Sunday, January 30, 2011
I'm disappointed when these labels start coming out. It usually means that conversation has degraded into grown up name-calling and any semblance of intelligent sharing of ideals is lost.
I wish I could convey to those who bandy such labels around that they're not breaking me or disproving my opinions by calling me such things. Sure, the intent to offend and the knowledge that because I am these things means they think I'm mindless bother me. Not because I've had my feelings hurt; by definition, I am happy to be known by these labels. However, these days there is massive negative connotation with these labels.
Let's break it down-
Closed minded. This is one I would argue with. I think I am more open minded than anyone who accuses me of having a closed mind. To have an open mind is to be willing to consider new ideas and information; closed minded is the exact opposite. No where, in any definition I have read, is it required to embrace those new ideas and information to be considered open minded. I never hear something new and dismiss it automatically. I have a mind of my own and I use it. So, having been faced with the notion that I am a closed minded person, I have examined the facets of such an idea and will now dismiss it as ludicrous;)
Old fashioned. Honestly, why is it bad to think that my grandparents way of thinking was a-ok? They were fantastic people whom we should all aspire to be like. It's a pity you didn't know them.
Religious sheep. Really? Jesus is called the Good Shepherd. Of course I want to be a religious sheep!
Prude. Thank you very much:) Such a label means I'm someone who has inhibitions, propriety; and I hope to always be "one who is easily offended by matters of a sexual nature." I don't think matters of a sexual nature are anything to be taken as lightly as the media would have us believe. Why is that bad? It isn't.
Housewife. Yes, I am found in my house the majority of my time. I am a wife. So...logically- housewife. And happy to be so. The world is a crazy place and I much prefer my home.
I'm sure there are other "derogatory" labels I can be known by, but I've devoted as much time as I want to to this for now. Time to go do my housewifely duty and put the boys to bed;)
Thursday, January 27, 2011
My mood sometimes seems to be hinged on the state of my kitchen. Or perhaps my the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of my kitchen is a result of my mood...
Chicken or egg? Which came first, the clean kitchen or the cheerful Lindsey? Haha, very witty;)
But seriously, when my kitchen is cluttered I'm often easily irritated. When it's clean, I seem to have deeper patience wells.
Case in point- yesterday I did not do a good job in the kitchen. Result? Messy kitchen to greet me this morning. How does it get so messy in one day?!?
After a crazy morning with the kids and a not very productive afternoon, I managed to get the kitchen back to what it should be during the boys' snack time. The late afternoon and evening were much better than the morning and early afternoon.
Does my kitchen really have magical powers?
Sure, it might have something to do with the fact that it's easier to get around in the heart of our house when it's clean and that good work is a mood lifter. Both happy things.
But I like thinking that my kitchen is magic, too.
And I'm very thankful that my kitchen is clean today, that I'll wake up to a clean kitchen tomorrow morning (mostly because Bret did all the dinner dishes!:)), and that I can go to bed knowing I was a better mom by the end of the day than the one I started out being this morning.
What about you? Does your kitchen reflect your mood, too? Or perhaps your mood reflects your kitchen?
And what are you thankful for today?
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
It seems in those dusty corners of my memories that there was a time I didn't really like to read. Can that really be or is my mind playing tricks on me?...
Whatever the case, I do recall many books that I loved as a child.
Like this one, "What Do People Do All Day?" by Richard Scarry-
I still get lost in all those pictures.
Of course there was also, "Black Beauty," by Anna Sewell and, "Where the Sidewalk Ends," by Shel Silverstein.
But I've always been more of a series lover.
My brothers had a bunch of Encyclopedia Brown and Hardy Boys books that I would pilfer. I can't tell you how excited I was when I found the Nancy Drew books in my middle school library. Girl detective stories!
Then there's the Boxcar Children books, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, the Ramona books, and these-
I loved reading the Great Brain books and I don't know why. I am big on justice; abnormally so. The bad guy must always get his comeuppance. And T.D. never really got his. He'd weasel other kids out of their money or possessions. Sometimes he'd get in trouble, but even when he did he always had a way of passing on the guilt to someone else. Punk. And yet, I really enjoy those books.
And I think it would be a sin to blog about favorite childhood books without mentioning the Little House on the Prairie books.
I like this little jot down memory lane. I think I'll have to do it again sometime. Thanks, Chocolate on my Cranium, for the Wordfull Wednesday idea I was tempted enough to get in on!
Monday, January 24, 2011
It's not just being sad.
In fact, sadness is often not part of the equation at all. The symptoms are across the board and often combine in discouraging ways.
Defined by the book, depression is sadness and inactivity. It gets so much deeper than that, though.
It's wishing all day to be in bed and sleeping, then not being able to get to sleep at night.
It's shoulder-crushing feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and complete inadequacy when facing one's responsibilities.
It's ridiculously irrational irritation at everything and everyone.
It's annoying headaches.
It's feeling completely numb. Not physically, and not I'm-doing-busywork-homework-and-not-engaging-my-brain-or-emotions numb, but feeling nothing/thinking nothing numb. That one is quite unnerving.
