Monday, March 6, 2017

I am the storm

I have had mixed feelings about this week. It started out with me trying the Gaps diet again. All I am doing is making broth and eating soup. My stomach has been hurting so bad and I want to cry that I can't eat anything again! Seriously! What is going on body? Do you hate me this much? It certainly feels like it. I am constantly in fight or flight mode with this beautiful mess of a life I live. I know its not good for me but I don't know how to handle the stress. Stress feels like a tornado. How do you handle a tornado? Get out of the way and find cover, or run for your life! How can I hide from all of this? There are days when it consumes me body and soul. It is ripping so much away from my life. I want to eat things but I can't. I want to clean my house but I can't. I want to help my children with issues they are going through or might go through but I am limited in what tools I can give them. I have cried and acted so irrationally that I feel so alone. I know that God is there and loves me but sometimes I just need more. Can't people read my mind? I wish. I really wish. I don't want to call and cry or admit to how I feel like a lost child who just wants their mommy. Pathetic but it is true, My house is so out of control and the kids must be feeling extra stress too because they seem off and prickly to each other and to me. They make life worth living and I fight for them. This life is not easy but whose is really?

I was thinking back to this month and there were so many storms and pressure changes.  This girls skin is on fire! I guess I am feeling a little like a mess and just like my house, I get so overwhelmed with it all. I cry and wish I could just find answers!! My latest quest besides practically starving to death is to look into thyroid issues. My gut tells me that the blood work isn't picking up on my distress. It really feels like my body is sending messages, no more like screaming at me. Just look in my face and you can see the pain and anguish. You can hear the agonizing heart breaking pleas of what do I do? What more can I do.? The storm is all around me but if I listen I hear "Be still and know that I am God." He is there. It is not a matter of not knowing that. He is who I turn to every day. Maybe I need more reminders around me to keep my mind focused and less torrent and violent inside?

 I have never felt more of a push to be my own advocate with my health. I am like a walking autoimmune advertisement but no one seems to pick up on my signals or how much I need help. I'm so tired of saying that I can't do something. I have tried to accept it but these feelings tonight are too strong and bleeding onto this post. I don't know how to ask for help when I need so much! The kids friends come over and I watch their eyes as they see the extent that this illness has affected me. I need miracles and energy that I just don't have and keep digging to find. I am overwhelmed again! Stressed and scared that my body is shutting down. I know I have to take baby steps but what if even those are too big right now? I just needed to vent because it is how I figure out how I am really doing. Maybe you can relate or feel less alone. I know that these feelings and thoughts are lies but there are days when the gusts are too strong to stand. There is nothing I can do! I keep going! I do! I keep moving against the pain. I keep searching for answers on my knees and anywhere I can. I am the eye of the storm and raging on. Please calm the winds and let me see clearly again.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Life is like a box of crayons


I was reading a talk this morning Knowing when to persevere and when to change direction by Janet G. Lee. I never know when something is going to prick my mind and heart so that I ponder on it again and again. This talk did just that to me. I love the stories that are told and then how they tie it into a gospel principle. Janet did just that and now I want to add it to my coping strategies and to read on those really hard days. Do you have quotes or talks like that? No matter how many times you listen or read them they speak peace to your soul.

I am not always weighed down with worry everyday but I am almost always tired and aching, especially this time of year. This limits what I can do on a given day. You can say I only have a few options available to me and that can be very frustrating. It means walking by messy rooms and not being able to clean them. It means saying no to things I really want to do. It means prioritizing and sacrificing. It also means resting when I want to be tackling my long list of to dos. For example. yesterday we traveled and saw some fun things but today I am exhausted so my house and other things are put on the back burner. That is okay, mostly, unless I start to get frustrated and worry someone might come over and see the mess. Energy is a precious commodity for me and once it is gone then I only have certain options available. Making the most of what I do have available is a slow process and frankly I don't always accept it.

