established 10 august 2009

Friday, January 27, 2017

Anxiety: Light, Shadow & Electricity

Tonight, I sat with my dad semi watching t.v. and talking about random things. Almost the entire time I sat on that floor, I could just feel my anxiety running through my body. Like electricity, it just keeps moving. Even now, I sit here writing while rocking back and forth trying to cope and calm down. Wishing so badly that Adam was here. That I be in his arms so that I might relax. I'm on the verge of tears because I miss him so much and it makes dealing with this anxiety even harder! 

.................

Why tell you this? To tell you, you're not alone. I'm not alone. I might feel like I am, but I'm not. I know there are others in my life that know these emotions and the physical aspects that come with anxiety. They've experienced them, too. I know that I'm with my family, and I'm so grateful to have this time with them. And I feel bad that my missing Adam affects my mood while I'm with them at times. But I know they understand. 

Adam just makes me feel better. When I'm having a bad day filled with anxiety or depression or both, when he gets home, I usually start to feel better. But this also makes me feel bad as a mother. I feel guilty that I don't feel this same kind of release from my demons with my boys. That I get frustrated with them while battling off emptiness or figment scenarios. My "What If's". But it's what happens. It's something I'm working on. Something I have to battle every day. It's tiring. Draining. And that lack of energy only feeds my demons. Making me think I'm not a good enough wife. My boys deserve a better mother. That I should be alone. And guess what!? This happens more frequently then I care to admit. 

But earlier, I posted a picture of the temple, saying be need to let our light shine. Don't let the shadows entice into thinking they hold truths when all that lurks there are puppet masters. This is the same thing. Anxiety and depression, they are trying to led me to these shadows, trying to convince me that these whispers of deceit are truths. But they. Are. Lies. And I know it! But still I step too close to the shadows! Why? Because I'm imperfect. Because I'm human. But thankfully, my Savior IS Perfect. 

And in Him, I can step back towards the light. And I continue to fight these battles with His help. His atonement and His love and perfect understanding of what I'm battling. And I am so grateful. Where would I be with my Saviors love and forgiveness? What lies would I believe and what shadows would I hid behind? 

Anxiety manifests itself in many ways and the way we cope varies from person to person and sometimes from day to day. But no matter what, I know I have my Savior. He hasn't left. He hasn't forgotten. He loves me. And He is ready to fight for me and with me. 

That's all we really need. Right? I

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Book Of Mormon

Last Year, while I was 25, I read The Book Of Mormon in 90 days. It was the first time in my life that I had ever read it all the way through by myself. I felt so accomplished. I did it! It was surreal to feel the Holy Ghost bear witness to me that what I had read, was indeed true. 

Now, I had always had a small, basic testimony that The Book Of Mormon was true. Based on my testimony of Joseph Smith being a prophet and translating it. But I needed it to be stronger then it was -  something I could truly lean on in times of struggle. And reading it like that gave me a glimpse of what my testimony could be. And I crave for it to be stronger. 

After moving to Florida, my habits became out of whack. It was a distracting time and a lot was going on that was stressful and out of our control. It was extremely difficult at times. 

Well, last September (maybe, not totally sure) I began to read the scriptures to the boys at bed time. After they were all tucked into bed I would read a chapter or two. And it quickly became a habit that they needed, too. And so, I of course, continued to read to them. Every night. And now, it's a set in stone habit. 

Now, I'm back in Utah. And since being here, I have been able to physically feel my spirituality grow and strengthen. My understanding of the Book of Mormon has become more clear. I can imagine it in my mind more fully then ever before. I have felt the spirit bear witness to me that these words are true, over and over again. I love it. 

I love to feed my soul and search for a better understanding. I love feeling the physical growth of my spirit. Something I've never really understood before. But I crave it now. I need it. And I am so grateful to my Father in Heaven and my Savior for my experiences. 

 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wandering Spirit

If you know me, you most likely know I grew up in the St. George area of Southern Utah. Growing up, I struggled with the strong pull to want to leave and wander the America land. I desperately wanted to Boston and Chicago. Visit Yellowstone, the Rockies and Niagara Falls.  See rolling hills and golden wheat farms. Experience all the Church sites I could. Feel the spirit and pray in the Sacred Grove. 

