Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ray of Light

I didn't write yesterday because I was sincerely busy the whole day, so don't worry that I was super down was pretty good.

Anyway, to catch you up here are my "Rays of Light" for Friday & Saturday:

*Friday: What a blessing good friends are. One of my friends from High School got a group of us girls together and it was a ton of fun. It was nice to be back with them and just chat about old times and find out that even though we really haven't been together much in the past years, we still have a lot in common and it almost seemed as if the years weren't between us.

*Saturday: Good family & the Good News! Last night I went with my mom and youngest sister to the General Relief Society Meeting*. It was so nice to be there with my family sharing with them what is most important in our lives. The messages the speakers gave were inspiring and uplifting and most importantly they moved me to live life better. One specific quote (I'm really paraphrasing because I can't promise it's exactly right) came from President Uchtdorf**. He said, "Being spirit daughters of God, happiness is your heritage." How beautiful is that. So often we get bogged down by the craziness of life and forget that in many ways, happiness is who we are. I feel SO blessed that I was there to hear this message and to be reminded what is really most important in life.

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*General Relief Society Meeting: A meeting they have once a year for the members of the Relief Society.
-Relief Society: Female Church members ages 18 and older belong to the Relief Society. The Relief Society was founded by the Prophet Joseph Smith on March 17, 1842, in Nauvoo, Illinois. In the days of its founding, it had two main purposes: to provide relief for the poor and needy and to bring people to Christ. The organization continues today, staying true to those original guiding principles as women in the Relief Society meet together on Sunday and in other settings as needed.

**President Uchtdorf:(born 6 November 1940), a former German aviator and airline executive, is the Second Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ray of Light- Family Support

My DBSA support group has been great for me, as I've mentioned before. These last 2 Thursdays I've had other commitments that have kept me away. I didn't think I was so dependent on it, but it really does make a difference so I was so glad I could go again today.

For anyone dealing with a mental illness, family support is HUGE. I've been VERY blessed to have a tremendously supportive husband and other family members that are trying their best to understand what I'm struggling with. Sadly, that is not always the case.

Tonight at group, though, I was so pleased to see four family members there to support one of our group. They know that their family member is going through something difficult and instead of just turning this person away as "nuts," they're trying to learn as much as they can and be as supportive as they can...what a gift. I'm so thankful that this group member has this kind of support. It was truly a "Ray of Light" for me to see that.

A special thanks to all of the family and friends that are supporting someone through the nightmare of a mental illness. God bless you!

Slow Days

Boy, if you ever wanted to know when I'm having "slow days" you've just got to look at the holes in my postings!

So yeah, the last few days have been pretty hard. In a lot of ways I was all over the map. I'd feel great one day, down the next, great the following, and then back down again. Today I'm back to a good day (maybe not great, but good).

Thankfully even my "slow days" these days aren't nearly as bad as some I've had, but it's still hard and frustrating none the less. I'm still on myself because I can't get as much done as I'd like...well maybe it would be better to say, I'm still frustrated that I can't do as much as I once could. I know it's my reality, but it doesn't mean it isn't still hard.

I'm definitely continuing on the uphill hike, but we're still very much in a 2 steps forward, 1 step (or maybe even 1 1/2 steps) back. The progress is slow, but still in a positive direction.

I think I need to sing my "Dory" song a little more often.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ray of Light

It was about 10:45 pm last night and I was about to crawl into bed (this is early for me) when I heard funny noises from the monitor. Braeden had been coughing a bit in the last few days so at first I didn't think anything of it. But then I heard the noise again.

Ryan and I decided it wouldn't hurt for one of us to go check things out and that was definitely the right decision. I came into the bedroom to find Bradley covered in throw up! (And NO that is not my "Ray of Light.") We quickly went into parent mode and got the messy bed and son cleaned up.

While Ryan was bathing Bradley he mentioned to him that he would give him a priesthood blessing*. First of all, I was SO thankful that I had a husband that was worthy of doing that. I was also really touched by what sweet faith Bradley had. He knew that this is what needed to happen for him to get better.

