Because I’m blogging so much more sporadically than when I started, there are a lot of summaries and summaries sometimes tend to highlight the best rather than the everyday. I’m glad that what stands out to me when I’m reviewing a month is the good stuff, but it doesn’t tell the actual story. I thought I’d write a little today about some of the harder stuff that has been happening in the last few months.
Due to my initial injury in December, the worrisome prognosis, the looming surgery, the actual surgery and recovery AND my usual frustration with continued personal weaknesses, I’ve really struggled with depression for the past 3 months. I’ve noticed that depression manifests differently for different people, but for me, it means I feel extremely and abruptly angry, hopeless, I don’t want to talk or be around others (WHA??), and waking up is hard. I’ve had a few other periods of continued depression in my life (after I had Gabe and 2 years ago), but this time has been different because it has come and gone. Usually, I recognize it and work on it (counseling, more serious scriptures and prayers, adjust my diet) and it moves out completely. This time, I kept thinking I got it under control and it kept coming back. Today, in fact, I had a really hard morning. Sigh.
It has centered around feeling out of control and impotent because of this injury. I have been extra grouchy and have often coped by eating too much, being impatient and harsh with my kids, and numbing myself with too much technology usage (social media, Ticket to Ride app, TV) which are already areas I feel badly about on good days!
I kept thinking I’d write this post when I was through it and tell things I did that combated these feelings…but I keep not getting through it. Yet. But there are things that help. And I’m receiving help all the time from a Heavenly Father that knows me, listens to me and works in my life. So I’m writing this, regardless of a lack of a finish line, because… well, just because.
This is what makes me feel better:
1. Talking to my Heavenly Father through prayer. Really talking. Communicating with urgency, humility and openness. Praying out loud is often the best way for me to me really honest with myself and Him. As I pray, I hear myself and it helps me know myself better. I also have ideas come to my mind that I know are Answers to my pleadings. I also feel comfort and peace, often, as I finish. Things aren’t fixed, but I know He is present in my struggles.
2. Reading the scriptures and the words of the prophets and apostles. I get so caught up in the lies of the world that tell me my worth lies in my output, my weight, my checklist, my perfection. When I read the word of God, I am reminded what is real and where my value lies. I am calmed and reassured that mistakes are okay and the Christ’s grace will give me power to little by little change and be who I want to be. Here are some links to talks that have been especially helpful over the past few months: Where is thy pavillion? and Cast not away your confidence and His Grace is Sufficient and Healing Soul and Body.
3. Repenting. I am hard on myself by nature and have been surprised that the Holy Ghost has whispered to me multiple time that I need to practice repentance. Isn’t that the problem already? That I think I’m totally messing up? How is a call to repentance an answer? I’ve started to learn and notice that Heavenly Father wants me to repent so that I can access Christ’s atonement: wipe the slate clean and use His power to fight those weaknesses more effectively.
4. Talking to others. I do this easily, but as I sink into depression, I close off. When I am forced by a sweet husband to open up, or out of social guilt head to a friend get together and begin to talk, I start to feel better. I think it’s because I, like with prayer, hear myself and it’s not as bad when I begin to put words to my fears and insecurities. Also, I have a network of uplifting, real, supportive friends and loved ones and they are invaluable in reminding me of my worth. (Thanks from the bottom of my heart, guys.)
5. Getting to work. I feel hopeless and paralyzed and like, what is the point of trying again?, when I’m in this kind of a funk. I’ve noticed that when I just act, with huge, aching effort (truly), to start again…I almost immediately feel better. Yesterday I was so harsh and angry with my kids before church from 9:00-10:00 and I started to say “Look at how crappy I am! Before church even! Why do I even try!” and then I stopped and said, “You know what? I have one more hour before we leave and I can NOT be snappy or harsh for that last hour. I don’t have to continue.” And you know what? I did it. I switched gears and just responded kindly (through gritted teeth) to everything that came my way and when I left for church, I felt victorious. Sometimes we just NEED TO START AGAIN, even when we have no belief that it will actually work. Action always trumps inaction.
So there you go. There’s my list. Don’t feel sorry for me…look at all the stuff I’m learning! This is life and this is why are here. I know we are here grow and change in better beings and that rarely happens through ease and bliss. I know God knows and loves me and is helping me every step of the way.