Monday, March 15, 2010

Have we not great reason to rejoice?

I broke one of my New Year's resolutions today -- and it's the first time I've ever felt happy about it. In fact, I'm going to become even happier as the days go on.

At the beginning of the year, I made a resolution that I told only a few people about. This was the year I would finally be able to beat my depression and stop taking my medication. For those of you who are unaware, I have struggled with depression for nearly 2 years now, partly as a result of my cancer treatments, and partly as a result of life. :)

From January through February, I was doing great! Sure, I had my ups and downs, but I wasn't crying over weird things or having nightmares. When March hit, however, I realized that I wasn't OK. I called my dad at midnight crying one night because I'd had a terrible day at work and I was worried about a bunch of things, and he was not happy.

Have I ever mentioned that I do not have sympathetic parents? Well, I don't, and it's actually a good thing (although sometimes it's really maddening). My dad told me it was ridiculous that he was talking to me at midnight and asked me if I'd stopped taking my depression pills. This made me more mad, but I knew that he was right. I was anxious and sad for no reason again -- and I couldn't control the feelings at all.

My dad made me promise him I would think about taking them again to achieve a balance, and I agreed. Until today, when I started crying at work while writing the lamest articles possible, I held off making that decision. But I've prayed about it, and it's the right thing for me to do.

This isn't meant to be a sad post, nor is it meant to scare you or make you think about the things you struggle with. It's meant to be happy, or at least about becoming happy.

My all-time favorite chapter in The Book of Mormon is Alma 26. I read this when things aren't going right because you can't help but be happy when you read Ammon's testimony and his praises to the Lord. If I had to give a talk in General Conference and title it for the Ensign, it would be this (except I looked it up and Elder Uchtdorf already one-upped me :)):

Have we not great reason to rejoice?

Ammon says this three times during this chapter, and then he says this: "And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?"

I know I can't tell. I thought today about how sad it would be to no longer believe that God lives, like one of my coworkers does. I pray to Heavenly Father so much every day. I ask Him for strength, I pray to Him for safety, I plead with Him to forgive me. One of the great blessings He has bestowed upon me is Himself and my knowledge of Him!

I have a new car that doesn't overheat and scare me half to death. I don't have any debt. I have an incredible boyfriend who cares about me and loves me and amazing parents who love me enough to call me at least once a day and listen to me crying at midnight. I have good friends and ward members who support me and make me feel like I'm where I belong.

I am a cancer survivor, and I am surviving depression because of amazing medicines that, I have no doubt, are part of the light Heavenly Father gives to us.

Yes, I do have great reason to rejoice. We all do. So the next time you find yourself crying at midnight (let's hope you don't) or find yourself feeling down, pick yourself back up. You're in Heavenly Father's hands.

As Ammon said, "My joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God. Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things."

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Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts! I love reading them.