Wednesday, December 31, 2014

a very grumpy new year's eve post

i'm just going to say it - i hate new year's eve.

i hate the coming of a new year and the looking back and reminiscing about the past year and the goal setting for the new year. i think it's stupid.

shattered - so how i feel

because to me it means the christmas season is officially over and i have to start all over again in january. i know each year i make progress but my progress is so different these days then what i had envisioned for myself as a teenager that i don't like watching it come - ever so slowly.

around age 20 (give or take a year) i decided that the best way to 'bring in' the new year was alone. my anxiety gets bad in big crowds and i don't do well with a lot of noise and commotion. maybe if i drank it would take the edge off but i don't drink - and with all the meds i'm on it's probably a really good thing.

the past few years my mom has made soup that we eat in bread bowls and then we all end up going to our rooms (except for my brother - he likes a good party) and watch netflix or a movie until we fall asleep. i didn't even feel up to being around my family this year because my legs and arms were aching and i was extremely fatigued - most likely from the periodic paralysis.

so i spent it alone, in my room, eating sushi, folding static-ie laundry, and watching the movie new year's eve, wishing deep down i had someone to kiss at midnight - though i'd probably already be asleep.

a new year means having to go on, to find answers as to why my body isn't working effectively, facing my extreme sadness over my sister, s, leaving for her mission, turning 26 and trying to figure out insurance, feeling added guilt that i probably won't be returning back to speech therapy soon and the financial stress i put on my parents, and another year of difficult anniversaries that i'm just not ready to face again. it means more pain and sadness and change.

in 2013 my counselor then said in one of our last sessions, "this is your year! i just know it - i can feel it. great things are going to happen!" a few weeks later i was so depressed i was suicidal and had to go inpatient for a few days. i quit my job as a speech therapist assistant. i moved home with my parents and sold a lot of what i had gathered to start creating my life. i was so depressed for months that i stayed in bed and slept. literally, when i think back on that time i see it in my mind as grey. i don't see colors. i was so numb. i started doing a little work as a nanny in october.

if that was my year, i sure as hell don't want to see what 'not my year' looks like.

i guess i just don't get what all the damn fuss is about. it's just another day. it comes and then it goes.

what a down-er post, huh? but i'm real - and these are my real thoughts on this new year's eve.

i'll leave with three highlights from 2014 just so i'm not as horrible a person as you might be thinking i am ;)

3 - having pictures taken with my grandpa, aunt, and cousin in kentucky; getting pics taken with my family - especially ones of me and s as she will be gone soon; and getting a professional picture of me and my dear friend, s.

2 - getting a neuro appt in december of this year instead of september of next year at ut southwestern.

1 - the birth of my two nephews and my nieces turning 2.

peace, love, happiness, and all that other shit they wish you on new year's eve.

-i'm out-

Sunday, December 28, 2014


i have been thinking a lot about the trials in my life weighing me down. my anxiety is increasing, i am having more vivid dreams at night which i don't like because it makes it hard for me to sleep, my depression is an ongoing battle to stay on top of, the pcos is rocky with ongoing tests to determine if i have it or don't (the endocrinologist isn't sure), and the thing that is most stressing me out is having daily attacks where my body is paralyzed. i have often heard the saying "god doesn't give us more than we can handle" - well the second part to that (which i read somewhere is) "apparently god thinks i'm a badass." ha.

i have felt distant from god for a time. then as i got some dr appts i needed i felt closer to him and that he was leading and guiding me. i finally felt like i saw him in my life after a long time where i couldn't see him. i know that the times when i can't see or feel god are the times when i have moved away, not him. he is always there, i'm the one who moves. it's just hard to admit when the suffering feels unrelenting.