Well, none of these happened growing up which in turn developed a distain for the red rocks and mountains. Cactus and heat. I longed for four seasons. 

Then, at the naive age of eighteen, I met Adam. As I got to know him more, I learned that he grew up doing the things  and seeing all the places I wanted to see and visit and experience. (No, he was not a military child. His dad was a choir director). I was both intrigued and envious. 

Fast forward and we're married. Shortly after getting married, we moved to Idaho. I got to see the Tetons, Yellowstone, Island Park, Jackson Hole and amazing ice caves. 

We've also now lived in Indiana wear I got to see rolling hills in Iowa and golden wheat fields all around. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to Chicago or Niagara. Or other places that weren't too far, but one day. I'm sure. 

There was also Florida where we got to visit the beach and experience the Keys. 

Needless to say, my life has been full of adventure these past seven and a half years. My wandering spirit has been satisfied to some degree. (I don't think a wandering spirit can ever be guilt satisfied). But I have enjoyed our adventures and the memories. 

Now, we are back in St. George, Utah for a time. And I now have a new found love and appreciation for the beauty it holds here for the red rocks and surrounding mountains. Even the cactus and desaturated desert plants. I still don't like the heat though. Thank goodness it's winter. I love being here. I know I'm suppose to be here right now. I feel it when I'm among this nature and hear the crunch of the earth beneath my boots. When I feel the cold air on my skin. And hear natures cry for peace. 

 

 
 

 
  

Monday, November 21, 2016

What If?

Recently, I went to a fireside about mental health. A lot was talked about, including anxiety for a short time. For myself, realizing that I deal with anxiety didn't come to light until this summer after a panic attack. So pretty recent - and the more I've thought about the more I realize it ps been around as long as I can remember, just like my depression. It became even more apparent while I was at the fireside. The speaker taught us that people with anxiety disorder ask the "what if" question a lot.

Whoa. That hit home. "What If"? - I do that. A lot. The example I thought of right away was in my relationship with Adam. Especially when I have something important to talk to him about.

I begin to think of worst case scenarios where we end fighting, arguing and hurtful words are said that can't be taken back. The emotions I experience through these terrible imaginations feel completely real that at times I can literally feel a panic attack emerging to the surface. I have to slow down, take a step back and continually tell myself that this imaginary, angry Adam I've made up in my head, is not real.  I have been doing this for as long as can remember with not only Adam but others I love and care about in life. Family, friends, teachers and countless others. It is literally, the way my brain reacts to stress.

Surprisingly, I felt compelled to share some of these thoughts to dozens of strangers at this fireside. My heart was racing and then my hand was up in the air and words starting spilling out. When I was done sharing, I couldn't believe what I had just done. Ironically, my anxiety was high for about the next hour.

For myself, and many others, anxiety is not just a thought process of ridiculous scenarios that aren't going to happen but it is a feeling that overtakes my entire body at times. I feel it - intensely. It consumes the body as if its pulsing through my veins. My heart is pounding and my mind is racing. My hands shake and my words stutter. Its hard to cope with at times but I'm usually able to get out of it by myself some way. Music tends to help a lot.

If you don't deal with anxiety, it's likely you know someone who does. You may be wondering or have wondered in past. I can't tell you how to fix someone, because honestly you can't. But I can tell you how to help. Don't seek out to fix the problem. Sympathize. And if you can empathize, all the better. But don't talk to them to try and fix what is wrong. We just need to know that you're listening. That you care. Tell us you know its hard. That what we are going through must suck. Tell us we're strong. That you believe in us. That we are capable. When we feel alone and that no one truly understands what we are going through, tell us - tell us that's not true. If there is one thing we should believe, it is that we are not alone. That there is one who knows our exact pain, sorrow and the feeling of being incapable of handling our own emotions. That one is, Christ.

Jesus Christ felt every kind of sorrow, loneliness, ailment, hopelessness and all other earthly pain we endure in the garden of Gethsemane. Our loving Savior has perfect empathy. When we forget, we need to remind each other of his perfect love.

