Monday, December 31, 2012


Baby Chelsea and Dad
When we had family members who were very sick with anxiety and depression, my dad was our rock. Even though it was an extremely hard time, I have good memories of things my dad did for our family. For a few months we always had fresh flowers in the kitchen. He brought color and happiness to our lives with those flowers. In our family, Dole juice was a special treat. For those few hard months, there was always Dole juice in the fridge. My dad was working full-time at work and full-time at home to try and keep things running smoothly. He taught me the true meaning of sticking with your loved ones through anything and everything. Thanks Daddy, I love you!

Monday, December 17, 2012

You Aren't Broken

Like one of my favorite Christmas movies says, It is a Wonderful Life. Life is wonderful, but there are times when life can be almost unbearable. There are many reasons life can be hard: Anxiety, depression, loss of a loved one, loneliness, and the list goes on. I am here to tell you that you aren't broken if, for some reason, you are sad this Christmas season. Because Christmas is so wonderful, if you are experiencing some sort of pain, it can make it so hard to go through. Thoughts of previous Christmas's when things were easier can come to mind, you may feel you are never going to feel better. I hope you believe me when I tell you that it is okay to be sad sometimes. Don't beat yourself up if you are having a hard time this Christmas.
I am also here to tell you not to give up. If you are having a difficult Christmas season, look forward to the Christmas's to come when you are feeling better. A hard Christmas doesn't mean every Christmas will be that way.
I heard this song on the radio the other day, and it touched my heart. I pray it may touch yours too.

Broken Hearts Like Mine
By: Cherie Call

It was right around this time of year, not too long ago
That was when I heard the news that he wasn't coming home.
Now there's just something about this holiday that just tears me up inside
But Jesus was born, and He lived, and He died for broken hearts like mine.

I see the gifts and the Christmas trees, and I don't think these things are wrong.
I just don't want to break down under all these lights, so I still can't sing the songs.
Because the melodies turn to memories, and the only peace on earth I find
Is knowing Jesus was born, and He lived, and He died for broken hearts like mine.

I can feel the tenderness of friends who care
I can see the children playing everywhere
I just try to fade into the scenery
'Cause everyone is meant to be Christmas-ing.

I am not homeless or alone or poor
Sometimes I'm content to be ignored
But that doesn't mean that I don't believe 
Believing is what saves me in times like these.

Jesus was born in a stable, so He must know how it can be
Sometimes I feel like this holiday doesn't have a place for me.
But when it's all I can do just to make it through this bittersweet Christmastime
I remember Jesus was born and He lived and He died
For broken hearts like mine.

I'll be singing once again, I just need a little time.
I'm thankful that Jesus was born, and He lived and He died
For broken hearts like mine.

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Life Stories

I was reminded today how important it is to serve other people. I find it intriguing that every person has a life story. Every person we see has had moments in their lives that would make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. God tells us not to judge other people because we don't know all their life's stories.
I was reminded at church today that the Spirit can lead us to help people in ways we wouldn't know ourselves. Because God knows all of our life stories, He can guide us to help people who need to know they are important and loved.
God has lead people to help me in my times of depression and anxiety. It amazes me how much He loves us and how personal He is. If you feel it is right for you, pray that God will lead you to someone, anyone, who you could touch. Many times, God answers prayers by asking His children to serve their spiritual brothers and sisters.

Monday, December 3, 2012

I Love Lucy

If you allowed me to watch 30 seconds of any part of any I Love Lucy episode, I am confident I could tell you which episode it was, quote several lines from it, and tell you exactly how the episode ends. I have watched every episode of I Love Lucy many times. Lucille Ball's comedy is timeless.
This may sound funny to say, but Lucy has helped my family a lot. When some of my family members were extremely sick because of anxiety and depression, Lucy was always on our TV. The comedy helped us through hard days. It helped us focus on positive things. Sometimes with anxiety and depression, you need a break to step outside your mind and good comedy can do that for you.
I am not telling you to hide from your problems by watching TV, or to watch TV all day. All I am saying is sometimes when nothing else will help, some good comedy can.
There might come time in your life when your anxiety and depression will become very prevalent. A good friend of mine who has also been through anxiety/depression said when she remarked on our constant Lucy watching, "Sometimes that is all you can do, and that's okay."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Math Class

During my sophomore year at Weber State University (Spring 2012 semester), I was having quite the struggle with my anxiety. It was really hard to go to school each morning. There were times I would cry in class, with my head down, hoping my classmates couldn't see. It was hard, but God sent me people to help me. One class I had was my problem solving math class. It was hard, but also a lot of fun. (I like math). On the first day of class, I sat down next to a woman who looked like she was in her thirties. We were both a little bit quiet (as many people are on the first day), but as the weeks went by, we started to talk and get to know each other. I learned about her kids, her pets, she was also a special education major, etc. We grew to be very good friends. I would enjoy seeing her each class day. I learned quickly that she was very smart and always went the extra mile on her assignments. Having a dear friend in my class made it easier to deal with my anxiety that semester. I learned that God is always looking out for us and sends us people who can help us. Thank you Michelle!
This was our textbook from the class. It is one of the few I didn't sell back because I enjoyed the class so much thanks to Michelle, my teacher, and the other people I made friends with.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Anxiety and The Killers?

