Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas is Coming!

Merry Christmas Eve!! I was driving to my mom's house yesterday, and the traffic was crazy! But, due to this, I got to see a sweet act of kindness. I was cruising along, when my light turned red, so I stopped (It's a good idea to do that when the light is red). I was right next to the right hand turning lane. I noticed a woman walking and slowly entering the crosswalk, she had a grocery bag and had probably been out shopping at one of the local grocery stores. The next thing I saw was an older woman driving her car, she was a little distracted and started to proceed to check the intersection to complete her "right on red" turn. Luckily, she noticed the woman in the crosswalk just in time and didn't hit her. The woman driving mouthed, "I'm sorry!" to the woman in the crosswalk. As you can imagine, a series of things could've happened after this. The woman walking could've done you-know-what with her finger, scowled, yelled, ignored the woman, or any number of other things. Instead, I saw her lips say, "That's okay, Merry Christmas!" and she happily walked across the remainder of the intersection. I looked at the woman in the car beside me, and she too had a smile on her face. Witnessing that small thing filled me with the Spirit of Christmas. I pray we can remember the "Reason for the Season" and be just a little bit kinder to one another. Merry Christmas!!

"He is the Reason for the Season, He is the Light that shines on our lives. The baby Jesus, born in God's Grace, so we all might rejoice on this day."

Are you having a difficult time this Christmas? Are you not feeling very 'merry?' You're not alone! Click here to read last year's Christmas post.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Let It Go

There aren't a lot of movies that we spend money on to go see in the theater. Usually, we just wait until the movie comes to Redbox. But, occasionally there are movies that are too good to pass up the ginormous screen for. Disney's Frozen is one of those movies. I would even go to the theater more than once! Now that is rare.
Because I have anxiety and depression and I blog about it, I often find links and connections between things in life or portrayed in movies and depression. In this movie, it was the song, "Let it Go." A little background, Elsa (one of the main characters) was born with an incredible power (some call it a curse) to create snow and ice with the flick of her hand. As a child, she and her sister, Anna, would play in the snow that Elsa created. Then, one day, Elsa accidentally injures Anna with her power. It is after that that she is told she must keep her powers a secret. She can't let anyone know what she can do. She is told she must be strong and "not feel." In order to keep her sister and others safe, Elsa stays shut in her room for years trying to learn how to control her power. 
What I found interesting, was that the more she tried to hide and control it, the worse it became. The more she told herself to not feel, the more uncontrollable the power became.  
After a series of events, there is a moment when Elsa is unable to control her power in front of a large group of people. They find out about her powers and many consider her a "monster." In order to keep others safe, she runs away to a high mountain. It is here that she finds happiness as she "Lets it Go." (And sings an absolutely INCREDIBLE song, seriously, if you want chills, listen to it) On this mountain, she is able to use her powers without worry. She builds amazing and beautiful things. She creates a gorgeous castle from ice and finally feels free.
But what had changed? Why were her powers doing amazing things now? Why were they not hurting anyone? Why? Because she stopped worrying about it, and let it go. She stopped trying to control and hide her powers and let them go.    
I have been the person sitting in my room before, clenching my eyes tightly trying to control the thoughts in my mind. Trying to force things in and out, trying to keep it in and fix my insides. I've been the person to wait months before I told loved ones how much I was struggling in fear of embarrassment. I have been the person crying and wondering what happened to my life and wondering why I can't just fix everything in my head. I have been the girl who shut loved ones out in fear of hurting them. I have been the one trying to control my mind and make it do what I want.
I have also been the girl to "Let it Go." It's easier said than done, but I have found that I can let it go. This blog is one way that I do that. I write about it. I try to not keep it hidden. I try to let it go. As I have mentioned before, talking about it helps so much.
When I was younger and I would worry non-stop about things, my mom told me to "float." What she meant was, imagine yourself in the clouds or in water, and just float. Whenever a worry comes to your mind, just float. Don't fight it, just float. Just breathe and remember, they are just thoughts. Float. This is another way I let it go.
As I let it go, I find myself closer to my loved ones, not further away. While some people may not understand depression, (and I don't blame them, it's weird!) I have come to not be afraid of people knowing I deal with it.
When I let it go, my anxiety and depression can actually do beautiful things, such as this blog. My anxiety and depression have made me a much more compassionate and kind person. They have taught me not to judge others. When I let it go, my "curse" can actually be a beautiful thing.
"Let It Go"
"Couldn’t keep it in, Heaven knows I tried. Don’t let them in, don’t let them see, be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know. Well now they know! Let it go! Can’t hold it in anymore.
I don’t care what they’re going to say, let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway.
The fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all.
Here I stand in the light of day, let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway." 

Monday, December 9, 2013

"Like a Broken Vessel" By Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: Part 3

In talking about depression, Elder Holland stated, " I am speaking of something more serious, of an affliction so severe that it significantly restricts a person's ability to function fully, a crater in the mind so deep that no one can responsibly suggest it would surely go away if those victims would just square their shoulders and thing more positively-though I am a vigorous advocate of square shoulders and positive thinking!"

I hope if you know someone with anxiety or depression, you realize that they're not just choosing to feel that way. I can't really explain it, but for some reason, you can't choose to just "snap out of it." It's not just a bad day or a bad week, it is, as Elder Holland stated, "a crater in the mind."