And the biggest one, in my opinion- It's finding one's ability to think and process gone, gone, gone. "Pregnancy brain" on steriods is the best way I can think to describe it. The mind is a jumbled mess of millions of random thoughts suffocating the one that you're trying desperately to hold onto. Decision making, conversations, reading, and even praying all become tremendously difficult and all but impossible. Very faith shaking.
It's a field day for that Satan punk. But I'll get in to that a different day. For now, I just wanted to clarify that depression isn't just being sad. And I mostly wanted to do that for fear of appearing weak to those who think it is just being sad. I am not weak. Neither is anyone else who experiences these things. Temptations don't mean a person is weak.
And speaking of temptation, I want to add something to supplement a previous post. It’s okay to get discouraged, to be sad. Going through life thinking every bad emotion is a sin will drive a person crazy. It’s the wallowing in it that is not okay. It’s the continually giving in or the refusing to come out that is not okay.
To close out this post, here's a scripture I've come to love-
Doctrine and Covenants 112:13 And after their temptations, and much tribulation, behold, I, the Lord, will feel after them, and if they harden not their hearts, and stiffen not their necks against me, they shall be converted, and I will heal them.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
You never know how much you miss the sun until it's been hidden by clouds for a couple weeks. Cliche, but true:)
I am having so much fun noticing how things look in the sunlight today.
The sky is gorgeous.
The dormant grass is shining.
The boys' eyes are sparkling.
My kitchen and it's decorations seem more colorful in the sunlight than they do with the artificial lights inside.
Oh sunshine, how thankful I am for you and that I can count on you to beat back that cloud cover on a regular basis.
Sunshine is so cheerful. Second to fall and spring sunshine is Winter sunshine. I love the cold bite of the air combined with the glow of sunshine.
I am very thankful that Heavenly Father blessed us with a beautiful sun!
What are you thankful for today?
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
But I feel the need to add a disclaimer.
I am fine.
I haven't experienced a massive depression in over three years and am continuing to climb out of the more common, shallow stuff.
My husband is wonderful. My kids are cute (saving grace as we wade through sicknesses, potty training, and normal argh! stuff;)). My life is great. I'm still progressing and feeling better all the time. I am, by no means, feeling like I've completely conquered this. But-
I am fine. Promise:)
Just thought you should know.
Monday, January 17, 2011
I hesitate to share what it's actually like to be severely depressed. At this point, I doubt it will ever stop feeling so raw to reflect on the worst aspects of it. And at the same time, the not-so-hardcore depression junk is difficult to write about, too. How to put these things into words...
Do I put my opinions on depression medication out there and risk being reviled (because I know it could hurt more than a few feelings no matter how delicately I try to handle it)?
Do I give tips on how to claw one's way out of the pit of despair?
I think I'm just going to share what I think depression is, in its most basic form. That will probably make any future posts more understandable. And I hope you'll bear with me and leave off all scoffing until you've at least read the whole thing.
I believe that depression is rooted in temptation. Temptation to be depressed, that is. And that being depressed is the result of giving in to that temptation.
I will say that I don't think that's the case for every single type of depression. However, based on my experiences and observations, I do think temptation is generally the case.
Those of you who have suffered through depression will understand how absurd that sounds. After all, if it were a temptation, wouldn't I be able to just turn around and metaphorically walk away from it? Wouldn't I be given a choice to "just say no" instead of suddenly finding myself over my head in it and all spiritual helps mysteriously unavailable to me?
Apparently, some temptations are different from the run of the mill I-am-tempted-to-slap-you-but-I-won't temptations.
There are lots of temptations like this. And most people will have to struggle with at least one of them. One of the strangest things that has come out of my personal journey is sympathy for people who suffer from same-sex attraction. They feel like that attraction is hard-wired in them; something they couldn't change if their life depended on it. I've thought it is like being a quadriplegic surrounded by 100 ft. steel walls and being told you have to climb out or you're a bad person. Same with depression. But I know that both can be overcome.
I am one who underestimated the power of depression to lock a person up in it. But my reflections and studies have led me to believe that not doing everything I can to escape the trap of depression is succumbing to temptation.
After all, "Men are that they might have joy." 2 Nephi 2:25
I think the best way to summarize this will be to share what has been at the top of my favorite scriptures list since June. I read this a month or so after I diagnosed myself and was quite shocked to find such an applicable record in the scriptures that I had to read it twice to make sure I wasn't just making it up.
It would seem that totally amazing Nephi, the Book of Mormon era prophet, knows what it's like to smacked with depression.
17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
And right there in the scriptures is something to remind where my perspective should be. (Though having a reminder and actually being successful in returning to proper perspective are very different things!)
2 Nephi 2:20-29
26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations [See?!? Nephi says it, too:)], that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?
30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.
32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!
33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.
34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.
What do you think? Good place to start? Agree or disagree with my conclusions? Anything you'd like me to get into next or shall I just continue to fly by the seat of my pants?