The Killers are a band I was introduced to after I met my husband. At first, I was extremely skeptical. To be honest, I didn't really like them that much. Jordan loves them, so we listened to them often. The more I listened, the more I started to like them. The strangest thing was when I started to listen to them when I wasn't with Jordan. Then, I finally came to the realization that they are pretty awesome.
My favorite song by The Killers is called, "A Dustland Fairytale." There is a line I love in this song,

"And the decades disappear
like sinking ships we persevere
God gives up hope, but we still fear what we don't know."

There have been SO many times God has given me Hope. He tells me things are going to work out, He tells me things are going to be okay. I am a human, I am imperfect, and I forget these moments. I let my mind take over and I become filled with anxiety. That is one of the reasons I have decided to do this blog. Writing helps me remember everything God and my family/friends have done for me. It gives me so much hope. It reminds me I have anxiety and depression, but those things don't define who I am. Happy Sunday!

P.S. The lead singer of The Killers, Brandon Flowers, is actually a Latter-Day Saint. View his Mormon Message here.

To read about some other songs that have helped me in my journey with anxiety/depression, click here.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Anxiety in the Morning

Sometimes mornings can be rough. In "Living With a Black Dog" Matthew Johnstone says, "When you're irritable, exhausted, and brimming with self-doubt, the Black Dog [anxiety/depression] likes nothing more than to visit you in the wee hours of the morning and remind you of these things." Many mornings when I wake up, I can feel anxiety in my body (often in my legs...I know, it's weird). I used to think, "Oh great, here comes another long day." Recently I've tried to just breathe in the mornings. When I feel the anxiety in my body, I tell myself just to breathe. Usually, once I get moving and getting ready for the day, the feelings of anxiety fade, and I am able to have a great day. Last summer, my job required me to be there at six in the morning. I would often wake up feeling the anxiety all throughout me. I would just tell myself to breathe, get up, get dressed, and get going. Trying to remain positive helped so much. If you have a hard time in the mornings, know you aren't alone, and a hard or difficult morning can still lead to a good day.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why Me?

In dealing with anxiety/depression, there have been times when I have thought, "Why me?" It can be scary to not know if you are going to be able to control your emotions at a certain point or wonder why you can't seem to think straight. It can be embarrassing to go through a panic attack or try to explain to someone how you are feeling when you don't understand it fully yourself. It can be hard to feel like you are the only one, or that you are going crazy and there is nothing you can do about it.
I realized the other day, that I think part of my anxiety may be triggered by the fact that I am so passionate about so many things. I love my family and friends, I love my religion, and I love my country. I am sometimes shy, but I am very passionate and opinionated about these things. When I feel out of control or worried someone I love is hurting, it is almost too much for me. When I let myself feel like I am not good enough, it can bring me way down.
I've thought about it, and even though I deal with anxiety and depression, I wouldn't take away my passion for the things I love in order to get rid of my struggle. I would rather have some ups and downs along the way than be an emotional stone. My passion for the things I love make me who I am. As I go through out my day, I try to remember that God knows me and He has a plan for me.
Quite possibly the most patient man in the world...and his crazy wife ;)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I love America. I have been on pins and needles all day waiting to hear what the results of this election will be. Jordan and I discussed today that it is in God's hands now. Whoever is supposed to win will. 
God Bless America!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I work as a tutor at a nearby Junior High School. I have really been enjoying my job. On Thursday, I helped a student read an article and answer some questions about it. The article was about a young girl from Pakistan named Malala Yousufzai. She has been targeted and even shot just for speaking up about women's rights in Pakistan. As I was reading this to the student, I tried to explain to him how grateful we should be to live in America. I was touched by how seriously this student took the article and what we were talking about. He is usually a little outspoken and could be considered a "class clown," but as we were reading and talking about the article, I saw another side of him. It reminded me how grateful I am to live in America.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Just a quick political announcement, then we will get back to regular posts. :)
I know people are tired of hearing about politics. I just wanted to post this video. I love America. It is my opinion that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would be a wonderful team in the White House. If you don't agree with that, that is okay! I just wanted to do what I feel is my part in sharing how I feel about the election and our wonderful nation. Thanks!!

