I have a confession to make…

Written By: JoJoisms - Aug• 11•14

SadI’m going to admit something I’ve been trying to hide.  I’ve been struggling lately.  Actually, I’ve struggled with this for quite some time on and off.  I’m a bit frustrated and overwhelmed, but mostly I’ve been feeling like nobody cares. It’s silly, really.  An innocent joke made by a family member here.  A small perceived slight by a friend who probably never intended (or even knew) she upset me in any way.  As an example…I’ll post something on Facebook and hours later (probably due to Facebook’s algorithms or it being a slow Facebook news day) nobody responds.  Feeling neglected, I delete the post, both so it doesn’t look so pathetic and because it depresses me to see my posts go unnoticed.  And so it went this past week or so.

In addition, I cry at toilet paper commercials and sometimes take two showers a day because it’s easier to hide tears under running water.  Feeling like this more often than I care to admit, I still denied my depression or sadness to my friends and family and, even, my doctor.  Somehow it was a shameful thing, especially for a Christian.  As a defense mechanism, I resort to humor. Laughing at the struggles is much better than the alternative.  So I thought I was okay.  After all, the uncontrollable crying was only a few times every week or so.

Thinking back to my last dr visit when he went over the extensive test results, I realized that so many of the chemicals or vitamins I was deficient in are linked to depression.   So many of the things my body was low in are responsible for making you happy.  So I guess that means that, in addition to FEELING sad, I have an unhappy body. Unlike those people on the Activia commercials, my tummy isn’t smiling.  🙁

Just looking at some of the deficiencies my doctor identified, I can see a pattern and it opened my eyes enough to admit I’ve been struggling with depression.

I have a severe vitamin D deficiency which, along with causing fatigue, pain and sleep issues, also causes depression.  What a sad state of affairs!

I was low in B12, which as well as causing fatigue, lack of energy and weakness, also causes depression.

Low thyroid symptoms include feeling tired, weak and depressed.

Low serotonin levels affect your mood, sleep and cause depression.  I was surprised to read that it leads to crying spells and bouts of sadness.  Well, there’s a shocker, right!

Low gaba levels cause anxiety, worry, fear, PMS, emotional issues, fatigue and BRAIN FOG.  I guess I just couldn’t remember how many times I felt like crying.

PEA (Phenlethylamine) gives you energy and influences mood. Low levels of PEA cause depression and low mental energy.

Low testosterone levels in women cause mild depression, fatigue and decreased energy as well as weight gain and a decline in muscle tone (making you jiggle and wave back to yourself) which is pretty depressing right there!

Low progesterone levels cause anxiety, depression and mood swings.

Low DHEA levels cause a decrease in muscle mass which, heretofore stated, makes for an unhappy, Flabby JoJo.  That’s in addition to the regular kind of depression and overwhelming fatigue.

I guess I feel a bit better knowing that my erratic swings into sudden sadness that takes me to the Twilight Zone of moods isn’t entirely in my head.  Most of it’s in my body. Or, more to the point, ISN’T in my body! It’s difficult enough to stay positive when you are frustrated by feeling tired and overwhelmed without your body’s missing link to the happy, happy, happy Phil Robertson talks about.

I have to keep reminding myself that I’m not alone and that, while things may L@@K like nobody cares, that’s just my hormones and lack of chemicals and vitamins talking. After all, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” says Proverbs 17:22.  I’m taking all my prescriptions and trying to look at the positives in my life.

Have you ever felt this way?  What are your experiences?  Care to confess?  I promise not to judge.

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  1. Jacqueline says:

    I completely understand! I’ve even gone the route to be a healthcoach hoping that would help with more education but I’ve become a complete failure in that field as I cannot stay the course in taking care of myself. I am so encouraged by your “true confessions” and if only one person is encouraged by you, you are blessed! If only one person hears these words; please know you are being completely used by God to minister to another hiding in the shadows, also fearful of others jests and unknowing comments that pierce.
    Thank you for your words…