I guess one small bit of advice I can give is that if you have anxiety or depression, don't feel guilty about it. I realize this is easier said than done, but try to remember that you aren't choosing to feel this way, it is just something you are dealing with for a time. Do your best, but realize your best may not be as much as you wish it could be at the moment. Remember you are doing the best you can and you should never feel you are a bad person because of your condition.

I remember when I was feeling very deep feelings of depression, I would see bubbly or enthusiastic people, and almost feel angry. I knew I had been a happy person who saw the glass "half full." At this time though, I felt like my class wasn't only half empty, but completely drained and dry. I felt guilty when I would see people enjoying life. I figured I was being ungrateful and letting my life waste away. As I've learned more about depression, I realize that you shouldn't ever feel guilt because of it. Just like the flu or diabetes, it doesn't make you less of a person, it is just something you experience. While I still have hard days and I can't say I am "over" depression, most days I can see the glass half full (and maybe even full to the brim!)

To read Elder Holland's full talk, click here.
To read parts 1 and 2 of this series, please click here and here.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


 photo MyCandyCrushConfessionImage3_zpsc1428647.jpg

In some of my spare time, I enjoy playing Candy Crush. Why? I call it 'Bejeweled' on steroids. It's fun. It's a great combination of skill and luck. Why am I talking about this on my blog about anxiety? I'll explain.
Sometimes when my mind is running every which way with worries and fears, Candy Crush serves as a way to help me focus on something other than my anxieties.

A relative of mine recently mentioned that this same game had helped her through some hard days. Isn't that funny? There were days it was really hard to sit in class, so I would play Candy Crush. It made sitting in there bearable and made the time go by faster. Sometimes with anxiety or depression, your mind never rests. It is constantly thinking of negative, scary, or undesirable things. As long as it is used correctly, a game can serve as a rest for the brain.

Sometimes I feel a little bit embarrassed that I play a cell phone game. But, the other day, I started to think, "Why am I embarrassed?" We all have things that help us to relax or distract us for a few minutes. Candy Crush is one of the things that sometimes helps me on a difficult day.

Just a few notes for those of you who may play...
1. Level 147 is making me crazy. I have been on it forever.
2. My favorite move is when you combine a brown candy and a striped candy, it's so awesome. This move is second only to combining two brown candies. Magic.
3. Combining a striped candy and a packaged candy is pretty neat too.
4. Isn't it so obnoxious when you could beat the level if you only had ONE MORE MOVE!? So aggravating.
5. The timed levels are my favorite.
If you don't play Candy Crush, you might be thinking I'm a bit crazy by now. If you do play, you're probably nodding your head to the items in this list.

Disclaimer! Similar to this post, I am not telling you to waste away your life playing games on your phone or computer. What I am saying is that sometimes a distraction is okay. We should never let it get out of control, spend all our time doing it, or shirk off responsibilities, but I do believe that, at times, these things have a place. Playing a game should never replace family or friend time, but it can help pass time through hard moments.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Is it April Yet?

April. I can't wait. I might name my first daughter April. Why? Because graduation is in April!
This semester has been rough. I knew going into it that it was going to be probably the roughest semester in my schooling so far. No kidding!
God has helped me a lot this semester though. He knew exactly who I should work with in my pre-student teaching.
I get to work with some awesome kids and an amazing teacher, Brooke.
I love the kids I work with, it is great to see them every day.
Brooke has been one of the people that has made me think I can make it to April. She has taught me so much. I think I have learned more from her than I have the whole time in the Special Education program! She is also hilarious and extremely fun to be around. I hope I can connect with kids and have fun at work like she does.
There are moments when it is so much to take in, when the kids are misbehaving or not listening and I have thought,
"Uh oh! Did I pick the right major!?" 

But, there have been times when a student's eyes light up because they understand something, or they are excited to tell me something that happened, or proud to tell someone else they are my student. In these moments I have thought,
"Yep, this is definitely where I'm supposed to be." 

Those moments are much more powerful.

Monday, October 28, 2013

"Like A Broken Vessel" By Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: Part 2

In speaking on mental disorders, Elder Holland stated:

"However bewildering this all may be, these afflictions are some of the realities of mortal life, and there should be no more shame in acknowledging them than in acknowledging a battle with high blood pressure or the sudden appearance of a malignant tumor."

Let's break this down:

"However bewildering this all may be..."

The dictionary defines bewildering as: "extremely confusing." I love his word choice. Mental disorders are so very confusing. As you struggle mentally, at times you may wonder why. You may be confused about why someone else is depressed or facing other mental challenges. Their life may seem perfect from the outside, but on the inside they feel like they are falling apart. Mental disorders confuse us by picking randomly who and when they will strike. It sounds a little crazy, but one of the best ways to understand mental disorders is to realize they don't make sense. They are bewildering. 

"...these afflictions are some of the realities of mortal life..." 

My favorite word in this phrase is "realities". Depression and other mental disorders are real; they are a reality. You may try to convince yourself that you are just crazy or that you are making a big deal out of nothing. The truth is, mental disorders are real. While that can be scary, it is also comforting. Once you know what it is, there are so many things you can do to help yourself. I remember when I finally realized what was going on in my head. It had a name. The name was depression. Once I understood what it was, I felt like there was a huge burden lifted off my shoulders.