P.S. Please keep those anticipating Hurricane Sandy in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


When people hear about medication for the brain, there can be a lot of negative stereotypes. When I first heard that some of my loved ones were going to be taking medication for their anxiety/depression, it worried me. I was afraid they were going to be "fake happy." I think this is a worry a lot of people have. Will I be dependent on the medication if I start taking it? Deciding to take or not take medication is a very personal decision, so I am not writing this post to tell you that you should or shouldn't take medicine. I am just writing what I understand about it and what has worked for me.
I was worried about taking medicine for a couple of reasons, the first I already mentioned, I was afraid I would be "fake happy." I was afraid that the medicine would make me "happy" and that I wouldn't be able to be "happy" without it. Second, I was afraid that if I started taking medicine it meant I was giving up on my prayers. I thought if I took medicine, it meant I wasn't trusting God with my problem. Third, I was afraid if I did start taking medicine it wouldn't help me, and then I would be hopeless. I learned a lot of things, first, I learned that the medicine doesn't make you "fake happy." When I met with the doctor, he explained to me that the medicine helps you clear your head. It doesn't put you on a "high." The medicine simply helps you to think more clearly, he described them as "vitamins for the brain." Second, I learned that by taking medicine, I was not giving up on my prayers or not trusting God. I realized that if I were physically sick, I would pray to get better AND take medicine for it. By taking medication, I am not giving up on God, I am simply helping myself as much as I can as I ask for His help. Third, I learned that the medicine is not meant to take all my anxiety away, it just helps me manage it better. It helps me to be myself.
I have been taking medicine for a few months now. It helps me, but I have never felt like I must have it in order to be happy or to enjoy life. I just helps me on my journey.
If you feel it is right, you can talk to a trusted doctor about it. Medication is something to be taken seriously, never abuse it.
Here is another word of wisdom from "Living With a Black Dog" by Matthew Johnstone,
"You will also learn that there are many different ways to treat a Black Dog [anxiety/depression], but there is no such thing as a quick fix or magic pill. Medication may be on part of an approach for some, but for others there might be a different method altogether."
I was also afraid to take medicine because I thought it might be embarrassing. One day, my dad told me, "There is no shame in taking medication." Those words have stuck with me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Living With a Black Dog: Part 2

Here I am again to talk about this wonderful book written by Matthew Johnstone,
"Living With a Black Dog: His Name is Depression." (To read Part 1, click here.)
I wanted to focus today on the page of this book that says, 
"A Black Dog may try to convince you that if you ever tell anyone about him, you will be judged. The truth is, being emotionally genuine with close friends and family can make all the difference in the world. Letting the Dog out is far better than keeping him in."
When I first started being affected by anxiety/depression heavily, I was afraid to tell anyone except my husband (then, boyfriend). I was afraid of being judged. I was afraid people would think I was weak and didn't have any self control. He encouraged me to talk to my family and friends about it when appropriate. When I opened up to my family, it was amazing how much it helped me. As I have stated in other posts, I learned the more I talked about my anxiety, the smaller it became. I grew closer to my family and close friends as I opened up to them. Through this blog I have grown and learned of so many other people who have had similar experiences and feelings to me. (I love hearing from you guys!)
Even if it is hard, try to open up about your feelings to someone you trust. Opening up to someone can build a stronger relationship and help you work through your anxiety/depression.

A Few of My Favorite Things...

In my night class the other day, I could feel it coming. The fear, the dread, the worries, the feelings of inadequacy... I didn't want to be sad and afraid. I had the thought to write down some of my favorite things. (I watched The Sound of Music as a child, I had an awesome childhood.) As I wrote, the things I wrote down brought a smile to my face. I was filled with happy thoughts, memories, and hope. It amazed me how quickly my mood changed.
I thought I would share my list with you.
Jordan                        Music                     Mountains                     Flowers                 Testimony Meeting
Family                        Reading                  Autumn                         Milk Shakes           I Love Lucy
My Religion                Swimming               Relaxing                       Ocean                     Utah Jazz
Friends                       Horses                    Blogging                       Piano                      Football
Praying                       Color                      Writing                         Boutiques                Learning
Idaho                          Hugs                       Fruit                             My Home                Light
Disneyland                  Chocolate                Math                           Cooking
Rain                            Service                   Blankets                       Baking
Yellow                        Hot Shower               Kittens                      Smoothies
Ice Cream                   Christmas                Truth                            Trees
Singing                        Thanksgiving          General Conference      4th of July
America                      Temple                    Being Active                Vacations  
Laughing                      Pansies                   Country Music             Date Nights

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I got sick this weekend. It wasn't very fun. My husband was an angel; helping me to feel comfortable and get better. There was a point where my anxiety started to really get into my head. I felt like I was having an "out of body experience." I felt so strange. I think it was a combinations of being physically sick and then the anxiety on top of it. There was a point when I really started to worry about something. I was scared. Then, I had a very peaceful feeling come over me. It was like Heavenly Father was saying, "You're going to be okay, don't worry." That moment was wonderful. Later, when I began to worry again, I was able to lean on that special moment I had had. I was able to tell myself everything would be okay. I am so grateful the Lord took a second to help me feel peaceful. It got me through the day!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Living With a Black Dog: Part 1

