October 30, 2011

"You never know when she's going to yell"

Today during church, I sneaked a peek at my oldest sons journal while he was writing in it.  (His new fad after reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series over and over).

This is what I read:
Here is some bad things I do not like about my mom.
1.  she makes me get off the computer right when the timer goes off
2.  you never know when she is going to yell.

I tried to keep from laughing, and turned my head when he looked up.  Then leaned over to my husband and related the entry to him.  We both had a chuckle.

I mean, I know that all kids "hate" their parents sometimes.  Especially for making them do things they don't want to do (except isn't 8 a little early?).  And I'm okay with that.  Most of the time these are GOOD things that the child just doesn't know, or want to believe, is good for them.  It's our job to enforce the good, right?

But...the more I got thinking about #2 on his list (and after hearing a report from his Sunday school teacher about "very sullen/unhappy" behavior), the more discouraged I became.  (#1's had issues with depression before and I hate to think he might be falling into it again). 

I hate that depression affects me....but more importantly, I hate that it affects my family, our home, and the Lord spirit that dwells in it.  I hate that every time I "sink"....so do they.  I hate that my children suffer, act up, and, (particularly #1 because he's the most sensitive to my state of mental health) become sullen and depressed, angry and/or indifferent themselves.  I hate that they start mimicking my behavior (even my husband). 

It's then that our home turns from "a refuge from the world/storms of life" to the center of Hurricane Katrina.

Yelling is bad.  Anger is bad.  Constant bickering, name calling and blame finding is bad.  And there has been FAR too much of it lately in our home...from both the parents and kids. 

It's amazing how quickly they learn behaviors from me and, as I see my behavior presenting itself through them, I realize just how destructive it is.  I shrink from it...want to do anything to get away from it....but when I'm not "in a good place" I feel helpless to try.  I find myself just trying to wish it away.

But I can't.  For some reason, it never works (dang it).

I have to deal with it. 

First, by changing my behavior and second, by consistently guiding theirs.

And it's a lot of work.   And it's tiring.  And it takes forever to see even one shred of improvement.  And, it's been my experience, that when I feel like things are finally going pretty well in our home...I do something stupid (like go off my medication) and things start crashing all over again. 

And did I mention that it's a lot of work...and it's tiring....and it takes forever...and that I always seem to ruin it?

But....I found one small shred of HOPE today. 

I believe I must be on the incline again...heading away from "surviving" and, hopefully, heading toward "thriving".  Do you know how I know? 

Because just this evening I was able to turn my thoughts from despair, discouragement, and hopelessness over the situation and started looking for solutions.  Not only that...but I feel ready to tackle it....maybe not quite head on, just yet....but tackle it, none-the-less. 

That must mean that things are getting better...that the medication is taking it's hold once again.

At least...I HOPE so.

For now...I'm going to try my best to "right" this "wrong" and make my home the haven that it once was (or at least as much of a "haven" as a home with four, young, rambunctious boys can be).
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October 26, 2011

Hillary Needs Our Help!

So it's no secret that I absolutely LOVE Hilary Weeks.

This woman, and her music, have a way of connecting to every woman in the entire world.  You name the situation you are dealing with and she has a song to lift and inspire, or just comfort you.  It never ceases to amaze me.

She is about to release her newest CD, Every Step, which, from what I have heard, has a message the whole world needs to hear (which I totally believe her more than capable of writing).

This is where you and I come in.

We can help Hilary chart on the Current Contemporary Christian Billboard Chart.

By doing this, it will increase the chances of her songs getting on Christian Radio stations, making her music known to a wider audience, giving her greater credibility as a Christian singer/songwriter, and helping her open greater doors to her music (among a number of other things).

HONESTLY...this woman was MEANT to lead people to Christ with her music.  I have found much comfort, HOPE and happiness in it myself.

So how do we help her do this?

You can order, Every Step, between NOW and October 29th (that's Saturday) either online at Deseretbook.com HERE or on Amazon.com HERE or pick it up at any Deseretbook store (or any other store where LDS music is sold).  Remember...it has to be ON or BEFORE OCTOBER 29th to count towards the "chart topping" numbers.