Here is where Janet's talk spoke volumes to me! She starts out telling a story about her 5 year old daughter going to register for Kindergarten. Her daughter was offered a box of crayons and to pick her favorite color but she just stood there. Her mother knew her daughter could write her name so she was surprised at this response. After several attempts from the teacher to have her pick a crayon she wouldn't do it. Janet wondered why and her daughter said "The teacher said to choose my favorite color, and there was no pink crayon in the box"

I have never thought of my life this way. The pink crayon is like my energy. When it is gone I still have other colors to use. I just really want to color with the pink though and that makes me paralyzed and my thoughts very negative. Janet says " How many times are we, as Heavenly Fathers children immobilized because the choice we had in mind for ourselves just isn't available to us, at least not at the time we want it"

Is my progress halted because my health is almost always missing from the box of life? It is not in y control and definitely not something I would pick for myself. Yet everyday there are some crayons missing and it makes it so hard! I could continue to pout or stay in bed or watch T.V to pass the day away, convinced that my options are bleak and colorless. Instead I have to color my life with other colors. It can be beautiful and different but that is okay. Some one else was touched by Janet's daughters story and they wrote to her saying

"I don't have all the colors of crayons I want-but I do have all the colors I need. When I need new or different colors in my life, Heavenly Father will make sure that I have them. I know he will never give me a challenge beyond my reach or beyond the tools he has given me to work with. I also know that the challenges and trails I have are in reality blessings, and I will be better and stronger for having gone through them."

I want to feel differently than I do. I would like to have all the answers but that may not happen in this life. Many of you may not be ill but be waiting for the perfect partner , job or profession. These crayons may not be available to you.But I do know that Heavenly Father is there. He hears are prayers and he will not leave us comfortless and our life colorless and devoid of meaning and joy. There are some hard lessons to be learned that I or you would not pick. Illness and death are very tough pills to swallow but the sooner we do the sooner we can look for new colors and new opportunities in life. Until then I am going to scribble and color with what I have and stop looking for what I don't. Life is beautiful. At leas for today I am coloring and seeing the picture clearly. I do hope that my pink crayon is back tomorrow.When our life is over and we have endured and made use of all we do have, then we will have it all back. It will be like getting a new box of crayons with all the colors we could want or need! I can't wait!!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A new year and a new perspective

I have to be honest. Lately I have found it difficult to write anything. Call it writers block but I think it has been discouragement. See I was hoping for a lot of things to be different and they aren't. Where am I going wrong? I thought I would get an idea if I started by looking over last year. The floodgates opened!
I can't believe 2016 is over! This year was definitely a tough one but I learned something about myself. It was tough because I wouldn't accept my life as it is now. It was tough because I am at war with my thoughts and body. I learned despite the many set backs that I am a fighter! You can tell you are a fighter when nothing changes in your life, as far as, your symptoms go, yet you want to keep trying. The things I fought for was mostly a matter of control over some small shred of my life. I fought guilt of not being who I used to be. I relied so heavily on how people treated me. My self esteem was so low. I had no passion for life other than to survive. As great as it is to fight at some point you get tired of fighting. I want to surrender. I just want to be happy despite all the things that are out of my control. This hope has felt out of my reach for so long. I would have good days but then something would happen to sink me into despair again. It felt like someone or something was messing with my mind just to see me squirm. Everyday felt like an experiment. Satan was succeeding in keeping me distracted and worrying and fighting for the wrong things. What I want to surrender to is Joy. I want to feel joy during my pain. I need to be taught.

January is always a tough month. It has been very wet and bitter cold here. I do not like to be cold it makes me hurt more and I can never seem to get warm enough. The magic and excitement of Christmas is gone with the decorations. It all happened so fast I couldn't even keep up with my blog for 25 days closer to Christ Christmas. I left out a little Christmas tree and our box with our new gifts to the savior as a reminder of what to focus on. Our family wants to focus more on the Savior. We did keep doing the light the world challenge. I have been thinking of all the wonderful things that we did. I thought it would be great if we could keep doing little things each day from that same challenge. I know I am not the only one out there who struggles in the winter. I did discover that some people do better in the winter like my friend who has MS. I could bare it a little longer for that reason. Winter is also a great time to look inward and plan for the months ahead.

I have been trying to keep in mind thoughts of moving forward. On the first Sunday in January we had the perfect lesson to start this year off right! Gordon B Hinckley said it so perfectly!

"This is a season to be strong. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of our mission. It is a time to do what is right regardless of the consequences that might follow. It is a time to be found keeping the commandments. It is a season to reach out with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wandering in darkness and pain. It is a time to be considerate and good, decent and courteous toward one another in all of our relationships. In other words, to become more Christlike."