I heard about this book from my mom and sister,
"Living With a Black Dog: His Name is Depression." By: Matthew Johnstone.
I had read it a few years ago, but that was before I had many experiences with anxiety/depression myself. When I read it a few years ago, it helped me to understand what my loved ones were going through a little bit better. Now that I live with anxiety/depression myself, the book has become like a security blanket. It reminds me that I am not crazy.
About a week ago, I read through it for the first time in a few years. As I read it, I found my self nodding, completely understanding what the author wrote. It is written with simplicity, accuracy, and genuinely. It is sincere and sweet.
I hope to share with not just this, but also other posts on how I (and you) can identify with the things the author writes in this book.
The author got the idea for this book from Winston Churchill. Churchill used the term "Black dog" to describe his depression. The author of this book uses pictures and words to put Churchill's term to life. It helps you understand yourself and others better.
One of the pages says,

"Doing anything or going anywhere with [the black dog] requires superhuman strength."
I have felt this in my life several times. I remember about a year ago (before Jordan and I were married) calling my mom from the College's parking lot in tears. I just felt like I couldn't go to school anymore. It was too hard. I was convinced I couldn't do it. I couldn't take this big, slobbering, smelly black dog with me to school any more. It was too hard. My mom talked me through it and I made it through that semester, dog and all.
I guess what I want to say today is, the black dog (anxiety/depression) isn't you, it is just something that decides to be a part of your life sometimes. Through time, you can learn how to love life again, even with an ugly black dog.  

The Election

I am extremely passionate about America. I love this country. I learned some of this passion from my sister. She is posting on her blog every Saturday until the election why she is voting for the candidate she is. If you are like me, politics can cause you some major anxiety because it can be so confusing. My sister's blog is very well written and completely unoffensive (no matter who you are voting for). If your vote is decided or undecided, and you have a minute, take a look at it.
The election is 22 days away!
To get to her blog, please click here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Today, I started to feel that feeling of inadequacy. I started to think of all the things I don't do well, my flaws, my imperfections... I tried to imagine myself with the Savior. I imagined him whispering in my ear, "Everything is going to be okay." This helped me remember how much He loves me, flaws and all.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hope from a Dandelion

I've been going through a bit of a rough patch with my anxiety lately. It's hard. I don't like to go places by myself. I made Jordan come with me to Wal-Mart the other day, something I would have normally quickly run and done by myself. Driving alone to school for 25 minutes can be hard. My mind tends to play tricks on me when I am alone.
Even in a rough patch, life is still good. I was feeling pretty low last Friday, but then I got to go and visit my 3-year-old niece. She is the cutest thing you have ever seen. We had a "tea party" (made complete with the clinking of our pink plastic princess cups), ate Rolo's, danced to "Beauty and the Beast," and played outside. During our tea party when her cheeks were full of water, when she was standing on the counter and asked if I wanted another Rolo, when we were dancing and she asked me to spin her around, and when she picked a yellow dandelion and said it was for me...I forgot about my anxiety...My fears were gone, taken over by how much I love that little girl. Hope fills me when I think of this. Anxiety is strong, but there are so many things that are stronger. 
I called Jordan while my niece and I were playing. He could hear the laughter in my voice and commented on how I feel better after I have been with her. It's hard not to feel great after spending just a little time with her sweet spirit. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Days Like Today

Some days I am reminded that I'm not "over" my anxiety. Days like today remind me how powerful it can be. Days like today remind me where I have been and where I am going. Some days I sink low. I can't think straight and I am convinced I have a horrible fate. 
While I am reminded how powerful anxiety can be, I am also reminded how strong other things can be. A call from my husband at work, a heartfelt prayer, and remembering what is truly important. 
The hard days help us to appreciate the good days even more.
I read this quote the other day:
I have so many blessings in my life. A bad day is just a bad day. Anxiety is a part of my life, but it isn't what my life is. My life is Jordan, my family, my friends, my beliefs, religion, and so much more. We all have bad days, but not bad lives.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

While I'm Waiting

Before I was hit full on with anxiety myself, I watched two of my loved ones live with it. It was a hard time in our lives. It took a long time, but our family recovered and things got back to the way we were used to. Then, a nightmare came. Something totally unexpected came into our lives and we weren't sure how to react. My biggest fear was that my family members were going to plunge deep into the depths of anxiety again. I was terrified. I didn't know what to think or what to do. I felt helpless.
Like thoughts sometimes do, one popped into my head to read some scriptures. I have always loved the Psalms, so I opened up to them and found this scripture:
God sent me this scripture on that hard day. It gave me the strength I needed. It didn't give me all the answers, but it told me that the Lord was aware of me and my family and the situation we were in. Sometimes it is hard to wait, but the Lord has a plan for all of us, and He loves us.

"I'm waiting on You, Lord.
And I am hopeful.
I'm waiting on You, Lord,
Though it is painful,
but patiently, I will wait."