A few minutes later we were tucking him back into bed and as usual I was going to give him a hug and kiss. He puckered his lips to give me a wet one. I felt so bad, but I had to let him know that I was just going to kiss his cheek.

This was of course confusing to Bradley...not being aware of exactly how germs work, so I explained to him that if I kissed him on the lips I might get sick too.

I then asked him, "What would happen if Mommy got sick?"

Without hesitation he replied, "Well I'd have to have Daddy show me where the stuff was so I could give you a blessing!"

How sweet is that?!

I feel so blessed to have such a caring, sweet, and faithful little boy.

As a side note...he is feeling much better today and this will hopefully just be a 24 hour bug.

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*Priesthood Blessing: A blessing given by a Melchizedek Priesthood holder, by the laying on of hands and by inspiration, to one who is sick or otherwise in need of special counsel, comfort, or healing. If the blessing is for the sick, consecrated oil is used (James 5:14-15).

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ray of Light- The Wonders of Yoga!

In a recent email my brother-in-law (he's away in New York serving a mission) mentioned that he was having trouble sleeping. Boy do I EVER understand that. I told him about some of the sleeping pills that have worked well for me and then I also suggested some yoga stretches before he goes to bed.After writing that, I realized that I REALLY needed to practice what I preached. I knew yoga stretches could help calm you and make it easier to sleep, but I'd never done any at bedtime before.

HALLELUJAH! (Think the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing this!)

It has SERIOUSLY been the best thing for me. Sure I don't sleep perfectly now, but I found a great set of exercises from Fitness Magazine...8-Minute Workout: Yoga for Better Sleep. In just 8 minutes I feel SO much more relaxed and ready to go into a restful sleep.

In the past I had to read myself to sleep, but now I just have to decide I'm feeling kind of sleepy, do my yoga stretches, and "POOF" I'm totally relaxed and ready to sleep. Sure I still take some reading time, but I don't have to push myself until I'm SO exhausted, which I'm sure not doing that already makes my sleep better.

This 8 Minute Workout has been a HUGE "Ray of Light" that comes in the darkness of the night!

LOVE IT!!!!! (Think Weezy from Dragon Tales!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ray of Light- To See Me

Today Ryan sent me the following link:

For those of you that don't actually want to go to that site, here's the poem that is on it. If you do go to the site there is a beautiful picture and some music associated with it. As well as some additional dialogue about depression.

To See Me
by Deb Montgomery
So long...looking into the mirror
I saw only a reflection of an image,
a stranger looking back at me.
When looking into my eyes,
I saw only an emptiness, a void.
Beneath those eyes were many fears,
fears of pain,
fears of sorrow,
feelings of no hope.
How could I not know this face before me,
as I stood looking at the image in the mirror?
Where was this person that I used to be,
why couldn't I see?
Turning again looking into the mirror,
I saw my life,
one that had gone out
like a candle being extinguished.
All my pride,
my joy,
my hopes,
my desires,
my passion,
all was gone.
What reflected back from that mirror
was a stranger looking back at me.
Standing there feeling so alone,
lost and confused,
the fear set in, where was this person
I called ME?
Walking away from that image,
never wanting to look again,
my life continued on.
Over time I found myself looking in
that mirror again.
Yet this time when I looked,
what reflected back to me
was a face, my face,
my eyes filled with hope,
a burning love,a pride of being me,
a passion for living.
No longer a darkness did I see,
for out of my eyes a light was shining,
a reflection of ME!
For you see
I was no longer a stranger
to Me!
Yet there still is that pain deep within,
that pain has taken on
a new meaning in my life.
Through the tears
countless hours of feeling alone,
those hours I screamed out and no one heard
slowly through that pain and confusion
emerged the real me.
It took all those disappointments and life hurts
to make me stop
and look at the real Me!!
No longer am I just an image in a mirrorI
am a reflection of my life,
those hurts,
those joys,
that hope,
that burning passion,
that endless love.
I see now the true image
the image of Me!

