Let’s just get all of this out on the table, okay? Last October, I was given a crippling diagnosis in the mental health world. I do have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and have had for the last 21 years, but the additional diagnosis really threw me for a loop. It turns out one year later, in October of 2021, that the previous diagnosis of Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder is most likely the right diagnosis and the diagnosis given last year was based on a one-time bad medication reaction. Next, my psychiatrist/therapist announced to me on 25 January 2021 that he was retiring on Memorial Day of this year. Devastating. Absolutely devastating. That led to a series of hospitalizations that caused me to have to do an Emergency Medical Withdrawal from my almost-completed linguistics class at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) online. I also had to asked to be released from my calling of Ward Missionary at church. Then came the new therapist and the new psychiatrist. Both are okay, but they’re not my doctor/therapist, if you know what I mean. There, I think I got all of the stuff out that I had bottled up.
Now I have a lot of changes going on in my life beyond all of the above. The new psychiatrist and I have changed my medications (not a fun process, but necessary), and we are seeing improvement. I have been doing equine therapy since mid-summer and enjoying it. I work with a Percheron cross (draft horse) named Chief. Big guy, but a gentle giant. I am learning to play the saxophone. I would be climbing, but I broke my toe, so that’s on hold for the moment. I am starting the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing Program at SNHU on Monday, 11 October 2021. I’m anxious about that—I won’t lie. I am excited, too, though. This should teach me to write better.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, because I want you to know that sometimes life can be great and sometimes it can be tough—really tough. It’s not always rainbows and unicorns, and just because you know the truth of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and are a member of His Church doesn’t mean that you’re immune to the woes of this broken world that we live in. We can still find small miracles (and sometimes big ones) in our lives despite the circumstances we find ourselves in.
For months, I couldn’t pick up my Scriptures. I still had a strong testimony and believed in Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, and the Scriptures, but I couldn’t bring myself to read about any of it. I am still a teacher at church, but I told them at the beginning of the year that I wouldn’t be able to teach until after Memorial Day due to the circumstances I was dealing with. There was no way that I could put a lesson together if I couldn’t even look at the Scriptures. I felt lost. I felt alone, even though I knew I wasn’t alone. I felt destitute. Satan had ahold of me and I was letting him win.
I am recovering from the depression as we speak, but it has been a hard road. This past year has been intense, and although I have had good interspersed with the bad, I have been focusing too much on the negative things that have happened. I realize that now that I am coming to my senses. I teach a lesson at church tomorrow based on Elder Uchtdorf’s Conference Talk from April 2021 titled “God Among Us”.
God is among us. He is right there, waiting to take your pain from you if you’ll let him. Our mortal experiences are to teach us and to bring us to perfection one step at a time. Not all of our experiences will be good. We have to have the opposition, though, in order to know joy from sorrow, and happiness from sadness. All of our experiences are beneficial to our learning curve as human beings on this earth, and they prepare us for eternity. We have only to ask for help, and we will receive it. Sometimes we have to wait, but divine help will come in due time. Keep believing. God is among us always.