"...there should be no more shame in acknowledging them than in acknowledging a battle with high blood pressure or the sudden appearance of a malignant tumor."

Because depression and other mental disorders are "bewildering," sometimes we may feel embarrassed to talk about them. We might think people will judge us. The truth is, we have no reason to be ashamed. Some people have physical weaknesses or sicknesses, others have mental struggles.  

I am so grateful to Elder Holland. He reminded me that the things I go through mentally are confusing, but very real. He also reminded me that I don't need to be ashamed of my struggles. 

To read his full talk, please click here.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

"Like A Broken Vessel" By Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: Part 1

"Like A Broken Vessel" was a talk given in the October 2013 General Conference. General Conference is an LDS (Mormon) conference that happens every 6 months. During the conference, Prophets, Apostles, and other church leaders speak to us. The conference spans over two days and is about 10 hours long (This may seem like a long time, but it goes by fast!).

The leaders talk about a variety of subjects. They aren't assigned, instead the leaders pray and ponder over what they choose to speak on. This conference Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a whole talk on mental disorders.

Right when he began to talk I was riveted.

It felt like Elder Holland was speaking directly to me. His words went straight to my heart. I thought of others I know who struggle with mental disorders and hoped they were listening too.

I knew this talk would be one I would need to read over and over again. The other day, (during class, it was a bit stressful and I just kind of checked out...don't tell my Professor) I read it again. I took notes on things I thought I could write about on my blog. The list went on and on. I hope you don't mind, but I am gong to write a sort of series about Elder Holland's talk. To read his full talk, please click here.

One of the first things that stuck out to me was when he said, "I wish to speak to those who suffer from some form of mental illness or emotional disorder, whether those afflictions be slight or severe, of brief duration or persistent over a lifetime." I liked this statement because it makes this talk apply to basically everybody. There are times I have thought, "Why am I blogging about this? I am not suffering as much as so and so, they are much more qualified than I am to talk about it." You may suffer from it severely or a little bit. Either way, you don't need to compare yourself to other people. God wants to help you on your journey. And, this talk is for YOU.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


This sign is above you when you enter the magical world of Disneyland:

"Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy." 

We visited Disneyland last week with my family. When I read and walked under this sign, I took it very literally. I set aside all my cares and worries. I didn't think about school and all the stresses that it is currently causing. For my current courses, I have to several (like seriously, a ton) of volunteer hours. When I walked under this sign, I said (out loud), "No more student teaching hours!" Anytime the thought of school would start to creep into my mind, I would quickly push it to the side reminding myself that right now I was living in the present.

It was the most wonderful vacation ever.

I got to be with my husband, my sisters and brother, my brother-in-laws, my parents, and my darling niece and nephew all day every day. It was a small taste of heaven to be with them and feel so care free.

Then, reality hit. As soon as I got home. I was excited to come home, kind of. I was excited to see our kitties, but I knew all the cares I had left behind would be here when I got back. And sure enough, they were.

The first night home, I cried. I missed having my family right next to me. I missed getting to be with Jordan all day. I missed laughing at silly things with my sisters, the boys trying to find something to watch on the TV (ninja turtles entertained us one night), and kissing my niece and nephew good night every night.

The second night home, I cried.

The third night home, I found out I didn't understand a certain assignment for one of my classes. This meant I needed an additional 26 hours I didn't realize I needed before. I cried.

I woke up the next morning with so much anxiety running through my body I couldn't fall back asleep. So, I went to work a little bit early. I got things figured out with my schooling a little bit.

Through it all, Jordan is his amazing supportive self. I like him a lot.

Today, I got my schooling situation all figured out and feel a lot better about it. I still wish I could be having fun with my family all day everyday, but I am doing much better.

Still, sometimes I close my eyes and pretend that I'm still there with them.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


"I don't think I can do this Jordy"

This is the text I sent to my husband on the second day of my new job. I started my new job and on the second day I was ready to be done. This job involves working with some junior high students who have been placed into a program I am in charge of. This program will either help them to transfer back into school with their peers or to an alternative placement. There are a variety of reasons they may be placed in the program. It suffices me to say they weren't in class ready to learn so the privilege of being a part of the regular school day has been taken away from them for a time. 
The second day of school was a bit rough. I figured I wasn't going to be able to do any good. I felt terrible. After I let them out for a five minute break, I went into the bathroom and cried. 
My anxiety was taking over. I was convinced I couldn't do it. I never wanted to step into that room again. 
I finished the day and cried as I drove home (wearing sunglasses so those in the cars around me couldn't see). 
I got home and laid down on the couch. I called Jordan.
Jordan was sweet like he always is.
I decided I needed to go see Karin.
I talked with Karin and cleared my head a bit.
I went home.
Jordan came home.
We talked.
We went and visited my family.
My mom and sister helped me.
My mom suggested reading books to the students.
I felt stronger.
I felt a desire to be a positive influence in the students' lives.
I prayed.
I went to work the next day.

With some help, it went very well.