I don't think I need to say much more. Deb Montgomery has so well captured what I am feeling. I don't believe I'm quite to the point of seeing the "real" me, but I'm on my way...and that is what hope is all about.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ray of Light

I think I've mentioned it before, but I've recently moved into this home. Transitions are always hard, but especially when you move to a neighborhood where you don't know anyone. I've been trying my best to get to know people through church and what not, but even still that can be hard.

In the last area I lived they had this great program called "Music Makers." It was a great "Mom & Me" activity focused on music, movement, and finger plays. My boys LOVED it. I thought it would be perfect to start up here, not to mention be a great way to get to know other moms in my neighborhood.

I prepped and sent out flyers, but only had like 2 people respond. After about a week another one joined in. I was getting a little nervous, especially since one of the families will be moving next month and that would leave us down to just 3 moms. I suppose if we were always able to attend that would be okay, but I was really hoping for a few more.

Then today I was able to invite 2 moms, also new to the area to join. It's silly, but it made me so happy. I think that's the perfect number of participants. It gives us plenty of kids in the group, not to mention plenty of moms to help lead each different activity. YAY! I'm just so happy.

In a lot of ways I feel like my prayers have been answered. I've really been praying to feel more integrated into my new area and it felt like my efforts weren't really working out. I suppose just like everything, you just need to be patient and have faith (again, active faith...I was trying different things to get to know people, not just waiting for them to come to me) and things really do work out.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ray of Light


I'm a little paranoid since I have a public blog, so I didn't mention that Ryan was gone. But he's been out of town since EARLY (i.e. 5am) Thursday morning and needless to say he was a sight for sore (and VERY tired) eyes when he got home this morning.

Maybe we're just silly and mushy, but even after 8 years of marriage I HATE to have him gone. He's just so apart of my life and I can't imagine life without him. It was even harder this time since we barely had a chance to talk. He was so busy in meetings and what not that I think the entire time he was gone we spoke for like 20 minutes, maybe. And anyone that knows me knows I like to talk, so yeah...that was torture.

Anyway, he's back home now and hopefully the next business trip will be a while in the future.

Thanks to all of you that helped me out during his trip. It was just nice to have visits from friends, and help babysitting from my parents so that I could keep my sanity.

**An Aside: Something that is helpful to remember...I think it's hard for anyone to have their husband gone and to play the "single parent" game, but like pretty much anything stressful when you have depression, you have to multiply how hard it is because you've always got this base level of stress going on and it is SO much harder to keep the delicate balance of sanity.**

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ray of Light

One of my good friends for Durham, NC is getting baptized*! I am SO tremendously excited for her. She had been working SO hard to get ready while we were still there and has finally been able to get everything ready...I am just SO proud of her.

In general finding religion that makes you want to be a better person is always a good thing, but I can truly say that being baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers something special. I think I often feel the same way about my church as I do about my depression...I just don't have the right words to describe it. It's kind of like trying to explain to someone that has never had it, what salt tastes like..."Well, it's salty!" Yeah, not the best description.

I think one of the MAJOR differences between being baptized and confirmed** a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints vs. being a faithful member of any other church, is the having the ability to have the presence of the Holy Ghost*** ( or The Spirit) with you at all times.

All of us can feel the Light of Christ****. As it explains below, the Light of Christ prepares us to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I kind of think of it like physical light. You can have the Light of Christ to give you feelings that you're doing right, or hearing the truth, or making a right decision, but sadly that light is only a small flashlight beam that comes on every once in a while. Having the Gift of the Holy Ghost is like having a search light shinning on you at all times you're doing your best to living in accordance with the will of God. The Holy Ghost still does the same kinds of things that the Light of Christ does, but it's like having those good feelings all the time.

By no means am I perfect or is my family perfect, but we have tried very hard to have a good spirit in our home. This friend who is getting baptized would come to our home to be taught by our LDS missionaries*****. On more than one occasion she mentioned how good and right things felt in our home. What a good spirit was present there. She was feeling the Holy Ghost in our home.

