Saturday, October 05, 2013

Welcome to Holland

I was able to sit down and watch more of Conference than I thought I would... aside from taking care of Becca during choir numbers. When taking care of her once took longer than I hoped, I heard Elder Holland's voice coming from the TV downstairs and, with a few seconds of delay, coming from the radio in the living room. I hurried and finished and scooped her up and practically ran downstairs. I had to move things off of the chair with my foot and then we plopped down together to listen. 

Elder Holland described things he can only know by being there and by seeing things through the lens Heavenly Father provides him so that he can have compassion for others. He spoke, with tears in his voice, the words so many of us suffering with depression long to hear someone say. "I've been there. It's real and horrible. You can get through it. The Lord loves You." 

Somewhere in the middle of his talk he spoke to the caregivers. The first time I heard that, sitting in the chair with Becca cuddled up to me, I heard him talking to me as her caregiver. When I've re-read the talk, he was probably still talking to the caregivers of people with depression. What I needed to hear, I heard. Being Becca's caretaker is not only hard physically. I needed to hear the love and encouragement he expressed so eloquently. It was about this time in the talk when the tears running down my face became audible sobs. My 11 year old daughter turned around and looked at me and said later that I made her feel awkward because she didn't know what to say. Neither did I! It isn't often that someone expresses thoughts and feelings you so desperately need to be acknowleged and understood from a pulpit for millions of listeners to hear.

At the close of his talk, he expressed the ideal outcome that all of us hopes for. He talked of the glorious resurrection into perfect bodies with perfect minds. I saw myself standing next to glorious Becca. Both of us free from the restraints of physical and mental disabilities. I can't even begin to describe how much hope that gave me. 

It can be dificult not to "wish our lives away" or to waste away in front of the mirror of Erised, but I think looking forward to not suffering can help put things in perspective. This life is but a short moment. Any mother will tell you that as she watches her children grow up in the blink of an eye. In the midst of a mental battle with being happy with oneself and giving in to the weight that threatens to pull us down to the depths, it is hopeful to look forward to a time when the battle is not so great... when it is not so hard... when our mortal bodies are not the enemy anymore.

Elder Holland's talk was the one I prayed for before Conference. I wasn't expecting to be so entirely understood, encouraged and uplifted. I hoped for a nugget to cling to and was given an entire mountain of strength. I'm experienced enough to know that I will forget this feeling some days. The battle with depression is not so quickly won. But I now have yet another tool in my belt to help me fight. And with Elder Holland on my side, I have a really, really good chance!!

Friday, October 04, 2013

Dream Car

What my dream car should be:

What my dream car is:

Maybe I'll ask Santa for one of each!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

On Pain

Okay, two rules:

I purge some of these negative feelings and I move on. 

I let them wash over me and then I ask them to leave.

 I saw this on facebook yesterday and grabbed a copy from The second I saw it, it took me right back there! I even gasped and put my hand over my heart, the feeling was so intense.

I rememember doing this when I was a teenager. I remember doing this when they boy I thought I loved broke my heart in college. I still do this. In fact, on really bad days I avoid making eye contact with myself because I'm afraid of what I'll see there. It is so much more painful when you can see the pain AND you know what it feels like on the inside.

I wanted to put this up here because I think everyone has probably felt this way. Everyone has had an unspoken conversation with themselves in the mirror, hoping it would somehow make things better. Have you ever caught sight of yourself trying to hold together when you're falling apart inside?

I want to talk about the times when you see light in those eyes, but today I want to point out that we are the only ones who know the storms that happen on the inside. Sometimes strength is not letting it show. Sometimes strength is admitting that you need help and then driving yourself over there. Sometimes strength comes from reading something uplifting that you've read a hundred times, but it finally means something different to you today. Sometimes strength comes when you share your perspective with someone else and it helps them. And sometimes strength is not letting it show until that becomes the truth. Smiling until you feel like smiling. Praying until you feel like praying. 

I want my kids to know someday that I've been through some very down times in my life. Dark times created from circumstances and my stamina, or lack therof, in handling them. But the great thing about times like that is that they don't last forever. They're not strong enough to beat me all the time. The times that I feel like the darkness is stronger than me are getting fewer and fewer. I choose to fight. I choose to go out and arm myself with tools that strengthen me. I choose to take my burden out and talk about it and look at it from lots of different angles until it's not such a burden anymore... until I understand it better. I choose to sit pieces of it down or let others help me carry it or to throw some pieces of it up into the air and explode them with an imaginary missile! 

I don't want to post this, but I really also do. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in these feelings, but I'm a little afraid of being judged or falling off of someone's "pedestal." Please don't put me up there, it's an awfully far way to fall! I'll just have to write lots of happier posts until this one gets pushed down from the top of the blog. It's all true, though, and I wanted to have a record of it.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

I think they call this hope

Things I am proud of that you may or may not know about me:

I love country music! I love listening to people sing about how much they love their country and their family. And I'm not saying country is immune to less savory subjects, but man! there are some really great country songs! Gimme some Collin Raye, John Michael Montgomery, Nitty Gritty, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts and Reba any day! I am proud of my choice in music.

I can bake bread! When we were first married, I would follow recipe after recipe and never have bread turn out. We even bought a bread maker machine and it still didn't always turn out. While I was researching the bread maker's website, people were talking about adjusting the recipe and how the bread should FEEL at different stages. You mean you can open it up during the cycle and check and adjust?! Ever since then, I have taught myself how it's supposed to go and I can do it! Homemade pizza dough, rolls, batter bread and dough bread. I am proud of how I bake bread.

I don't have to have a pattern to sew. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE patterns (and recipes) and there's a reason someone got paid money to tweak those things and make them work right. But I get a little natural high when I can change something in a pattern and still make it work. Mending and using tutorials from the internet are fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type sewing and I like the challenge of that. I am proud of my mad sewing skills.

I love my cowgirl boots. I don't know if this is because of the copious amounts of country music I listen to or what, but I seriously want to wear my boots all the time. A huge contributing factor is that cowgirl jeans are the longest jeans I've ever worn and I can't get enough of those pools of denim at my ankles!  I am proud to wear my pink and brown boots with my extra long jeans and it's one outfit I feel truly awesome in.

I am articulate. I can express myself fairly well with words. I often pause (especially when in front of a crowd - eyeroll) because I want to use the exact word that I mean. I LOVE thesauruses! I love to click through and find the word I really mean, not the one that is close. I am proud of the way I speak and write.

Every so often, I feel the urge to do a post like this. (Like here and here, for example) I'm never really quite sure why. It's obviously for myself. I want to remember what I'm good at, so on days when it feels like the answer to that question is "nothing," I have something to prove my more downtrodden self wrong.

Because if I can replace even one negative thought with a positive one, I think they call that hope.