It would make an awesome Christmas present for your mother, grandmother, sister, friend, wife....anyone really.  And you'd be helping out this amazing woman at the same time.

Wanna preview?

oh...and she's a hillarious performer as well (I've seen her twice at Time Out For Women).   Here are some of her comic best.

Oh....and this one

Alright....that's all...now I'm off to purchase Every Step (nope, not just saying that.  I really am.).

P.S. I love to hear from you!
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October 25, 2011

Spiritually Fed....Calories Shed

I have a confession....I pray while I exercise.

I also do other things like study the scriptures, read the words of the prophet, watch conference talks on my laptop, and sometimes...simply put....I ponder on things.

As I became busier (aka had more children, etc.) it became harder for me to find time to"feast upon the words of Christ" and commune with my Father in Heaven.  At least without someone banging down my bedroom door.

I, also, discovered that I was very easily distracted by everything else that "needed" to be done...and prone to turn to doing things that were "more important" rather than doing these things that are "MOST important".

Until one day I was out jogging and found myself praying for my family and those around me.  I turned off my Ipod, because I wasn't listening anyway, and enjoyed the quiet solitude of the beautiful morning.  I was able to pray, uninterrupted, for people I loved and people I don't even know and then had enough time to listen for answers and guidance from the Lord.  I thoroughly enjoyed it...and it became a habit.  It's so nice to get out in nature, "unplugged" from electronic distractions.  I never even take my Ipod with me anymore (I guess that would be "if" I were going out anymore...back injury...sigh).  

And so it was when I was pregnant with #4, and was not as able to get out and run as often or as far, we bought an elliptical.  I wanted one with an Ipod connector...your know....for motivation.  I soon found that I got much more use out of the book stand instead.  You see, not only could I then pray, but read and study the word of the Lord as well....while I burning a few calories.

It's was nice....kind of a "kill two birds with one stone" situation....one might say.  I was able to focus on those two things without feeling like I "should" be busy doing something else.

I used to think it was kind of weird....(do YOU think it's weird?) but got over that pretty quickly.  I've enjoyed some of the most amazing inspiration (including the birth of this blog), deepest thoughts, sweetest answers, and been overcome with the greatest feelings of JOY and LOVE while on that contraption sweating my heart out (literally).  (My spirit must enjoy the endorphins as much as my body does. he he)

So...for me...I don't think it's a bad thing. 

And so this morning....while I was wading through the murky waters of stress and lowliness....I had two choices.

I could either continue down that path....and make it worse by giving into my self destructive thoughts and inhaling a bag of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups I had just picked up from the store...or I could put a movie on for the kiddos, hop on my elliptical and HOPE something good would come out of it.

Much to my surprise, I chose the latter (really...and without eating even ONE PBC).  And I'm SO glad I did.

I prayed, got in a bit of scripture reading (2 Nephi, Chapter 4), and found myself uplifted by the words of one of God's ancient Prophets (not to mention burning over 750 calories...thank.you.very.much!)   

And I must say, I feel better.  Better than I have in a long while (seems like FOREVER). 

There's a little "pep in my step". 

I even have dinner planned.....AND cooking (crock pots are the best!).

Which, you can probably guess, is pretty BIG for me.

So today I am grateful for my "unplugged" life that has (spiritually) "fed" me faster than I could "burn" the excess off.  (huh?) So in a way, today, I guess I am trying to say (ha ha...that rhymes), that I am grateful to feel (spiritually) plump! (What?)

(I don't even know...Like I said yesterday, "seems all intelligent thoughts have left me for a time".)

Just go with it!

Maybe you will be able to find some time this week to "unplug" from life and be edified. 

Where do you go?  What do you do?  How did you feel?
P.S. I love to hear from you!
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October 24, 2011

You Are Loved (Don't Give Up) -HOPEful Music

I don't have any words of wisdom today.  Seems all intelligent thoughts have left me for a time.

But, I did want to share something with you.

I played this song today while cooling down after teaching aerobics at our local church building. 

It had been a long time since I hear it last.

I had forgotten how much I love it and how much power is behind the words.  It has the ability to seep deep within my soul and sooth me with it's healing balm (not to mention that Josh Groban's voice is to die for).  

