What follows is the story of an event in my life that happened a few weeks ago. Like this post, I had decided – after writing it – that I wasn’t going to publish it. Because I would lose my credibility as a sort of online life coach/dream coach. I would lose my credibility as an expert in health and nutrition.
Then I realized that the tiny bit of credibility I may have in a few people’s eyes is worth the sacrifice if I can help somebody by sharing my story. Here goes…
Tragic story #1
If you’ve hung around either this blog or my YouTube channel for a while, you’d know that I am big on magnesium, and why. Long story short: I had deficiency symptoms from my late teens to my mid-thirties, after my son was born. Then I started supplementing, and that was the end.
Or, so I thought.
About six months ago (maybe a little more?), I did some serious research to find out what foods provided which nutrients. I wanted to see if I could reduce my supplement intake.
Upon discovering the nutrition in spinach – which includes a nice dose of magnesium per serving – I decided to see if putting freeze-dried spinach flakes in my smoothie would enable me to cut back on magnesium supplementation. It seemed to, and so I cut my supplementation of the mineral in half.
And then, I broke the headphones
A few weeks ago, B had one Internet-connection-related tantrum too many for my P.M.S. brain. I was so tired of hearing about it, so regretting that I’d ever introduced him to the world of video games.
I stood up and starting yelling at him. I don’t remember what his specific issue was, nor do I remember what I said. What I do remember is that I had been sitting at the kitchen table listening to my Kindle with the expensive but oh-so-comfy headphones, and I had the headphones in my hand. I guess I had taken them off because I couldn’t hear the book over B’s whining.
I got so mad, that I had to throw something. So I threw the headphones. Onto the tile floor. Where they promptly broke, irreparably. One side will never work again.
“I’m sorry, Jerry, I’m sorry!” I started screaming, suddenly three times angrier with myself than I had been with B, who very wisely ran out of the house.
I kept screaming, berating myself for my stupidity and generally making J wish he’d never gotten married.
When I’d calmed down a little bit, I decided I’d just have to buy another pair. The cheaper white headphones squeeze your ears, so B doesn’t like to use them. I went to Amazon and found the red headphones.
And discovered they cost fifty dollars.
Oh. My. God. You would have thought Jerry had just been tragically killed. I went ballistic. Psychotic is the best word I can come up with. I ran out of the house, screaming, wanting to jump headfirst onto a concrete block.
I’m serious. That’s how horrible, how despairing, how utterly hopeless and worthless I felt.
To understand my reaction, you have to first understand that I grew up in a house where you did not break things or waste things, even by accident, because my parents lived at the poverty level and you were made to feel guilty if they had to spend an extra dime on you because of your clutziness. You also need to understand that I have strong convictions when it comes to sustainability. I don’t like to have to throw things away. I am a minimalist at heart.
I am also frugal at heart. If I had remembered how much those stupid headphones cost, I probably would have had a little more self-control over my throwing arm.
If you can understand those three things, you might understand my reaction a little bit.
But even for me, the Drama Queen of Southeast Oklahoma, it was an overreaction. I scared myself. I think J began to wonder if I should get professional help. (Actually, he told me he’d figured it had been just an extreme hormonal moment, but I wondered.)
A few minutes later, I returned to the house a bit calmer and announced that I wasn’t absorbing the magnesium from the spinach, and I needed to take the entire dose of the supplement.
It’s really too soon to tell if it’s truly taken care of the problem. However, this month I’ve had the mildest P.M.S. (emotionally speaking) since turning forty…except for the two months that I talked about in this post where I thought I’d been permanently healed of depression. Could it be that somehow during those two months I’d gotten more magnesium in my system?
It gets better (aka, Tragic story #2)
But that’s not all. Oh, no. Yesterday I had a similar meltdown when, two days in a row, I could not get done online what I wanted to. The Internet simply would not stay connected long enough. I cussed in front of my son, nearly broke the laptop screen slamming it shut, and ran out of the house, wanting to die.
And this is not an exaggeration.
As I left, my son, who had witnessed the whole scene (while I carried on inside the house anyway; he didn’t see the half of it), said to me, “You need to take more magnesium.” (Why? Because he himself has horrific meltdowns if he doesn’t get enough magnesium.)
When I had finally calmed down, I thought he might be right. So I took an extra half teaspoon of angstrom magnesium, on top of the teaspoon I had taken that morning.
I should add that the recommended daily amount on the label of angstrom magnesium is one teaspoon.
By that afternoon, I was in a super-good mood. Coincidence? Possible, but not likely. I already knew that I needed more than the recommended daily value of magnesium during my P.M.S. time before I turned forty. What I’ve come to realize over the past twenty-four hours is that I’ve hit the age where my estrogen levels are going to go ballistic at any time during the month, but that having enough magnesium in my system will alleviate the worst of the symptoms.
Like depression, rage, and sui*cidal feelings.
So this morning, I muscle-tested exactly how much magnesium I need to take in order to have an optimum amount to keep my brain chemistry in balance. (By the way, yes, I do get plenty of magnesium in my diet, but it’s still not even close to being enough.)
The result? One and three-quarters teaspoon. Almost twice the daily dose…on top of what I get in my diet.
Magnesium is not just for perimenopause!
I’ve been having emotional struggles ultimately because of brain chemistry imbalance. Sure, the wild fluctuations in hormone levels have been the cause in my case.
BUT, a brain chemistry imbalance is a brain chemistry imbalance. If you suffer from chronic depression, occasionally want to ki*ll yourself, get angry at the drop of a hat, or – yes – experience debilitating P.M.S. symptoms most every month, the first thing to try is angstrom magnesium (just search for it at Amazon). Start with a teaspoon per day. If you still feel off balance after three days, even a little, up the dose to a teaspoon and a half. Or, if you believe in muscle-testing, test your specific need. If a brain chemistry imbalance is what ails you, you should notice a difference in your mood and general outlook on life within a week, even sooner.
I must add that it will be a lot more effective if you cut the sugary treats out of your diet and replace them with more fruits and vegetables, as sugar promotes the depletion of magnesium in your body.
For help in transitioning to a healthier diet, check out my book, Simple Diet, Beautiful You. But whatever you do, if you are looking for a cure for your depression, or want to stop feeling sui*cidal, try magnesium first. At around 22 cents per teaspoon, it’s a lot cheaper than seeing a psychiatrist or spending time in the mental health ward of the hospital.