Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Those Pesky Emotions

I think I’m allergic to Kentucky. I was allergic to southern Indiana, too, but I do believe it’s worse here. I was on some allergy medicine that the doctor told me isn’t his first choice because he doesn’t think it’s the best for treating the kind of allergy I seem to have but because we were going through the military healthcare/pharmacy system he had to prescribe that brand first. (Just a glimpse of what’s to come for all of us with socialized medicine. Unnecessary aside, moving on....)

Anyway, after almost a month on this medicine I finally quit taking it. Sure I could breathe better, but I was irritable, depressed, crying over things that normally wouldn’t have me collapsed into uncontrollable tears, unable to think clearly, and starting to have some vision trouble so finally I googled the medicine and found that these can all be side effects of the medicine I was on. I didn’t realize just how irritable I had been, however, until I mentioned this weekend that I’d been feeling less irritable and my husband rather quickly said, “Yes, you’ve been much better.” No hesitation there. Oops. I’m glad I’m married to such a long-suffering kind of guy. I’m also glad he advised me to quit taking the medicine before I drove my family and anyone else who has to be around me crazy.

I hate that the medicine affected me that way, but even more I hate that it took me a month to realize I was acting in response to how I felt rather than being self-controlled and patient in spite of feeling irritable and depressed. I don’t want to be ruled by my emotions, ‘real’ or allergy medicine induced. I say ‘real’ in quotes because, let’s face it even without medicine, sometimes our emotions are not based in reality. And really, I shouldn’t ever be making decisions or actions based on them. The sad thing is that I didn’t even notice that’s what I was doing until the cumulative effect of a month on the medicine made the side-effects so obvious I couldn’t ignore them anymore.

The temptation, however, is to blame my sinfully acting irritably solely on the medicine. That would not be wise. The fact is, most days I don’t need to have a month’s worth of allergy medicine in my system to feel irritable at times. I’m still responsible to submit how I feel to the Lord. I’m thankful He allowed me to recognize something that was triggering the things that made it harder to be obedient, but I don’t want to lay all the blame on the trigger. The truth is that I have enough sinful attitudes all on my own that I need to be submitting to Him daily, too.

So, I’m back to not being able to breathe again and feeling stuffy and full of sinus-pressure-headedness, but I feel like me again and I don’t feel nearly as depressed or as full of foggy thinking, and hopefully I’m learning to recognize a little sooner when the irritability and depression I’m feeling may have a real cause and need attention, and I’m thankful for the grace my husband showed me as I worked through all that. For that I’m thankful.

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