Just what I need right now.

You Are Loved (Don't Give Up) - Josh Groban

God is with us.  He never leaves us.  His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered all so that he could FEEL with us, MOURN with us, ACHE with us, SUFFER with us, WORRY with us....and then he overcame ALL so that he could HEAL us, know how to SUCCOR us, celebrate JOY with us, and help us find HOPE in and through him.
And He LOVES us more than we can ever imagine.

I'm so grateful for our Savor and his part in our Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness (Salvation).  Sometimes the knowledge that my life here on earth is but a small moment in time, compared to the eternities, helps me to hang on....to bare through...to not give up....to have HOPE that things will get better...that they will not always be "this way".

I try to remember that and that the trials I suffer are for my good....that I might learn from my mistakes, grow from my experiences, have empathy to show others, and to, ultimately, become more like my Savior.  

I hope this song soothes you today as it has done for me.

You Are Loved (Don't Give Up).
When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.- Thomas Jefferson
To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.- Brandi Snyder
Once you choose hope, anything's possible.
-Christopher Reeve
and one more thing....I feel the need to share this video again.  I watched it yesterday (for the millionth time, okay...not quite) and found such comfort in it.  I hope that if you have not taken the time to watch it, that you will today.  

P.S. I love to hear from you!
Leave a comment or e-mail me at melaniesmethodicalmusings at gmail dot com
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October 20, 2011

On again....off again.....out again.....through again.....

Nope....this is not a Dr. Seuss (from the Sneeches) post, his words just seem to resemble my life right now.

Except they would be "off again.....on again......out again.....through again...."

As you may have guesses....I'm back on anti-depressant.  I know the last time I posted I talked about upping the methylfolate and seeing how that went.  And I was going to....but I didn't. 

I have a very good reason for my impatience....and once I am feeling "inspired" to write about it, I will.  (right now my brain seems to be experiencing some technical difficulties).

It was a really hard decision.  One that I did not take lightly and one that caused a lot of anxiety, stress and tears, but in the end I found peace (oh...sweet peace) so I went for it.

And I'm feeling pretty good about the decision....even thought I'm not exactly happy about it.

What?  Does that even make sense? 

Hopefully it will....when I get around to explaining it all.  The words just wont come to me now (and I promised the readers from my other blog Testosterone Overload that I would post something about it here on MMUW today.)

So...here it is....for now....

(if you want to read a rather sarcastic/comical report go ahead and check it out here on T.O....."It takes a village......")

Maybe tomorrow there will be more.....

(although tomorrow is the closing day of T.O.'s big Birthday Bash Giveaways (amazon gift cards and digi scrapbook gift certificate up for grabs) so I might be a bit busy.  P.S. don't forget to come on over and enter to win).

P.S. I love to hear from you!
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October 14, 2011


Today marks the 4th Blog-iversary of my "family" blog Testosterone Overload.  

I was about 8-10 weeks postpartum with #3, when I started said blog, and wanted my family, whom I had JUST moved away from, to be able to "watch my boys grow up" from afar. 

Interestingly enough, it was right about the same time that I started "diving" into the deep, dark, angry pits of depression (although you would never tell by the posts I wrote....not for a while anyway....eventually it became harder and harder to hide).

Anyway...I have had a LOT of support in these last 4 years and wanted to do something fun today to thank all of those who have been there for me and my family. 

So I decided to throw a party.  And what is a party without favors?

Come on over to  Testosterone Overload and join in on the GIVEAWAY BASH--HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY TESTOSTERONE OVERLOAD.  

You will have the chance to enter to win:
#1  Two $10 gift Amazon.com gift cards (and bonus...if you already "follow" me here on MMUW, you automatically have one entry into Amazon.com gift card #2.  You just have to follow this link to T.O. and leave a comment saying you already "follow" MMUW.) 

#2  A $10 gift certificate to Dancing Princess Designs digital scrapbooking store at GoDigitalScrapbooking.com  

I hope you don't mind this cross-blog contamination.  After all---I am one and the same personMy two blogs just serve different purposes.

Happy Giveaway winning.

