the belief that my value depends on what I have, what I can do and what others think of me.”
“The most basic function of our compulsions is to help us preserve our false self, but maintaining this illusion is the source of all our unhappiness. Unhappiness is always the result of ‘not being able to do something I want to do, have something I want to have, or concern about what others will think of me’.”
Then there was a very refreshing chapter about becoming our “true selves”. Some of those quotes/passages that I’m clinging to are…
“The true self is the exact opposite of all that has been described as the false self. The true self is who, in reality, you are and who you are becoming. It is NOT something you need to construct through a process of self-improvement or deconstruct my means of psychological analysis.”
PHEW! It’s not up to me to fix it! As hard as that is for a person like me to swallow, it is such a relief to know I cannot do it on my own.
“(Your true self) is your total self as you were created by God and as you are being redeemed in Christ.”
“We do not find our true self by seeking it. Rather, we find it by seeking God.”
At the risk of copying the entire book and pasting it into this post, I’ll stop there. But this stuff has been so good for me to digest in the midst of my hormone-fueled chaos.
These hormones will level out and like I said before, I’ll be left with my regular crazy self. But there is hope for her too!
Moving away from my false self and embracing what God is showing me about my true self is just about the best light at the end of the tunnel that I can think of.