Finding Joy Through Accepting Things As They Are

A few posts back, I wrote about this part of me that is broken.  It's a very specific part and very difficult for me to explain or for anyone else to understand.  Very few people know about this, and it will probably stay that way forever.  It's not really something I want to try to explain anymore, as it only leaves me more frustrated that there is no way anyone can understand it or know how to help.  I'm not sure if there is even anything to help it, besides someday having my heart healed and made whole in the arms of the Savior, a promise that I hold onto with all I have.

Sometimes my heart cries out, "No one understands, and no one will ever understand!"  That is so scary to me.  With all the people in this world, no one can get inside my heart and feel it as I do.  I can try to put it into words, but those are always inadequate.  There is no way to form words to explain the depth of pain that this one thing has caused me. 

But time and time again, when I am on my knees telling Heavenly Father that I am so alone, He speaks peace to my heart and mind through the Spirit reminding me that someone does understand perfectly, and that someone is the Savior.  He doesn't just understand depression, He understands my depression.  And He understands, because He actually felt what my depression feels like.  He did that by choice, so that He can give me the wonderful gift of saying that He really truly does understand.  I'm so thankful for that! 

While I can't put into words what I feel and will possibly never be able to, I find so much comfort and joy in accepting that the Savior is the only who understands, and that's okay!  That's all I need.  And when the pain seems too great to bear, I picture myself in His arms, gaining strength and courage from His perfect love.

Image result for in the arms of the savior


How Do You Do It?

How do you do it?  How do you move somewhere far, far away surrounded by complete strangers and attempt to help them get to know you for who you really are when who you really are isn't quite there at the moment?  How do you tell someone that at the moment you have this dark, gloomy cloud hanging over your head, but it isn't you, and it's just this small and sometimes large piece of who you are called depression?

I keep thinking about this, especially as it seems that my dark cloud is intruding more of my day, not just the evenings like it has been the last several weeks.  I know I'll be okay; I just don't know how I'll do it yet.

How do you tell that first person that this is your struggle?  How do you know who is "safe" to tell and who just won't get it?  How do you know who else is silently struggling and wishing for someone to understand, someone to be a friend, when all of this is such a hidden pain?

My mind keeps turning back to when we first moved to Iowa.  It was such a hard move on me.  I was convinced that I was the only person in the whole state who struggled with depression.  (Yes, I really did think that ridiculous thought.)  Come to find out there were people all around me who understood and had felt the same pain, but I didn't know that at first.  So I hid it, kept it to myself, and attempted to bury it deep, but it got worse and led to the very first time when I really thought there was no hope.  It was a terrifying, exhausting time that I don't want to repeat.

In some ways, things are different now.  I've opened up way more now than I ever did before we moved to Iowa, mostly thanks to this blog which has allowed me to write freely and openly with less fear of how I'll be received.  I've learned to not be ashamed of mental illness, as it is a struggle just like any physical struggle.  My eyes have been opened to just how many people struggle with this darkness, even people I never would have expected.  I've learned that speaking up blesses me as well as those around me who need to know that they are not alone.

But how do you do it?  How do you take that first big, scary step of telling someone?  How do you swallow the fear that they might judge you for it or think it's your husband's fault or never see past it to who you really are?  How do you bring up something that so many people feel awkward talking about, including me sometimes when I realize that the other person feels uncomfortable?

I don't have any answers, and the thought of leaving all the wonderful people who understand and love all of me seems overwhelming.  I know I'll be fine somehow.  I just wish I didn't have to start over.


Finding Joy in Opposition

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about this sweet boy.  I love him so much, and I don't mean to complain, but he has been challenging.  He's very rarely happy for more than just a few minutes at a time, and he cries more than any baby I've ever known. 

But that's not the part I want to focus on.  I want to focus on how his nearly constant crying has taught me to be thankful for opposition.  You see, whenever he is happy, I immediately drop everything I am doing to talk to him, see his cute smiles, hear his adorable coos, stare into his beautiful blue eyes, and take in every second of his happy times, knowing they are fleeting and will soon turn into cries again.  They are the highlights of my day, and I feel myself absorbing them and trying to tuck them into my memory to remember forever.

One evening, I was really struggling.  I was explaining to my husband how it's hard that my good times are getting shorter and farther between, and it's likely to continue this way for a long time.  That's so hard to accept and embrace.  But then my mind turned to my sweet baby boy and how his frequent sadness has made me appreciate his fleeting happy moments so much more.  The light clicked in my mind.  My days might be filled with darkness, sadness, and lack of energy now, but boy have I learned to love and cherish and be thankful for the moments that aren't like that.  The sudden boosts of energy are so refreshing.  The days when I am not on the brink of tears all day are beautiful.  The times when light seems so clear and bright are rejuvenating.

But would I appreciate these the way I do if darkness was not part of my life's story?  Would I know exactly how wonderful those moments are if I didn't know how heartbreaking and painful the opposite can be?

Just writing that makes me feel so blessed.  I never would have known to be so thankful, and that brings me incredible joy.