P.S. I love to hear from you! Leave a comment or e-mail me at melaniesmethodicalmusings at gmail dot com Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

October 13, 2011

Update on an Update

I just wanted to give an update on how things are going.  Someday I may actually get back to feeling "Methodical" and care to share some of my "Musings" but, for now, I'm stuck in a rut of "Unbalanced Woman-ness".

I'll get there again....I will.

So after posting Post Anti-depressants Independence--Update #1, one of my friends/readers (Jocelyn) asked,
What about the [methylfolate]? Did you increase it to compensate for being off of the antidepressants? Not sure if it works that way, but might be worth exploring.
The answer was "no".  I had not increased my methylfolate intake.  It had never occurred to me.  DUH!!!!! (thanks "J")

Since I wasn't sure if it would make a difference (and certainly didn't want to pay for it if it wouldn't) I decided to e-mail Dr. Rawlins.  I sheepishly told him that I had come off the anti-depressants without his advise (going through my primary care doctor instead, even though Dr. Rawlins had offered to help), and told him how I had been slowly tanking ever since.  He e-mailed me back within a few hours (man, it pays to have him in my network of doctors).

He suggested I up my dose 4x's....give it a few weeks....and if things did NOT improve....we would discuss going back on the lowest dose of the anti's I was on before.  He said, "Most people have responded to just the increase dose of [methylfolate]."

I am so grateful for his willingness to help.  I really am.  But all I could think was...."Holy cow...4x's....that's insane...."

Well...sometimes I can be as stubborn (and cheap...and as stupid) as a mule.  I didn't want to jump up 4x's without knowing first if I really NEEDED that much. 

So I met him half way.....I doubled my intake. I have a feeling I may be coming back in a few weeks and saying to y'all...."okay....maybe I should have just followed the doctors orders in the first place" but I have to know how this dose works first.  It may just be a stepping stone...and so be it...I just want to know.

So far....I'm feeling a little better.  I'm "surviving" which is better than "diving"

I haven't had any bouts of anger or RAGE since I last reported.  Iirritation, frustration, of course, I do have four boys after all, but nothing over the top.  Thank goodness!

But I'm still not feeling "up to par".  That's just it actually....I'm not really "feeling" anything.  I've slumped back into the, "I know I love you, but I can't FEEL it" stage.  That's just not acceptable to me.  Now that I know that it's possibility to actually thrive on feeling of LOVE and JOY...I just wont settle for less.  It's no way to live....not FEELING.  My husband and children deserve more.

So....I wait.  It's only been 4-5 days since upping the dose....I'll give it a little more time.

In the meantime...keep coming back.  I'm sure I'll have things to say...they just may not be as "profound" as they used to be. 

Also, please take a minute to vote for MMUW on Top Mommy Blogs by clicking on the brown banner below.  The more awareness...the more HOPE there is for those of us out there who are struggling.  Thanks! 

P.S. I love to hear from you! Leave a comment or e-mail me at melaniesmethodicalmusings at gmail dot com.  Please VOTE for MMUW!  Help me spread HOPE! Click the banner. Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

October 10, 2011

World Mental Health Day

I blog for World Mental Health Day

Today, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day.
"World Mental Health Day raises public awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and investments in prevention, promotion and treatment services. The treatment gap for mental, neurological and substance use disorders is formidable especially in poor resource countries.
This year the theme is 'Investing in mental health'. Financial and human resources allocated for mental health are inadequate especially in low resource countries. The majority of low- and middle-income countries spend less than 2% of their health budget on mental health.
Many countries have less than one mental health specialist per one million population. Even a considerable part of the limited resources is spent on large mental hospitals and not for services delivered through community and primary health care.
We need to increase investment for mental health and to shift the available resources towards more effective and more humanitarian forms of services. " (quote taken World Health Organization website).

It's no question that I have and do continue to suffer from mental health issues.  It's a fact of life.  Or, my life at least.

In the last few months I have become "less than shy" about sharing my struggles.  It has not always been so easy (as if it's really "easy" now).  I hid it for years.....YEARS....because, at first I didn't understand it, and then I was embarrassed and ashamed.  And what good did it do me....none.  It only caused more harm and misery to my poor family....and myself.

Someone you love could be suffering too (or maybe it's you).  Don't let them (or yourself) suffer in silence. 

