Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hope, a light through lifes storms

Since Friday my body has ached with a storm on its way. It arrived Monday and it was a tough day for pain and for Depression. Storms come and go. But the ones inside each of us seem to be more intense and longer. Luckily the storm passed and today was sunny. I love when the clouds break through and the sun shines again. Monday was a good reminder for me that I live my life in recovery and I have to use the tools I have to cope and overcome these days. It wasn't long ago that all I knew was darkness and storms. It felt like the clouds would never part. It felt relentless and that I was being pushed down by the darkness and fear.

One day the clouds did part for me. That is not something you forget. Every day it felt like I was drowning and finally on that day of light and hope I could breathe. I could see the light. With a break in the clouds came a breakthrough. It was an instant when hopelessness turned to hope and I turned to the light and bathed in its warmth. I had forgotten what it felt like to let things through especially the love and comfort our Heavenly Father can give us. What I learned was that my thoughts were not my reality and I could challenge them. How many of you feel or have felt like the barrage of thoughts will never stop? That each day will be a struggle and surrounded in darkness and defeat?

Today I was talking to my friend and I had another big breakthrough. Amidst the darkness it is not surprising how alone one can feel. What I didn't realize that this is a belief I still carry with me. Did you get Goosebumps? I know I did when I realized that this limiting belief was something I didn't need anymore and I could let it go! Imagine letting such a heavy burden go! It felt amazing! That feeling that it is all up to me to make things better for myself and others. Ultimately, my efforts and others efforts weren't recognized. I found myself saying I have to clean this house all by myself. I have to change_____ behavior. I have to control and hide my own feelings of inadequacy. Can any of you relate? It felt like a huge weight had been lifted and the clouds of hopelessness parted and hope shone through again. I was able to let go of such negative energy I have carried for I don't know how long.

Do you feel alone? Do you think it is possible to let go of the burdens you carry? What are you carrying that is weighing you down? What can you give to the Savior? You can! He already paid the price and he is standing with open arms. Imagine it! He is right there with open arms waiting for you to ask him to take this burden. Can you feel his love? He must have told me so many times that I wasn't alone but I couldn't hear it or see it.

When I was diagnosed and wondering what to do next there was nothing that I knew of to help me know what to do next. I didn't know that my thoughts were a cage or there was things I had control over. I just want you to know when you come here you can lean on me and learn what you can do. There is hope when you feel you can't make it another day. God knows. I know. Even if you don't know how he can lift that burden find one of his earthly angels who does. Thoughts of hopelessness, darkness despair and feeling alone can be challenged even when in the grips of mental illness. There is a light and beacon of hope that will light your path however dark it may seem. Allow it. Pray for it. You are never alone!
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Friday, November 10, 2017

How to trust when you don't know how

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When we are very small and innocent we trust those around us. We unknowingly place our well being, happiness and beliefs in our caregivers power. We put our tiny hands in their bigger, more experienced  hands. This is safety at its best. But what happens when we realize that we are more than just an extension of our parents? We are ready to explore! We are ready to roll over, crawl and eventually walk and see our new world and where are place is in it. We are still unsure and scared but we see our parents outstretched arms and we feel we can do it as long as they are there. This is Trust.

Trust has never been easy for me. I really don't know why. It may have started early on in my life when my birth Mother and Father were deciding whether to keep me or not. I don't know. The issue with trust first came up for me in therapy a few years ago. I felt like such an infant then. I still do. I really didn't know what was happening to me and why certain things kept triggering me. Do you ever feel like you are starting over? Do you feel like nothing is in your control? It is as if you are rolling around on the floor with no idea how to get from point A to point B. I felt and feel like this some days. A little less now that Depression has loosened its grip. I do know that some people in my life acted in ways I didn't like or that I perceived as danger. I wasn't in any danger. But it made me feel uneasy, unloved and not good enough. No one knew, not even me ,my internal dialogue.  At a very young age I felt very unsafe and struggled with big emotions that I learned were bad. I don't know why I saw my world as scary and unforgiving, but I did. It became my subconscious program that played over and over to supposedly keep me "safe". That is our brains job. The more negative and bad things happened to me the more it reinforced this belief deep inside. This happens to all of us. These feeling create beliefs. We all have beliefs that drive our thoughts and behaviors everyday. This is really hard to say because looking back I had great parents that loved me. I had some amazing teachers that encouraged me and helped me with what I now know as anxiety. Eventually, even though it took a while, I made friends at school. I did have neighborhood friends but school was a jungle for me. I think it was third grade that I made some good friends. I never really trusted myself or anyone around me in any lasting way. I have really amazing friends now. I never knew this deep scar about myself until I dug deep into my past and found buried feelings. It started in hopes that it would help ease my depression. I learned through that experience that feelings buried will keep surfacing. They come up over and over. What do you do with such big feelings? Trust!

I realize that I have put up so many walls and in many ways am now just taking my first steps towards healing and recovery. I am taking baby steps into loving myself, trusting others that they won't hurt me and most of all putting all my trust in my Savior. It has been a really rough road but when I picture putting my full trust in someone it is like taking my first steps as I did as a baby. In that moment I know I trusted my parents completely just like my kids did with me. Trust is vital in taking forward motion or opening your heart up to something or someone. Trust is knowing that the bad stuff is behind you and does not define or confine you. It is tearing down the walls and allowing yourself to be loved unconditionally. Who knows you better than our Heavenly Father and Jesus? Even though we cannot see Jesus I know that his arm is stretched out still. To any of us. We just have to take the first step towards him and know that he is there. I begged for help and he did not leave me comfortless. I like to think that he was lining up some pretty amazing things and people that have come into my life over the last few years. That he knew what I needed when I didn't. He knows what you need. All of us!

Some days it is still very hard. Is it hard for you too? The fiery darts of self doubt, negativity, over thinking and fear are all around. When I fall and these penetrate my mind and heart I feel guilty that I am not trusting him fully. How can I trust when I have these thoughts and feelings? Then I remember who I am. I remind myself every day with my morning power hour to pack a powerful punch to the negative. But, when I lose my way and stumble I can picture my Savior there with outstretched arms saying "Its okay that you fell. Get up and try again. You can do it!

I love what Jeffrey R Holland said in General Conference April 2016   "Keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever." I know it may not seem like much, but to have someone cheering you on is motivating and propels you to move forward. If you don't know how to trust just start taking baby steps. Pray, study and little by little you will take more trusting steps and strides. Keep taking steps to get where you want to go and trusting in God and his goodness to get you there. I believe in you and want you to believe in you too!