Wednesday, September 23, 2015


crying - that's all i've done for the past two days.

i cried at work - luckily no one was around to see - and i cried today a few different times.

my last post was raw - real - honest. i didn't even get into the deep, complex thoughts and feelings swirling around my brain regarding church, mental health, depression, chronic fatigue, pnes, etc. life feels too big for me right now. i'm trying to put out so many fires in all areas of my life while keeping ok areas- the dry grass - protected from sparks so more fires don't start. all of this and i only have a gallon of water.

i've tried to distance myself from heavenly father because i feel like a failure as a daughter. it's easier to fail someone if you're not as close to them. despite my best efforts, he is right next to me, gently sending reminders to me that he has not left me.

reminder #1 came last week. i was thinking about my anger towards heavenly father - anger that he hasn't healed me from the psychogenic non-epileptic seizures and given me a normal life. i knew anger wasn't going to help me take steps towards him. what could i offer him? willingness to turn to him - but that was low and my faith felt so small it was almost non-existent.  "do i have an inch of willingness? an inch of faith?" no, i don't have that much. "what about a centimeter? do i have a centimeter of willingness? a centimeter of faith?" no, that still felt too big. into my mind came clearly "all you need is a mustard seed worth of willingness and faith." ah, yes, that i have. that size is not intimidating to me. i can give a mustard seed's worth of willingness to turn towards heavenly father - i can show a mustard seed's worth of faith in the promises he has made me.

Matthew 13:31-32 - Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

reminder #2 came today. i was writing out all of my jumbled thoughts to two close, trusted friends who love me as their daughter. tears were coursing down my cheek as i tried to express how confusing it is to me that i used to try to be so much better at "perfect" and now i feel the whole "perfection" situation is hopeless. i used to try. now i don't because it hurts less to fail when i put less in. i used to be so on top of things spiritually - reading scriptures and praying every day, attending a 6 am seminary class m-f for four years, serving in church, singing often, being the president in classes, teaching primary and sunday school classes, earning service awards, being willing to serve a mission, going the extra mile always - i feel like people saw that "rachel" and approved. the post mission, suicidal, seizure-ie, unwilling, ugh church, no service, rarely singing, angry "rachel" (i think) is not understood. maybe someday some of the "pre-rachel" will come back but depression has changed me, severe anxiety untreated for years has changed me, therapy has changed me, seizures for months has changed me, and i will never be the "rachel" i was before. the hardest thing for me to hear is when someone close to me says, "you've changed. you never used to be like this." i've changed because in order to survive the hell i've been to, i HAD to change. maybe not all the changes were ideal but they were made because i felt like i had no other option. so, all that said, how, HOW, do i reconcile these two "rachels" ??? gently entered the thought "what about the widow's mite? was her sacrifice less in my eyes because she gave a mite, a monetary value of less than a penny?" no. her sacrifice was honored by the lord because she gave all. me - rachel - now, i am the product of my experiences. if what i can give the lord is a mite then that is acceptable to him. he will not guilt or shame or "should" me into giving more than i have. my offering is acceptable to him. i need to trust that.

Mark 12:41-44: And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

may christ mercifully look on me at this time in my life and say, "[she] did cast in all that she had."

reminder #3 came to me tonight as i was mindlessly scrolling through my facebook feed. my emotions feel raw and exposed right now. i swing from happy and hopeful to angry and discouraged so many times each day i'm wearing myself out. a friend posted a short video by a leader in our church who is my MOST favorite. his stories touch me. his voice clams me. he speaks to my soul.  i feel like he gets me. i saw it and my first thought was, "absolutely not, i am not watching that, i'm too upset" and in that same moment i thought, "ok, maybe i'll try to watch it" (mustard seed worth of willingness!). how i didn't want to but needed to hear that message. patience. i could almost hear heavenly father saying, "i see you, little one. i see you struggling. i see you crying. i know it's hard. i know you want out. it's ok. you're going to be fine. i'm in control and i see a better way for you. be patient. my blessings for you will come. keep going. give me your mustard seed and your mite. all will be well."

and in truth, all will be well.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


"don't push me!" i scream to myself.

yes, it's me talking to me. 

i'm so tried of hearing myself go on and on about how i "should" be doing such-and-such when getting out of bed is hard enough for me these days.