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I've been hearing a lot about depression lately. I've been reading about it in blogs. I've been hearing about it at church and among friends. I've actually been hearing and reading a lot of stuff that I don't agree with.
When did the word depression start being defined as a disease and no longer an emotion???
Up until a few years ago, I thought clinical depression was a load of hooey. "Buck up," I thought.
And now, a confession: I have struggled with depression, in varying degrees, for the last six+ years, not knowing it until this last spring.
You know the saying, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes” (or something like that…)
Yep. I’ve definitely learned- Judge not lest the Lord seeth fit to make you wear the same pair of shoes.
Any of you who have known me longer than six years may be shocked. Lindsey. Winner of numerous happiest teammate/cast member/camper/etc. awards. Who was often complimented for a contagious smile. Lindsey and depression don’t go in the same sentence. I wish that were still so. But I’m closer to not having my name associated with depression than I’ve been in years. There is hope!
I’ve only come to realize in the last year that my struggles could be defined as depression. The thought crossed my mind many a time over the years, but I always thought, “Noooo. If people are taking medication for it depression must be much worse than what I’m experiencing.”
And then I ran across a couple of blog posts by a couple of women who are taking “happy pills.” The symptoms they shared seemed mild based on what I was experiencing. I was shocked.
So I researched symptoms of depression and matched every one. Then, after seeing the term “severe depression” all the time in my search, I looked up symptoms for that, too and was stunned to find that I had experienced every symptom except for suicidal thoughts…although I’m sure certain thoughts that have run through my head could be related to that.
Yes. I did self diagnose on this. But I'm confident that if I went to the doctor and told him half of what I've experienced I'd have the pills in my hand before I left his office. One, because I know it's depression and two, because I know doctors are over-medicating for depression; at least in this country.
This discovery and self diagnosis has had quite the good effect, though. It has facilitated more progress against it than I had been making flying blind.
Since the spring, I have gone back and forth about blogging about this. I've always concluded that my motives were prideful so I should just keep what I've experienced and what I've learned to myself. But I keep coming across things being shared about depression that I don't believe are true. There is some good stuff being shared. But most of what I read and hear isn't so great.
And so I kept coming back to whether or not I should toss my two cents out into the world. And today I got the impression that I should share. "But what about my pride issues?" "Well, be prayerful about what you share. But share. There's a lot you know that could help someone else." Oh.
I'm not sure how to go about this. There's too much to just lay out in one mammoth blog post. I don't want to commit myself to blogging regularly about it. And I worry that if I blog based on reactions from what I read and hear that things won't be shared in the right spirit...
All I know is that I'm writing this post and opening the door to write more. Perhaps the path will become clearer tomorrow, or next week. Or perhaps it will always remain fuzzy beyond each post I share.
So...I suppose you can ask questions if you're curious. That might help me know which direction to take this. Know that my answers will be either generalized or personal; I do not pretend to be an expert. I just know I have a fairly unique perspective to share.
I guess that's it for now. Consider the door open.
Friday, January 14, 2011
I fell off the fff train and it's time to get back on.
Pitifully, the only thing I can say about fulfillment this week is that I decided to be proactive about it again. It's been quite a week otherwise.
But next week better watch out!
Yesterday was a rough day. I felt pretty punk all morning and Jonz and Al were both lay-on-the-couch sick. I've been potty training (a task that leaves me wanting to scream and hit things) Al and Goose with extremely little success. Jonz and Al got back their energy after lunch while I had a growing headache. By three o'clock I was on my knees on my couch, curled up in a ball, and pressing my head into the cushions because that was the only thing that eased the pain and kept me from throwing up. Migraine fun. For the next couple hours the boys came up to me periodically to show me an arm, face, leg, etc. that they'd covered in stickers while I tried to persuade them to stay in the playroom.
Around five I started to feel the fog lifting and sat on the couch with a headache hangover for the next hour or so. Bret brought dinner home (because he is AWESOME) and by 6:35 I felt good enough to jump in the shower and try to get to Book Club at 7.
Which is where the gratitude comes in. I am thankful for the book club. It was a very refreshing end to a rough day. It's always a welcome change of scenery and fun to spend an hour or two discussing books with great women in the neighborhood.
What are you fankful for today?
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The kind of day when I don't want anyone touching me, talking to me, whining at me (do I ever want that?), asking me questions, or being in the same room as me.
With three small children- I got just that.
So- it's been a challenging day. My kids must think I'm a nutcase today since every time any of them approached me I had to close my eyes and lecture myself before responding/reacting so I wouldn't be a jerk. I wish I could say it worked perfectly in making me a nice mom today.
My kids are so patient. Boy do I love them for still loving me even when I'm not a nice mom. I may do incalculably awesome things for them as their mother, but I am in debt up to my eyeballs to them for all the leeway they give me.
Along with ever-forgiving children, I'm thankful for luxury soft blankets, ice cream, movies, and a husband who will enjoy them with me.
What are you thankful for?