  2. JMINY says:

    I think you are a wonderful, brave, smart, encouraging human being! I am so glad you found that on top of all your health issues that you already knew about that there are numerous nutritional deficiencies as well. I pray you are able to work to correct those, and perhaps, even some of your medical issues will dissipate! At least one can pray to that end. I try hard to be on top of my nutritional intake, so I would be surprised if I have any significant deficiencies (although where I live sunlight is hard to come by several months of the year, so I have started taking Vitamin D3. I do believe it has helped with the winter-time blues.) But I struggle with a lot of what you feel in spite of not being nutritionally deficient. I have an inattentive grouch of a husband who does what he wants to do regardless of the consequences to myself or the children. Some children are grown and gone, which has left me feeling lonelier. I have no other family. I do have a couple of great friends, and that helps, but my church is also a place where I feel like no one gives a hoot. There are many people there who have never lost loved ones in childhood, never had a bad financial day, never had a difficult marriage, or an extremely difficult child, and they just cannot relate to me, and look at me like I am a diseased and contagious person to keep away from. (I can’t easily change churches…long enough story there.) So I feel so much of what you just wrote. I post, then delete. I try and post primarily upbeat stuff, but still find that *if* I am deleted as a friend, it is by church people. But why? This has affected my outlook on God, and I struggle to feel like God loves me. I have started listening to various charismatic preachers just to be reminded God does, in fact, love me, and the lot in life I have is not a punishment for being the worst Christian on the face of the earth. I am scared for the future, because in a few years my youngest child will be out of the house, and then it’s just me and the hubby. And that is NOT something to look forward to. At all. I just beg and pray that God will try and make some things better, but then I know that life in other parts of the world is infinitely harder than what I experience, although what I feel and experience is still incredibly painful, hurtful, discouraging, and lonely. This week I did have a revelation, though, that Satan is the one trying to make me doubt God, and to make me believe that God has brought this upon me. It has helped to realize it is Satan who wants me to forsake Christ, so I am trying to remember that. It’s a hard journey regardless, and I just wish those who have been SO blessed in life (and there really, truly, are those who have barely had a struggle. I know several!) would stop being so judgmental. Looking back on my decades of very hard times, some of the hardest was simply the lack of love, encouragement, and acceptance at the hands of my ‘church’ family. Keep your chin up!! Vitamin deficiencies or not, you are an awesome woman who does all she can to be a blessing to others and to serve her Lord and Savior. God bless! (There are many of us struggling, too, but have found social media is no longer as anonymous as it might have been in the past and are way more reluctant to attach our ‘real’ name to our comments because most likely someone we know will wind up reading them…so we have to censor everything, leaving behind just impotent information.)

  3. JoJoisms says:

    Thank you, Jacqueline, for sharing that with me. It means a great deal after sharing something so personal.

  4. Betty P says:

    As a Christian also, I understand how you feel about not wanting to say anything about having depression. I have been judged about having depression. My husband would say ” Maybe you just need read the Bible more?” Which just made me feel like I was failing God, along with my family. People with don’t suffer from depression have no idea, what struggles we face. Bless you JoJo!

  5. JoJoisms says:

    You are so right! I’ve had some well-meaning Christians tell me I just don’t have enough faith or it’s wrong to say anything negative. But then you don’t find support or help, do you? And Satan IS out to rob us of our faith. Knowing that gives me strength to fight on..and try to help others. I will be praying for you! My dh tries but he can’t really understand. I do understand so please know you are not alone! You matter and God loves you and I would love to help uplift you when you are down.

  6. Bobbi says:

    Thank you for sharing and making a place to share. It’s so encouraging, to me at least, to know that others – Christian others – deal with the same feelings, the same side effects of hidden illness, the same frustrations. I can absolutely identify with that feeling that nobody really cares and feeling invisible to the big world. The years long struggle of knowing something isn’t right but doctors don’t listen can take a lot out of you. In my case, I’ve got a heart condition and weight issue. And the heart meds have a side effect of weight gain! So I’m overweight, which everyone attributes all my problems to so I feel even more uncared for. I’ve finally got a doctor hearing me and I go for surgery on my heart later this month. It sounds like you finally have a doctor looking at the big picture and the little picture to help you restore your body, too. I’m praying that both of us find better health and days ahead. Also, know that sometimes those who most need to read your sharing don’t respond because we’re in that same place and don’t know what to say, not because we don’t care…and ‘Like’ doesn’t really seem appropriate.

  7. JoJoisms says:

    Blessings to you as well, Betty. Thanks for sharing that with me.

  8. JoJoisms says:

    That’s a good point, Bobbi. I’ll be praying for your upcoming surgery. I’d love for you to let me know how it went. Speedy recovery! God bless!!

  9. Susie says:

    Very powerful stuff JoJo. The fact that we can’t just say, “I hurt,” and have others be kind or compassionate is what floors me.

    I have to say that I am blessed with an amazing husband. But he also suffers. He suffers when I have a reaction because he takes care of me. And because of the complacency of others, we hardly ever eat out. People say things like, “Oh it’s just a little. How can that hurt you?” So he suffers by having to explain so explicitly to the wait staff and make them believe. Then sometimes they say, “Then why are you eating out?” Ugh, I want to say, “Because we need to get out once in a while and you shouldn’t be cross contaminating the food anyway.” He won’t agree that he suffers, but I know it is difficult.