I think since I've been blessed to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all my life sometimes I don't even recognize what I have. More often than not, I recognize the lack of the Spirit more profoundly than even having it. I can definitely feel that loss and sorrow when I'm not doing what I need to to have that presence in my life. I really believe that having the Gift of the Holy Ghost (He is the messenger of God's love) is why I'm coping as well as I am. Yes, medication, support groups, and so many other things are vital to my overcoming depression, but I could be doing all of those things and not be truly happy. My religion makes all the difference.

It is truly a beautiful blessing and I can't wait for my dear friend to be blessed with it next week. There are SO many blessings that come from being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but this is one that I believe she'll notice right from the very beginning and it will continue to bless her life as she strives to live in accordance with God's will.
This is truly and completely a "Ray of Light" for me. I cannot think of ANYTHING better I could offer anyone in the entire world. Again, those words sound so hollow and weak, but that is the honest truth. You can be happy without being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but not the type of happiness that will last throughout the eternities. That kind of happiness can only come from one thing.
For more information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints visit:

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*Baptized:Baptism by immersion in water by one having authority is the first saving ordinance of the gospel and is necessary for an individual to become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to receive eternal salvation. All who seek eternal life must follow the example of the Savior by being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. (from

**Confirmed: A blessing whereupon the recipient can then have the Holy Ghost as a constant companion as long as they are living worthily.

***Holy Ghost/The Spirit: The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones. He is often referred to as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or the Comforter. (from

****Light of Christ: The Light of Christ is the divine energy, power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things. The Light of Christ influences people for good and prepares them to receive the Holy Ghost. One manifestation of the Light of Christ is what we call a conscience. (from

*****Missionaries/Missionary Work: The Lord has declared that missionary work is the responsibility of all who follow Him (see Matthew 28:19–20; D&C 88:81). Members of the Lord's Church can, by the goodness of their lives and the strength of their testimonies, share the gospel message and help prepare family members, friends, and other acquaintances who are not Latter-day Saints to be taught by the full-time missionaries. (from

Friday, September 12, 2008


I'm tired today. BLAH! I suppose I'm usually tired, but I'm feeling especially tired today. I'm still really working on balancing my expectations. Even though I got 7 plus hours of sleep last night, and I slept on the couch for another several hours this morning, the odds are pretty good I'll still be tired. I think that is something that I would appreciate more than anything else...a tired free day. those ever happen? I promise I'll let you know if it ever does! We can always have dreams right?!

Ray of Light

Yesterday evening I had the opportunity to go outlet shopping with some of my friends from the ward. Ryan wasn't able to watch the boys and so my parents were graciously willing to come watch my 2 kiddos. It was so nice to be able to get out and not have to worry about them. And to top that all off, they were great for my parents. YAY! That's made today a lot better.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ray of Light

Today's Ray isn't something unique to today, but it is something that I was reminded of again today. I took my kiddos into the doctor for their yearly well check and they're as fit as can be. I just feel SO blessed to have 2 beautiful and healthy kids. What a blessing.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Past Rays of Light

Okay, so my last post was a bit heavy. Phew! So let me lighten things up a bit by sharing some of the "Rays of Light" from these past few days.

*I'm REALLY a soccer mom! I know that doesn't sound like much to aspire to, but I'm thrilled. I was SO proud of Bradley as I watched him play his little heart out in a game of "bunch ball" (as my dad calls it). He put all of his little effort into it and loved every minute of it. I'm so proud of him and would be even if he hadn't made 2 goals!

*We were able to visit my grandma on Sunday. She's in an assisted living facility because of her Alzheimer's. She has been REALLY low in the past, but it was SO good to see her this weekend. She looked happy and healthy (of course relatively speaking for a nearly 85 year old women). She was SO proud that she's been able to walk (without her walker) to all of her activities. She graciously shared some hand strung bracelets with us (Bradley was SO excited...he's been totally into bracelets lately). It was just so nice to see her and see her doing so well.

