I strive to be as open and honest about my bouts with depression and anxiety, in hopes that my candidness may help someone else who feels they are suffering alone. Even though the rational side of me is well aware that others suffer similarly, there are times when I feel isolated in my struggle with mental illness. Fortunately, I am not enduring a drastic low right now. However, my anxiety has been a constant battle as of late. The most common anxiety indicator for me is chest pain. It’s hard to describe the physical feeling, as the chest pain manifests differently depending on what type of stress I’m trying to cope with. For instance, the chest pain that comes from a large grocery bill when I know money is tight, is different from the pain that comes from feeling overwhelmed emotionally with personal matters. With an upcoming move, it seems I’m having to endure both types. Moves are expensive and emotionally draining, am I right? This is why I need to rely on this quote I found by the late Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley, which reads, “The best antidote for worry is work. The best medicine for despair is service. The best cure for weariness is to help someone even more tired.” Reading this made me think, “it’s time for work!”
I realize that I’ve discussed anxiety and not worry, but many feel they go hand in hand. I look at worry as anxiety’s intern. Worry is more controlled than anxiety. Worry feels like something I can reason with and overcome. Anxiety feels like this beast that takes over me. While worry seems more manageable than anxiety, my guess is that they can both be eradicated with work. So, that’s what I’m going to do: work. Thankfully, I have plenty of opportunities to work, as boxes don’t pack themselves.
While, I don’t feel like I’m struggling with despair, I have still witnessed the great blessings that come from forgetting myself and serving others. I’ve also noticed, being the wife of an ER Nurse, that my burdens seem to pale in comparison when I hear what others are enduring at the hospital. There is always someone who is in greater need of comfort and service. My desire is to increase my efforts to work and serve, and realize that those efforts will only bring about good.
And in those moments, when the days work is done but my mind does not seem to agree, I will try a little trick I discovered the last time I struggled greatly with anxiety. Instead of thinking of all the “what ifs,” I will focus my mind on positive memories. At these times, I like to recall memories of my mom. I look at the memories as real and solid. The future is made up of unknowns and the memories are fact. Sometimes, the best way to stop fretting, is to remind yourself of all the goodness that has been your reality thus far in life.
With that being said, it’s time for work!