We’re All a Little Crazy

My anxiety’s not as bad as it used to be, but I know that some of you have it that bad and worse. Hold on. You feel alone but you’re not.

maney smiles back

These are things I tell myself when I feel an anxiety attack coming on, which happens about once on good days.

  • You are invisible. People who look at you can’t really see you.
  • Humans can smell fear. As long as you don’t act afraid, they won’t hurt you.
  • Name off as many words as you can that begin with C but make the S sound. Cistern, circular, celestial…
  • Notice people’s shoes.
  • Count in Binary on your fingers. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…
  • Don’t step on the cracks.
  • Sing happy songs. “You Are My Sunshine,” “Danny Boy,” “Into the West,” “If All the Raindrops…”
  • Make believe you’re someone else, someone who’s normal and happy.
  • Hide in the bathroom until your brain stops humming.
  • Crying in bathroom stalls is allowed. Just get quiet when other shoes shuffle inside.
  • Hugging yourself is allowed.
  • Don’t smile unless you want to. They can’t take that…

View original post 35 more words

Here’s Looking at You, Hope

Here’s to crying yourself to sleep with the Finding Nemo theme playing, grounding you in unreachable hope.

Here’s to sleeping in out of fear of depression, only to realize that the day is bright and full of hope, and you feel better.

Dear readers, don’t you ever give up. Life seems like too great a burden to bear some days, even for me. But it is always worth those sunrises when you feel okay.

Hold on.

Hope: I Am Enough

I don’t know if anyone else is like me, but I have problems.

Looking at Facebook, is sometimes seems like I’m the only one. But I don’t post every time I have a bad day, and I guess neither do you.

What I don’t post are days that I cry solely because my brain chemicals are imbalanced. I don’t Facebook that my husband and I already have recurring issues and arguments, something I don’t think people expect from newlyweds. You won’t find my internal battle on your home page, the “I feel fat fat FAT” versus the “I am beautiful no matter what!” All that and more, and you’ll never see a word of it (unless you read this blog, because yeah).

I have problems, and I am growing up. My birthday is coming up pretty soon, as well as the new year. Usually everyone’s gaze turns forward to anticipate the changes that the new year will bring. But right now, I’m looking inward.

Depression does this stupid thing where it robs me of energy plus any hope for the future. And I fall victim to this kind of thought pattern, letting it follow me into days when I would otherwise feel fine. I forget that I’m in my early twenties with most of my life ahead of me. I am a glowing starball of potential, but I forget, and I lose that hope.

So today I am most grateful for the desire to improve, albeit steadily. Although I still have problems and make mistakes it feels like every other minute, I hope I will not lose sight of my current infinite worth and my greater potential. Because remember, you do not decide your worth. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you and believe in you and you belong to them, so you are of infinite worth. At the same time, you can keep improving every day because everyone can learn to live and love better.

This is what hope is to me: Knowing I am good enough, and then trying to be better.

It’s hard, but I try when I can.

 

 

The Unglamorous Art of Surviving

Dear Reader,

You asked how I function; how I get through the day. You asked how long it took for me to accept that my loved one was gone. You asked for advice.

Well, here are words:

You have recently lost a loved one, and I am so deeply sorry for you. It has been four years since Andrew died, and I still occasionally find myself sobbing about it, having nightmares, or feeling intense rage at the injustice of it all. Reader, you need to let yourself grieve. Remember that everyone grieves differently. Feel what you feel, seek comfort, be patient, and take care of yourself. Sometimes I just need to gorge on ice cream, spend a whole day watching TV in bed, punch things, or whatever. Is this particularly flattering? No. But I let myself do it because I have to be my own friend. I have to tell myself that I cannot change the past. I can only work with this moment.

Sometimes I have to play make-believe with myself. Because of my anxiety and depression, I often feel that I am not worthy of happiness; that I am a burden to everyone around me. I have to pretend that I am not my wretched, pathetic self, but a friend who needs comfort. When I pretend I’m someone else, I am much kinder to myself.

Sometimes when I’m out driving at night and I have a strong urge to kill myself, I assign myself to “robot mode” (this is when I detach myself from emotion and mindlessly follow instructions) and tell myself I have one job: get home. I know that once I’m with loved ones, I will be safe.