*I've been in kind of a slump as far as exercising goes...someday maybe I'll get out of it and stay out of it for good (in and out of the slump seems to be my pattern), but both yesterday and today I've exercised. Yes, that's only 2 days, but we'll take every little positive we can find.

*Oh, and along the lines of the last one, it didn't rain on us (Braeden & I) while we were out walking. It was definitely threatening, but we were in the clear. YAY!

*Again, related to the last one, Braeden was SO upset with me for putting him in the stroller. Seriously, all the neighbors were looking at us (he's got lungs...what can I say). I would have let him cool down first, but we had to get Bradley to preschool. Anyway, he finally calmed down and so I didn't have to listen to him scream for the 45 minutes I was out walking, maybe only 5.

*Ryan and I sang as part of a double quartet for the adult session of Stake Conference* on Saturday night and we didn't sound half bad. I think the arrangement was beautiful and we definitely had the help of the Lord as we shared the sweet message of this song.

*Then on Sunday (in spite of some technical difficulties our building was having receiving the transmission) we were able to hear the inspired words of the Lord's chosen servants at the general session of stake conference. How blessed we are to have modern day prophets.

*Sunday was a BEAUTIFUL day which made for a beautiful night. After getting the little guys tucked in bed we enjoyed a refreshing evening rocking on our front porch rockers and reading. What could be better than that?

*I'm sure there are many more I could write, but we'll leave it at that. Aren't we all SO blessed. I love it!
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*Stake Conference: A semi-annual conference held for the members of a stake. A stake is a group of congregations or wards, generally about three thousand to five thousand members in five to ten congregations.

Ray of Light

My "Ray of Light" for today is directly linked with my last post. I am SO thankful that books like Stop Pretending are starting to become more and more available. As much as these books are a nightmare to read and definitely not light reading, I believe it is SO important that our society becomes more informed.

In my support group last week we were talking about how hard it is to have a disease that just isn't understood. One member was mentioning some struggles with needing some time off work and their employer just not understanding. If this member had said they needed to go in to get chemotherapy or that he was struggling with heart disease, the odds are the employer wouldn't have thought twice about giving the needed time off.

Depression, bipolar, and any other major mental health disorder are no different...but that's not how much of the world sees us. Often we get classified as "lazy" or "weak." Sometimes I wish other people could spend a day or two in our shoes. Try fighting through the darkness that makes you feel like you're drowning. Try convincing your body that everything's fine when your brain is SCREAMING that you're going to die. Try dealing with feeling happy and fine one minute and seriously the next, for what seems like no reason at all, you're as low as you've ever been. Then let me know who is "lazy" or "weak."

Phew...I need to wrap this up. As you can tell, I feel very passionately about this. I know I have it pretty bad, but thankfully I'm definitely going in an uphill direction, with only minor set backs, but I see SO many others that have been fighting with EVERYTHING they have and it's just not working.

So thank you to Sonya Sones and others out there that are doing their best to show the reality of such difficult and debilitating diseases.

Stop Pretending

These past few days (well almost as week) have been CRAZY! Some just plain busy, but others I've just been REALLY tired (probably because of the busy days). Thankfully I haven't been SUPER down, but when I'm tired, I just don't have enough energy to blog.

Yesterday night (when I should have been sleeping) I read this book:

I equally loved and hated this book. I loved it because it did such a great job of capturing what mental illness is and can be, especially to family members and I hated it for the same reason.
The basic premise is about a 13 year old girl watching her sister struggle with Bipolar Disorder (she calls it Manic-Depressive disorder...same thing as Bipolar). She shares her fears, her hopes, and her frustrations. I think what haunts me most, is when she worries that it is her fault. Yes, since she's 13 I'm sure to a certain extent she knows that it isn't her fault and couldn't be, but at the same time, we really don't know what triggers something like this and so that idea worries her. It's just so real.
I worry that Bradley (my 4 year old) might think he's contributing to my depression. I just killed me when he told me one day, "Mom, it's okay. We'll just go downstairs and play and you can rest." Sure a certain level of my was SO proud that my sweet little boy could be so sensitive, but the other part of me was dying to know that he was having to be grown up enough to understand that. Am I robbing my boys of their childhood? I know I could do a lot more with them, but I usually don't have the emotional energy to do it. In some ways I'm hoping that Bradley was young enough when this all started that he really hasn't noticed a change, but then in other ways, how sad to think that he's never really known his mom and neither had Braeden for that matter.
I try to stay up beat and not let things like this occupy my mind...they only make it worse. Usually I'm pretty successful in my attempts. But books like this really get to me. They also make me realize just how carefully I need to act around my boys to give them the best chance at coming through this "normally."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ray of Light- Sudoku Son