Now, I would cry if I had to leave this job. I love the kids. Holy cow. I love spending time with them. 
I love being their teacher. I love making them laugh or think I'm a little weird. I love it when they make me laugh.
I love reading to them. We have read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (I told you I was on a Harry Potter kick). I am now reading them "Gifted Hands."
I love when I can connect with them on something. I love getting to know them.

There are still difficult times. Sometimes they think it isn't very fun to do what I ask them to. Sometimes I think they are going to drive me absolutely up the wall, but I care about them so much.
I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to work with these kids. They mean a lot to me. 
Who knows what tomorrow will be like, but I know it will be an adventure.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Harry Potter and Anxiety

I've recently been on a Harry Potter kick. I love the books, I've been reading the first one to the students I work with, and we have borrowed many of the movies from Jordan's mom. I love the good vs. evil theme and the strong friendships displayed between Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
When we were watching the third movie, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," there was a part that reminded me of how it feels to have anxiety and depression. Harry, Hermione, and Ron are on the Hogwarts express headed to start the school year. A strange creature gets on the train and comes into their compartment. It brings darkness wherever it goes and brings sadness and despair with it. Harry seems to be in some sort of trance which a stranger in their compartment uses his wand to send the creature away. (you soon find out the stranger is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Lupin). Harry ends up passing out, waking up a few minutes later. Professor Lupin explains that the creature was a dementor. The dark creatures that guard the wizard jail, Azkaban. Harry then asks his friends:

"Did either of you two, you know, pass out?"

Ron responds:

"No, I felt weird though, like I would never be cheerful again."

This hit right home for me. When I am deep in anxiety and depression, it seems like I can never be cheerful again. Ron has a great family, wonderful friends, a great education, etc. but the dementor made him feel like he would never feel happy again. The same happens to me at times. I have an amazing husband and family, friends who I adore, a good job and education, and I belong to a religion that means everything to me. How can I get so down sometimes? The truth is we're human. At times I succumb to the awful and gripping feelings of depression. The good part? Just like Ron does feel cheerful again, I always do. Like the dementor went away, depression and anxiety don't stay forever. Prayer and love get me back. I know that no matter how far down we go, we can always be cheerful again.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Job I leave.

This summer I have been working at a local pest control company. Kind of random, right? When I first started, I was a bit overwhelmed (read about it here). Since I've gotten used to answering phones, giving price quotes, and sounding pleasant even when sometimes customers are not, I have grown to love this job. The main reason is because of the people. The girls I work with are wonderful! They are a bit crazy, hilarious, and personable.

They make a job involving things like this...

Extremely enjoyable! (Yes, that is my hand next to that BUG. Don't worry, it took me almost throwing up and about 3 days before I was able to get that close.)

I feel like I have to blog some of my memories because this job helped me so much. I have a hard time getting up in the morning, especially with my anxiety. Most mornings I wake up with anxiety running through my body. With this job, I always knew I was going somewhere I sincerely enjoyed and somewhere I was being productive. I knew I would get to be with people I love being around. It made getting up that much easier.

Just a few memories:
  • When Jolyn bought us all fuzzy posters to color while we were leaving messages for customers. We kept consulting each other about which color was the best for particular spots on the poster. It was intense if I say so myself. 
  • When I accidentally put two customers on a phone call together without an employee…awkward. 
  • My name was Melissa for customers since there are two Chelsea’s in the office. I got called Chelsea, Melissa, Chelsea-Melissa and Chel-Mel. 
  • Kendra would bring me gluten-free goodies. Cookie dough, cookies, muddy buddies, etc. Tamesa brought me GF Oreos, Carla brought me a coupon for the local Gluten Free store, Jolyn brought me a Costa Vida coupon. 
  • A glare from across the room from Stacie means you need to check your hand to see if you are clicking a pen or marker. 
  • Cheltsie always so willing to answer all my ridiculous questions. 
  • Brandy staying late to talk to me and Kendra while we worked. 
  • I learned from Tamesa that preventative is technically not a word. It’s preventive! 
  • One day Audrey asked me to tell her about myself. I believe she said something like, “What makes Chelsea, Chelsea?” 
  • We had an amazing Crepe party 
  • One word: Snapchat. 
  • Getting to know the newest girls: Haley and Shawneen. 
  • Clocking out so Jill could give me a haircut. 
  • Sweat pants are required attire when you work on Saturday. 
  • I’ve never googled so many bugs in my life. Often, a customer would send in pictures of one to us, or would wonder what a certain bug looked like. So, we google bugs…a lot. 
  • Often, when on the phone with a customer, we would need to tell each other things. We would do this by quickly muting the phone while the customer was talking, talk really fast to a co-worker, and unmute the phone in time to reply.

I could talk to my coworkers about funny and serious things going on in my life, and also in theirs. We had some touching heart to hearts. I think one of the best things about our group is how diverse we are. We all have different backgrounds and life stories, but there is a special bond between us.

My job doesn't quite fit in with my busy school schedule, it makes me so sad! It's hard to think of not seeing the girls every day. Luckily, the plan is to work some Saturdays and go back next summer. It's something I'm looking forward to!
It was so hard to get everyone together, because the phone kept
ringing! Also, we were missing a few, but we tried to get as
many as possible!

