God's Grace ...

"I testify God will send help ... 
from both sides of the veil, 
to strengthen our belief."

Elder Jeffery R. Holland
April 2013 General Conference

First off, all conference talks are awesome ... and Elder Holland's was exceptional.  Then I heard Elder Holland, with tears in his eyes, say: "I testify God will send help ... from both sides of the veil, to strengthen our belief." At that moment, I realized that God had answered MY prayer just that way.

The last few days have been so rough.  My depression was swallowing me up, and the combination of a medication mix-up between the pharmacy and insurance company, my kids being home all week for spring break, my vacuum dying right as my 85lb fluff-ball dog started shedding, and my husband being out of town on a guys trip, (among other things), was just too much for me to handle.  During the first session of conference, I had a full-blown panic attack.  I was so overwhelmed and beyond reason.  I franticly tried to clean, rearrange the kids, and listen to conference, trying (and failing) to bite back my grouchiness.  And then I lost it.  I told my kids to stay downstairs, and that mommy was going to have a Time-out.

I went up to my room, closed the door, and let the sobs loose.  I cried, even when it physically hurt to sob so hard.  I tried to call my husband, multiple times, but he didn't answer.  I sobbed more and more, and the darkness started to take over.  Intrusive thoughts began taunting me, and my mind kept repeating:
"I can't do this anymore. 
Can't I just be done?  
I'm done.  
I can't do this.
I'm so alone.
I'm done."

At that moment, I begged God to help me, give me relief from my anxiety and thoughts.  Help my mind to stop thinking such harmful things.  Help me feel peace.

The thought popped into my mind to call my mom.  I texted her, and then called.  She was able to spend the next 30+ minutes talking me through my panic, and reminding me to breathe.  This might not seem significant, but I rarely open up to anyone but my husband, and he's the only one who can usually help me through a panic attack.  While on the phone with my mom, the doorbell rang.  I ignored it, but my kids answered ... a thoughtful neighbor had brought by cupcakes for us.  After talking to my mom, I was able to get my kids lunch, apologize to them for having gotten frustrated before, and put the toddler down for a nap.  Then I curled up and took a nap too.

My husband and mom both called and texted to check up on me, and then I slept peacefully for the next couple hours.  I woke up with a huge headache, but feeling calm but exhausted ... panic attacks really drain my whole energy.  About that time, my visiting teacher called.  She had made way too much pulled pork, would I be willing to let her bring by dinner for my family?  Um, sure, thank you so very much!  She brought by the meat, rice, and some fruit salad. That homecooked meal made us all feel happily stuffed and loved.  I had the energy to go through the bedtime routines with my kids, and got them all snuggled up and tucked in.  Then, a friend dropped by with beautiful sunflowers for me.  Have I ever mentioned that I adore sunflowers?  Sunflowers make me happy, I just utterly love sunflowers.  My day ended with me falling asleep smiling over those pretty flowers, and the dinner and treats that were brought over.

These people were inspired to know what to do or say, and brighten my day, allowing me to see the light through the darkness of depression.  I have no doubt that God was mindful of me, and through these wonderful helpers, comfort me in a time when I so desperately needed it.

A friend of mine shared this article with me: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/04/what-christians-need-to-know-about-mental-health/  It was beautifully written, so accurate and honest.  I wish everyone would read it, and have compassion for those dealing with illnesses or disabilities, both physical and mental.  Just because its "mental" doesn't mean it's made up or just in your mind.  Its not something you can "just get over".  Its a true illness, and can be debilitating.  It takes so much out of a person, and their family.  They need a little extra love, reassurance, and sunshine in their life.  And each of us can try to listen to the spirit, so we can be God's help to someone else.  Because there are not many things more special than being able to be a reminder to someone of God's love for them.

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