i have mentioned in posts before that i served as a missionary for my church. my sister, s, is leaving soon to do the same thing. i have two cousins, j and c, who are serving as missionaries too. one in argentina and one in korea. c wrote a letter home last week and told a story in it that touched me deeply. i asked me aunt if i could share it and she said yes. 
"One night, we had no plans or appointments so we decided we'd visit a member and leave them a little gift. We went to their house, which is about half an hour away on the subway, and were walking home when Elder Early noticed something kind of odd. It was this very old man, hunched over this giant box at the top of a small hill. He was in front of a big apartment complex and it looked like he needed some help. As we approached, we could tell he was in pretty bad condition. He was panting heavily, more like gasping, for air. By the sound of his wheezing, it sounded like he was a life long smoker. All he could do, after we asked to help, was weakly lift his arm and point at the box, then towards the apartment complex just down the street. So we got the message. We got the box and helped him off the ground (he had collapsed to the ground at that point; the poor man couldn't even stand) and started towards the complex. It was slow going, let me tell you. Every step was a struggle for him. But step by step, we managed to make it to the door of the building. We entered and were immediately met by a steep, narrow staircase. The lights were dim so we couldn't quite make out the building's interior, but nevertheless, we continued on, hoping the man didn't live at the top of this 6 story building. We started up the stairs, realizing that this was going to require quite a bit of time and exertion on our part if we were ever going to help this man climb those stairs. Step by step, little by little, we made it to his room on the 5th floor. We knew it was his room because when he collapsed on the flight of stairs on the fifth floor, he pointed to the door and handed me a set of keys. I opened the door and found inside what I was expecting: a big huge mess. It was honestly filthy. And by the looks of things, I could tell he lived alone. About 15 mins later, we had him situated inside with his heavy box put away. Elder Early and I walked home in silence after that, pondering about what we just had experienced. I wondered to myself how many people there are in this world that live alone, in dilapidated apartments isolated from the population, seemingly forsaken by family and friends. I wondered to myself, I really did, if God knew that man. I wondered if Heavenly Father knows someone who nobody else does. I wondered if Christ knew that man also. It was then that the experience really hit me. That's how the Savior must feel with us. That man had been carrying that burden all day and was completely out of energy because of it. It was only because of us that he was able to make it home. We all have burdens in our life. The Korean word for burden is 짐. It also means luggage--I think that's appropriate. Everyone has luggage and burdens that keep them from reaching their full potential, or being happy, or doing everything we want. And we all have baggage that keeps us from returning to live with our Heavenly Father again. It's only when we are humbled enough to fall into Christ's outstretched arms and let Him help us on our way that we can overcome those burdens that spiritually weigh us down. Unlike me and my companion, Christ is there for us every step of every day. Because of His Atonement, we can have access to His help, His Enabling Grace, whenever we put forth the minimal effort necessary to obtain it. He knows us because He knows our burdens, our luggage, our weaknesses, our everything. I realized again then, just as I do now, that God knows that man in that tiny apartment. He knows Him perfectly. He loves him so much, He sent His only Begotten; the only one who could help us get rid of those burdens, that luggage. I know that God not only did that for that man, but that He did it for everyone; He did it for me. That's why I made the choice to come on a mission. To share with others that fact that Christ waits at the door; He waits with perfect patience and perfect Charity for us to come to Him and accept His Enabling Grace. He can carry us up every single step of this life that we can't climb on our own. When we realize who we are and what is ahead, we begin to realize that there isn't a stair that we can climb without Him. I've loved this Christmas time and the opportunity it's given me to share this simple fact: Christ lives. He was born, He Atoned for us, He was resurrected, and now He is continuously and anxiously engaged in the work of our Salvation. He won't quit on us; my prayer is that we never quit on Him. When you find yourself in a situation you can't seem to handle, please don't look for someone to blame; look to Him for help."

such an amazing story. i can feel the trials in my life as luggage. i feel them constantly weighing me down. everywhere i go it's as if i can see myself picking them up to take with me. they are such a huge part of my life right now, i almost don't know how to fall into the savior's out stretched arms and ask for his mighty grace to sustain me. but i know there is power in his atonement. i know he has walked my exact road. i know he understands the pain, anger, and sadness i feel each moment of every day. and i know he is my only way out of such suffering. i can have all the dbt skills in the world but it will amount to nothing if i do not have faith in my savior to do what i cannot.

i feel broken, scared, helpless. but i know the savior is the antidote to those feelings. somehow i have to dig deep and cling to my faith and find the courage to reach out to him. he is waiting with healing power.