Jordan had heard a lot about these girls, it was fun to get a picture
to show him. My mom took this when she came and visited.

Friday, August 16, 2013

August 16: My Blogging Birthday!

Today is my blogging birthday! My blog is one year old! Of course I started to think about why I started this blog. One thing that gave me a slight "push" was after an anxiety attack one night. I told Jordan that once I got stronger I wanted to "do something big." I remember thinking I wanted to write a book or just something to help people who are in a situation like mine. Anxiety and depression are so hard, but it becomes even harder if you don't know what it is, or if you don't have anyone to relate to. That is why I started this blog. I wanted to help other people. I'm not a genius or medical expert, but I can tell my experiences and pray that I can do a little good and be a little bit of help in the lives of others.
To read my very first posts, click here and here.
P.S. Shout out to my sister whose birthday was yesterday :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Wedding!

The beautiful Jordan River Temple
Last week, my dear, dear friend got married to a really nice guy (I've only met him a handful of times, but he has my approval :) ). We were lucky enough to get to attend her wedding ceremony at the Jordan River Temple and participate in her reception.
I got to thinking about all the things Erin and I have been through together. I remember the first time I met her was in the 8th grade, she had on a bumble bee costume at a birthday party. I remember her bringing a Charlie Brown coloring book to Junior High to color, and being the character called "Gus" in our cheesy (but totally awesome) 9th grade play.
We had sleepovers, laughed like little school children, and sometimes had to be told to stop talking in class in the last row of the choir room.
I remember some more serious moments, when she told us her mom had been diagnosed with cancer and the call I got months later that she had passed away.
During our first year of College, we carpooled together. A lot of the times we would ride in silence, I was dealing with my anxiety, and she was dealing with the sickness of her mother. A lot of times, we didn't have to speak, we were just there for each other.
Erin has been at BYU for the last year, so I didn't see her for months. When we got back together, it was almost like we'd never been apart. She is totally awesome.
Love you Erin! <3
The girls. Love them!
P.S. One of my favorite memories of Erin's mom was when she sang "I'm a Mean Old Witch With a Hat" to us in their front room. Complete with actions and facial expressions. A few weeks ago, Erin and I sat trying to decide what her mom must be doing in heaven these days. We decided she is being an amazing missionary.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It Has a Name

I remember where I was sitting when I gave the things that were happening inside my head a name.

We often think that things only happen to other people. That is what I thought about anxiety and depression. Other people have that...I don't. I had a wonderful life, a loving family, a great boyfriend (now my husband), a solid spiritual foundation, a job I enjoyed, and supportive friends. Why would I have depression? It didn't make sense.

I was sitting in my 1995 Toyota Corolla. I was sobbing. For some strange reason, I thought my world was falling apart. I felt like I was in a fog that I couldn't get out of. I was talking to Jordan on the phone, and I finally gave it a name. I said something along the lines of:

"It's like my mind is sick. It's like something isn't working correctly. It's like...depression."

I think I had thought it in my head before, but I had never said it out loud. It's incredible what can happen when you realize that is what it is. I am not broken, my mind is just struggling. I am not crazy, my brain is just out of balance. I will not be like this forever, I can get through it.

It still helps me to get through. Sometimes I still start to believe that I am crazy. I start to believe I can't get out of the fog. With the help of God and others, I always do. When I am able to remember that depression is something I sometimes have, it isn't who I am, I feel so much hope.

God loves us, and life is good!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

That Looming Feeling...

I am having a wonderful Summer. I am really enjoying my job, working in the yard, trying to keep the house clean, and getting to spend time with my hubby, family, and friends. Evenings are free to be spent relaxing and enjoying time with loved ones. Along with the the summertime fun is the looming reminder that school starts soon. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy learning and know it will be totally worth it, I just know it comes with a lot of hard work, stress, and anxiety. This will be my last year, and the 2 semesters will be packed with hours of student teaching, preparing, planning, and homework. The thought of it is overwhelming and a bit scary. I also know I can do it. I have so much support and the results of the hard work is a diploma! I am sure there will be lots of prayers, some tears, late nights, and goals reached. Can't wait to be class of 2014!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"We Need Not Live in Fear"

I don't think it was coincidence that one of my Facebook friends decided to post this quote the other day. It was exactly what I needed to read. Isn't cool how that happens? Tender mercies.

The Lord wants to help us in our lives. He won't make our choices for us, but He will guide us if we let Him. I am learning to quiet my fears by opening my heart to the Lord and His Spirit. Sometimes fear can consume me. As I learn to breathe and trust the Lord, my fears shrink. I am not perfect at it, there are times I still get consumed, but He is teaching me how to overcome. His love is so much greater than my fears!

My sister had a baby last night! It is incredible how little people cause you to look at the world so differently. He is a sweet spirit straight from heaven. We are so grateful that he is the newest member of our family! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


For some reason, the last few days I have had to remind myself to just breathe. Sometimes it just happens. I start to remind myself of all the things I'm not perfect at, the things I could improve on and I get overwhelmed. I get stressed and start to feel myself close off.
I try to remind myself just to breathe. That's the only thing I needto do. Just breathe.
Life is good!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Life's Little Anxiety Moments

Anxiety is a very serious thing, but if I'm being honest, there can be some humor found in it. I thought I would share today some of the silly things that sometimes cause me to feel some anxiety...
1. When my cell phone is almost dead. Seriously, that little tiny red mark on the battery does it to me every time.

