Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I have gotten so many people asking me what I am going to do after I graduate. I know it is out of curiosity, and I enjoy the concern for my life that this question shows. But I know if I answered honestly the response is not that impressive. 

"I am taking time off to do nothing. I am taking the summer to think and meditate and find myself. I am taking time for myself that I have never been allowed to have. I am taking the summer to repair my emotional health. I plan to be a waitress and to plant a garden. I plan to rock climb and to do yoga. I plan to hike and bike and eat vegetables and lay in the sun and read. I am not looking for a job. I am not doing an internship. I have no relationship goals, I am not so much interested in dating or men. I have no plans to further myself career wise or pretty much in any other way than mentally. I plan to ponder, to write, and to detox. My only goals for the summer are to recover and learn about myself and what I need to understand about life to be healthy and happy." 

I guess the point of this post is to help me understand that I need to be compassionate to myself and to who I am and where I am at presently, no matter how inconsequential I may think my life is to the world around me. I'm trying to find the balance of giving myself credit and also pushing myself to be better.

I watched this today and it helped me feel more compassionate about myself. It is a great reminder of taking care of ourselves and battling for our emotional health and self worth. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

It's amazing to me that God knows what I truly want more than I actually do. He knows what will make me happiest, and he knows my heart better than I actually know my own.

I feel like I am constantly fighting him for what I think I want and then he pushes me back and tells me no, and in turn I get confused and rebellious. Then all the sudden it turns out he gives me more. He fills my rebellious heart with more love, more blessings, more understanding, more happiness.

and I'm all,"Wait, what? oh.. umm.. thanks.. "

What kind of person would put up with someone fighting them everyday and being annoying and confused and forgetful only to continually give them greater gifts? I'm tying to understand a character where this make sense, all I can say is that it is not of this world.

I turned 26 yesterday and as hard as my last year has been, (see my last post, I'm not even joking), since I have been making a bigger effort to connect to the Lord and to listen to my spirit, I have never had a deeper appreciation for God, and my relationship to Him, and the almost instant relief of peace and happiness living the gospel brings to my spirit.

My thoughts were filled with questions of why last year was necessary, but now I think the understanding it brought has actually brought me more joy than before. The gospel really does have a way of turing pain into knowledge and then joy.

I feel Him teaching me again and honestly I feel my entire personality change.

I am more positive, less pessimistic.
I am more compassionate of myself and others. (it's still a work in progress)
I am more patient and understanding when things bug me.
My self worth and confidence has slowly returned, which is the craziest thing because for months I used to wake up feeling completely worthless, without knowing how to change it.

and let me tell you this is not just me changing. Weird how things started to turn around as soon as i made an effort to be connect with God huh???  But it definitely isn't me on my own, bc I was my own and only constant companion all last year and I know me by myself, I was blindly miserable for months with no way out in sight.

26 is my year, it is tangibly obvious to me. I feel a complete 180 since I have renewed my dedication to keeping close to the Lord. I feel unstoppable. I feel the Lord cheering me on. I feel Him showing me my worth by different experiences in the passed couple of weeks just like I asked Him to in my prayers. I feel Him bringing back out the best in me. If you knew how hopeless things looked to me just a couple of weeks ago, you would understand that to me this is a beautiful miracle.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Cultivating meaning from the hardest year of my life:  2014 

January + February  
-smooth sailing (thanks for the 2 months 2014, you're a peach) 

-a hefty breakup
-severe knee injury & crutches (never swore so much in my life)

Cue -24 hr pain.
weight gain.
loss of ability to stand/walk on my own.
loss of desire for social life(lots of standing).

-Continuing immobility & pretty much bed ridden icing/warming/elevating, physical therapy. 
social interaction limited to the struggle of trying to get to class in icy winter on crutches. 
-Inability to Work (requires strenuous lifting and walking) money becomes dominant stressor.  

Cue - social reclusiveness.
shame of not being able to provide financially for myself at 25.
loss of any kind of bodily movement/exercise in turn elevating levels of depression.
financial stress of expensive medical bills when unable to work. 

