Monday, October 27, 2014

There is beauty in the breakdown

Depression is an interesting beast. It comes on unexpectedly and leaves me feeling helpless and hopeless. And then it leaves.

One month ago I was in the hospital. After an intense panic attack in my doctor's office, I was admitted into the ER for exhaustion and anxiety.  I hadn't been eating, drinking, sleeping, or doing any of the normal things humans are expected to do to maintain life. I'd just been taking care of my kids.

After Sammy was born I experienced post-partum depression. It was awful, but went away after he was about 4 months old. My doctor prescribed me anti-depressants in the hospital after Lucas was born and I'd been taking them ever since. But one day I went off them.

I can't say why. I thought what most idiots like me think. "I'm feeling great. I don't need these dumb pills. I'm kicking you to the curb."

And then everything fell apart. Anxiety became my constant companion. Fatigue and depression consumed me. And then I had a serious panic attack the day Dan came home from a weekend away. I started hyperventilating and called him in a panic while he was at work. He rushed home and took over with the kids and I slept for 3 hours.

The next morning I went to see my OB/GYN. While I was in her office, the room started to close in on me. I wasn't able to breath. I became so dizzy they had to put me in a wheelchair to take me down to the ER. I don't remember much. But I was terrified. I do remember sobbing and grabbing the social worker's hand and gasping, "There....not....going to do anything with my kids....are they?"

For some reason, at that moment, that was my greatest worry. She reassured me that no, my kids wouldn't be taken away from me, that I was a good mom, and that I needed some real help.

Since that moment, things have improved. But I have to remind myself that I'm not better. I'm not 100%. I'm not even sure I know what 100% looks like anymore. But I do know that I can have really good days, and some really bad days, and that's ok. I know I am strong. I know I can rely on my husband for strength when mine fails. I know I love my children. I know they'll be ok and will love me unconditionally.

Depression is a hard card. But I know I'm not alone. The world has seemed infinitely more beautiful to me lately. Trees look greener. The ocean looks bluer. My family surrounds me and overcomes me, but that's alright. I can make it through. The only way out is up.

“I am larger, better than I thought;
I did not know I held so much goodness.” 
― Walt WhitmanLeaves of Grass

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Verse 1

I'm too self aware to write really fantastic poetry
It was better when I was younger, cliches didn't scare me
but now here I sit, one more night looking for an outlet, looking for a spark
turning the words, listening to Tori, and feeling things that are too much

I think Yorke said it best, "I can't shake that feeling, I could blow through the ceiling"
That was one of the best times of my life, 101 degrees at midnight, dust and lights
5,000 people, and I felt so alone, but somehow part of.

16 years old, sitting on my roof, memorizing stars and novas, I feel like that again.
Cool breezes flow around me, bring me back to reality.
Small breathing come from the room across from me, reminding me, once again, that I am not just me

A bicycle carrying the weight of too many packages. Hit a bump, everything falls off.
Rise and dip, once again that dream surfaces, the one where I live it up and do What I Want

But a small cry in the night brings it back. I comfort the fear, hold a small hand, and water soft hair with my own tears.
No matter how I fight it, this is where I belong. This is what I love. Chasing squirrels at noon, eating carrots on the carpet, feeling the intensity of being an Adult.

And there it is. The duality. The tug in one direction, the pull in another. Happiness, frustration, terror, peace, exhilaration, laughter.

"Where did the world start Mom, before dinosaurs?" And I remember what I do. I teach, I love, I yell, I channel.

Never stop, this is what I want.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

No freedom 'til we're equal

I've been a mess of emotions these last few weeks. A surge of thoughts and feelings has passed over me and taken up home since December 20th 2013. On this day, a district judge, completely within his jurisdiction and authority, overturned Article 3 of the Utah State Constitution and legalized same-sex marriage in the Beehive State.

Since this most unexpected of Fridays, I have gone through so many ups and downs. I cried, hard, when I heard the news. Friends who had waited years to make things legal with the people they loved rushed to the courthouse to sign something I had taken so for granted at the time of my own wedding: a marriage license. It's a simple little piece of paper, but means so much to two people who are really dedicated and committed to each other.

I have had many disappointing moments. These moments have come in the form of mean-spirited social media comments, uneducated editorials and an overall un-Christian attitude from a group whom I consider peers and fellow saints.

Many have asked me how I can support gay marriage when it is so opposed by the leaders of my church. I struggled with this answer for so long. I have been a life-long member. I've also supported the right for all consenting adults to marry whomever they choose for as long as I can remember.

The monday following Judge Shelby's ruling, I watched the news as dozens of couples made their way to the Salt Lake Courthouse. I felt so much love and kinship for these happy people. I decided to head up and soak up a little goodness for myself. I took my 4-year-old son, and together with some friends, made and handed out flower bouquets to couples standing in line waiting for licenses.

I wished in that moment that every one of my friends who thought this was such an evil happening could have been there. Tears flowed freely as families were bonded together, as dedicated and devoted couples expressed love and commitment to each other and as the sacred institution of marriage was celebrated and honored. There was no flaunting of any sort of agenda, or flamboyancy, or hatred. Just love. Lots and lots of love.

So when it comes to my conflict of faith, or how I support something that the leaders of the church I love so dearly oppose so adamantly, I just say "I don't know". It's an issue I truly believe time will fix. The leaders of the LDS church recently published a statement saying, essentially, that there was no divine inspiration for the ban on blacks in the priesthood for some 100+ years. I anticipate at some date a similar post will be made about the church's stance on gay marriage.

For now though, I embrace love and change. I am trying hard to respect all views, and not to judge those I love and look up to for their own stance on this issue.