Hypothyroid Suffering

As i continue to struggle with the effects of hypothyroidism, which isn’t entirely compensated by the medication i am taking (the dosage isn’t quite high enough yet), i started reading a book that purports to provide a mind-body program. I was a bit leery to read it because the author, Ridha Arem, sells supplements, which suggests to me a conflict of interest. Since i am still dragging, though, i decided to start reading the book – after all i got it from the library…

It’s been such a relief to finally understand what is going on! I know that there is a strong genetic component to thyroid disorders: It’s in the family. Exactly what thyroid disorder manifests seems to depend on other factors. And a disorder might not manifest at all – there needs to be a trigger. I have been searching for such a trigger in my case – and the only thing that the two points in time i was looking at (the original onset and the sudden worsening a month or so ago) was San Francisco. The onset of my hypothyroidism coincided with my move to San Francisco. The worsening happened shortly after i returned to SF from a month-long stay in Germany. It seemed odd, though, that a city might be a trigger…

It turns out it’s stress! Arem points out how a stress-thyroid cycle can develop: Stress triggers hypothyroidism, which makes it harder to deal with stress, which triggers more deterioration in the thyroid etc. And that fit. Moving half-way across the country, starting a new job, being in a less than supportive coupled relationship – all of that combined to the stress-trigger of the hypothyroid onset back in 2005. The stress of graduating without a fully developed plan on how to make a living, the return from my trip to Germany, lots of emotionally-charged decisioning in April – all of that created the stress-trigger that worsened the condition, which had been stable for a couple years.

Although i am left with dealing with the fatigue and the low drive to do anything, having more understanding around what triggered it gives me some hope that i might be able to avoid something like this latest round. Plus, i am able to see dealing with this condition as more of a practice. As hard and as frustrating as it is, there is not much i can do right now to change how i feel. Except i can stop adding the layer of suffering that comes from fighting reality!

And i think i also want to allow myself to mourn. Mourning all the things i’ve missed because i simply don’t have the energy – especially the dance events. And, i think, what i mourn the most, though, is how people don’t quite get how excruciatingly painful this all is. That hurts, too. Yes, i get, it’s hard to believe that a little thing like the thyroid can reek this much havoc on all parts of my life. I sleep 9 hours a night and still feel exhausted around 3 PM. And, no, a nap does not help. I have symptoms of depression that keep me stuck. I misspell words more than i used to. I write sentences that don’t make sense. I haven’t yet recovered from a workout on Monday. And these are just the symptoms that don’t border on TMI

Well, maybe that’s a practice, too: Accepting that i feel this way, that i cancel participating in events last minute because even a nap didn’t reenergize me, even when others laugh it off or think i am weird. Self-acceptance without other acceptance. That’s especially challenging when i really just want to be comforted and told that it’s all okay, that i am still lovable, and that i will feel better again. And then also practicing accepting that people sometimes just don’t get it – that doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with them or me. It’s simply difficult to imagine what it’s like to all the sudden not have the energy to do the things you used to, well, and that within a span of months, not decades.

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Hypothyroid Suffering — 1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Subpotent?!? | Rachel's Musings

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