-internship/travel plans ruled out due to medical expenses and inability to walk. 
-move to salt lake, surrounded by friends who care (+). 
-land internship, boost of confidence. (+)
-plant garden aka dirt therapy. (+) 
-adjusting to summer temps with garments. Settle for the soccer mom look, decrease in confidence, decrease in spirituality. 

Cue - slight religious bitterness
slow loss of spirit. 
knee healing though, things are looking up for most part. 

-tinder is never a good idea.
-gym membership bc, knee injury and eating feelings all spring gave me a swimsuit phobia. 
-internship was from home, loss of social interaction, boredom.

Cue - hefty body issues/depression.
mad men marathons.
dating shame bc trying to date assholes off tinder/inadequacy feelings.
more loss of confidence.
broadening horizons of independent movies on netflix. 

-Boston. garment bitterness spike bc heat/humidity, crisis of faith in full swing.  
-Wearing garments seems hypocritical since I hate them so much and have forgotten why I even do them anyways. Prayers stop, communication stops, distance grows. 
-Continually struggling to recover financially bc revoked financial aid (super seniors don't get financial aid cue shame) 

Cue - Financial stress.
complete loss of spirit.
identity shaken.
eternal perspective cloudy.
sense of value of self low.
Depression at all time high. 

- Dad admitted into hospital. Dr's tell me he's slowly dying. 
- Fly to Louisianna to say goodbye to dad. Between 3 daily hospital visits try to figure out tuition payment options, along with university death of a parent policy on absences. Drop all classes but one due to absences and limited funds.  
- Live out of hotel, eat greasy food, cry, pray, regret.
- Crisis of faith causes shame of praying for help w/ father's illness. drowning. 
- All Dr's advise us to let father go, except one. Family is disagreeing, sad, & angry. 
- Father's life/death is on me & sisters shoulders. We choose to give him more time with little to no signs of hope. family is torn, cue more shame/prolonged anxiety of the unknown. 
- Job & Internship ends early due to absences/being distracted/depressed. Cue more shame. 
- Financial burdens to family from living in a hotel and flights and tuition at an all time high.
- Only light is the circle of friends & family praying and sending love. (+)

Cue - Zombie. 

- Return home & back to school. Each day away is a contradiction of his progress the day before. each minute worrying that he has suddenly died. Each day is an overwhelming roller coaster of emotions. 
- Behind in class. No way to catch up. Professor looks at me like a lazy POS. Graduation slipping through my fingers. anxiety/shame.
- Depression causes lack of interest in even most beloved activities. all I want is to be distracted by Netflix by myself in my bed.
- Putting effort into anything proves utterly exhausting. Tired/sad becomes the new normal. 
- Feel shame for not being strong enough to handle this better.

Cue - Smothering every thought/emotion to get through the day. 

- Dad makes medically unexplainable turn around. Dr's say he will still be immobile, on oxygen rest of life. Feel shame of maybe making the wrong choice for him to have a good quality of life. 
- Smothering my every emotion proves an unhealthy coping mechanism, but at least I'm not feeling anymore. 
- Crisis of faith continues. Confused about long held ideas and sense of security. Identity, sense of self worth shaken. Everything I once wholeheartedly believed in doesn't really make sense anymore. 

Cue - isolation/loneliness. 
mistakes one makes when they are trying to find themselves/something to make them feel again.
shame for making said dumb mistakes. 
smother of said shame.
confusion of morality, truth, and self worth on the most basic internal level. 

- Dad is coherent, sort of. While on heavy medication says/does all the right things to awaken & arise my deepest insecurities with him. Shame is at all time high but he is slowly recuperating nonetheless.
- Smothering has taken over any & all emotion besides shame. Trying to remember how to feel happy/normal. 

Cue - Shame.
zombie-like emotions. 