Bradley is a bright kid...always has been. Even when he was only 18 months he knew all of his letters and the sounds they made. Trust me this is not bragging, he just came hard wired that way.

He has recently taken up Bejeweled and for a kid that's just barely 4...he's good! Heck, he has the highest top score of family (he WAY beat my score and I'm pretty good).

Anyway, I figured, "If he enjoys Bejeweled, then maybe he'd like Sudoku." Surprise, surprise...he loves it.
I bought him a few kids Sudoku books and he did 20 puzzles yesterday out of Learn & Play Sudoku for First Grade. Sure they're easier versions, but still they're for first graders and he did them.
Again, I'm not trying to brag. I figure he's got interests and so you might as well feed them.
The "Ray of Light" from this is not that he was so smart to be able to do them, but more that he was enjoying the same type of puzzle games that I love. I can't wait until he grows up and we can do speed mind games...I know he'll whip me, but it will be so fun. I love it! It made my day!

Up and Ready!

I've heard many people say there is power in getting up and getting ready first thing each morning. I agree with that like 75%. :)

I have found that getting ready each day has made a HUGE difference in how I feel. I do have to be realistic and realize that I may not get the "first thing each morning" part of the suggestion, but I do get ready EACH day. I've found that even if I don't get ready until 4 or 5 pm (sad, but it does happen some times) it still makes a difference.

When I look at myself right after getting out of bed, well to say the least, I'm not a huge fan of what I see. I'm not down grading myself, but like most people, I don't love my "morning look." If I continue on like that all day, then I just never feel good about myself. I used to do the pony tail thing ALL the time, but it really wasn't a good look for me.

***An Aside: I have NO problem with pony tails. Many people look lovely in them,
but trust me, pony tails on me are for exercising or working out in the yard...not my best look. Also, for me it is totally a cop out. That's why I have short hair, that's not even an option I'm going to give myself because I know I'd get lazy and just not do it. Then all of my effort to actually get ready would really only be for odor removal.***
For me, getting ALL THE WAY ready is what makes the biggest difference. I think then I'm also taking the chance to show myself that I'm worth it and that I can look good.
So my biggest "blues buster" is getting ready: shower, hair, make-up and all!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ray of Light- Perspective

This is kind of a mixed post...not only is it my "Ray of Light," but it's one of those issues I had on my list of things so blog about. Depression has truly given me such a different perspective on life. This topic came up in my support group and in some ways I'd realized it, but in others I'd never really put a name to what I was feeling so I think I wasn't completely aware.

I've found that not only do I have to have a different perspective in relation to my own life and expectations, but I am so pleased to say that I look at every one differently. I think I have become much more tolerant and understanding. I find that I wonder the "why" behind peoples actions a lot more than I did before. Or I'll find myself thinking, "I just don't know what their story is, so there's no need to judge them."

This has definitely been an unexpected blessing. I always needed to learn to be less judgemental, but this sure isn't they way I planned to learn it! ;)

Here's a poem that I got when I was a teen that seems really applicable here:

Judge Not
Pray, don't find fault with the girl who limps,
Or stumbles along the road,
Unless you have worn the shoes she wears,
Or struggled beneath her load.
There may be tacks in her shoes that hurt,
Though hidden away from view,
Or the burden she bears, placed on your back,
Might cause you to stumble, too.
Don't sneer at the girl who's down today,
Unless you have felt the blow,
That caused her to fall or felt the shame,
That only the fallen can know.
You may be strong, but still the blows that were her's
If dealt to you in the selfsame time,
Might cause someone as strong as you
to stagger a little in line.
~Author Unknown~

And who could say this concept more eloquent than our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ:

Luke 6: 41-42

41 And why beholdest thou the mote* that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.

It is my hope that I can continue to learn from my struggle and I pray especially that I can try to look at each situation from another's shoes.