Help me help WHO spread awareness.  

You can read my story of Discovery and Recovery, read a tad bit into the extremely common genetic variant (roughly 70% of the tested population---myself included---have it) that can cause depression and anxiety (among a whole plethora of other physical and mental health issues), called MTHFR, and also look in on how I am doing NOW by reading Post Anti Depressant Independence---Update #1.

Mental illness is no joke.  It is a silent, and often times, unseen condition that eats a person up from the inside out.

If you are a suffering...don't give up.   

There is always HELP out there...and where there is HELP...there is HOPE.

Please Help Me Spread That Hope 


P.S. I love to hear from you!
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October 9, 2011

"So Thy Succor Shall Be"

After writing my last post (Post Anti-Depressant Independence---Update #1) I got a call from one of my big brothers.  He was concerned for my welfare and wanted to know how I was doing (where would I be without my family?  I am truly blessed).

He told me that while reading my post the hymn "How Firm A Foundation" had come on in the background and he had immediately thought of me.  He encouraged me to go and read the words to said hymn.

And so I did (...and have been blessed to have it running through my head these last few days....even bursting out in song every now and then (much to the detriment of my family, I am sure)).

I wanted to share it with you.  Maybe you are struggling like I am and need to hear it too.

The words are SO powerful and HOPEful. 

(then take 21,000 people and have them sing it....it's power resonates even stronger...)

I found the lyrics at Hymnwiki.org.  I don't know if I have actually ever sang all 7 verses at church before (only the first 3 were presented in the video) but was AMAZED at the situational similarities pertaining to me and the lifeline these words have become to me as of late (I've highlighted some of my favorite parts)

1. How firm a foundation ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word;
What more can he say than to you he hath said?
You, who unto the Savior, for refuge have fled. 

2. In ev'ry condition - in sickness in health,
In poverty's vale, or abounding in wealth,
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be. 

3. Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed!
For I am thy God, and will still give thee aid;
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand. 

4. “When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o'erflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress

5. “When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design,
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

6. “E'en down to old age, all my people shall prove
My sov'reign eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when grey hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in my bosom be borne.

7. “The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes:
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never - no, never, no, never forsake!”   

How can one not read those words and feel comfort from them?

Yeah...life is HARD....and we are put through trial after trial after trial, some seeming too hard to bear, all in an attempt to refine us into "gold".  To become more like him....for that is our whole purpose here on earth.

And yet, the Lord Jesus Christ promises to be with us, to give us aid, to stregnthen us, to help us.  He doesn't ask us to do it alone.  He says he will uphold us...by his omnipotent hand.

As my brother so wisely said to me (don't quote me for exact-see's), No matter what we are struggling with, some days we need his succor more than others.  But no matter what...he will give us as much of it as we need.  There is no cap.

How truly blessed I feel to have a Savior who know ME personally and knows exactly what I am going through.  He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane for ME, so that I would not be alone in this.  He bears it with me... succors me....because I need Him.  I can't do it without Him.

He's also suffered so that my husband and my children, who are exposed to my weakness during the process of refinement, will not be indefinitely damaged, but be able to find solace and comfort and succor in Him as well.

What a glorious blessing we have to rejoice in...the all encompassing atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I KNOW that if we plant a firm foundation of faith in Him, our suffering will not be for naught....but shall be as an aid in our eternal exaltation.

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October 4, 2011

Post Anti-Depressant Independence---UPDATE #1

As I'm sitting here typing, kicking back on a HUGE mug of hot chocolate (my long standing "coping" substance...since I don't drink or participate in illicit drugs), in an attempt to calm my nerves and still my wild heart after, yet again, another panic/anger attack, I can't help but plead for life to just slow down a bit.  Just enough so I can catch my breath.  That's not too much to ask, is it?

When I presented this thought to a dear friend the other day she lovingly reminded me that that is just how life is.  There is always going to be "something".  Life never slows down...it's always moves forward.  I sighed....holding back the tears....knowing she was right.  I just feel like I'm drowning.  