Anxiety is difficult. Crippling at times. It shouldn't be disregarded as an attention grabber. Those who suffer from anxiety, you've probably had at least one experience where you opened up about your anxiety to someone. Maybe it was the first time so they could be informed or maybe you told them in the moment you were feeling anxiety take control. And they said "Well don't." "Stop it." Get over it."
"You're fine." This hurts. And may have turned you off from wanting to share anymore. I get that. I really do.

But remember, if we try, it can get better. Maybe we won't be cured in this life time, but we can feel better. We can take control. Maybe not alone. We need help. So get on your knees often and plead for the Savior to watch over you. To help day by day until one day, you will feel His strength in your life.

In the month of gratitude, work hard to find that joy in your trials. Seek out what you are grateful for in this life. Thank your Father in Heaven. Let's make our weaknesses become strengths with our Saviors help. One day at a time.

Our anxiety can make us better people - if we let it. We can find joy in our trials. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Gratitude in Dark Moments

This morning I have seen a lot of negativity floating around, mainly on FaceBook, due to the election. To be honest, it's quite tiring. So, in hopes to shed some light and hope in this moment of darkness for many, I want to share my gratitude.

Adam, my dear husband. My most true friend. You have always tried to understand me for who I am. From the first time we met, you have shed your light upon me - lifted me up with your spiritual thoughts and hope. You have let me discover who I am for myself - even though, you've always understood what kind of person I am. Our friendship is one that only comes once or twice in a life time. And I'm so grateful to be my best friends wife. Adam, you are truly an example to me. Your hard work and humility are wonderful to witness. I wonder in awe at your knowledge of gospel principles and doctrines. One of my favorite things to watch is you playing with our boys. Helping them discover something new. Kneeling with them at prayer at night. Giving them hugs when they need comfort. Showing them how to respectfully treat and love your wife. I'm grateful for your worthiness to give me blessings when I need comfort and guidance. I love going to the holy temple of our Savior with you and feel of His spirit with you by my side. I love you, Adam. Not just until the end, but through the eternities.

Alister, everyone you come into contact with, you bring joy into their life. They always tell us how much they enjoy your loving personality. People are surprised with your polite attitude. And you always seem to know how to make others laugh. From a very young age, like 3 months old, you have loved to make others smile and laugh. Your personality is similar to my own, so it times, I know it is hard for us to understand one another. But your example of love and forgiveness and acceptance is beautifully pure. I hope and pray that you will always be this way. I have so many wonderful memories of just you and me. Taking you for walks on lovely fall mornings in Cedar City. Rocking you to sleep when you first came home and feeling scared because I had never held a newborn until I had you. I knew nothing about babies or how to raise one. I was terrified that I would not be a good enough mother for you. I still worry about it. But you taught me what it was to truly love someone before even knowing them. You gave me a glimpse of Charity.

Corbin, from the moment you were born, I knew you would be like your father. I knew that you and I would have an easier time understanding each other because of it. I don't think there's anything wrong with this - it is just that way. You have fiery personality. One that I think makes you a little misunderstood. But, that's alright, you just feel a lot and have a lot to say. You know what you want and aren't afraid to voice it. I admire that about you. You seem to have a special love for being outdoors. Your example of wanting me to read "The Jesus Book" (The Book of Mormon) each night has helped my own love for the scriptures grow immensely stronger over the last couple of months. You too, make others happy with your vibrancy and talkative personality. While bringing you home was less scary, I worried that I wouldn't know how to divide my time equally between you and your brother. Especially because your a mommas boy. (Which I love). But watching you grow to love and admire your big brother has been nothing but joyous.

You two can and will do great things for others in this world. Both individually and together. Keep the Lord close, pray often and always read the scriptures with purpose. The Lord with never forsaken you or leave you to wonder alone if you heed to his words. Both through scriptures and His prophets.

My family and the restored gospel of my Savior, Jesus Christ are the things I am most grateful for in this life. They make my life full and bring light into my own dark moments.

I love you all so much.