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*Mote: Chip or splinter

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ray of Light

Okay, so if you've read my previous post you'll understand that today has been a harder day. I have to admit, I'm having a harder time coming up with a "Ray of Light." I know it's never that they're not there, but I think I'm wearing dark glasses so I don't notice them as much. And sometimes I think I'm even covering my eyes because I don't want to see them...Is that weird?

I really hate it how sometimes I just want to feel bad and down in the dumps. Of course there is part of me that wonders why I'm so crazy, but then the other part (I suppose the "natural man*" part) of me, the one that seems to be in control at these times, just shouts and drowns out my rational side. Arrrrr.....

But I do have a "Ray of Light" (I probably should spend a lot more time looking for them on days like today...yeah, we'll work on that.) I think it's that I didn't allow myself to be completely encompassed in the dark. I could have. It definitely would have been easier, but thankfully I have my sweet children to help give me motivation. So I guess right there I have 3 "Rays of Light" (1. I didn't get caught in the darkness, 2. Bradley, & 3. Braeden)

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*Natural Man: See also Born Again, Born of God; Carnal; Fall of Adam and Eve
A person who chooses to be influenced by the passions, desires, appetites, and senses of the flesh rather than by the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Such a person can comprehend physical things but not spiritual things. All people are carnal, or mortal, because of the fall of Adam and Eve. Each person must be born again through the atonement of Jesus Christ to cease being a natural man.

The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit, 1 Cor. 2: 14. The natural man is an enemy to God and should be put off, Mosiah 3: 19. He that persists in his own carnal nature remaineth in his fallen state, Mosiah 16: 5 (Alma 42: 7-24; D&C 20: 20). What natural man is there that knoweth these things? Alma 26: 19-22. Natural or carnal men are without God in the world, Alma 41: 11. Because of his transgression, man became spiritually dead, D&C 29: 41. Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, D&C 67: 12. And man began to be carnal, sensual, and devilish, Moses 5: 13 (Moses 6: 49). (from

Patience...what's that?!

Oh, today! What can I say, it was a pretty slow day in some ways in and others a good day. To start off with, I didn't go back to sleep and I accomplished a lot before getting Bradley to preschool. During preschool I ran some errands and by the time I got home, I was done, just plain done.

I suppose it's not the end of the world, but I do find it frustrating. I'm trying to be patient with myself and my sometimes VERY limited abilities, but on days like today I just get frustrated.

Sure shopping can be a pain, but normally (even my new modified w/ depression normal) I can shop during preschool and then be fine (especially since I only have to take one kid).

And again, maybe it was just so hard because not only was I done, but I was REALLY low. Seriously if my boys wouldn't have needed me, then I would have just curled up on the couch. I hate it because I get this listless feeling and I just want to curl up and have everything go away. I don't feel like I can handle even minor everyday things.

Thankfully I was blessed and so I'm feeling at least better (maybe done, but not stuck in darkness). I guess I really need to have one of my changed expectations be that I'm really going to have good days and slow days, and it doesn't matter if I could do the same thing yesterday and be fine, I just have to take each day for what it's worth.

BLAH! Maybe some day I'll get there...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ray of Light

So let me catch you up on a few "Rays of Light" from the weekend.

*First on Friday night I got to actually GO OUT with Ryan and some friends and it wasn't even our anniversary (heck, since that happened the weekend before we actually WENT OUT 2 weekends in a's a new post-kids record).

*Saturday I got to go get my hair cut. I was holding out attempting to grow it out, yeah...didn't happen. I just couldn't deal with the "growing" pains (okay, yes, the pun was intended). It was just really nice to again, have some quiet time to do something for me.

