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I am.

2 Jun

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For those of you who don’t know, I’d like to officially proclaim that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  In other words, I am a Mormon.

I converted in late 2009, but had two periods of inactivity during my first separation and then divorce.  In fact, I’m pretty sure if you added up all the months since I was baptized, I’ve been inactive longer than I’ve been active.

About a year ago, I guess my files were finally transferred and I met some sisters who came to visit me and then my VT companion.  Over time, their kindness and concern softened my heart.  The desire to live the gospel stirred in me once more.

I knew I still believed the church was true.  I could still feel the truth of everything I’d learned in my heart.  I knew I had a Heavenly Father and that Jesus gave his life for me.  I just felt that in my hurt and confusion, I had strayed too far from the path.  I had behaved like a child, self-centered and emotionally immature.  How could I ever overcome the damage I, myself had inflicted upon my life?

I had a desire to return to church, but I was afraid.  What would people think of my divorce? What if no one liked me?  Would it feel the same as I did in my old Ward?  I realize now that these were silly worries, but at the time it was just enough to keep me from making that step.  I finally got the courage to ask for help.  I told the sisters that I really wanted to go to church, but that I knew I’d never go alone.  That was in January, and I guess the rest is history!

I met with the Bishop not long after General Conference to discuss repentance.  Best decision I’ve ever made.  That process has changed my life in a way that I didn’t even imagine possible.  I know now that I’ve been forgiven of my sins, that my Heavenly Father loves me, and it’s given me greater hope than I’ve ever known.

I was called about a month ago as Ward Missionary.  I love it.  The happiness I feel when I get to talk about the Gospel is overwhelming.  I feel useful.  It forces me to focus on others and I don’t have time to be lonely or wish for things I don’t have.  I pray that I will be able to help others like the sisters helped me.

I love my Ward family.  Everyone I’ve met has been so kind and welcoming to me.  I don’t know why I was ever worried about it.  I’m so grateful for the divinely inspired organization of the church.  I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to partake of the sacrament every week to renew my covenants.

Mostly I’m grateful for my trials.  I know they are teaching me everything that I need to know.  They are making me stronger and wiser.  I pray that I will keep that in mind when hardship comes back around.  I’m not promised a perfect life, I will be tried, but with faith I will make it though the storm.

Darkness Within

25 Apr

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I was first diagnosed with depression and prescribed anti-depressants toward the end of my Sophomore year of college.

I had gone to the Doctor complaining of always being tired and after some questioning, he decided I was depressed.  I didn’t take it very seriously.  I took the medication for about a month and when I didn’t feel any different, stopped taking them.

Less than a year later, I had to withdraw from school and move to Corpus Christi because I was suicidal.

I spent the next year in therapy.  I worked hard to get to a good place without the use of anti-depressants.  I really thought there was no way I’d ever find myself in such a state again.  While I’ve never found myself in that kind of suicidal state again, I’ve struggled off and on with a deep depression and the struggle of what is the root cause of these issues.

For me, depression really isn’t about sadness.  I would describe it as a numbness.  Over the years, I’ve found that a period of depression usually comes when I’ve experienced a very stressful situation or prolonged periods of anxiety.  It’s more like being completely overwhelmed and my emotions shutting down.  I withdraw from interactions with family and friends.  I become unproductive because I have no drive or energy.  All the while, I’m aware that this is happening, want it to change, and feel like a bit of a prisoner within myself.

It takes time and effort to overcome those periods of depression.  I’ve tried numerous anti-depressants over the years and I’ve yet to find one I like.  What I’ve found that helps more than anything revolves around my spirituality.  Being involved in my church and everything that entails brings the swiftest relief I’ve found, but it still takes time and effort.

I’ve been struggling lately.  The past few weeks were the worst of it, but thankfully I seem to be crawling out of my dark place.  I don’t understand exactly what the root cause is, but I’m grateful I know how to combat it.

Single

17 Apr
Image Source: someecards.com

Image Source: someecards.com

A little over a month ago, I posted about my plan to stay single for a while. After a few less than stellar dating experiences since my divorce, I feel like it’s probably a good idea to just focus on myself for some time.

The first week or so was pretty amazing. I felt really peaceful and hopeful.

Then all of the guys started coming out of the woodwork. I mean, it is actually comical. I make the decision to stop dating and all of a sudden I’ve got 3 men after me… I’m sure it’s not a coincidence.

Two of these guys I previously dated, another is an old friend. I’ve been turning them down, but it seems like they just aren’t getting the picture.

I know I’m being tested. None of these are viable options for me and I know that, but it’s still a temptation. I’d rather not be alone, but I know it’s what I need.