It's been...how many weeks?....almost 3 (tomorrow)....since I took my last anti-depressant/anti anxiety pill.  Gone are the side effects, gone are the withdrawal symptoms (which were horrendous by the way) and now I am living life...all on my lonesome...without the aid of mind slowing, mind numbing drugs.

And, I'll admit...it's been A LOT HARDER than I thought it would be.

Could some of the difficulty be mere timing?  (I asked my friend this too...she said (lovingly, of course), "Melanie, there is never going to be a "good" time.)

But I can't help thinking about these facts.  Could it be that I just got over the whole hormonal WHOOSH of a miscarriage?  Maybe that Roberto has been in the middle of fiscal year end closing and hasn't been around much?  Maybe it has something to do with being caught up in a whirlwind marketing scheme misunderstanding that has now taken me over a week to get my money back out of (or at least I hope so--they still have 24 hours to deliver before I hunt them down)? Or that looking at our finances we realize that our 5 year financial plan looks bleak, at best? Or that my once semi-dormant (aka barely surviving) family blog, Testosterone Overload, is now undergoing all sorts of renovations (because of said financial plan issues) in hopes of making a bit of $$ so that we don't end up on the streets (a bit of an exaggeration maybe...but not too far off) and because I am doing it all by myself (this is where the marketing scheme misunderstanding come into play) it is taking up a HUGE chunk of my time and energy and creativity and brain power?  Or..........?

Or maybe it's because all of a sudden I find myself dealing with a WIDE range of emotions I have not had to deal with on my own for a very VERY long time.  Maybe I only thought I was able to cope with life on my own and yet I really can't.  Maybe I still need some help.

When I first set out seeking independence from anti-depressants, all I knew was that I was on too much.  TOO MUCH!  And I still agree with that.  But then I had a thought...as long as I am coming down...I might as well come off, RIGHT?  RIGHT!  And I set my sights on that....instead of on the whole "coming DOWN" thing.

Was I wrong in doing that?  I don't know yet.  I really don't.

It hasn't been ALL bad.  It's just dealing with the varied and vast RANGE of emotions that has kicked me in the head.  It's exhausting.  I find myself crying over something that touches me, or makes me grateful, or makes me happy.  That's not bad (except that I hate to cry).

But when I find myself irritable and angry and frustrated almost ALL OF THE TIME (did I mention I have a LOT OF STRESS going on right now)....It's then I start to worry. 

I had my first fit of RAGE the other day.  Rob had been working hour after hour across three days that he "should have" had off.  I was left at home with the kids almost by myself for three days straight....plus dealing with the stress mentioned above.  I couldn't take it.  I was SO MAD.  Then, my eldest boy, who was upset with me because I was yelling at him (go figure) finally yelled back, "I HATE YOU!" (which he used to say to me all the time in dealing with his own anger/depression issues).

I snapped....Medusa could not have looked more "banshee" like than I did at that moment....I am sure.  I did, however, have the sense of mind not to physically harm him (instead I destroyed his sense of "mommy's no longer crazy" security).  PAT ON THE BACK FOR ME!  NOT!

Rob finally got home....I told him what had happened and said, "Please help me keep a watch on myself Rob.  I WILL NOT go back to that ugly place (diving)."

So...for now....I'm not sure what to do.  Really, I don't.  I am trying to utilize the "coping" techniques I have learned from my many years of counseling but it's so hard when I don't have the "pause" in my thoughts that the anti-depressants gave me.

Maybe I should go back to my BCE (Best Counselor Ever) Rick.

Maybe I should go back on the anti's.  Or would that be a cop out?

I don't know.

Please pray for me...pray for my family....pray that I will know what to do.

I'll say it again.  I WILL NOT go back to that deep dark place.  I just can't.  Even if it means being dependent on some form of "chemical something" for the rest of my life.

And one more question...where is the methylfolate in all of this?  Is it helping?  Would I be much WORSE off if I was NOT taking it?  Probably.  Maybe?  I don't know.  But I'm not about to go off that too just to see.

For now...I'm just trying to ride the waves....trying to figure out when enough is enough.   

In the meantime, I think I am going to try and tear myself away from the computer as soon as #1 get's home from school.  Maybe the kids and I will go collect some dead leaves.  Maybe the fall air and the fact that I am out, spending quality time with my children will lift my spirits.