    When we are ill, the entire family suffers the fallout.

    I have food and environmental allergies and people don’t believe it unless I have a reaction while they are with me. I don’t drink. I don’t like the buzz and I’m allergic to most alcohol. But when a friend told me to just have a sip of her wine, (because what could it hurt) I did it to prove a point. Within minutes it was as if I had a cold. She was floored. Another time at a church dinner, I explained that I would not be eating. I eat before I go out because I’m allergic to most foods and additives in the foods. One woman was so uncomfortable with me not eating, I told her I would eat a roll. The rest of the night she kept uncomfortably shoving the rolls at me.

    You also reminded me that I have a brand new bottle of B vitamins I NEED to take. One more thought that others don’t think of or care about is the expense. I have tons of vitamins, medications, and powders that I’ve gotten along the way from doctors. I know now what works best and mostly it’s vitamins.

    I’ve been blessed with great doctors, but it took a long time to find them. Thank you again for sharing your heart. It helps to hear we are not alone.

  10. Susie says:

    I wanted to also say that I’m so sorry for what you go through. I wish you were closer because we would probably have nice times together when you were feeling up to it. 🙂

  11. JoJoisms says:

    I so agree. So many things people just don’t understand. It sometimes takes so much energy just to try to explain it only to have people roll their eyes. I don’t drink either. Never liked the way it makes me feel. Even one sip of something light. Vitamins do help. I am in the middle of fine tuning them and other things I need. Thankfully, I finally found a dr who is actually willing to look at the bigger picture and is helping. Took me 35+ yrs to find him though.

  12. JoJoisms says:

    I wish we were too. And I keep moving further away, don’t I? LOL I’d be there for you as well, Sweet Pea.

  13. Joan says:

    I can relate, albeit, in a different way.

    In a nutshell– A little more than 2 years ago I went through a period of extreme sadness, deep despair and fighting depression. I eventually found out that I was suffering from a form of PTSD, which was brought on from something that happened to me years ago. I had a period of time in my life at one time where I suffered a series of losses.. and basically at that time I just ‘sucked it up’ and went on with life and didn’t deal with the hurt and pain.

    Well, the hurt and pain caught up with me, and it took me about a year to work through it. And it was such that I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it because I just knew trying to talk it through with a counselor or someone wouldn’t help. It was something I had to work through, and God was the only one who could help me.

    In working through it though, I cried every day…. I’d just cry… for weeks. and then I”d be okay for a few days and thought I was better, and then the crying would start all over again. I don’t ever remember having despair at that deep of a level. One thing I did that helped me not have the depression overwhelm me… I took up running. In fact, that period of time where I did 3 half-marathons in an 8-month time period… that’s when I was dealing with this.

    At times, a fear would try to come ..a fear that I would never get better, and that the deep, wrenching pain would never go away, That I was going to always feel this hurt. And I sometimes wondered if I was losing my mind.
    Fortunately for me, my husband (who is a psych nurse, btw) was puzzled (because this was so NOT like me) but very supportive. So that did help.

    I did make it through, but I’m marked forever by that experience. Marked in a way that the experience can be used for good. The despair and hurt is gone, but that ‘spot’ is still tender. I think it’s my Jacob’s limp. But God did give me a promise from Hosea 2 :15 that “the Valley of Achor (my place of pain) would be door of hope”. Hope for others (girls/women) who may suffer despair from heartbreaking experiences and feelings like no one understands or cares for them.

    Those things I suffered have and will be used for the good of others according to 2 Cor 2:14
    —Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God–.

  14. JoJoisms says:

    And you are such an amazing blessing to others, Joan! So glad you were able to come through that period of your life and see the other side. I imagine we are all touched by what we have been through and my prayer is that God use each of us to help others.

  15. janet says:

    Progesterone and Vit D are my friends I take both pills a day. If I don’t than I am headed for a real leakier kind of day. I too cry at songs, stories and commercials. I used to be embarrassed by it but after 50 plus years it’s just who I am. God just gave me an over abundance of emotion. I find it helpful though.. I can feel other people’s pain and try to help the.

  16. janet says:

    ps..oh yeah… I read your post but sometimes I don’t have time to respond.. don’t ever feel like no one cares or think that no one is reading..

  17. JoJoisms says:

    Thank you, Janet. I’ll be on progesterone later on this month.

  18. JoJoisms says:

    Thank you for sharing that with me, Janet. I think my emotional state has me reading too much into things. Just feel weepy at times.

