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My Story



     I wanted to put together this blog to help others, who like me have had to live with a trial such as depression each day.  To help others find hope and joy in their daily life, and that life doesn't need to be lived without hope- even in the midst of constant daily battles such as depression.  And because there have been so many I have met and been able to talk to who have shared similar experiences and they have asked me to share my own faith and testimony of what I have learned. With that I felt inspired to do this blog and share with others that life can be lived with grace and gratitude despite what you've been given in your own journey.


    A little of my story
(adapted from an article I wrote for my church): 
  ...In my latter years of high school, I could tell something was wrong, but I didn’t know what.  My sleepless nights,  pains in my stomach, and increased anxiety became overwhelming.  Perhaps since I was involved in leadership responsibilities in school, and most of all the oldest in my family I didn’t feel I could share my struggles with anyone. Years went by and I had moments of feeling back to normal, but mostly my feelings of hopelessness persisted. During my times, I felt well, I met my husband, and later we were married.  We were blessed with our firstborn son and things were wonderful.  Soon after our son was born we moved across the country away from any family or friends we knew so my husband could start medical school.  I was also pregnant with our second son.  My feelings in all the change and isolation deepened.  I sought out help, but didn’t feel I was getting answers. Soon after my second son was born, my depression plummeted.  The hormonal change accompanied with all the other factors of change and isolation created a very dark and real place.  At the same time, I felt so much guilt.  Here I had just had a precious newborn baby and wanted to enjoy my days with him the same as I could my firstborn.  I thought it was just “all in my head” as I was frequently told and tried to just “get over it”.  But weeks after his birth, he became very ill with RSV, my 18-month-old also contracted the same virus and I became very ill as well.  In emotional and physical exhaustion, I collapsed. What pained me the most was thinking of my two babies I loved so dearly.  I longed my whole life to be a mother and finally when I was blessed with this sacred task I felt completely unable to care for my precious children the way I normally would have.  In this hopelessness, I knew I needed help immediately.  Since some of the sources I turned to did not know how to or want to help me, I felt the best possible answer was to go talk to a certified professional.  Since we were in medical school during the time our “insurance” would only pay for a hospital visit. Hoping to find someone there I could talk to, I knew I had to make the difficult choice and go.

     The drive to the hospital seemed very long and I was scared of what I might discover.  But my hopelessness had gotten the best of me, and though I was not suicidal, I did sincerely feel my family, and friends would be better off without me.  I felt I was not only drowning, but at the bottom of the ocean strapped to the ocean floor- waiting for someone, something to help free me from this awful feeling. 
     As I spoke with the staff at the hospital, he asked me why I was there.   When I told him how hopeless I felt and didn’t know why- he immediately took me by the arm and gently led me to a wheelchair.  When I saw where it was I was being wheeled to, I panicked!  I did not want to end up here!  This is not what I meant!  But perhaps seeing my fear, he explained the only way to talk to someone was to spend the night at the hospital.  So, with much resignation, I submitted to where he sent me.  Immediately though, instead of feeling relief, I felt even more scared and trapped.  Was this what I was meant to be?  Someone who had to go to a place like “this” and feel shame and hopelessness the rest of my life?  I learned very quickly just by looking around and being placed here for “help” the stigma that is often associated with what I know now, but didn’t know then as depression.  All at once memories flooded my mind…a life full of joy; my wonderful parents, my involvement in many things such as sports teams and music, the awards I had earned, and my accomplishments in life.  But most of all, my thoughts turned to my little family I was raising with my husband of 2 and a half years, my 18-month-old son and my newborn baby boy.     As I looked around at my surroundings which consisted of a small room with white sheets on my bed and a barred window, I broke down. I was now not only mentally imprisoned, but felt physically imprisoned as well.  I then thought over my life- a life where I had strived in every way to be good.  I read my scriptures each day, I prayed each day- I attended the temple and fulfilled my callings to the best of my ability- but apparently, it wasn’t enough.  What did I do wrong?  Were all these accomplishments for naught?  Was all the good I had strived to do for so long just meaningless?  Why did I have to end up here?  I was not a criminal- yet in every sense of the word I was made to feel like one.  My thoughts kept me up very late, and in my contemplation, I prayed.  In despair, I dropped to my knees on the hard, cold floor looking for some ray of light through that barred window.  My voice was choked back with tears of discouragement and loss, but in my heart, I prayed asking my Father in Heaven in 5 simple words- “what did I do wrong?” As I knelt there in silence by the side of that foreign bed, missing my home and my babies, I felt something.  It was as if someone or something came into the room with me, knelt by my side and wrapped their arms around me.
     Then this very quiet, very comforting, and very gentle thought came to my mind; 

