It’s been a minute since I’ve posted something on this blog. I apologize for my absence, but life has been full. Well, it’s been mostly full, and partially lazy. Full in the sense that my youngest was in the hospital with RSV around the time of my last post at the same time my family was in town, then we headed down to Southern California to attend my BFF’s wedding, and then we returned home to prepare for two separate milestone birthdays for my two eldest. Lazy in the sense that I have managed to make my daily naps a priority. My two youngest will only allow this to happen for so much longer, so I feel a duty to myself to embrace any opportunity to sleep. When I haven’t been sleeping, nor tending to my kiddos, I’ve been wondering what I could do for myself to feel more fulfilled in my daily life. Continue reading
The conclusion of my Mental Illness Awareness Series is centered around thoughts and lessons I have learned in the time since the previously shared manuscript was written, which was two years ago. I wanted to touch on some feelings regarding my mental illness, my continued struggle with needing medication, the added benefits I’ve enjoyed from a changed diet and exercise, and the importance of finding the right therapist. Continue reading
Welcome back for Part 4 of my Mental Illness Awareness Series. Today I am sharing the final portion of the manuscript, which you can get background information on at the beginning of my Part 1 post. As explained in Part 2, this was originally written for women with Christian beliefs, particularly Latter-day Saint women. My hope is that you will find this post helpful regardless of your religious background.
I have not made any changes to the original manuscript, which was completed two years ago, making my battle with mental illness close to ten years now. It’s hard to believe I have struggled with this for so long, but each year I have greater insight. I look forward to sharing my current feelings next week, as a follow-up to this final portion of the manuscript. Continue reading
If you’re just now joining me, as I share this five-part series outlining my journey with mental illness, please check out the more detailed information about this series in the beginning of the Part 1 and Part 2 posts. Seeing as how I did not edit the original version of the manuscript in any way before posting here, the blog that I reference towards the end of this post is in regards to this blog, First You Must Begin. Continue reading
Today I am sharing part two of my Mental Illness Awareness Series, which is the continuation of my journey with mental illness. Background information can be found in my previous post from this series. The short story is that the following is taken from my portion of an unpublished manuscript that was designed to bring increased understanding of mental illness. Continue reading
I have become a bit of a recluse lately, which has left me with far less inspiring experiences to share and a bit of a curmudgeon attitude. I have a list of things I would like to get done, but no motivation to do them. I have a list of activities that would usually make me happy with little desire to pursue them. I feel like I have this unquenchable thirst with my life right now. There’s nothing “wrong,” except for maybe me. I’m definitely unsatisfied with me. It’s not a self-loathing kind of dissatisfied, it’s more of a stir-crazy dissatisfied. The kind of dissatisfaction that makes you want to shake yourself and say, “Snap out of it! We got a life to live!” Maybe that’s why a scripture that was referenced in church today struck me more than usual. As the scripture from the Book of Mormon was first read over the pulpit, the only words that I heard were, “press forward.”
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. – 2Nephi 31:30
You know those moments where someone says something that’s so simple you can hardly believe you didn’t piece it together before? I can think of one such moment off the top of my head, which happens to be another scriptural reference, this time from the Holy Bible.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. -Matthew 7:24-27
I remember someone once teaching from this scripture and pointing out that the storm comes upon both people. It doesn’t say that the wise man doesn’t get a storm because he built his house upon a rock, his home simply remains standing regardless of the storm. Well, duh, Sara, obviously. Not so obvious for me, back in the day. I somehow managed to skip the significance of the storm coming upon each of us regardless of our desire to follow Christ. Though, I was certainly aware that I was not living a trial-free life. It was just one of those moments where it opened up a greater understanding between the scriptures and my daily life.