P.S. I love to hear from you! Leave a comment or e-mail me at melaniesmethodicalmusings at gmail dot com

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October 2, 2011

Inspired Analogy of the Forget Me Not Flower--my thoughts, my take

I just love this time of year.  The crisp weather, the yummy "comfort" food (bring on the baked goods), and the opportunity to listen to the Lords word.

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe that the heavens are still open, that God continues to speak to his children (through personal revelation and His chosen servants), that God has a  modern day Prophet ( President Thomas S. Monson) and Apostles on this earth to lead and guide His children (whether you believe this or not is your choice...just hear me out), and it is our privilege twice a year (the first weekend of every April and October) to hear from said Prophet and Apostles.

We call it General Conference.

This weekend marked the 181st Semi-Annual Session of it.  It is held in a HUGE conference center in Utah and broadcast all over the WORLD via television, radio, satellite, cable and the internet.  We, as in my family and I, watch it live, in the comforts of our own home, through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints website.  These messages/addresses/talks as we call them are not just meant for the ears of the member of our church but for ANYONE with a yearning to be edified, uplifted and encouraged by the word of God. 

I remember, as a kid, dreading conference...thinking it was so boring and lasted FOREVER!!!! (now I hear these words from MY kids).  There are four, two hour sessions, two on Saturday and two on Sunday, meant for members of all ages/genders, a 1.5 hour meeting specifically geared towards women, the weekend prior, and a two hour meeting specifically geared towards men on Saturday evening. (Yes, that is 12 hours all together.)

Now that I am older and wiser, gone are the feelings of dread.  I look forward to it and take time beforehand praying and prepare myself that I might be in tune with the spirit of the Lord enough to pick up on  the messages, from him, FOR ME personally (although, admittedly, yesterday I was quite distracted by other matters). 

I yearn to hear messages of  HOPE and be filled with blessings of LOVE.  These have been my lifeline these last several years.  Without them...I would be destitute...I need recharging...I can't do this alone. 

Last weekend I attended the General Relief Society Meeting (the one for the women) with my grandma, mom, sister, and sister-in law (all of whom were in town visiting me...it was awesome).  I was prepared to be hear words of encouragement, HOPE, happiness, acceptance, support and love...and I was not disappointed.

While there were MANY beautiful words spoken, I was completely drawn to the words of Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and his analogy of the Forget Me Not  flower.  It was awesome!  I couldn't write notes fast enough.  My hand was completely cramped after only a few minutes (which is why I am SO grateful they republish it so you can watch, listen, read, print, and share it from the website)

Oh man...was this talk meant for my hearing, of that I am sure, and I felt compelled to share it with you, my readers.  I know many of you are struggling, unhappy and unsure.  I hope his words fill you with the same amount of HOPE and faith and love that they did for me. 

I've jotted down here (okay...actually cut and pasted) some of my favorite passages and added a few of my own thought, feeling, and/or emphisis's in either (parenthesis) or bold.  Really, the little tidbits I chose do not do the entire address justice...be sure and read it.

He says, talking about the Forget-Me-Not flower: 
"It does not attract immediate attention; it is easy to overlook among larger and more vibrant flowers; yet it is just as beautiful, with its rich color that mirrors that of the bluest skies (he's a pilot and always finds a way to make some mention of it in his addresses)...Tonight I would like to use this little flower as a metaphor. The five petals of the little forget-me-not flower prompt me to consider five things we would be wise never to forget."
 #1 Forget not to be patient with yourself
"I want to tell you something that I hope you will take in the right way: God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect...Everyone has strengths and weaknesses...God wants to help us to eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal. He wants us to become perfect, and if we stay on the path of discipleship, one day we will. It’s OK that you’re not quite there yet. Keep working on it, but stop punishing yourself."
 #2 Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice.  
 "An acceptable sacrifice is when we give up something good for something of far greater worth...Every person and situation is different, and a good sacrifice in one instance might be a foolish sacrifice in another...How can we tell the difference for our own situation? We can ask ourselves, “Am I committing my time and energies to the things that matter most?” There are so many good things to do, but we can’t do all of them. Our Heavenly Father is most pleased when we sacrifice something good for something far greater with an eternal perspective."
(This one hit home...I spend how many countless hours doing what I deem to be "good" things (like writing this blog to offer help to others) to the extent, sometimes, that I neglect my children and abandon my duties as a wife, mother, maid, cook, etc....hmmmmm....made me think.)
#3 Forget not to be happy NOW!
"In this classic children’s story (speaking previously of Charlie and the Chocolate factory), people all over the world desperately yearn to find a golden ticket. Some feel that their entire future happiness depends on whether or not a golden ticket falls into their hands. In their anxiousness, people begin to forget the simple joy they used to find in a candy bar. The candy bar itself becomes an utter disappointment if it does not contain a golden ticket....So many people today are waiting for their own golden ticket—the ticket that they believe holds the key to the happiness they have always dreamed about. For some, the golden ticket may be a perfect marriage; for others, a magazine-cover home or perhaps freedom from stress or worry (speaking to someone like me with anxiety...now that would be MY golden ticket)...