-John Waller "While I'm Waiting" 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Don't Forget About Me

This week was good, but also had anxiety sneaking in on the edges. A few evenings ago, I got upset about something my husband, Jordan, said. I knew he had in no way meant to upset me or hurt my feelings, and I didn't know how to handle the situation. My brain became cloudy, the cloud that takes sense away from my head and tells me I am not worth much. He could see that I was upset and that I wasn't able to talk about it for the moment. He had to leave for work, (about a dozen or so times a year he works a night job) so he kissed me and told me he loved me.
After he left, I fell apart. I cried and cried. I felt frustrated that I couldn't control my emotions better, upset that I was so flustered by such a small thing, and felt my self-esteem, confidence, and hope sink to the floor. I prayed that the Lord could send me some comfort and cried a little more. Then I had an idea to write Jordan a letter. It made sense, so I poured out my soul on one and a half sheets of college ruled paper. I told him what had upset me and why. I explained some of what was going on in my head and why I was unable to talk about it when he had left. I expressed my love for him. When I finished writing the letter, I felt so much better. It cleared my head. I was grateful I could put my emotions on paper and find a way to help Jordan understand me a little bit better.
Soon after I finished the letter, I received a text from him that said, "Don't forget about me while I am gone!" When he got home I was so happy to see him and he read my letter. We were able to talk about it and get everything resolved. Even though I had gone through a slight panic attack, I was so proud that, with some help from above, I was able to pull through it and get back on my feet. I am grateful for my Jordan and his patience with me and my anxiety.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Learning Day by Day

Even though anxiety can be so awful, it has taught me so much. It has made me more tender and understanding towards others. A few months ago, I was walking on my College's campus. I was walking just a few steps behind someone who was smoking. I didn't notice this until I inhaled and felt a huge amount of smoke enter my lungs. I have smelled smoke many times, but this time I got a face full and more than I had ever inhaled at one time. A year or two earlier, my thoughts probably would have been something like this, "Who is this guy? Doesn't he know smoking is bad for you? How rude is he to be smoking around other people! Idiot!" I may have even shot the man a dirty look as I passed him on my way to class. But, on this day, I didn't really think those things or give the man a dirty look. Instead, I wondered who this man was and the story of his life. It could be assumed by his outward appearance that he had had a hard life so far. I have no idea what his personal battles and struggles are. All I know is that God loves him, and that is enough. What my anxiety has taught me is that everyone deserves our respect.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Personal Best

One of my favorite quotes is from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The simple secret is this: put your trust in the Lord, do your best, then leave the rest to Him," (to read the whole talk click here). I love this quote because it tells us to do our best. I have had  many times when I have felt overwhelmed and full of anxiety. I have thought about all the things I am not doing, all the things I could improve, all the things I am not very good at, and the list goes on. This quote hung in my room for months reminding me that all the Lord expects is my best. My personal best, and He will take care of the rest.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Really Am

After months of battling anxiety, I remember one day when someone asked me how I was doing. I replied, "Good." I had answered this question half-heartedly many times in the previous months. After this particular response I thought to myself,
"I really am, I am doing good."
What a sweet moment that was.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Job

Holy Hannah. Today was my first official day at my new job. I've been excited, but also very anxious about it. This morning I woke up and could feel the anxiety in my legs. I just kept breathing and told myself I was going to be fine. Jordan prayed last night that I would do well at my new job and be able to be myself. When he left for work this morning I almost wanted to start crying, but I got into my car and drove to work. When I got there, everything went really well. There were a few times I had to tell myself, "Just breathe, you're fine," but overall, it was a very successful day. I am grateful for the new people I get to work with and the new experiences I will have. Tomorrow is day two, and I think it will be a good day!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Big Weekend

This past weekend, my sister got married! Due to this, we were surrounded with family and friends and the family and friends of my sister's new husband. A few months ago, that may have been too much for me to handle. I can't really explain it, because I have always loved people, (especially family and friends) but my anxiety can make me feel extremely afraid and uncomfortable in big groups of people. This past weekend could've been really hard, but it wasn't. It was wonderful and memorable. I was able to talk with people, laugh, and joke. It was wonderful to witness a sealing (the first one I have seen since my own!) in the Salt Lake Temple. It felt wonderful. There have been times when I have had to pretend I was having a good time because of my anxiety, but last weekend, I didn't have to do that. I told my husband, "I wasn't faking it!" It felt wonderful to talk with dozens of people, run around the reception trying to make sure things were going okay, hugging people I hadn't seen for a while, dancing along with the bride to "Dynamite" and "The Cupid Shuffle," and just enjoying the day. I am not "over" my anxiety, but I am learning I can live with it and still be me.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Broken Garage Door from Heaven