2. When that little orange light comes on. Maybe if gas was 25 cents a gallon this wouldn't be so stressful!

 3. A sink full of dishes. AHHH! I don't like doing dishes, but I don't like a full sink even more.

4. Traffic. Need I say more? Especially if my cell phone is almost dead and my tank is almost empty.

5. Weeds. Why? Why can't all plants be flowers and trees?

While there are many big and small things that give me anxiety, I have come to learn that tanks get full, gardens get weeded, and intersections clear up. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Living With a Black Dog: Part 3

Every time I read this book by Matthew Johnstone, I am amazed at the accuracy the author has in describing exactly how depression can cause you to feel. A page that hit me today says,

"People who've had a Black Dog in their lives often say that in retrospect, 'the Dog' probably had been sniffing around for a long time. They just didn't have the understanding and knowledge to give it a name."

It took me a long time to realize what was going on in my life. Depression was one of those things that only happened to "other people." I didn't think it was something that could happen to me. When I realized what it was, my world began to change. It didn't make it go away, but it helped me to understand it and realize I wasn't broken (even though I felt like it).
I was scared to realize I had depression. There are so many unknowns and things that are hard to understand. I guess that is why I talk and blog about it. Expressing my experiences and hearing about the things others have been through helps me to understand it better.
What I have learned is that depression and anxiety are a part of my life at times, but they do not define me.

Read parts one and two of "Living With a Black Dog"

Questions about taking medicine for anxiety/depression? I had them too, read about it here.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Musical Number...Part 2

This song is so good, I had to split it into a couple of different parts to make sure I felt I had given it justice. (To read Part 1 click here.)

The chorus of the song goes like this,

"He knew there'd be moments when no earthly words
Could take away your sorrow
And no human eyes could see what you're going through
When you've taken your last step and done all that you can do
He will lift your heavy load and carry you."

Anxiety and depression can be hard because a lot of times you can't tell someone is going through it on the outside. If you were physically sick, you would have people asking how you are feeling or bringing you "Get well!" cards, but when you are mentally sick, there may be very few or even no people who know your situation. Further still, many people (not because of a fault of their own) don't understand anxiety and depression. They may think you are just going through a phase or that it is "all in your head."
This song reminds me that Jesus understands. Even when it seems like nothing on earth can help, Jesus can.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Musical Number Part 1

Last Monday, a sister in my church asked me if I would play the piano for a musical number she was doing for our Sunday meeting. At first, I was thinking I couldn't do it, we don't own a piano yet, and I am working two jobs for the next couple of weeks. I found out that the song was all in the key of C (no sharps or flats), so I decided I could probably do it without hours and hours practice.
The song was, "He'll Carry You" by Hilary Weeks. As I played it and listened to this sister sing, the song touched my heart in so many ways. The first verse goes like this... 

"He knows your heart
He knows your pain
He knows the strength it took just to simply breathe today
He sees the tears that you cry
He knows your soul is aching to know why
He hears your prayers, each humble word
When you said you couldn't face another day he understood
He knows the path that you will find
Though you felt alone He's never left your side."

The line, 'He knows the strength it took just to simply breathe today,' especially hit home with me. When I was in the depths of anxiety and depression, just breathing was a huge accomplishment. Sometimes I tell myself that is all I have to do for a few minutes, "All you have to do is breathe."

There were times I felt completely alone, but I know He never left my side.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

God Bless

Ever since I was young I've had instilled in me a deep love for my country. Events like what happened in Boston yesterday make my soul ache. It is beyond any of my understanding why anyone would choose to deliberately put other people in such pain.
On my way to school yesterday, the country radio station I was listening to played, "God Bless the U.S.A." as a dedication to those suffering in Boston. As I drove to school today, I saw a beautiful, huge American flag flying at half mast. I watched it blow in the wind and now, I think about all the things that have happened to make it possible for that flag to be there. Many wars, Presidents, laws, disagreements, speeches, and tragedies. 
After a tragedy like yesterday, some might be tempted to ask, "Does that star spangled banner still wave?"
It does, at half mast at times, but it keeps waving "o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave." 
  Our prayers are with those in Boston. God Bless the U.S.A.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Remembering to Not Freak Out

I started training for a new job last Wednesday at a Pest Control Company. It has been a really good experience and I have met some of the nicest people. Each day, I've had a moment when I feel like I can't do it. I am learning a TON of new information, and sometimes it feels like my brain is going to explode. I start to convince myself that I can't do it and I never will be able to. Watching my co-workers who have been there for a long time, it can get discouraging. They are so good at what they do!
While it has been difficult and there have been a few times I have wanted to run home (literally, it's really close to my house), I am so grateful for this experience. My new co-workers are very kind people and I am glad I know them. They are very patient with me as I am in this learning stage. I am making progress (even if it's slow) and they are so encouraging.
The other amazing thing is how perfectly this job is fitting in with my schedule and how flexible they are to work with me. I have quite a bit on my plate right now with home, work, and school responsibilities. Even though it is new and sometimes scary, I find it exciting. I can't wait to improve. I continue to remind myself not to freak out.