- Dad leaves hospital with no supplemental oxygen required. Doesn't remember anything said or done from the last 4 months. Family rejoices, but for reasons unknown I still feel depressed. 
-Feel shame for giving his words and actions while on medication so much power over me when he doesn't even remember saying/doing them. 
- Reach back out the Lord from the first time in months by simply reading a talk. Remember my relationship with the Lord. Remember the times he has rescued me before. Remember the Love he has shown me before. Remembered our sacred bond. Remember that He is there. Remember who He is to me. 
- Start to pray slowly. feel dumb. meet with bishop, tells me to continue to make effort. Prayers get easier & more comfortable each time. 
- Meet with therapist. Smothering is no longer an option. Cry hard. Feel all the smothered emotions I have forced down for months. Realizing & allowing feeling of how sad I actually am is the hardest part of trying to turn it around again. 
- Become mindful of shame. Had no idea of how much I hurt myself daily until now. My depression finally has a name and a face. Although I see it now, perfectionism might be the end of me. 
- Still sad, still struggling, but mindful and seeing slow progression of even just the recognition of what needs to be done to work through it someday. 

So, this was my year in all of it's disappointing and seemingly pessimistic truth. This was my shitty, terrible year of trials and depression and sadness and zombie living.  

Of all these trials and things I've gone through this year the worst thing of all is the realization that I never once really stopped and asked the Lord to support me. I didn't realize I could confide in Him, I didn't think He could/would really help me.  Maybe if I would have simply got on my knees and asked for his support and comfort these things might have been even the littlest amount less crippling to me. Maybe I would have learned more things from them, and grown to appreciate them instead of them putting me into the most severe case of depression I have ever experienced. Maybe if I would have asked I would have found additional strength through Him and not just been beaten down over and over by them until I had to reject all desire to feel any emotion entirely. Maybe I wouldn't have such a problem with my self worth and shame now, if I would have reached out and asked for love and support when I needed it, instead of trying to do it all on my own and failing. 

Only until the end of twelve months of hell, literally on New Years Eve, did I realize that I tried to go this entire year on my own. I ended up so disconnected and in sadness and confusion that I couldn't think to reach out or hear the one person who was calling out to me, to help take all this grinding weight off my shoulders. I literally forgot His love for me, I forgot who He is, and forgot our bond until I read that talk and it all came back to me. It was terrifying to me that I utterly forgot his character and our sacred bond that we have shared in the past.

It's New Years Day today, and woke up feeling like death, like I have been completely and repeatedly  flattened with trying to carry a years worth of weight on my own. And all I want to do is cry and tell him I'm so tired and sad and have him hold me until I stop feeling like death. And that's exactly what I am going to do.

Because I realized after a year of being beaten down, and on the first day of 2015, that I literally cannot do this anymore without Him. 

That being said I'm hopeful that this year will be different. This year I will ask him to help take my burdens, I will try to turn to him before anyone or anything else, and I will try to ask him to pick me up off the ground when I have no strength left. I will try to ask him to help me show compassion to myself with all my shortcomings and show myself love by the way He shows me love & by his example. It took me an entire year to learn but I want to try and return to him every night, so that I can remember Him, and never again drift far enough away and forget who my literal Savior is. 

This is an answer to one of my biggest question this year, about the importance of doing the "Sunday school answers". Honestly I didn't really do them a lot because I thought they were redundant and stupid things mormons over say and just were there to control me and make me feel guilt when I fell short. I now understand that the Sunday school answers of reading scriptures, praying, going to church and temple, are there to bring light and happiness into your life and keep you connected to God. I've heard that a million times before but it has never meant anything to me until I genuinely  lost myself and Him. I don't know how he found me, but his 99th lost sheep has been returned to her Shepards arms somehow. 2015 is my resolution to stay closer to Him, and remember Him in trials and in happiness, so I will not have to fearfully navigate alone in this life anymore. 


- starting over. broken down, beaten to a bloody pulp, sufficiently broken hearted and contrite spirited, but hopeful for the first time in nearly 365 days. 

Cue: hard work, progression, regaining my best friend.