For a long time before we were married, Jordan was the only one I would talk to about my anxiety. He encouraged me to open up about to my family. Especially my mom and sister. After a little while, and after talking to Jordan, I felt it would be a good decision to talk to a doctor about it. I talked to my mom and she said she would call a doctor that she has been to that she really respects and trusts. I was scared, but also ready to receive some medical help. My mom called and said that they would probably be able to get me in the next week. Around a day or two later, I was feeling very anxious and was wishing I could get to the doctor sooner. I woke up and decided to say a prayer. I prayed that, if possible, I would be able to get to the doctor sooner than next week and also that I would be able to talk to Jordan somehow soon. A few minutes after I prayed, I heard our home phone ring. My mom answered. A few minutes later, she called up the stairs to me and told me they could get me in earlier. What!? A few minutes after that, my cell phone started to ring. It was Jordan. What!? He called and was headed to work late because his garage door had broken. God had time to help me with these small things I was in need of. When I told Jordan this story, he jokingly said, “Oh, so it’s your fault that my garage door broke?”    

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy Girl

These lyrics touched my heart today,

"I used to live in a darkened room
Had a face of stone and a heart of gloom
Lost my hope, I was so far gone.
Cryin' all my tears with the curtains drawn.
I didn't know until my soul broke free,
I've got these angels watching over me.
I used to hide in a party crowd
Bottled up inside feeling so left out
Standing in a corner wearing concrete shoes
With my frozen smile and my lighted fuse.
Now every time I start to feel like that,
I roll my heart out like a welcome mat.
Laugh when I feel like it,
Cry when I feel like it
That's how my life is, that's how it goes.
Oh, watch me go, I'm a happy girl.
Everybody knows
that the sweetest thing that you'll ever see
in the whole wide world
is a happy girl."

-Martina McBride, "Happy Girl."

I've had angels watching over me, learned to let myself laugh and cry, and I am trying to learn to "roll my heart out like a welcome mat." I am a Happy Girl.

Remembering September 11, 2001

God Bless America!

Friday, September 7, 2012


I think about a million times a day….It’s okay Chelsea, just…..
“Breathe in….and breathe out….in….and out….”
                 And, you know what? Everything is going to be great!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How Can I Help My Loved One?

Everyone who has anxiety/depression experiences it a little bit differently. If you have a loved one with anxiety/depression it might be hard to know how to help them. I have found the things that have helped me are support, love, understanding, and conversation. When I am having a hard day, the best thing for Jordan to do is simply be there for me. Just holding me for a minute, giving me a kiss, or telling me he loves me and everything is going to be okay does a world of difference. He shows me he understands by being patient and not judging me. The truth is, he can't just make it disappear, but he can help me to work through it and feel happy and rejuvenated again. There have been days when I was so upset and Jordan felt like he didn't know what to do. On one particular day, he said, "Do you want to go visit your mom?" I said yes, so he drove me to my mom's and sat and talked with my dad while I was able to talk with my mom about things going on in my head. Jordan was able to recognize I needed to talk to my mom on that day. I am so grateful for his sensitivity and love.
The best advice I can give to someone who has a loved one who is suffering from anxiety/depression is to simply love the person and let them know you do. Just being there for them can make a world of difference. Lovingly tell them that you are not going to give up on them and they are going to be okay.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


"It's better to cry than to be angry, because anger hurts others while tears flow silently through the soul and cleanse the heart." -Pope John Paul II
As I have read through many quotes on tears, there seem to be differing opinions on them. Some feel tears are a sign of weakness or something to be ashamed of. I don't see them this way. To me, tears have brought me relief, strength and compassion. I used to feel guilty when I cried like I was being ungrateful for my blessings. Then I realized that the right kind of tears can help me to release the built-up stress my anxiety can bring. Similar to chocolate, too much crying can be bad, too little can leave you feeling upset, and just the right amount can help you feel better.

"We need never be ashamed of our tears." -Charles Dickens

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How I Know God Likes Country Music

As Jordan (my husband) and I were dating I experienced high levels of anxiety. I don’t really know why, it just happened. I had anxiety about everything. Even though it was rough, it helped Jordan and I get to know each other in a very special way. He would help me through panic attacks (he still does) and he never gave up on me. One day I was on my way to class at the University. For some reason I was completely and totally overwhelmed this day. My mind was cloudy, nothing was making sense, and I thought I was beyond hope. My mind was telling me there was nothing good in the world, and even if there was, I wasn't worthy to be a partaker of it. As I drove to school, I just cried and cried. It was on Highway 89 that the radio began to play one of my two favorite songs, Lady Antebellum’s “Just a Kiss.” My tears of frustration and anger softened as I listened to the words. I was in shock when right after this song, my other favorite song came on the radio, “Crazy Girl” by the Eli Young Band. I was still crying, but they were now tears of gratitude. I took this as God’s way of showing me He loved me. He knew I was having a hard time, but He was still with me. There were one or two other times when I felt hopeless and these songs came on the radio right after another. I don’t know exactly how God works, but I do know he got my country station to play those songs when I needed them. I felt it was God tapping me on the shoulder to say, “I’m still here, I love you.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