*Sunday we had the opportunity to attend another ward where Ryan was privileged to speak to their youth (12-18 years of age) about a few tidbits he felt would make the biggest difference in their lives at this time. I was SO proud of him...I always am, but I love watching him teach...he's so good at it. I was also so pleased that I could be there...often that is not the case.

*And today, Monday, since it's the holiday (sadly not for my husband, but for everyone else) we didn't have any commitments that we had to meet, so we took it easy this morning...and not just because I was having a slow day. I got to rest on the couch while holding Braeden and watching Elmo's World. I helped Bradley play with his lacing cards. And I'm currently listening to the boys laugh at each other while they're supposed to be eating lunch. I really am blessed to have 2 wonderful children and to have the opportunity to stay home with them.

Do something fun!

One of the most helpful pieces of advice I have ever received came from a favorite college professor, Dr. Bill Marshall. Ryan and I enrolled in his research methods class (specifically for the Marriage, Family, & Human Development degree), but we got SO much more than we'd bargained for. For starters we learned a ton about research, but he ran his class in a very different way (this is usually a VERY dreaded class, but with his style it was much more bearable), but what made his class the best came from an unlikely course of events.

While we were in college 9/11 happened and so consequently we were also in college during the big economic slump that followed. I don't remember the exact details, but basically the university was having to figure ways to reduce costs which meant that adjunct (part time) faculty had to go. This decision came mid-way through the semester and that is when things changed in Dr. Marshall's class.

He just happened to be one of those losing his job after that semester. Luckily this wasn't too devastating since he was planning to retire soon, but needless to say this wasn't in his plans so his plans had to change. He decided that in a lesson or 2 we'd finish up the basics of research and then he was going to give us what he considered his best lectures of his career. The things he felt were more practical and applicable to our future happiness.

I have to admit the first thing I was excited about was not having to write a research paper in our research methods class (isn't that cool...he figured we'd written our share of papers and he'd done his part by teaching us every thing we needed to do short of actually writing the paper...and what we he worried about, it's not like they were going to fire him!). But after that excitement wore off, I was really excited to hear what he felt was more important for our future. He'd been teaching for many years and had obviously lived many years as well, so he had his share of practical experience racked up and I was ready to glean from his wisdom.

I'd always enjoyed his style of teaching so I didn't mind attending his class, but after this change I couldn't wait to go to class. I LOVED my major (Marriage, Family, & Human Development). I didn't think there was anything better to prepare me for every facet of life, since you know you kind of deal with people all the time. And here I felt like Dr. Marshall was giving us the cream of the crop. It was FABULOUS!

I do admit I don't remember everything he taught us (you know...I'm just like Dory), but the principle that has been most helpful, especially as I try to balance and figure out this battle with depression was the following:

When is the best time to take a break?
BEFORE you need it!

I feel like in American society we try to run ourselves into the ground and then when we do get to take a break it is NEVER long enough. It was a really hard principle to start living (I've always tried to do WAY too much), but as I slowly started to make it part of my life, you know what? I felt better! (I can't believe it....he really was right?!)

For anyone I think this principle is SO important, but for someone with depression or any number of other mental illnesses, it is imperative.
The break doesn't have to be taking a trip to Hawaii or something like that (although I don't think that's a bad idea either), even just taking a few minutes out of each day to do something that you really love goes SO far.

I often find myself looking back at the last few hours of the day and if I've just been running from one thing to the next, I mentally cut off the rest of my to-do list and move it to the next day. Then I sit and read, or spend some Internet time, etc. The "break" will be different for each one of us, but it is SO worth it.

The days that I really crash come after a day where I didn't set proper limits and I never gave myself that break.

Sure it can be frustrating that I feel like I HAVE to take the break, but as I've talked about before, my reality and therefore my expectations have changed and so breaks have just become part of daily life.

So thank you Dr. Marshall for teaching me something that would be SO helpful to me, long before I really needed to know it.