As promised, we’re going to spend the rest of the week considering some practical ways “ways of escape” in the midst of hormonal seasons such as PMS or menopause or postpartum depression. The first is, “Get Ready.”
Now, of course, we can’t always plan ahead. Maybe we are caught totally unawares by postpartum depression or perhaps menopause comes early or our monthly cycles are irregular. This will be true for many of us, and God’s grace is available to help us through.
If these seasons do come unexpectedly, though, we can still stop and pray and plan for the duration. Maybe we pull away for a few minutes when we realize it’s a PMS day. Or, we take an afternoon to pray and read if we find ourselves floundering in the midst of menopause or postpartum depression.
Here are three simple suggestions to get ready:
1. Check the calendar: If you know you struggle with PMS every month, then figure out when that might be. Tell your husband or roommates as well. If you experienced postpartum depression with your first child, be aware (not afraid) that you might experience it again. And while we can’t predict when menopause will come exactly, we do know it will probably be in the middle to later years of our life.
2. Read up: Soaking ourselves in gospel-centered materials will help strengthen us for the fight ahead. Consider reading books such as Spiritual Depression by D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper (you can read online) or Chapter 13 in Seeing With New Eyes by David Powlison, entitled "What Do You Feel?" Also, getting a medical education (from a biblical perspective) can be of great benefit. We suggest you begin with Blame it on the Brain by Ed Welch. Or, if it is something as predictable as PMS, simply having a verse at the ready can be invaluable.
3. Get Help: If you think menopause might be around the corner, pursue godly women for practical and spiritual advice. If you believe you might experience postpartum depression again, ask for help from your husband and a godly woman to prepare. Or simply ask someone to speak truth to you in the middle of PMS. Obviously, help from your doctor may be in order as well. We’ll touch on that later in the week.
Some practical "in the middle of it" thoughts tomorrow...