FYI: The LDS General Conference is this weekend. It's seriously one of my favorite times of the year. For more information click here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Relief and Pure Joy

On this day one year ago, my boyfriend magically turned into my fiance. The night before, I was having one of my anxiety struggles. It was time for him to go home and I didn't want to say good bye. He casually said, "How about this, you come over to my house for dinner tomorrow night. I'll make tacos."
I thought this was a great idea, it helped me feel better, and we said good night.
The next day, about an hour before I was going to head to Jordan's, I was just chilling on the couch, surfing Pinterest. My sister said she had to go do something with some people from the church, and my parents and brother said they were going to look at a couch they were thinking about buying.
I told them I wouldn't be home when they got home because I was going to Jordan's for dinner...little did I know...
I drove to Jordan's and went to the door. To my surprise, when I walked in, there were A TON of people there! Jordan's mom, brother, sister-in-law, nephew, 2 nieces, best friend and sons, 2 uncles, aunt, 3 cousins, my mom, dad, 2 sisters, niece, and brother. They were all holding cameras, smiling, and cheering.
I was slightly confused, then Jordan's niece told me they were all here for my engagement party.
Jordan stepped out, got down on one knee, and my tears started. I didn't hesitate at all to say YES!

 This picture to me symbolizes relief and pure joy. After months of anxiety, I was receiving what my anxiety told me was impossible. I am so grateful this moment was captured.

***Interjection! If I may, I realized a while after posting this that it could be confusing why I express the feeling of relief. Why relief? Well, at that time, my anxiety was telling me daily that I couldn't be with my Jordan. It was telling me I didn't deserve him, I didn't deserve a happy life, etc. etc. When he proposed, all the anxiety was put to the side and I experienced peace and joy. Relief, I hadn't let my anxiety win. Time and time again I would start to slide back into my anxiety. I would begin to believe I wasn't worth anything again. Remembering this moment of joy, peace, and relief got me through...and my Jordan!***

Friday, March 8, 2013

Live Without Pretending

I wish I could take credit for this cute graphic, but I must give props to one of my favorite shows, Studio5. On this local morning show, they had this theme for the month of February, "Live Without Pretending." Their challenge to everyone was to truly embrace your life, imperfections and all. They encouraged people to even post pictures of things they would normally hide such as eating an entire carton of ice cream, what they look like without make-up on or hair done, or a messy room in their home. I feel the goal of it was to help us connect better with other people. None of us are perfect, so why do we sometimes try to pretend we are? 
While I don't think we should tell everyone about all of our imperfections and flaws, I think it is important to be genuine and real with people. It makes you much more personable and it can help create friendships that will last a lifetime.
The other day, I forgot a sweet woman from my church was coming over in the morning to kind of give me a run-down on the new class I am teaching. When I let her in, I was mortified. My house was literally a disaster. This was just after I found out I had celiac disease, so almost all of the contents of my pantry were all over the kitchen as I was figuring out what I could and couldn't eat. Since the kitchen was such a mess, we hadn't worried too much about straightening up the night before because I knew I was going to tackle all of it in the morning. So, seriously, my house was SCARY. I tried to explain to my friend why my house was so horridly messy and kept apologizing. Finally, she said, "Chelsea, seriously don't worry about. It is just fine." The funny thing was I really believed her. I didn't feel she was judging me or thinking I was a horrible housekeeper. She was being real with me. Her house has likely been extremely messy before, and she understood. Even though it was embarrassing, I am happy I had this experience. It helped me to be more real.
One of my ways of trying to live without pretending is to write on this blog. I hope sharing my experiences  with depression and anxiety can help other people. The more we talk, the more we can relate. The more we can relate the richer our friendships and lives will become.   

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Introducing...Lady Bug!

So, the Monday before last, I convinced Jordan it was a good idea that we get a cat. So, we went to our local Petsmart and adopted a sweet 1 1/2 year old girl. Her name is Lady Bug.
I can't lie, I started to have a little anxiety about this new little friend in our home. I am still adjusting to trying to keep a house clean, and a cat can make that a little more difficult. At first, we kept all her things (food, litter box, etc.) in our upstairs bathroom. We also kept her in there when we were gone. After she was more used to our house, we moved her to the basement. She has her own fouton, homemade scratching post (thanks Jordy!), bed, food dish, litter box, etc. She comes upstairs when we are home, but when we are gone, she has the whole basement to herself.
When she sits in our laps while we watch TV, and we almost have to turn up the volume because she is purring so loudly, I realize that the little bit of extra work is totally worth it. Providing a little animal with a loving home has made me feel very happy.
Our "Little Bug"

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Benefit of the Doubt

A phrase that is heard often is, "You have no idea what it's like to __________." Inserted in the blank is usually some sort of challenge or trial a person has or is going through. The phrase may be, "You have no idea what it's like to have anxiety/depression," "You have no idea what it's like to be obese," "You have no idea what it's like to lose a child," and the list goes on. Thinking of these phrases made me realize that everyone has at least one of these phrases they could say.
Everyone has been through something or is going through something currently that we may not understand. This is one of the reasons it is so important to be kind to each other. This is one of the reasons we need to give others the benefit of the doubt. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Everyone deserves to be loved.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I have to admit, I didn't see that one coming...