be not afraid
by: greg olson

i love this picture.
i see myself as the girl who has fallen into the water and there is the savior, gently reaching down to lift me to safety with him.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

my bethlehem

i listened to an incredible audio recording today by al (fox) carraway. among many things she is a blogger, youtube-er, speaker, mommy, and owner of believer clothing co with her husband, ben. i think she's really amazing.

anyway - what she said in her post, wait for your 'manger,' touched me deeply and was a gentle reminder from god that i need to practice greater faith and patience in my life as i go through the trials i have been given. i hope you'll take the time to read the whole post here. it's a good read. not very long but so worth the time

one of the things al talked about was the discomfort mary must've been in during the travel to bethlehem as it probably took a few days. being 9 months pregnant and riding a donkey - ya, probably not the most comfortable thing in the world! she probably had braxton hicks and other pregnancy things i don't know about as i've never had a baby - but she kept going. i related that to me. in my trails there will be discomfort. it's up to me... do i stop and sit on the side of the road and say "i'm done" or keep going and make it to my bethlehem to see what god has in store for me.

recently my health has gone from ok in the seizure department to really not good. many events have happened in the past few weeks which i'm not ready to write about but we have learned that i in fact DO NOT have seizures and the working theory is i may have periodic paralysis.

this has felt much too heavy for me. i have little to no energy each day and severe muscle weakness with other symptoms. i have wanted to give up on this trial that god has given me. many times in my discomfort on my donkey i have not wanted to finish my trip to bethlehem. i talked to susan about what my options are and she asked me to think seriously about my commitment to life and living. she told me that i can still live a full and fulfilling life with a debilitating neuromuscular disease.

it is hard for me to accept this. but in my reasonable moments, i know her words are true. for a while i have wanted to change a large part of the world. but i guess i can be content changing my small place in the world.

many miracles have occurred and i was able to get a much needed doctor's appt yesterday instead of september of next year but i came away from it feeling afraid. that night i had 4 different friends bring me gifts. each one touched my heart and i felt such love from them. one gift in particular made me sob as i looked at the picture and read the note my sweet friend, a, had written on the back.

i feel my savior's love

i knew this was god's way of reminding me to keep going. that yes, my donkey may be uncomfortable, but my bethlehem is waiting, and he has something great and wonderful in store for me there.

this christmas season i am so thankful for the savior of the world who came as a baby into a humble manger. i'm so grateful that mary was willing to endure her donkey and make it to bethlehem and for joseph who led them with great tenderness. i love my heavenly father and am so thankful he sent his son. i know i'm not ever alone because my savior has walked the road i now travel in my life. he is the greatest gift and i love him with all of my heart.

this video brought the true spirit of christmas back into my heart.
i hope it will bring it into yours.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

a letter

around this time each year i really wish i had someone special to share it with.

i have my family and amazing friends - and i am NOT discounting that in any way, because i know there are many who don't have family and i remember a time in my life when i felt i had no friends; i felt very lonely. my life truly is blessed.

still i long for a relationship in my life. i watch as friends and cousins are getting married and starting families and i feel a tinge of sadness and envy. especially this time of year: christmas, a time of miracles and magic. i have said it once and i'll say it again, i would NEVER take away what they have. but i wish - for my own sake - that i had that someone special that they have.

i read an amazing book by my favorite author, richard paul evans, called the mistletoe promise. it was about two people finding each other and falling in love during the christmas season. i'm a sucker for those books. it was a tender and sweet story. i loved it so much i read it twice in one day. it was so so good.

for awhile now i have been writing my "future husband" letters. there are many reasons i started doing this - most too personal to share - but i think the main one was to show him that i have been trying my hardest to BE the person he will fall in love with. is it silly to love someone you've never met? maybe. but i love him. and someday when i meet him, i'll get the chance to tell him.

i wanted to share a snippet of a letter i wrote a few weeks ago.