“You did nothing wrong.  Just take care of yourself.”

     After that long night, I did get to see a professional, find some answers and was discharged.  Many other smaller answers came as I continued through the coming days and months and years to live that quiet thought I received that night to take care of myself and to not feel guilty about something I did not cause.  

     So, in this simple way I wanted to offer hope and healing to all, like me, who have to struggle with depression again and again.  That, you also “have done nothing wrong-  just take care of yourself”, and also share some lessons and principles that have guided my life the last 15 years.


12 comments:

  1. Wow! What an amazing story. I have been feeling the same way since I returned home from my mission to where there have been many fists made at god and many "why's" and many nights of just crying on my bed and I seriously have gotten the same exact answer.... "focus on yourself!" I am still learning and am curious as to what you have learned about you when you have focused on yourself

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    1. My sweet sister, Alicia, even though I emailed you I just also wanted to acknowledge you and your feelings here. That story has literally take me years to write and know what exactly to say- but the moment that was most profound I kept feeling to put in my story was when I felt that very real and tangible feeling of "you've done nothing wrong, just take care of yourself". Especially at that moment when I was literally in a prison- like place, I felt I had truly done something so wrong to deserve this. I thought I had to be more, do more- try and be healthier, read my scriptures more, pray harder to get those feelings of darkness to go away. But He taught me- i didn't need to. All I needed to do was turn my life over to Him and let Him show me through prayer what I needed to do next to be obedient to that feeling. And He showed me. Every situation with depression or any trail is so different that there is no one answer fits all. Just keep turning to Him- then act on what He tells you, you need to do. It opens doors of wisdom and knowledge for your specific needs that can only be opened in that way.
      I love you, Alicia. I am still always praying for you.

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  2. Thank you Cecily. This must have been difficult to write. But it was necessary because it opens the door for others to see it is not a punishment but a real true clinical pay off mortality for some of us in mortality. The hope and help you will offer others by sharing is immeasurable.

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    1. Lisa, thank you. Your comment and love means so much. I just hope to help someone-even if it's one person than I will feel grateful and like I did what I needed to do in sharing my story.

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  3. We love you Cecily and are so grateful to be neighbors. We sure do love you!

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    1. Thank you Lori. I will always have a special love for you and your family.

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  4. Cecily, thank you so much for being willing to be vulnerable and share your story! I can relate to so much of it, and love learning your self-care strategies. I love this quote from Heidi Swapp: "Through our strengths we compete with each other but through weaknesses, we connect with each other”. You are a beautiful, amazing person and I'm so grateful we've had the chance to connect! Love you!

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  5. Thank you Michelle! That means so much! I love that quote and have never heard that before. Thank you for sharing. Love you!

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  6. Cecily, That was written so beautifully and was so tender to read. Thank you so much for being willing to share your story for all of us to learn from. You truly are a wonderful and amazing woman who I love and admire.

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    1. Thank you Laurie. I appreciate your friendship so much! I love you my dear!

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  7. My heart is like yours and my heart is with your, thank you for sharing! I know how hard it is ❤️❤️❤️

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    1. Thank you Sheradon! Are you Julie's friend? I am so sorry you know how hard it is. My heart is with you as well.

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