from january to june of this year i was in a slump. the working theory of periodic paralysis left me hopeless and depressed. i look back and see just how much that diagnosis affected me. i was a lifeless shell, shuffling from one dr's appt to another. the more i learned about pp the less able i felt to cope with a lifetime of it. i lost sight of me and any potential i had to be "the woman of my dreams."

when i was officially diagnosed with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures in june a sense of acceptance came over me. i started seeing dr huse in july and have found a stable sense of well-being in spite of obstacles. i got a job in august. before that, i did not know when i would return to work. i started going to a pnes group at utsw in september and like it, though no new answers about pnes have been given to me. in august i started cutting back my anxiety med and yesterday i cut out a depression med.

the past 2-3 weeks i have noticed sadness as my primary emotion.

my actions reflect this sadness/depression.

there are many things i 'should' do in my awake time, but all i have the motivation for is another episode of whatever on netflix. 

no motivation - no energy - no drive.

monday i saw susan and began with, "i don't want to be here - and i know i don't want to be here because i'm avoiding something, but i don't know what i'm avoiding."

after tears - sitting - talking - she told me i have taken two HUGE steps: working and starting the pnes group. often after we make big changes in our lives we simply need to "sit and be" with the steps we've taken. for me that translated into just sitting and being ok with working and the stress/anxiety that causes me and as i work on figuring out my triggers for the pnes episodes i must also sit and be ok with where i am.

when i started the pnes group, i was expecting some huge/magical solution to these episodes. i wanted "the cure." i'm so tired of having these episodes, but more than that, i'm tired of managing them. i want them to go AWAY for GOOD. in the three group meetings we've had so far, the answer has been, learn your triggers and manage your life in a way that you can decrease them so that you don't have as many/any episodes. WHAT A SHITTY ANSWER!!! that's what i've BEEN doing for the past three months - and i haven't had any episodes - but it's been a HELL of a lot of work - and I'M TIRED.

i'm tired of trying/pressing on/keep going. 

not in an "end-my-life" way like i have been in the past, but in a completely exhausted, mad at god, i don't want to, slump into depression kind of way.

i don't want to do exposure therapy. i don't want to be skillful. i don't want to let my emotions rise and fall as i sit with them. i just DON'T WANT TO DO IT ANYMORE!!!

hell, i haven't even wanted to write on my blog. that's so sad to me. i've had no energy to put thoughts into complete sentences. every time i thought of writing on here i found myself curling up in bed.

i don't feel like i'm expressing how deeply and thoroughly i don't want to engage in life right now. i want an out. i want the depression to be gone - the withdrawals from meds to be gone - the pressure to perform to be gone - basically i want to exist without existing

my spiritual life has gone from a grape to a raisin. i hardly pray - i don't read my scriptures - i don't like going to church - i'm mad at god because THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO GET EASIER! utsw was supposed to hold THE answer and i'm SO disappointed that the answer is/was "what you're doing is it. keep doing what you're doing." NO! give me a pill - rewire my brain so i don't react to stress with seizures - do SOMETHING! i feel like i'm such a disappointment (to god, to my parents, to church leaders) but i don't have what it takes to be "amazing" anymore.

this severe disappointment has led to depression and a lack of motivation. i don't want to engage in life. while ALL OF THIS is going on i look around me and long for the "normalcy" i see my peers have - marriage, babies, family, companionship, a home, security, etc. i posed the tear-ridden question to susan, "who would want me? who would want someone who has psychologically driven seizures when they're stressed? i would be such a burden." my family has to take me - but who would choose to take me? ugh - TEARS! 

ha ya and THIS is the time i choose to cut back on my meds. smart. real smart. bleh...

even when life gets better IT STILL SUCKS. when will i get to the point that i'm content and moving at a steady pace in life? is THAT the impossible dream?

bet you're wishing 1) i hadn't written and 2) you didn't start reading.

susan said in our session, "i know you're tired of hard."

i really am.

i think the saying "i can do hard things" is stupid. sure i can do hard things, BUT I DON'T WANT TO! and it doesn't make me feel any better saying, "you can do hard things" to myself. hence the "DON'T PUSH ME" saying to myself.

i'm being pushed and pulled and excavated (in therapy and with dr huse) so DON'T. (EXPLETIVE). PUSH. ME. !!!

~~~ and that's all she wrote ~~~