"...i wish you were one of those miracles. i won't lie, the lord's timing is confusing and frustrating to me. i have had the recurring thought recently that i am 'damaged goods' and that no one - specifically you - whoever you are - wouldn't/won't want me. but i just cant fully convince myself that that's true. we're all damaged in some way. and we need the master healer to heal us. that's what i want more than anything - to be healed - but if i'm not healed in this life - will you walk through these trials with me? i can't say that i've been shouldering them alone - i've had family, friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, strangers, counselors, many praying for me - heavenly father and the savior. but to commit to me is to accept my past, embrace my present, and endure the future with me. are you willing to do that? i'm willing to do that for you. i often look forward to the day we meet, then fall in love and settle into life and living and creating a joyful life."

i'm hopeful that one day i'll have someone special to spend my days with. all in god's time. i'm just learning how to be patient. haven't i learned that yet?!?! (clearly from that last sentence i haven't ;)

a friend of mine and her husband have a blog with marriage advice and so much more - it's totally worth checking out : i believe in a thing called love.

and this - this commercial TOTALLY and ABSOLUTELY sums up what i hope my holiday season is like someday with my someone special. :)

cutest. commercial. ever.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

my ten dollar lesson

i'm part of an online garage sale where people post things they want to sell and you can reply if you want to buy it. on thanksgiving day a woman posted two coach purses. i LOVE coach purses. a lot. without thinking i commented "want" and was second in line to get them out of ten plus people who wanted them. 

for the next two days i was wracked with anxiety over whether or not the lady who was in front of me would pick up the purses (from my experience people can be flaky so i was counting on that) and if she didn't i was going to fly in there and snatch them up. i bugged the lady 2 times about whether or not i got them and had to (try) and practice some radical acceptance on not getting them - but finally i heard back - i got them! i was over to her house within the hour with seventy dollars and claimed my prizes!

i got in the car and was showing my sister b and was looking the purses over - one had a pretty bad stain on in but i talked myself out of thinking it was a big deal (which really it kinda was) - and happily took my purses home. i showed my sister s and my dad (who was impressed as i wanted him to be :) and then i put them up in my closet. and there they stayed for the next 8 days. i didn't look at them again. i didn't take them out and use them. i didn't want them. it's like, i had won and it was over.

i don't want to be dramatic but i really can't remember a time before when i have ever acted this way - so greedy. i decided that i truly needed the money more than i needed the purses and that i had 3 coach purses in almost brand new condition in my closet that i'm not using that i can use (which are mine) when i want to and my friend, c, just gave me a new grace adele purse for christmas that i love, so i really didn't need more purses, so i should sell the purses and get my money back.

i did sell them but was talked down to sixty dollars by a desperate sounding man who said "please help me" and i thought " 'tis the season" so i swallowed my pride and took the money. it was another anxiety provoking experience as i went back and forth with him, settled on the amount, figured out a meeting place, etc. anxiety - my forever enemy/buddy.

as i was putting ornaments on the tree last night a gentle thought crossed my mind, which is the whole point of this story: people - not things - give my life purpose.

i felt only a moment of joy holding those coach purses. 

but relationships, those are something i cling to in my darkest - and brightest - hours. 

susan tells my often that i'm not crazy. so i'm not crazy when i say that sometimes my family drives me crazy. i think that's normal. but i crave the family craziness around the holidays. i can't imagine not being with them. it breaks my heart to think of not being with them. and it doesn't matter that next year or in two years we'll be back together; i want to be together this year.

right before i went into the hospital 21 months ago i could only think of 5 people who would come to my funeral - none of them were family members, one was the wife of my then counselor but a stranger to me, two were friends, and the last one i can't remember - maybe the funeral director?? i was in a bad, bad place. depression shuts down your world and puts blinders on you. that's how i saw the world. it was awful.

since then i've been sending out yearly christmas cards and this year i sent out 75 with still more people i could've sent some to. that's incredible to me! that i have 75 people in my life who i know care about me - actually probably more - is stunning. my world is so different than it was what does and doesn't feel like yesterday.

i love the movie "the grinch." there's a line in there that cindy loo-who's dad says after they wake up on christmas morning to find the grinch has taken all of their christmas presents: i don't need anything more than this right here: my family.

i feel that way too - plus friends :)

i'm a very blessed girl.