Friday, September 30, 2016

It Doesn't Have To Be That Bad

As the winds blew, the currents began to push us up stream along the Snake River in Island Park, Idaho in our long red canoe. It was my first my time canoeing and my new husband wanted it to be perfect - but can anything be truly perfect? As I listened to his complaints of frustration, I calmly turned to him and said “It doesn’t have to be that bad.” Little did I know, that those seven, simple words spoken on our honeymoon would impact him through out our marriage. 

Now, I'm not saying I'm wise or anything, but I mean, isn't this so true? It is up to us to change the mood of any situation. We can choose to be positive or negative. To be offended or not. I know, I know. This is much easier said then done. But, is that not why we have scriptures and prayer? To help strengthen us in times of need when we need that extra boost of light to get us through the day or week or how ever long we need. I should hope we feel that we need the Saviors guidance everyday - but somedays we need extra help. To make us realize, we don't have to do it alone.

The Savior died for us to fulfill the atonement. This is something He had to do alone. Only He could fulfill this everlasting task of Grace and Charity. Which leads me to this - we do not have to face anything alone. Christ has Never asked us to walk alone and He never will. He asks us to seek for His light and guiding hand. I know that I forget at times to ask for help. And let me tell you something - those times are ridiculously hard and lonely. I feel weighed down and at times I feel like I'm drowning. When I feel this way, I know that this is was the Savior is doing for me. 






I am certain there are times the Lord wants to tell us that it doesn't have to be that bad - just ask, I will give it to you, I will help you, I will take your hand and hold you up. You need not ever be alone.

I have tried to imagine my Savior in this more personal way lately. I am certain that I can guarantee you that if you do this, you will see and come to know Christ in a new way. One where He did not die for everyone (while that's true) but where He died for You. Christ loves each of so much, that I truly believe that He would have died for just me if I was the only soul needing saving. Just like I know He died for me, I know He died for You. Do you? Do you believe this with all the faith in your heart, mind and soul? If you're unsure, even just slightly, then I implore you, seek Him out even more. Begin to think of Him in a more personal way. When you kneel to pray, tell Him Everything. I mean, Everything. All your thoughts, desires, worries and concerns. Your accomplishments and failures. Joys and heartache. Oh how wonderful it is to know that He is listening. You may feel silly at first, speaking this way in prayer at first. But don't give up. Don't quit. Keep kneeling down. Keep talking. You will get there. And one day, you'll realize that your relationship with Christ has grown immensely. 

I love my Savior and God. I know they love me. I know they love you. So, when life gets hard - when the winds are pushing you up stream, just remember, "It doesn't have to be that bad."

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Let's Talk: Emotional & Mental Abuse

As a senior in high school, I was in a relationship with a boy, we'll call him Tom, who was extremely abusive. Emotionally and mentally. 

I was in this relationship for a year - like many, it took me a long time to realize what was going on.

My senior year, should have been a blast, I had three dance classes, great friends and was finally on dance company - and I became the technical coordinator for the dance company. Plus, I loved seminary. So, you know, it should have rocked.

But, being in a relationship where your partner toys with your mind and emotions is terribly draining. Some days were great and he made me feel so loved - others he made me feel like I was the worst girlfriend ever undeserving of anyone else's love but his own. And I believed him. Truly, with all my being, I believed that no one could love me better. It's sad, pathetic even, but true.

Through this year, I became severely depressed. Unknowingly. I became closed off and distant from everyone I loved and cared about - family and friends. My hobbies became uninteresting and less desirable to persue. I lost important friendships. I lost respect. I felt utterly alone. While all of this hurt and I was even blinded in the moment, the thing I lost that was most important was myself. 

Tom was not only abusive but possessive as well. He didn't like me wearing makeup or wearing my hair nicely when I wasn't with him. He didn't want me cutting my hair because girls should have long hair. He didn't want me going to my senior dances (he lived in the Salt Lake Valley and I lived in the St. George Valley). Tom was also paranoid. If I didn't answer my phone right away, text or phone call, he assumed the worst of me. That I had to be cheating on him. Especially with his friend who I sat next to in history class because I was the only person he knew at school because he was a new student there my senior year. So, basically I couldn't have friends. Thus, losing my friends. 

