Multiple negative situations that were out of my control seemed to come from all directions. Challenges seemed to stack on top of each other, compounding all the stress and worry in my life as a mother of four small, and very dependent children. Things got bad, and the daily beatings my mind and body were taking sent me into daily battles with anxiety. This continued for a long period of time and only became worse, which eventually resulted in a deep depression. My emotional and mental health was literally in critical condition, and I was afraid to talk to anyone or ask for help. I was scared to tell my own husband of the harmful thoughts that the adversary was planting in my mind and repeating on a daily basis. I felt helpless, hopeless and alone, the lowest I had ever felt before. Life was too heavy, nearly paralyzing to my once light and happy spirit, and I didn’t want anyone to know about it.
I am a private person when it comes to my emotions and personal struggles. I also worry about other’s judgments and criticism, and what people might think about me. I don’t like feeling vulnerable and I don’t want to be labeled. At the same time, I have come to realize that I must change some things about myself if I want to be healthy. I can’t be ashamed of my struggles with anxiety and depression. I can’t keep everything to myself and never ask for help. It is not a rare challenge to go through. It is just as hard and painful as physical injuries and illnesses that others openly discuss with family and friends or in public, and they do so to acknowledge it, and get support. It’s hard to do that when you never hear of anyone talking openly about depression and anxiety, but the more open I have become, the more I realize I am not alone. What a blessing and confirmation Jeffrey Holland’s general conference talk was to myself, and I’m sure many others.
It’s taken me a long time to recover, it’s an ongoing process, and I’m still watching for triggers and forcing myself to do self-care in order to prevent a relapse. While I kept trying to write about it, and finally return to blogging again, I just couldn’t. It’s true what they say. When we write, we experience things all over again, and at the time I wasn’t ready to resurrect the dark details of the previous year. It was still a very fresh wound that was healing little by little, and allowing the pain to resurface would be like ripping the soft scab from a cut.
I have come a long way in the last year and a half. I have gone to the darkest scariest place that I have ever been in my life thus far, and I have survived it. At the time I wasn’t sure I would have a future, but I weathered the storm. I am still here. I am stronger then I thought I was, and I owe it to my Heavenly Father for preserving me through what seemed to be an eternity of hellish days.Days when I wished there was a deep hole under my bed that I could just crawl into and never come out. Days when the only relief I felt was when I was sleeping.Days when I didn’t want to be left alone with my thoughts.
One day I want to write about my experiences in more detail, but for now, I am going to leave it fairly short and simple so I can move on and write about the many other things happening in my family’s lives. But I knew that before I did another post, I would need to acknowledge the last year and be honest about it. It happened, and it’s part of my life. It’s important. I couldn’t just skip past it and write on pretending like I am the same person, and that nothing life altering had happened. It just isn’t healthy, and validating myself and my feelings is healthy, and so that is what I am going to do.
What a blessing it is to be on the other side of one of life’s battles. How grateful I am to be able to take a deep breath and let out a sigh of relief and gratitude as I look back at the mountains and harsh terrains I have climbed and pushed through. It’s great to be back, and it’s great to feel light and happy again. I give thanks to my Heavenly Father, as I know He is the source of all happiness and light in my life. Life is indeed worth living.