The lesson here is that if we spend our days waiting for fabulous roses, we could miss the beauty and wonder of the tiny forget-me-nots that are all around us.

This is not to say that we should abandon hope or temper our goals. Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don’t close your eyes and hearts to the simple and elegant beauties of each day’s ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life.

The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy."
#4  Forget not the "why" of the gospel
"My dear sisters, the gospel of Jesus Christ is not an obligation; it is a pathway, marked by our loving Father in Heaven, leading to happiness and peace in this life and glory and inexpressible fulfillment in the life to come. The gospel is a light that penetrates mortality and illuminates the way before us.

While understanding the “what” and the “how” of the gospel is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel springs from the “why.” When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living, when we remember why we committed to making it a foundational part of our lives, the gospel ceases to become a burden and, instead, becomes a joy and a delight. It becomes precious and sweet."

The “what” and “how” of obedience mark the way and keep us on the right path. The “why” of obedience sanctifies our actions, transforming the mundane into the majestic. It magnifies our small acts of obedience into holy acts of consecration.
#5 Forget not that the Lord loves you (oh...this one is OH SO IMPORTANT!)
"As a child, when I would look at the little forget-me-nots, I sometimes felt a little like that flower—small and insignificant. I wondered if I would be forgotten by my family or by my Heavenly Father...

(this next statement gave me the chills...it was so powerful)

Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love.

My dear sisters, you are closer to heaven than you suppose. You are destined for more than you can possibly imagine. Continue to increase in faith and personal righteousness. Accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as your way of life. Treasure the gift of service...Continue to strengthen homes and families. Continue to seek out and help others who need your and the Lord’s help." 

(and in his closing remarks)

"...there is something inspiring and sublime about the little forget-me-not flower. I hope it will be a symbol of the little things that make your lives joyful and sweet. Please never forget that you must be patient and compassionate with yourselves, that some sacrifices are better than others, that you need not wait for a golden ticket to be happy. Please never forget that the “why” of the gospel of Jesus Christ will inspire and uplift you. And never forget that your Heavenly Father knows, loves, and cherishes you."

These last several weeks have been really difficult...some of which has to do with coming off antidepressants and subsequently dealing with things I have not had to deal with for a long time (look for an update soon).

Elder Uchtdorfs words were a healing balm to my poor tattered spirit, mind, and body...a reminder of what is most important in this life...and a call to do better (and yet giving myself a break when I fall short) and to become more Christlike.

I know, without a shadow of a doubt, he is an Apostle of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I know he was inspired to present those words to me, to you...FOR me, and for YOU.

I love you, my readers...I love you and I care about you.

I know it sounds crazy (and a little too personal since I don't even know most of you), but it is what it is...and I do.  I can't help it.  :) 

I pray for you often, asking the Lord what he would have me share with you.  I also ask Him to show me a fraction, just a fraction, of the love He has for you.  And He does.  And it overwhelms me.  It's SO amazing. 

He loves you SO dearly....more than can be expressed or even understood by our mere mortal minds.

Of this I know.  And I wanted YOU to know it too.



P.S. I love to hear from you!
Leave a comment or you can e-mail me at melaniesmethodicalmusings at gmail dot com

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