If you checked in last week, you’ll know we started shedding some new light on depression and the inflammation that could be causing it.
This week, I wanted to introduce ANOTHER possible source of depression.
Actually, I’m going to let Dr. Christiane Northrup introduce it.
If you’re not familiar with Dr. Northrup, she’s an OBGYN who started her practice in 1979. It wasn’t long until she realized that women’s health was not just a physical equation.
She’s been a pioneer in getting us women to reconnect our bodies, minds, and spirits, starting with her best-selling book, “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.”
In her hilarious stage presentation, Dr. Northrup says, “If THESE lips aren’t talking (pointing to her face,) THESE lips will! (pointing to her female anatomy.)
She cites case after case where a woman doesn’t use her voice, gets sick. As soon as they have the courage to speak up, their symptoms vanish.
This voice could be telling them to get out of a relationship, or take some ridiculous creative plunge, or ask their partner for something they don’t feel like they can ask for, or say “no” to their kids, or to volunteering, or to some other worthy cause that they “should” say yes to.
Recently Dr. Northrup wrote this about menopause:
“…hormone-driven changes give a woman a sharper eye for inequity and injustice, and a voice that insists on speaking up about them…a woman's youthful fire and spirit are often rekindled, together with long-sublimated desires and creative drives. Midlife fuels those drives with a volcanic energy that demands an outlet.”
Do you hear that women?! Our hormones are purposeful! They have a place! They’re not just annoying things that make us feel crazy!
Now, to be fair, had we not become so disconnected from our cycles and hormones and bodies and nature, we might never have forgotten that our unique power as women lies in the very function and sensitivity of our hormonal system to deliver wisdom.
Of course if we were living in a clean environment, eating clean foods, breathing clean air, we wouldn’t experience the physical or emotional suffering that can come with hormonal fluctuation.
But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Let’s entertain the possibility that our bodies do indeed hold tremendous wisdom and are guiding us to do and say and create. When we choose not to listen, it hurts.
Dr. Northrup continues:
“if the woman remains silent for the sake of keeping the peace at home and/or work, or if she holds herself back from pursuing her creative urges—the result is equivalent to plugging the vent on a pressure cooker: Something has to give. Very often what gives is the woman's health, and the result will be one or more of the "big three" diseases of postmenopausal women: heart disease, depression, and breast cancer.”
So there you have it ladies! It’s time. We’ve got to speak….and we’ve got to speak the truth! And with everything else going on in this world, and in our country, we know it’s time. Plus, our kids are watching us, so we best be the example. They’ll follow our lead either way.
AND it’s hard. AND we have to speak.
I have this amazing husband, who would do anything for me. And I STILL have a heart attack when I want to ask him for time alone (because that means I’m not a good mom,) or to pay for a course I really want to take (because spending money on myself is irresponsible when we have bills,) or to spend time with me (because that means I’m a nagging wife.)
Who’s voice is in the parenthesis above?! Who said those things? And why do I believe them?!
I don’t know, but if you ask my husband, he doesn’t believe them. It’s ME. I’m bringing the story that filling my cup or asking for something I want is selfish and immature.
But this means denying the very things that will make me softer, kinder, happier, wiser…the small pleasures that make me come alive and support me in being MORE of the woman I am, MORE of the woman my husband married, and MORE of the mom I want to be.
If I continue down a path where I keep myself silent, then of course I’ll be depressed!
Sometimes our voices have been buried for so long that we don’t even know there’s anything we want to say.
That’s where depression and anger and irritation – the very things we avoid and send away, can be our gifts. Signals from our bodies’ wisdom that some change is needed. It can be personal or social, but either way, we have the power to talk about it. And we NEED to talk about it, lest we, and our health implode.
I dare you to answer this question: What’s one thing you want, but you haven’t asked for? (You can even leave your answer in the comments below. GASP!)
In the meantime, I’m with you, I believe in you, I support you, and I encourage you with all my heart to speak your voice and live out loud.
With Much love,