I tend to want to take giant steps to success but I tend to stumble and fall and fail. I think the trick to feeling more joy is to take baby steps each day. Some days it might feel more like crawling. As long as we keep moving forward. I will surrender to the Savior on the days where I might have to let him carry me and help me fight the depression when I feel myself start to struggle. Does this sound familiar to any of you? I don't have much control but I don't want to feel out of control either. I really feel in surrendering I can let go of unrealistic expectations and feel less like a failure. It is a new perspective this year. It is a chance to reach out to more people in kindness and the knowledge I have gained over so many years. Who knows how to recognize who is wandering in the darkness more than someone who fights it daily. It shouldn't be such a big aha moment for me that what we focus on matters ,yet it is! I have a choice. You have a choice.Like Nephi ,who was bound by his brothers on the very ship they didn't think he could build , I will try to praise the Lord all day long. He could have cried why me? Why can't my brothers change or that I can be free from these cords? But he didn't! He focused on God even in great emotional and physical pain.1 Nephi 18:15-16

15 And it came to pass that we were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea. And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish save that they should repent of their iniquities; wherefore, they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists, and behold they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof.
 16 Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.
 
So just to recap. I am going to keep fighting but not for control but to keep my thoughts on spiritual things. I am going to enjoy as many good days I have despite the weather and pain and the Lord will help me. I am going to try to notice those who need help and be kind in all my relationships. I am going to ditch big goals for baby steps forward. I will accept my limitations with joy and trust in him who suffered all things. When we feel no one knows what we are going through, let us remember someone does! He is merciful and kind. He does not want us to feel guilt or despair but joy in our afflictions. Whether they be many or a few. Don't forget to be kind to yourself and take your time with your goals. Make sure it is something small so you can have success and more joy! More joy and peace. Thank you for visiting today and I will try not to be such a stranger.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Day 3- 25 days closer to Christ


Jesus helped others to see and so can you

Jesus healed the sick, lame and the blind. Our bodies are a gift. I am grateful to have eyes to see.He can open our eyes to see what matters most. He can help us see in the darkness. I have experienced this many times with my depression. I have seen an felt hope. I have seen the light through the darkness. My eyes have been opened to doors and people who I need right now in my life.

I think that he helps us see not only just with our physical eyes, but also our spiritual eyes. So often we do not see how wonderful we are. We do not see what he sees and knows. We can become so much more than we ever imagined. Jesus can show us how a little at a time. He will never leave us to walk blindly through life but he doesn't always take our ailments and trials away. He knows why even if we don't.

As a family we learned about raising an eye dog. It was really interesting. They go through quite the process and training. I have thought a lot about therapy dogs lately with how bad my depression and anxiety can be. Just having my new puppy has been beneficial to me in so many ways.  A dogs love is unconditional. The people that raise these dogs are truly selfless because there is a bond that grows with a dog. To let the dog go must be so hard but it helps someone so immensely.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Day 2- 25 days closer to Christ


Jesus Honored his parents and so can you

I am lucky to have the parents that I do. There is no doubt that they love me and wanted to raise me in a home of faith. I learned a lot from my mother. She taught me to be patient and have character. She taught me to be loyal. My father taught me about prayer and the value of hard work. I am grateful they are a phone call away. My mother warned me that someday I would have a child that would give me a harder time than I gave her. She was right! Lol

I am also thankful for my birth parents who gave me up so I could have the best chance in life. I do not know who or where they are but I think of their sacrifice. If I don't see them on the earth I hope to see them in heaven.

Luke 2:46-41
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
 47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
 48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
 50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
 
 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Day 1- 25 days closer to Christ

Christmas is coming fast! I love this time of year. It means more love and kindness because we are all trying to be more like the Savior. The Church of Latter day saints has created an amazing countdown this year. Each day there are several ideas on how to serve and participate in such an inspiring way. It is a perfect addition and direction for my 25 days closer to Christ. Here is the link to Light the world and more about it! I am so excited!

Day 1-Jesus lifted others' burdens and so can you! I have always felt that my struggles have been a blessing because I can understand much of what people around me are going through. I am also easily pricked by someones pain and a big cry baby. I know it is a gift, even though I find it hard to fight back the emotions and tears. We are his hands on this earth. He was born into this world to take upon us our sins and burdens. We have much to celebrate and remember him for!

scripture: Mathew 11:28-30

 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
 
We talked about how the Savior can help us through the most difficult times in our life. The kids also wanted to carry their friends back packs tomorrow.
 
