Thursday, August 12, 2010
There is something you may not know about me. I have tendencies toward this depression/anxiety thing. I think it's official medical name is Womanhood, but I'm not quite sure. My symptoms include but are not limited to: Irrationality. Unreasonable expectations of myself and kin. Lots of tears (usually guilty ones after having blown my top at the people I love the most). Oh, and another thing. I feel like I can't breathe. Especially when I look around at all of the undone, unclean, and seemingly impossible tasks surrounding me.
Whew, I said it.
I was just thinking the other day how I haven't had a bad spell for quite some time. And wouldn't you know? The very next day. . .KABOOM!
I immediately knew where I was headed, so I jumped on it.
The worst thing about this whole deal is that most of the time I am completely aware of how unreasonable I am being- how irrational my thought process is. I try to stop myself in my own tracks. However, despite my best efforts, my soon-to-be train wreck forges straight ahead.
I have tried prayer. I have tried reading my scriptures more abundantly than usual. I have attempted slowing down, and when that failed I gave speeding up a try. I even carved out the time to go running this morning, thinking that was the answer. When I wasn't sure that was working, I ran faster. When my heart threatened to stop, I thought that maybe I needed to force myself to be happy. It's this naturally occurring phenomenon I've heard about called Smiling. I thought that if perhaps I forced a smile onto my face, my mood would automatically follow suit. So it was that I spent the last half mile plodding along with a smile plastered on my face. When none of the above seemed to cure me, I bought myself a hot fudge brownie milk shake. Nothing a few extra pounds can't make worse, eh?
And still I felt in the dumps.
I drove to Logan this afternoon, crying all the while. (I wore sunglasses so I didn't look so silly.) While I sobbed out all of my discouragement, I listened to a talk by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Elder Uchtdorf reminisced of a time when, as a 10 year old refugee in West Germany, he struggled in school. Whereas he had previously learned Russian as a second language, he now had to learn English. He explained, "There my educational experience was a different one . . .For the first time in my life, I began to wonder if I was simply not smart enough for school."
Elder Uchtdorf goes on to say "Fortunately I had a teacher who taught me to be patient. He taught me that steady and consistent work- patient persistence-would help me to learn.
From that experience, I learned that patience was far more than simply waiting for something to happen- patience required actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results didn't appear instantly or without effort.
There is an important concept here: patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can- working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!"
So that's the ticket, I suppose. Learning patience. Learning to endure with the knowledge that sooner rather than later, the sun will shine. Working, hoping, and exercising faith. Remembering that my girls will probably still love me in spite of me. In fact, a good friend of mine (I think of her as my second mother) comforted me the other day with this advice. Her children are all grown now, but she told me that she still has a quote written on her chalk board which goes something like this, "As long as your children know that you love them, that important knowledge will cover a host of parental mistakes."