Surviving isn’t glamorous. It isn’t pretty. It involves random cry sessions, plenty of self-hate, regret, fear, and other crap. My Facebook page may present a smiling, successful young woman, but that’s because I don’t post about my mental breakdowns, my uncontrollable sobbing, and my intense but manageable urges to bleed out in a bathtub.

Maybe this is more than you wanted to know. I don’t even know if I answered your questions. How I function: take it one moment at a time. Remember that you are loved. If you forget, find a friend who will remind you. Keep holding on. Sometimes life sucks but you just have to keep holding on anyway, and I promise you it will get better someday. No matter how bad things look, I’ve come to realize that happy moments eventually come. Peace will come. It may seem impossible, and sometimes I am too weak to have faith, but I find little reasons to live and breathe and move forward, and those carry me until the next time I feel true joy.

I am so sorry you lost your loved one. I understand a piece of your pain. You may feel weak, but you are strong. I know you can make it through this, even though it sucks beyond words. Darling Reader, it may not yet be time for you to “move on.” Love yourself like a friend, and please remember that you are not alone.

Something Worth Waiting For

I didn’t cry when he proposed to me, but I’m crying now. Looking at the pictures of the proposal, his perfect face glowing with happiness, fills me with an emotion so deep I didn’t even know it existed. I don’t know if it has a name. It involves the knowledge of how unbearable life has been in the past, and seeing how far I have come–how far God has carried me. I am so overcome with gratitude and awe that he, the best, most kind, sincere, and loving human I know, not only loves me, but wants to spend eternity with me.

Depression can suffocate all hope of a happy future, as I know it has done for me. But I urge you to hold on. Please. After all these years, now my tears are of gratitude for my blessed life; of faith in a bright and beautiful future. The darkness, isolation, and hopelessness of my past are quieted by the joy I receive from my relationship with this man. I have felt like there was no more happiness possible for me in life, and now I am the happiest woman on earth.

* * *

“Photograph” by Ed Sheeran

Loving can heal, loving can mend your soul
And it’s the only thing that I know,
I swear it will get easier,
Remember that with every piece of you
And it’s the only thing we take with us when we die

We keep this love in this photograph
We made these memories for ourselves
Where our eyes are never closing
Hearts were never broken
And time’s forever frozen still

My Capital-T Truth

Dear humans who read this,

I hope that the holidays treat you well. I hope they are filled with joy and love, and that all your dreams come true. I hope you look back on December 2015 as one of the best times of your life, and that you move forward into 2016 with renewed energy and hope.

But if you are struggling, if you feel alone or depressed or abandoned or empty, if darkness surrounds you and you don’t see a light ahead in your future, lift up your eyes.

There is always hope in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of Him, we never need lose faith in a better tomorrow. His Atonement will make up for every unfair thing in this life. It is with His light that I have survived some of the darkest nights of my life. I know that He loves me, and if He loves me, then He certainly loves you, too.

Don’t give up. There is always light ahead. I understand hopelessness, and the anger that can result from it. I have turned from God and lashed out at Him in prayer, blaming Him for struggles and pains that we all inevitably face in our earth life. I know that He knows me by name, and He is constantly aware of me, of my desires and my needs. He knows me better than I know myself, and still He loves me.

Hold on to that hope. Take whatever embers of light you have inside you and let His love make them brighter. I testify that good will triumph over evil. I feel it deep in my bones, an undeniable truth in my soul. He will come again, and He will bring peace and rest for His faithful children.

This is the greatest gift I can give to you, my readers: I give you my testimony of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, my Savior. He lives, He loves us, and we can choose every day to follow Him and let Him heal us.

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and an amazing new year!

Much much love,

Maney

amidst ashes: surviving suicide

I wrote this piece for Young Mormon Feminists but it totally applies to y’all, my original readers. Much love!

Young Mormon Feminists

In recognition of September being National Suicide Prevention Month

Last year I got this close to killing myself, but I survived.

It hurts to talk, to think about the experience. I went to BYU for a semester and within a few months I was severely depressed—on the brink of suicide. My lifelong perfectionism had finally caught up with me, and it was tightening around my neck in an invisible noose. They were dark times, endless days of pain I can’t even put into words. It hurt to breathe. It hurt to wake up. There was no rest for my soul; not in prayer, in conversation, in closeness. An untouchable emptiness inside me itched constantly. I got headaches from clenching my teeth from anxiety. I moved through the days with a constant wish that a car would flatten me.

I made feeble attempts to live, one of which was joining a BYU therapy…

View original post 543 more words