God Has A Way of Working With People Like Me

My brain is, at times, a pool of fear, waiting for my thoughts to come and take a swim.
I sit and worry, placing myself in worst case scenarios and situations. 
I feel alone, I feel cornered, I feel hope being sucked from me.
But, God has a way of working with people like me.
He sends me His love through a song, a friend, a lesson, a feeling, a scripture, a thought...
It is His way of tapping me on the shoulder to say, "Remember Me? I'm here for you."
"I know what you're going through, I know your thoughts. Just trust Me, everything is going to be okay."
The Lord has a way of fixing things that are broken. He can turn chaos to peace. He can turn a mess into a masterpiece.
God has a way of working with people like me.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lesson Learned

A little less than a year ago, I was at an Institute devotional (an hour long meeting at the University's Institute of Religion for Latter-Day Saints). This particular devotional consisted of a few selected Institute students sharing their stories/testimonies. One girl got up and talked about how she prayed about a zipper that was stuck on her shirt because she really wanted to wear it. Because I have anxiety (and I am sometimes immature), I thought to myself, “Girl, if that is your biggest problem, then you are sitting pretty.” A few days later, I was getting ready to go to work. At this time, I worked at an elementary school in the after-school program. This day just happened to be the Halloween party, and I could not find the shirt I was planning on wearing for my 50s girl costume. I quickly said a prayer that He would help me find my shirt. After a couple of minutes, I started laughing really hard. I was praying about clothes. Good one, I get the message. I think God most definitely has a sense of humor.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where Did I Go?

For a long time I was worried that anxiety had taken my identity away from me. In High School, I was always the girl with the loud laugh who was always smiling. When I was hit with anxiety I would see people who I used to be like and almost get angry. Their perkiness would cause me to pull into my shell and want to hide. I would think, "I remember when I used to be like that, in the middle of the conversations, quick to come up with a witty comment, and friendly to everyone." I felt like I was losing myself. There were things I used to find great joy in that I had no interest in anymore. It scared me. My anxiety would make me feel like I didn't want to talk to anyone I didn't know. I was uncomfortable in rooms with a lot of people.
I remember one night telling my mom, "I don't feel like myself." (She has been through similar things even on a deeper level than I have.) The neatest thing was she totally understood what I meant. She told me,
"I know you don't believe me right now, but trust me. You will feel like yourself again."
I didn't believe her then. I wanted to, but it seemed impossible.

It wasn't easy. I went through a lot of tears, anguish, fears, etc. and I still do. But, the more time that passes, the more I feel like myself. It is interesting though, because even though I feel like myself again, I am different than I was before. I am more aware of the people around me. I have a more forgiving heart and I am much more accepting of others. Before anxiety, I was very judgmental. I am still working on it, but I have learned to give people the benefit of the doubt. Before, I found a lot of pleasure in being the loud and funny one in a group. That is not necessarily bad, but it may not be the best choice on the list of good, better, and best. I still love to be funny and have a good time, and I am still known for my ear-drum breaking laugh, but I have developed in ways I couldn't imagine before. Anxiety didn't take my identity away from me, it just molded me in new ways. I was afraid I had lost myself, that I was just going to watch my life pass by, but this hasn't happened. Having anxiety has helped me to appreciate the wonderful things even more. I have had hard days, but life is still good.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


"Music was my refuge." -Maya Angelou


At times, music has been my refuge from the storms of anxiety. Music can make the unexplainable come to life. Things that can't be said in words can be made clear in lyrics. On my iPod (I still have a first generation white nano and I am proud of it!) I have a playlist titled, "Chelsea special songs." That is precisely what they are. Each song on the playlist has some sort of special meaning to me or has given me comfort in some way. Each of the songs have lyrics that have helped or touched me in some way. I have listened to these songs over and over and over
again. I've listened in my car, in my room, on the computer, sung them in my head, etc. They have all helped me find refuge.


"When I get where I'm going, there'll be only happy tears. I will shed the sins and struggles I have carried all these years. And I'll leave my heart wide open. I will love and have no fear."
"When I get where I'm going, and I see my Maker's face, I'll stand forever in the Light of His amazing grace."- "When I Get Where I'm Going." Brad Paisley featuring Dolly Parton.


"I'm trying to hold on, just waiting to hear Your voice. One word, just a word will end this nightmare."
"I know that the night must end and that the sun will rise...I know that the clouds must clear and that the sun will shine...and I'll hear your voice deep inside." -"Endless Night" from "The Lion King" on Broadway.


"Since Christ is Lord
of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?"-"How Can I Keep From Singing?" written by Robert Wadsworth Lowry. This version performed by SheDaisy.