*Cell phone rings*
Me: "Hello?"
Phone: "Hi, is this Chelsea?"
Me: "Yes."
Phone: "Hi Chelsea, how are you doing?"
Me: "Good, thanks. How are you?"
Phone: "Good. Thanks for asking. Well, your test came back positive for Celiac disease. Your doctor  (Doctor #1) recommends a gluten-free diet."
Me: ", okay."

After this conversation we entered a roller coaster ride of questions and answers.

I had gone to the doctor because I'd been having pretty significant stomach issues. I'd get sick very easily. Often, I wouldn't eat because I was afraid of getting sick, but the lack of food would then make me sick. Several doctors trips occurred, but I wasn't getting better. Finally, I was tested for celiac and also scheduled to have an allergy test.

I found out I had celiac and then I went to have the allergy test a few days later (just to see if there were any other problems.) When I had my allergy test, the doctor (Doctor #2) told me I had actually scored a very "low positive" on the celiac test. He wanted me to have a scope before they made me get on the diet. This left me feeling that we may have overreacted. We felt fairly confident I didn't really have celiac disease.

When I went in for the consultation of my scope, the doctor (Doctor #3) told us that even though I scored a "low positive" on the test, he was fairly confident I WAS celiac. He said he had scoped many people who had actually scored in the "normal" range on the celiac test, but once they were looked at it was determined they had celiac.

About a week later, I got a scope. Jordan thought it was pretty funny to see me wake up from a drug-induced sleep. (He even recorded some of it :) ). The doctor (Doctor #3) told Jordan (while I was asleep) that my insides looked normal and didn't show the usual signs of celiac, but they were taking a biopsy. Maybe I didn't really have it?

About 6 days later, I got another call from the Doctor (Doctor #3). He told me once again, that I do have celiac and I need to go on a gluten-free diet.

A few tears, extra dollars spent on gluten free foods, and gratitude for the hopes of better health later, I sit here typing this post.

It's been hard. Especially when I think of all the wonderful foods I can't eat (at least not in the way I am used to.) My chicken sandwich at Red Robin, my Meatball Marinara from Subway, and mine and Jordan's beloved Oreo's to name just a few. But, I am learning how many options there are and that I will make it! And, I believe it will be worth it.

The other day, Jordan read me a scripture about our weaknesses turning to strengths and challenged me to thank God for my Celiac. I did, and I will try to continue to, even though it is hard.

P.S. Special shout out to my family for supporting me in this, the doctors who were all wonderful, and for Karin, especially for making me some gluten-free Oreos :)

My new and improved Gluten-free shelf of my pantry.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

It Can Be So Hard

It can be very hard to live with anxiety and depression. Often, it can creep up on you on a perfectly good day. It's grip is tight, it's power is draining. The funny thing about this enemy is that it is better not to fight it. That might sound funny, am I telling you to give up? Absolutely not. I have learned that one of the best ways to help with my anxiety and depression is to relax. If an awful or terrible thought comes into my head, trying to control me, I try to simply think, "I know that isn't true." Some days it is easier to do than others, but it usually helps. I often talk myself through the day and the phrase, "Just Breathe," is often played in my head. It can be so hard, but it makes me appreciate life and my loved ones so much. Life is good.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


School is rough for me at times. I get frustrated because I'm a bit of a homebody. I enjoy learning, but I have been known to complain about school. During the Spring Semester of 2012, I was in a Math 1020 class at 7 o’clock in the morning. During that time I was experiencing high levels of anxiety about anything and everything. Going to school was really hard, especially so early in the morning. But, God had not forgotten me. He knew I was struggling. He sent me an angel friend who helped me get through the semester. Her name is Heather. I still remember when she sat next to me the first day. She said something like, “Well, I’m Heather, what is your name?” Right when you look at her you can tell she is a fun and kind person. We bonded quickly. It was not a rare occurrence for us to burst out laughing during class and miss some of the lecture we were supposed to be taking notes on. At times we worried that we drove the people around us a bit crazy. Heather made me laugh and made me feel like myself (anxiety has a way of stripping your identity from you). Some mornings I would feel like I couldn’t go to school that day, but I would remember my friend Heather was going to be in my first class, and I could go. One time, a girl who sat in front of us asked where Heather and I had met. I said, “In this class.” She said, “Seriously? I thought you had been friends for years!” I know God had her sit next to me so she could be a friend at this time in my life. She is one of the kindest people I have ever met and I am grateful for her friendship.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Avengers

I love super hero movies. I love the good vs. evil premise, and that right always wins. In the movie, "The Avengers," there is a point when one of the characters is just coming out of being brainwashed. As he struggles to regain his composure, his identity, and figure out where his mind has been the last little while, he says,

“Have you ever had someone take your brain and play? Pull you out? Stuff something else in?"

I've never been brainwashed, but anxiety and depression sometimes feels that way. You don't feel at home in your own mind. You find things there that aren't yours. It feels as if some evil power is taking your brain to "play." 
The good news is, it's not you. It won't last forever. Just like the hero in "The Avengers," you will feel like yourself again. Remember that even if you are having a hard time, you are still you. You will be yourself again.