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"