"One day you, you'll find your light again, don't you know? Don't let go, be strong."
"Follow your dreams, be yourself an angel of kindness. There's nothing that you cannot do, I believe in you."- "I Believe in You." El Divo featuring Celine Dion.


"Don't give up, it's just the weight of the world. When your heart's heavy, I will lift it for you."-"You are Loved" Josh Groban.


"But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me. Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed. The giant keeps on telling me time and time again, 'You'll never win.' But the voice of truth tells me a different story, the voice of truth says, 'Do not be afraid.' And the voice of truth says, 'This is for My glory.' Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth."-"Voice of Truth" Casting Crowns.


"I'll keep leaning on my Jesus. I know He'll love and guide and lead us." -"Smoky Mountain Memories" Dolly Parton, performed by David Archuleta.


"God gave me you for the ups and downs. God gave me you
for the days of doubt." -"God Gave Me You." Blake Shelton.


"Sometimes it seems impossible, that's why we pray." -"Raise It Up." from the film, "August Rush."


"I ain't as good as I'm gonna get, but I'm better
than I used to be." -"Better than I used to Be." Tim McGraw

Monday, August 20, 2012

In the Church Parking Lot

I have always been a religious person. I was taught about God as a child and have always found great strength in attending church, reading the scriptures, and praying. When my anxiety was at its peak, I had the hardest time in church. When church was over, I would think, "Phew! I made it through another Sunday." My anxiety told me that I was worth nothing. It told me I didn’t belong there. It told me I should just give up. My anxiety would tell me I wasn’t good enough to be in the pews, that I couldn’t handle what was being taught, and basically that I was scum. There were a few months when I never went through a Sunday at church where I didn’t feel at some point that I needed to run, and I mean run, outside for some air. I never did run, because I knew deep inside that what my anxiety was telling me wasn’t true. Church is not a place for perfect people. Church is a place for sinners and mistake makers.

On one particular Sunday I was really having a hard time. My sister was sitting a few people down from me on the same row. I looked at her with a desperate face. That was all I needed to do. Between our next two meetings, my sister and I went to my car in the parking lot. I told her what was going on in my head. She comforted me and gave me her support. I felt better just being able to express myself to her. I told her I still believed in my religion 100%, it was just so hard to sit there with my anxiety telling me I'm nothing, telling me all the things being said in church are out of reach. She didn't judge me or tell me to get over it. She offered her love and support. It was so helpful. 

What my anxiety was telling me in church wasn't true. I needed to be there. I am not perfect, but I am loved by my Heavenly Father. Church is not a place for perfect people. Church is a place for sinners, mistake makers, and even those who have anxiety.    

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thank you, Chieko.

As I live with anxiety, I am not alone. I have support from my sweet husband, my family, God, my friends, and others. For some of my first posts I wanted to mention some outside sources that have really helped me in my journey with anxiety. One person who has helped me in countless ways is a woman named Chieko Okazaki. The strange thing about our relationship is that she doesn't know who I am. In fact, she passed away last year. She has written several books for women in the LDS church. I was introduced to her writings when a woman in my ward used a powerful quote from one of her books. The quote hit me with such force I couldn't go many days without getting a hold of that book. The quote talked about our Savior and how He died for us and knows exactly who we are and what we are going through. I had heard this many times before, but the way she described it so specifically and personally touched me in a way I had never felt before. I knew that even though my anxiety made me feel alone, I wasn't. Not only do I have loved ones on earth who care about me, I have a Heavenly Father and a Savior, Jesus Christ, who know me perfectly and love me with a perfect love. My Savior knows all the emotions I have as a result of anxiety. He has felt the frustration and despair I feel at times. I am not alone.
I would suggest this book to anyone and everyone. Ironically, I visit the DI (Deseret Industries) often, and there are always at least two copies of the book there. This has shocked me because the book helped me in my life so much I can't imagine not having it on my bookshelf.


Hi! Welcome to my blog. My name is Chelsea and I live with anxiety. I wanted to start a blog for a few reasons. Ready? 1-As I have been living with anxiety I have noticed how much better I feel when I am open about it. It is amazing how many people feel similar to the way I do. Through this blog I hope to find people who are struggling with and overcoming anxiety. I hope and pray we can help each other through words and sharing experiences. Anxiety can be a scary thing, but the more you talk about it, the smaller it becomes. The more support you feel from family, friends, and even strangers, the easier it is to live with and the better life becomes. 2-I want to remember the tender mercies God has shown me through my journey with anxiety. Even in moments when I thought He was far away, He wasn't. I want to remember how He has helped me by recording His actions in my life. 3-I want to help those who don't have anxiety understand it a little bit better. I'm not talking understand it medically (because heaven knows I have no idea about that side), but how it is emotionally and mentally. Anxiety is fairly black and white. Either you have it or you don't. I want to help those who don't come to understand their loved ones who do a little better. Simply stated, I want to bring anxiety out of the dark, and put it in the light so everyone can see and understand it without being afraid.