 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

How to know if you are surviving or thriving?

Back in March I was driving our van when it started to jerk me around like a bucking bronco. I was so scared. I was on the freeway, of course, and cars were just whipping by me as a I puttered along to get off and to safety. This was the start of a 7 month waiting game. We got a new transmission but it had problems so for 6 ridiculous months the company that rebuilt it had our mechanics trying this and that before they would honor the warranty. It has been stressful driving on a faulty transmission and my anxiety has grown exponentially because of it. Some days I don't even want to get in the van. Other times I do drive it but I watch the dashboard like a hawk and jump at every lurch. My van has seriously given me Post traumatic stress disorder or something like it. Our van has barely been pulling through this. It has also been stressful on our family. I have barely been pulling through this!

I feel like my van. It feels like I am barely making it and just surviving. I keep waiting for the "check engine" light to come or that I am running on empty. I was doing good and then October hits and I am fighting Depression and feeling like everything I have worked on this last year was for nothing. This all or none thinking is one of the many unhealthy thought patterns I have developed in order to protect myself and survive. Depression, anxiety and self pity keep knocking at my door and rattling and jerking me around. I realize that relapses are normal but still frustrating.  I feel like I am searching for purpose in all that is going on in my life and all that I have lost because of my illness. Yes I have gained. I have gained a lot of hope, perspective and patience but I am still grappling with the loss because of my illness.

Maybe you learn to live with the loss of who you once were or who you can never be. Maybe you never get over it? A loss of any kind is hard to get over don't you think? I know there is a purpose in pain and struggle but it is hard and it doesn't mean I like it. I am still trying to figure how to get the life I want.  The life I need to thrive.I think wanting to do more than just survive is bringing me closer to what I really want. That's is to thrive. I hope so. I keep trying things and nothing is having any lasting effects. It is just like my van and all the things we tried before we got a working transmission. Its frustrating and exhausting!

How many of you feel like you are just surviving? The dictionary define surviving as the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, in spite of difficult circumstances. Thriving means to grow and develop well or vigorously. When you are surviving you do anything to get by. When I think of thriving I think of a garden flourishing. Why do some of us wither and decline and others grow and develop rapidly? Why do some of us get knocked down and others of us adapt more quickly? That is what I intend to find out. I am going to be getting my hands dirty, and just like my van, I am going to see what it going on under the hood.

I am already finding things that need some tuning and God's grace. He is my mechanic in this scenario and all aspects of my life. I am hurting and feeling so hopeless. This is not how he wants me to feel but as I crumble before his feet he will fix what is broken. I am reminded as I was a year ago that all these things that are not working or broken will take time. It is just hard when I am in pieces and I can't see how this is all going to be put back together. It may mean another year of tears and struggle. I am surviving, but just by a thread. To those of you feeling the weight on your shoulders and feeling like giving up, Be strong and have courage! Keep trying and don't kick yourself for time wasted. Just get up and move towards thriving and being a better you!

When you feel like you are barely hanging in there, endure to the end. Endure to the end means constantly coming unto Christ and being perfected in him. Its a daily choice and willingness to let him in so he can fix what is broken.This may take months or years. It most likely will take our lifetime. It feels a lot like this situation with our van. We fix one thing and then there is something else that has a problem. Our 7 months of struggling with our van has taught me a lot of patience but it has been so hard. So many days I have felt paralyzed and unsure of what to do next. It is real. It feels like continuous car trouble. Trying to make sense of all these trials has felt the same way.  We just have to keep trying things and trust in our mechanic. He is really the only one who knows what he is doing anyway!

So what does car trouble and thriving have to do with each other? The more my life is engulfed by darkness the more I want to be free of it. I am searching and looking for answers to make my life and others better. I don't know when if ever I will stop feeling like I am just surviving. As I ask for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's help I am now asking to endure and develop into who I was meant to be. I am looking at things from different angles and trying to trust more. I want to be less jerked around and feel more peace in this whole process. My diagnosis is grim and difficult, but some day, I will work and function like a well oiled machine. I can't wait for that day! But while I am waiting for it, why not thrive and blossom despite the struggles?