Wow, I sound like I'm grouchy today, which I'm not. . .
ANYWAY - so I'm going to write because if I don't, I'll probably not get to it until next week. Why? Because tonight is NEBO RELAY FOR LIFE! Yay! So excited to get out there to the track and walk all night! Why? Because all these people come who really care about someone who is fighting cancer or who has lost their battle. And we all come together to CELEBRATE - REMEMBER - FIGHT BACK! It's a very humbling experience and you leave there feeling so grateful for what health you have, and for all the people in your life who you care about. There's nothing like a life crisis to help things fall into perspective.
So I will be a zombie tomorrow, and possibly all weekend, so I need to write now or I won't write at all for awhile. My life has been SO crazy! I can't even begin to say how crazy, but it seems like that phrase is starting to become a "normal" phrase for me, which is really scary. But there's nothing to do about it except go on. . . put one foot in front of the other and smile and keep going!
Speaking of, the thing that prompted me to write was a really great little video that my sister-in-law shared on her Facebook page. It's from a website called tryhappy.org and it's called "Choose Happiness". Sorry, you'll have to watch a brief commercial first. But it's worth it!
I'm not talking about selfishness here, I'm talking about love for who you are, who God knows you are, and gratitude for living. Quite simply - learning to be happy no matter what!
Learning To Be Happy
Notice I didn't say "being happy", I said "learning to be happy." There's a difference.
I have been very happy for most of my life, and especially jubilant for the past six months or so, but that wasn't the case last summer and fall, due to a whole host of issues, mainly some kind of chemical imbalance that took forever to figure out and fix. So I really do understand where people are coming from who struggle with anxiety or depression.
I know what you're thinking - wait - Jumbled SUNSHINE struggled with anxiety and depression?!?
I know - it doesn't seem to make sense, does it? Sounds like an oxymoron! But yes, I've struggled on and off with it occasionally throughout my life. Except I didn't know it! I've always been an extremely happy person, a very social person, a very "bubby" person, you might say. But there have been times in my life when circumstances totally overwhelming have thrown me for a loop.
Most of the time, it was just some small, short moodiness, or a bout of post-partum blues, or something like that. But last summer & fall it was full blown anxiety and panic and depression. When you sincerely can't think of a good reason to get out of bed and do anything. . . that's when you start to realize that there's something wrong.
I can't believe I'm writing about this, it was my intention to tell you about my DAY NINE: BOOKS project and how I really did do it, and how I just haven't posted because I'm so ridiculously busy! I even have some pictures of what I accomplished! But I'll have to write about that later, because I've stumbled onto some deep stuff here. And I guess if it just flows from my fingers like this so easily, it must be what I'm supposed to write about today.
Dealing With Anxiety and Depression
I'm not even sure where I'm going with this (my brain is very jumbled today!), but I do know that there are a lot of people out there who may not be prepared if life hands them a trial like anxiety, depression, or panic attacks. I'm here to tell you that you can get past it. And that it's okay to give yourself time. I had to do an awful lot of hard work to get out of it - including the use of both traditional and alternative medicine which has made a huge difference - but it was not easy to pull myself out. I'm a very logical person, so it was very easy to talk myself back into it. Sounds crazy, and if you haven't experienced it, you'll probably think that it's just a matter of deciding to feel better. Well, that's true and it's not true.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just still feel miserable, worried or downright panicked. But for me at least, much of the key was to choose happiness OVER and OVER even when I didn't feel happy at all. To "fake it til you make it" and not give in to the dark feelings that pull you down. That's easier said than done, and your journey probably won't be perfectly uphill. Mine sure wasn't. But when you finally break free. . . it's SO liberating!
That's when I found my alter-ego, Jumbled Sunshine! She was inside there all along, just being squashed by the difficulties and realities of life. She was literally buried, 10 feet under, and it took a long time and a ton of hard work to dig her out.
|Happy ME - Jumbled Sunshine!|
Art by Jessica Ward.
In fact, when I think back on what I was going through last year, and how I felt, it's hard to believe that was really me. None of it even sounds like how I think or look at things now, or how I have looked at things in general throughout my entire life. But when I was going through it, it was oh, so real. And so hard. And I'm so glad that it's finally behind me.
I don't really know why I've written this or what to say now, except this: HANG IN THERE! Don't give in to dark thoughts that pull you down! Do all the things that you know "should" make you happy, even if it doesn't seem to be working. If you persist, and trust, and look to those around you who love and care about you, you will find a way out. And when that glorious light bursts forth - it will be oh, so worth it!
Life is full of jumbled experiences, jumbled people, jumbled trials, and there's nothing you can do to change what comes at you externally. But there's one thing you can always change, and that's the way you talk to yourself inside about what is going on around you. Be your own best friend, your own cheerleader. If life is handing you too many lemons, it's time to figure out something great to do with them. You may not like lemonade, but you can always make lemon meringue pie! Right? You just have to be creative!!
It's time to RESURRECT the SUNSHINE WITHIN!!
"And the resurrection. . . is the redemption of the soul." - D&C 88:16
"Jesus said . . . I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." John 11:25
"He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened. . . the resurrection of endless life and happiness." Mosiah 16:9