Well, that was the case again today. When the speakers referenced the “press forward” scripture, they each focused on the significance of those words. They pointed out that pressing forward implies opposition. Well, duh, Sara, obviously. But I needed to hear it broken down in that way. I needed to hear that it’s not just about being steadfast in Christ, or having a perfect brightness of hope, or a love of God and of all men (though these are important). Sometimes it’s about pressing forward. It’s about pressing forward so that you can do all those other things that are asked of you. It’s about standing up against opposition in all parts of your life. Ironically, the thing that is standing in the way of me, as of late, is me.
I need to push back on myself. I need to force myself to do something that will edify me or those around me, even if I just feel bored with it all. Honestly, I have this list of things To-Do on my Task List app where I’ve started to ignore the first three items on the list. They’ve been on there so long that I don’t even acknowledge them as things that need completing. It’s pathetic. But it’s not just about items on my To-Do list, it’s about living life to the fullest. I need to press forward against all the many ways that I am holding myself back.
Coincidentally, as I was looking on my website for other posts where I mentioned the beauty of said Task List app, I found mention of it within my post Six Ways to Get Motivated. I’ve been steadily accomplishing items #5 and #6, but it’s time to amp up my game on the first four ways to improve my efforts in pressing forward.
As always, I would love feedback from your personal experiences. What motivates you to press forward against the opposition in your life, whatever it may be? I know, for me, managing to complete a post (I have several unfinished ones in my queue) has actually lifted my spirits this evening. It may be a small accomplishment, but it’s an accomplishment nonetheless.
You may have noticed that I recklessly tossed aside my goal for one post per week on this blog? I had good reason.
First, I had surgery. Seeing as how I’ve already been straight forward with my readers, I’m not going to balk now. I had a breast reduction done to alleviate back pain as well as other irritants that come from being top-heavy. I wouldn’t say it was the BEST decision I’ve ever made. I still count marrying my husband as the answer to that matter of business. But, it’s pretty far up on the list of good choices I’ve made in life. While recovering from surgery is reason enough to take a blogging break, it was more that it didn’t seem right to post from an altered state of being due to pain management medicine. That’s my attempt at diplomatically saying, “Pain killers make me loopy.” Nah, you didn’t need any of that.
Another reason for letting a few weeks pass by was that I needed to re-evaluate my purpose for this blog. There are times when I had hoped for some monetary gain from my blogging efforts, but never at the cost of selling myself out. Please don’t get me wrong. I think it’s awesome all the things that people are able to do to bring in a real income from blogging. However, that is not my primary reason for starting this blog. If it had been, I certainly wouldn’t have picked to focus on matters of inspiration and a healthy emotional well-being. That topic is not a guaranteed sell. Home projects, parenting, fashion, and cooking blogs are your money makers. And there are loads of tips and tricks to ensure you bring in significant revenue monthly, but some of them feel too fake or forced to sit right with me. So, while you may see some ads pop up on my site, you won’t ever see it bogged down with advertisement videos, sponsors, and the like.
What I hope you’ll find instead, is my genuine desire to share a piece of myself in the hopes of lifting another’s burden. I hope you’ll find a girl who is willing to talk about the painful topics of losing a loved one, battling mental illness, and other difficult life matters, without succumbing to those same heart breaks. My inspiration for this site started with a little seed nearly ten years ago, as I battled with Postpartum Depression. The glimpse of hope that I felt when another woman had expressed not feeling “perfectly awesome” after having a baby, as I was so deep in feelings of hopelessness, will forever stick with me. Her honesty gave me hope. If my honesty helps even one person feel like they’re not alone in their struggles, then my purpose for this blog has been fulfilled. I have helped lift another’s burden.
I’m not certain how often I will visit the writing board from this time forward. I no longer feel inclined to provide a post just to provide a post. I want to write when I have a message to share or a piece of me to give. To publish a post simply to keep traffic flowing does not seem suitable at this time. So, in the meantime, may you enjoy this holiday season with your loved ones. May it be filled with opportunities to lift another’s burden; that is my hope for this blog, as it is for my daily life. And, may your Christmas be merry and your New Year be bright!