What Does Testosterone Have To Do With It?
Updated: Aug 28, 2019
When things don’t seem right in my world, it can be difficult to look outside of myself to get a grasp on why - the blame game starts up and generally all fingers point to things that I’ve done wrong, incorrectly, inadequately, etc. The mind can be a powerful and sometimes really mean bully.
It’s been over a month since I’ve written a blog or email, and it’s because I’ve been struggling a bit… or more than a bit. Until this last week, I’d not done a dang thing with my coaching business since July or longer, and my days were filled with self-doubt and anxiety. For a while I had been totally baffled by my lack of action and activity and blamed myself for not being smart enough, creative enough and not having enough motivation.
I was not feeling like I was ‘enough’ to be doing this at all, and it was spiralling downwards.
It’s not been something that I’ve been talking about much with anyone, except for my husband, inadvertently my mom and maybe one friend. One reason I’ve not shared is the shame I was feeling, and another is the lack of words to express it. How could I expect anyone to understand what I was going through, if I didn’t have the words and understanding myself.
I'm not seeking or looking for sympathy, but hope that in writing these words in this format I can continue my own healing and empower someone else's too. In sharing this I am hoping that this experience issues and the answers I’ve started to receive might empower or help you or someone you know who may be going through their own ‘stuff.’
So, what's the ‘stuff’ am I talking about??
<Gulp>.... I was experiencing depression. I was feeling numb. I didn’t feel sad, but I didn’t feel happy either. No motivation or creativity. And like I was in a fog - with things being not quite clear and my thoughts all jumbled, if there were any. I was feeling lonely, withdrawn and frankly, I felt like a loser. I would go through the motions and say that “I’m good” when people ask. The only constant was my exercise routine and binge watching Grey’s Anatomy.
The other part of the stuff (which I didn't know was related, but is) is that I’ve been experiencing is a feeling of lightheadedness, to the point where I thought I might faint. I would getting this ‘world flipping’ feeling and have to sit down where I was so as not hurt myself with an actual fall as my legs buckled under me.
One of the more bizarre times that happened was when I had a panic attack while cooking banana pancakes a few weeks ago. As I was attempting to flip the first cake, a panic came over me, I broke out in a sweat and had to sit on the kitchen floor so that I wouldn’t fall. As the world flipped around me my husband had to take over and finish the pancakes. At the time I attributed the episode to low blood sugar. But after nearly fainting on a couple of other occasions, including after spin class last week, I started to think something else was going on besides low blood sugar.
To backtrack a little bit, I started seeing an integrative doctor back in May for my anxiety. At that time she told me that she wanted to do some testing and figure out what was going on in my gut, have me do a detox and look at what my body wanted to tell her, so I started the first of several tests. Food sensitivity, thyroid activity, hormone levels, etc.
My tests have started to come back in from the doctor and it turns out that I have, or rather don’t have nearly enough testosterone, like nearly non-existent, really low DHEAS (a precursor to testosterone) and higher than average cortisol (the stress hormone). There is a lot of science-y stuff that came with these results that I won't bore you with, but suffice it to say - these levels and their effects on my body are explaining a LOT!
Basically, I have a mild to ‘it could get worse if you don’t address it’ Adrenal Fatigue! Which if you look at symptoms of AF, it’s mood-changes (including greater anxiety), depression, fatigue, memory lapses, fogginess, craving salty or sugary foods, trouble falling asleep… and more! Most of which I’d been experiencing, but was dismissing as ‘going through a phase.’
I’ve only just started to take steps to correct these levels with 1 prescription and a couple hormone supplements, but having these answers has already made a huge difference in my life. I don’t feel so guilty and ashamed. I can hopefully stop beating myself up on a daily basis for not doing more, for not willing myself to be better, for not ‘snapping out of it.’
What a relief! And... I'm getting that first spark of creativity again - this blog is a result!
As a still-starting-out health coach, this has been a complicated experience for me. When I’m not feeling good, and feeling unhealthy and loser-y, I feel like a failure as a human, which in turn makes me feel like a hypocrite. How can I promote and talk about any ‘health stuff,’ if I’m not a living, walking, perfect example of health?
With my head held high because that’s what’s good right? The fact that I’m able to relate and empathize with these types of struggles will make me an even better coach! If I ever have clients who have similar experience or symptoms, I’ll have a better understanding and be able to offer resources that will be of value to them.
I just have to remind myself that I’m a living being having a human experience. I’m not perfect, but neither is anyone else! As much as people's outward image would have us believe - everyone is imperfect and just doing the best they can with the tools they have.
P.S. I will say that I think my doctor is amazing! If you’re in Dallas and want to get to the bottom of your ‘stuff’ I’ll gladly send you her information!