October 14, 2012

We are STRONG!

Today my family and I drove to a meeting house 2 hours away for what is known, in the Mormon world, as "stake conference" (a 2 hour long church meeting in which all the congregations in a particular region get together to hear our regional church leaders speak on various topics).  Because I would be spending 4 hours in the car I took along a new book, a gift from a good friend (you know who you are), entitled "Reaching for Hope:  An LDS Perspective on Recovering from Depression".  What better way to use this time, right?

In theory, yes.

I didn't even crack it open.  :)

Instead I spent the time in the car dozing,  handing out food, switching out "Sunday approved" movies on the portable dvd player, barking at the kids to stop fighting, threatening recourse if their seatbelts didn't get buckled back up properly ASAP, ordering the 2 year old to stop crying when I refused to share my pillow with him (gasp), dozing some more, stewing over an argument with Roberto, oh....and did I mention dozing?  I did sneak in a few (semi) peaceful moments to read my scriptures.  

We reached home, bellies full, after packing a lunch and eating in the car, just in time for my favorite part of Sunday afternoon.  Family nap time.  Yipee!  Everyone was sent to their separate corners of the house to "rest" but for some reason I couldn't sleep.  (imagine that!)

I stewed, for a few minutes, over the fact that I would miss out on the peaceful rest of the afternoon (instead of a jostling snooze in the car with kids yelling and demanded my attention every 4.35 seconds).

Then, I remembered the book.  "I guess now is as good a time as ever," I told myself.

Admittedly, I have issues with self-help and/or inspirational books.  I've thought a lot about "why", and have come up with a few ideas:

First, when I do have the opportunity to read, I prefer to use that time to leave this world behind and pretend I am in another.  I love fiction.  Novels.  But not just any novels.  Boring, cheesy and yes, ever predictable, christian romance novels.  Go ahead...laugh. Rob makes fun of me, too.  But I don't care.  I like 'em.  Especially the ones set back in the 1800's.  It's a world where I can indulge in my romantic fantasies and not feel bad about it and I love to escape to it.  (okay...you can stop laughing now)

Second, self-help suggests just that, helping yourself.  As in, action.  As in, once you read it you are "expected" (self perceived) to absorb the information and apply it.  This drudges up all sorts of anxieties for me.

What if it's too hard?  What if I can't do it?  What if I fail?  What if I succeed?  Will it actually work?  Will it actually make me feel better?  Will it make my life better?  Will I have wasted my precious "me" time?  and most importantly......Will the guy get the girl (or vise versa) and will they smooch in the end?!?!?

The truth is, I don't have much experience with the actual finishing part.  I have several....SEVERAL sitting on a shelf next to my bed.  Some I have even started but have only EVER completed ONEONE! (and for the record, there was a bit of "kiss and make up" at the end...he he he)!!!  Not a very good track record.

But, speaking of the one, the experience was exceptionalLife changingI'd even call it miraculous.  It changed my mind and heart forever.  (I'd recommend it to anyone)

But what are the odds it will happen again?

It's for this same reason I don't set goals.  What if I can't meet them?  What if I fail?  But that is a thought for another day.....

My mom always reminds me of how good I am at identifying my problems and going after them in an effort to improve.  This may have been true in the past.  For instance, as an 11 year old anxiety ridden elementary school student, I identified the need to find a coping mechanism to work through embarrassing panic attacks that were becoming increasingly frequent at school.  And I did.  It worked.  Success.  Pat on the back.  Yipee for me!

But I'm not that confident anymore.

Life is just FAR MORE complex now.  Man, if only panic attacks were all I had to worry about these days.  :)  But sadly, they're not and it's not just my life at stake anymore.  I have, at least, FIVE other people closely dependent on my success in life, right?
Anyway, back to today.

Despite my misgivings, I picked up the book and began reading.

I only made it 71 pages, so far, but I definitely found what I was looking for, and what I so desperately needed.

Camaraderie.  Understanding.  Reassurance.

And my ever particular favorite.....HOPE!

I started this blog in order to offer HOPE of recovery to others.  Little did I know that I was not out of the woods myself.  I've had a lot of ups and downs in the 18 months since I started writing here.  I prefer to write about the ups...and not the downs....that's why the post have dwindled.  But....I'm not ready to give up.  I'm just having a bit of writers block.

I leave you today with a quote in the book offered by Dr. Philip Gold, a neurologist at the National Institute for Mental Health, speaking of depression, or as he likes to call it "hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction" (I like it!),
"It takes an incredibly strong person to bear the burden of [this] disease."

Can I hear an "AMEN, BROTHER!"?

Those of you who have never been there, I pray desperately that you never will know the devistating pain, both physical and psychological, associated with depression.

For those of you who are sufferers...Don't ever give up.

We must FIGHT!  We must NEVER GIVE UP!  We must HOLD ON TO HOPE!



 forMMM Check out this quote.  It's powerful.

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


momofcmhl said...

I think you'd like books by Marcia Lynn McClure. She writes clean "kissy" books and is LDS. Perfect escape books.

Messy Musings said...

YES!! you ARE strong with much FAITH and HOPE!! it is an incredible strength, easily seen by others, but maybe at times not so much by yourself. please remember, you are NEVER alone in fighting anything! there is One who is ALWAYS there no matter what... God with His pure and unending love for you!

I love you too... "hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction" included! ;)

Unknown said...

I have a doctor that I adore, he has very little knowledge of OCD, but he is of course very familiar with depression and whenever I get up to leave from our appt. he always looks up at me and says. "Trust in God, he will not let you down." Which is why I appreciate him, for leaving me with those words. Thank you for your message of not giving up, trusting in God, and Hope.

Melanie said...

Oh...mom of CMHL, you KNOW i'm gonna have to look her up now. :)

Thanks for the encouraging words, y'all.

conradclan said...


I have always thought you as strong. You are one of my hero's and even though I hope to never have to experience what you are going through I know that if I did, I would have an amazing "counselor", friend, and sister that could help me through. I love you tons.


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