  19. Jam says:

    JoJo, it’s Jam from good morning girls study with Susie.
    She shared your blog with me. I just wanted to say it is brilliant. Thank you for taking your life experiences and sharing them. I have been through sooooo much emotional trauma and physical trauma in the last couple of years my entire system is depleted. It is all out of sorts I’m low in everything you listed. And the emotional aspect is exasperated by that. I so appreciate your transparency. Sometimes I feel like a fish in a tank screaming a silent scream that no one cares to hear and if they do care they can’t hear. I don’t really know if that make sense but I hear God Speaking through your blog. Thank you, and many blessings.

  20. JoJoisms says:

    You are entirely welcome, Jam. I pray God can use me in this way. YOu are not alone. I do understand what you mean. It resonates in my soul as I have felt that way too. May God bless you and help you find things that help you.

  21. Kathy Kuhl says:

    Thanks for writing this so honestly. I know about hiding tears. We both know that even in the valley of the shadow of death, in oppressive fog of despair, God is with us. We need to watch for the signs of depression in ourselves and others, and keep showing up and keep giving love and encouragement. There is help. Hope remains.

  22. JoJoisms says:

    So true, Kathy. Thank you.

  23. Suzanne says:


    Thank you for sharing your true deep, dark feelings with us. I know that it took a lot of courage to do that. It’s easier to just act like everything is ok because most people don’t want to hear about sadness or illness, they just don’t. I think it’s because hearing about this makes them sad. But I think it’s so important to share and release those feelings with those who will listen and with those who care. I’m very sorry that you suffer so much. But I am grateful that you took the time to start this thread so we could all share and comfort one another.

    I too have chronic health problems, had them since my son was born. At this point I feel like I am a liability for my family. Ever felt that way? I feel like they don’t want to be around me anymore, I’m a downer and not able to do a lot with them due to fatigue. I’m also deeply sad because my health issues have changed my looks do much. I know that sounds vain but it is how I feel. My hair is falling out, my skin is hyperpigmented, and my skin hangs from my bones due to muscle loss. I could go on but why?

    I feel so deeply sad. Just last night I cried out in severe pain and sadness. The suicidal death of robin williams just got to me. My mom attempted suicide several times when I was a child and blamed it on me. I was triggered by the news.

    I feel like I am just trying to get thru the day and at times, I’ll be honest, my faith is really weak. I’ve just been ill fir so long, I don’t feel like I matter to God. Ever feel that way? I know that the devil is just trying to steal my faith here. And I am letting him. But I am human and doing the very best I can.

    Again, thank you for the opportunity to share and get my feelings out. At least I know I’m not alone. I truly have a great life with a great family. I have to remember to count my blessings.

  24. JoJoisms says:

    Oh Suzanne! I have felt like that too. I too, started to feel much worse after my son was born 15yrs ago and had my chronic illness affect how I look. I lost muscle as well. Sometimes it is hard to think of all I can’t do and Satan does strive to take our faith from us. He lies to us telling us we are the only ones who feel this way and, since we are often ashamed to admit we do feel this way, we don’t see anyone else dealing with it. This confirms the lie. Remember that you are not alone. God loves you and many of us do understand. May God bless you, dear one, and keep you uplifted throughout your life. May He make it a grand experience despite the pain and sorrows.

  25. […] My friend JoJo Tobares blogged on her own struggle this week, which prompted this post of mine. […]

  26. JoJoisms says:

    Thanks for sharing it. I pray it helps many to know they are not alone.

  27. Lenora says:

    I can so understand how all of that can pile in together and create depression and so many other things.
    It is GOOD to share these things, good to get that out there and let others know that they aren’t the only ones suffering. Whether it be just a simple one – reason thing or multiple health issues / life issues that might be causing it.

  28. JoJoisms says:

    Thank you, Lenora. I really feel God calling me to share my experiences so that others know they aren’t alone. I felt like a weirdo for so long. Once I knew there were others out there who felt like I did, not getting their answers and not being believed, I could move forward. That’s what I want for others.

  29. […] tips for living with chronic illness, I came to this topic.  After last week’s post where I confessed my struggle with depression, I felt this topic needed to be a post of its own. Here’s why.  We can plan all we like, we […]

  30. […] JoJo’s Journey: 35 Years with Chronic Illness 2. I Have a Confession to Make…My Battle with Depression 3. Discovery: Spiritual Deficiency 4. It’s Not Vanity; It’s Part of Chronic […]

  31. Loanemu says:

    Keep up the excellent work! and thank you for taking the time to write this.