Through out this year I had a few experiences that I have really stuck with me and I will probably never forget. Those who know me well, know that I danced through out high school. I'm not talking drill team. I mean, classical ballet, modern and some jazz and tap. And i remember, being in dance class one day and seeing myself in the mirror. I saw something I had never seen before. My hip and rib bones had become quite predominant. They stuck out while I was just standing there, doing nothing. I remember the shock I felt. The embarrassment. The overwhelming emotion of not understanding why. Why? Why was I so skinny? How could this be? How did I not notice until now? Depression my friends. Depression is a blinding and cruel companion when allowed to take over and have the upper hand. 

There was another point, close to the end of the school year, my senior year, during a dance concert rehearsal, where I broke down. I had been texting, Tom. Short version, he told me I was a slut for dancing and he wouldn't be coming to the concert because he wouldn't support me for being so immodest. I was standing back stage on the verge of tears when another girl (we'll call her, Sarah) on company asked me if I was alright. I looked up at her and just broke. Tears flowed down my face and I felt myself falling apart. Sarah didn't pry. She didn't tell me to stop crying. She didn't make a big scene. She saw me crying and embraced me. Sarah, with out any hesitation had wrapped me in her arms and just let me cry. If others came up to ask what was wrong, she kindly told them to leave me alone. I will always be grateful for to Sarah for that moment. For her Christlike action and love. Remember, when you see someone who needs comfort, comfort them. Don't pry and continually ask, "What's wrong?" because really, it doesn't help. Just embrace and let them cry. Let them go through the emotions. Let them feel. Be a Sarah. Remember to be Christlike. 

There is one more moment I want to share. This moment, I was alone. In my room. I had a full sized, body mirror in my room. One night, I was sitting on the floor next to this mirror. Not looking at myself for the longest time. Just sitting there in silence, thinking to myself. And then - I looked. I looked straight into the eyes of that girl in the mirror and you know what I saw? Nothing. Emptiness. No light coming from her eyes. No joy. No sadness. No pain. No humor. No soul. No fear. No love! No Life! ... Nothing. Just a numbness that seemed to always be there. 

Then, something began to emerge. A realization was forming. I didn't know that girl in the mirror. She wasn't me. That wasn't Corrinne. She was - she was a stranger. A lifeless stranger. Then, a miracle - a blessing began. A realization happened. I was lost. And fear creeped in to my heart. 

What happened to me? When did I get like this? How did I allow this to even happen. Who had I become? If I didn't recognize myself, did anyone? 

This day was a turning point for me as I began to figure out what had happened. It was soon after that I broke up with Tom and started to feel happy again. Just three days before my Graduation. 

The day after I broke up with Tom, not even 24 hours later, I had my last seminary class. Testimony meeting. I knew I had to bear my testimony. As soon as the floor was opened to us, I stood up and walked up to the front of the room. And as I bore my testimony and confirmation, as real as you and me, embraced my how body. Something I hadn't felt in a long time. I knew that I had made the right decision in letting Tom go. That it was time to move on with my life. I was so grateful for that moment. 

I'm not sure why I had to experience all of that hurt. Because I'm a broken person. But I have learned from it. I have grown from it. I have become better because of it. For that, I'm grateful. 

Now, for those of you who haven't experience something like this, may have a hard time understanding. But those of you who have, or those of you who are, right now, please, you are not alone. 

I know, that even though, I couldn't feel my Savior watching over me during this time, He never left. He was always there for me and guided me with out me knowing or understanding. I know that now. 

Please know, I do not write all of this for your pity. For sympathy or even myself. I wrote about these things and experiences because I want others to know and understand they are not alone. I get it. Your Savior understands more fully then anyone. He has felt all the pain of this world. He endured that for you. For me. He has a perfect understanding and waiting to help you. Embrace you. Lead you and lift this burden from you. Because you do not have to endure this alone. Your Lord understands. Others like me understand and those of us who have moved on, want to help you. Lift you. Embrace you. I truly desire to help others know they are not alone. That our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are real. The atonement is Real. Their love is Real. And true and pure happiness is Real.