I’m gonna stick it out.

Everybody needs a little forgiveness

7 Apr
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My beautiful mother, sisters, and I

This time last week, I was in Corpus Christi visiting two of my sisters and our mother.  She drove down from Charlotte and we all had a wonderful Easter together.  It was the first time in years that we weren’t brought together by tragedy.  I am so incredibly grateful that we have all made it through the wilderness of those dark times and seem to all be doing well for once!  It was probably the happiest time we’ve all had together.

I was pretty nervous before my trip.  The few times I’ve been back to Corpus Christi since my separation were short trips when my aunt was put into hospice and then for her memorial.  The last time I went, this past September, was another short trip to move my sister and cousin back.  That’s when my ex-husband decided to show up and turn my life upside down again.

This was my first real trip back since my divorce.  I wondered how I was going to feel spending an extended amount of time in the place that didn’t feel like home until he came along.  I worried I might run into him or his family.  I thought I might find myself looking for him everywhere we went.  But that didn’t happen.

On my last day there, we were running around doing some shopping.  I was zoned out as we drove down a busy street.  I snapped out of it and realized I was starting at a blue truck.  Then I thought, that kinda looks like his truck.  It wasn’t his, but I realized that I hadn’t been looking for him at all.

Another night, after family pictures, my step-dad wanted to take us all to dinner.  The restaurant he chose was the location of my first date with him.  I mentioned it at dinner and I could tell my family was concerned that I was upset, but I was surprised to realize that it wasn’t upsetting at all.

I’m so glad that I’m finally getting to this point.  I’m letting go.  I”m moving on.

You know what I think it is?  I’m finally forgiving myself.  I forgave him long ago, but I have felt so much anger toward myself.  Especially for letting him back in this last time.  I’ve been working on repentance through my church and I can feel my heart getting lighter and lighter.  It’s amazing what a little forgiveness can do.

 

I’m moving on

3 Mar

So, I don’t wanna talk about it.

That’s whats kept me from blogging all of these months. I felt like I had to explain whats been going/what happened a few months ago. Most of the people who read this blog anymore are people I know in real life. You already have some idea about what I’ve been up to.

I’ve tried writing about it, but I just don’t want to talk about it. I want to move on. Finally!

I don’t want to give him or this anymore space in my life, head, heart.

So…

I’m back!

Beautiful

26 Aug

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For the first time in my life, I feel beautiful.

This isn’t about my weight.  This isn’t about hair or makeup or clothes.  This is about love.

Because for the first time in my life, I truly love myself.  I’m not sure how it happened, but I think it was a necessity.  I’ve never felt this way before, but it’s amazing.

The List

7 Apr

 

I don’t have a large number of people that I consider good friends.  It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the women that I do consider friends that keeps them from being GOOD friends.  It just seems to take me a long time to cultivate the type of relationship that I would consider close/special/true.

I’m sure we could get into the psychology of what this means and why it is, etc.  But I think it’s simply the fact that #1 I have four younger sisters and those relationships raise the bar on what I expect from my relationships with other women, and #2 I was let down by my mother at a very young age and probably don’t inherently trust/feel comfortable with ladies.

Whew, #2 was hard to admit.  I really don’t want to feel that way, but regardless- I guess I’m more about quality than quantity.

Three of my oldest and dearest friends live in Lubbock.  One friendship is 25 years old!  The others are 18 and 15.  I’ve basically known these women more than I haven’t.  I feel like they know every single part of me and still accept me for who I am.  That is an amazing resource and freedom.

One of these ladies recently gave me a task to complete.  She asked me to make a list of 20 things I want in a man. (Not necessarily today, but when I’m ready).  I made my list and checked back in with her.

Then I was to choose 5 things that I couldn’t live without.  The idea being that if I found someone with these 5 things, the rest of the list probably wouldn’t matter much because my real needs would be met.

It was harder than I expected to come up with 20 things!  I had some duplicates like humble and down-to-earth which are basically the same thing.  But after some tweaking, I think I had a pretty accurate list.  The top 5 were pretty easy to choose.  So, here’s my list:

  1. Honest
  2. Chemistry/Connection
  3. Spiritual
  4. Passionate
  5. Good Communicator
  6. Respectful
  7. Stable
  8. Motivated
  9. Sense of Humor
  10. Good Taste in Music
  11. Healthy
  12. Intelligent
  13. Open Minded
  14. Provider
  15. Thoughtful
  16. Down-to-Earth
  17. Affectionate
  18. Courageous
  19. Faithful
  20. Mature

I can already see how this list might change over time as I change or my needs change, but I don’t imagine that the top 5 will ever be very different from what it is now.

What would your top 5 be and why?