Yesterday, I had this brief moment of true happiness. It was during sacrament meeting. People were bearing their testimonies, and I had this powerful moment of bearing my testimony to myself, in my heart. I felt true joy. I felt God's presence, and I was reminded that I am not alone. I am never alone. He sees me and knows my pain, and I can get through the hard things because of Him. In that moment, I also noticed that I was completely free of my pregnancy nausea, and I had this thought: I don't know how to live anymore.
Not that I don't want to live or am feeling suicidal. That's not what I mean. I mean, I really, truly don't know how to live. I don't know what to do with these moments of joy and peace I feel. I don't know what to do with the moments free of pregnancy nausea. If these moments became my daily reality, I don't know what I would do. Right now, I know depression. I know exhaustion. I know the feeling of giving up and feeling defeated. I don't know how to feel joy and make it last through the day. I don't know how to do the things I once used to love when my physical and emotional pains are lessened. I don't know how to live life without fear or pain.
I have so many fears:
- I'm afraid of future relapses.
- I'm afraid Ben will give up and leave me.
- I'm afraid I will be a terrible mom.
- I'm afraid I will always be depressed, and that will have a negative impact on my mothering ability.
- I'm afraid I will always feel alone.
- I've decided not to go to Togetherness next month. I'm afraid I will lose all my Togetherness friends because I'm not present and making connections with everyone who is there.
- I'm afraid of working as a substitute teacher. I'm afraid I will be a terrible sub, and I'm afraid I will never make enough money to help us out of the financial hole we are currently experiencing. (And since I'm pregnant, I'm afraid I will have to go to the bathroom all the time and not be able to...)
- I'm afraid to busy myself with things I used to love (painting, reading, exercising) because I'm afraid they will take up too much time and I won't make friends where I currently live.
- But I'm afraid to try to make friends because I'm afraid I don't know how to be a real person anymore and I'm afraid people won't like me. Or I'm afraid I will share too much about my life, thus scaring any potential friends away from me.
- I'm afraid I am or will be too needy with my friends and become a burden on them.
- I'm afraid to exercise because I might throw up.
- I'm afraid Ben resents me because I've been so depressed and putting a lot on his plate because of my inability to cope with life.
- I'm afraid I will never feel whole again.
Whew. The list could go on, but I'm afraid if I keep addressing my fears, I will never recover. Writing those out was emotionally draining. And I'm afraid to finish this post and let people see the (possibly irrational) inner fears I am experiencing and attempting to work through.
There was a time when I chose not to let fear rule me. If I had a fear, I challenged and faced it. I owned my fear and showed it who was boss. That's not me anymore. I've become so paralyzed by my fears and depressions that I just don't know how to live without them anymore. And I'm afraid to make changes because change is uncomfortable.
I'm studying step 2 in Healing Through Christ. This is a powerful step where you come to believe the power of God can restore you to spiritual and emotional health. Today, as I looked over the questions I'm supposed to answer, I scrolled back up to the reading the questions cover. In that reading, it has "Steps we take to surrender fearful emotions."
- Identify our fears. Done.
- Face and own our fears. "...fear literally robs us of our faith and hope in Christ. We understand that 'God can heal a broken heart, but [we] have to give Him all the pieces.'"
- Prayerfully surrender our fears to our Savior. "Rather than allowing ourselves to fall back into painful emotions, we continue to choose to fall to our knees and surrender all of our emotional struggles to our Savior, allowing our tender mercies and grace to bless our lives."
Even though my trust is fragile, and I give pieces to my Savior and take pieces back, I have developed enough trust in Him to know that He really is trustworthy. I know He can heal me. I know He can save me from these fears, pains, and depression that is taking over my life. I have to give it to Him, though. And because I'm stubborn, it's really hard to give these pieces to Him constantly.
Life is a constant struggle. Some days are easier than others. Some days the hard hits like a ton of bricks and I don't know how to move. But I can move because Christ is by my side lifting me up and carrying me. I am trying to remember that.
I am trying to work through these fears. I am trying to face and own them. I am trying to surrender them to my Savior. But it's a hard, emotional process.
I know I'm not alone in living with silent struggles (I once became fairly vocal, but I've become more silent lately). We all have silent struggles. I hope and pray that everyone is gentle with one another as we fight the things we are fighting.