Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Dear Future Baby

Dear Future Baby,

I love you so much even though I haven’t met you. I think about you often and all the things I want to do with you when we finally get to meet you. If life went our way, you would have been here a long time ago, and might even have a sibling or one on the way. It is taking a long time to get you here and that is really hard sometimes. Sometimes I think of you and I feel sad, or maybe even angry. I have had many days where I have cried in anger and sorrow to Heavenly Father wondering why we have not yet been permitted to bring you into our lives. For a long time, I let this long wait for you turn me bitter towards Heavenly Father. I started to wonder if He really did in fact love me the way I always thought He did. As time has gone on, I have come to realize that He has a timing for everything. While waiting for His timing, we should trust in Him and rely on Him for comfort. When you are eventually here, I want to teach you that and help you to develop your own personal relationship with Him and with our Savior. I realized that in order to do that, I need to be developing and maintaining that relationship myself.

Sometimes, when I hold or see other babies, I wonder if maybe they knew you in heaven. I wonder if they could speak, would they be able to give me a message from you or even tell me if you exist at all. Could they tell me what you’re like, or if they know when you’ll be coming to us. Baby, we are doing everything we can to get you here to us. There are many extreme measures that we are having to take. Measures that cost significantly more than we are able to afford. I hope you know that we will spare no cost to get you to us. We are willing to do whatever we have to do to make you a part of our family.

We often talk about the day that we will learn that you are coming, and how we will celebrate together and tell our families that you are finally on your way. I have so many ideas for how we will decorate your nursery, what cute Disney outfits you’ll wear for your newborn pictures, or how I will turn my wedding dress into the dress you will wear the day your dad gives you a name and a blessing, surrounded by all of the important priesthood holders in our lives. I think about the messes you’ll make in the kitchen, the bumps and bruises I’ll kiss better, and the day we celebrate you taking your first steps. These are all days that I am anticipating, but none match the feelings I have imagining what it will be like to finally hold you in our arms and see you. We are so hopeful that day will come. The day it does, I will shed many tears, but for now I shed tears of what is yet to come. Yet, while I shed tears, I am remaining hopeful and strong that we will be blessed with your presence in our lives someday and hopefully soon. We haven’t met you, but we love you so much. We look forward to the day we can finally meet you.

Love always,


Mommy

Thursday, September 8, 2016

September 2004






Early September 2004 

My mom had been in the hospital for a few days. She had been in and out of the hospital for most of my life, but this time was different. This time she had been in a coma and I wasn’t able to talk to her. I was only 10, so I don’t think that I fully comprehended what was happening. All I knew was that my mom was asleep, and wouldn’t wake up. At one point, I was talking to her and she tried to open her eyes, but wasn’t able to. 








 
 September 8, 2004.
I got picked up from school early by some of my cousins. I wasn’t sure what was going on. No one
would talk to me. We got to the hospital and walked into a small room. The first person I saw was my cousin Rob. He was crying. Why was he crying? I looked over at my grandma and she said quietly: “Meghan, mommy died.” My little world crumbled as I cried in disbelief. We were taken into her hospital room where she laid, quiet and asleep. I touched her hand and was surprised at how cold it was. My mommy was gone. She wasn’t waking up.







September 8, 2016
It has been 12 years since my mom passed away. I can still remember that day like it was yesterday. There were so many things happening in mine and my families lives during that time. I often think about her and wish she was here, yet there are many times where I can feel her presence. I have felt her presence at all of my clogging performances. I felt her presence at my seminary and college graduations. When I cry, I know she’s there. I felt her presence at my wedding. She was in the temple watching our sealing and crying happy tears with all of us. I felt her hand on my shoulder comforting me at my grandma’s funeral in January. She was with me when I cried and cried over missing the both of them. There are so many times that I have felt her. I may not have her with me physically, but I know she’s there. I know that my family and I all miss her terribly. She is often talked about. You are loved and missed mom. I love you! Until we meet again.


















 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Support

It has been almost a week since my video sharing my story about dealing with anxiety and depression launched for the #IAMSTIGMAFREE project. This was was one of the scariest things I have ever done. It is the first time I have ever publicly shared with the entire world that I was abused as a child. While I never went into detail describing anything, it was still just as painful.

After the launch I knew that I shouldn't let my efforts go to waste, so I shared my video as well, as the other women's videos with everyone on Facebook, to my entire work department, and my family. The response I received from this effort was phenomenal! Many people shared that they felt alone in their struggles and that this effort showed them that this is not the case. I was so excited to talk to everyone and become siblings that share this common bond. I am so grateful that I was able to gain this support early on because I was very quickly going to need it.

Later in the day after this launch, I suddenly found myself having massive panic attacks and feeling depressed. How could this be? I had been having such an amazing day, so surely it was just "leftover" from the attacks I had been having prior to the launch. The next day I was feeling even worse, and discovered that I was having what some might call a relapse. I felt as awful as I had in the very beginning when I was first starting therapy, and acknowledging all that I had and was still dealing with. This was absolutely awful. I couldn't focus on my studies, I was exhausted, and all I wanted to do was go to bed and cry myself to sleep. Sleep seemed to be the only thing that would get rid of these awful anxious feelings I was having. I found myself feeling alone and wondering if anyone out there knew what I was dealing with, and then I remembered the day before.

I was brought back to the flood of people who had expressed their love and support for me. I was reminded of those who shared with me their struggles with mental illness. I was no longer alone in my struggle. This is what breaking the stigma means to me: No matter how difficult our struggles with mental disorder get, we should always be there as a support to each other.

If it became the norm for people to learn about and support those with mental illness then I believe that more would share when they are struggling. If it became the norm to share our struggles then I believe our suicide rates would drop drastically. Let us all support each other in all struggles whether they be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc. We are all connected together as brothers and sisters, so let's treat each other as such. I dream of a world where everyone has not one, not two, but an entire group of supporters to help them get through the good and bad.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

No Longer Living in a Misconception

There is a misconception in this world that so many of us believe and live by everyday of our lives. That misconception is that to think of ourselves and what is best for us is selfish. Let me clear up that misconception right now. The dictionary (Google) defines the word selfish as: lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.” Note that nowhere in that definition did it say that to do what is best for us personally is a selfish thing. Being selfish is when you are so self-consumed that you don’t care how it affects anyone else around you.
I have come to realize that living in this misconception is part of what has caused me so much grief in dealing with my anxiety disorders. My whole life I have been told that when I defend myself while being repeatedly torn down by another person that I am being selfish because I am not allowing them to treat me the way they were. Sounds silly that I believed that, right? Wrong. So many people allow themselves to be torn down on a daily basis by someone else because they feel that protecting themselves from the hurtful damage words can cause is somehow selfish. This is such a common problem that so many people deal with, myself included. Let me tell you my story.
Growing up I was not allowed to be me. It just didn’t happen. My favorite color was not allowed to be purple. Why? That is not what they wanted. I had to bead necklaces not play with dolls like every other little girl. Why? That is not what they wanted. If I so much as even tried to do what I wanted to do, I was torn down and told why it was a stupid idea. As I have gotten older I began to realize how much I did not like to be in the environment I was in, but I could not see any way out, so I continued to deal with it. Then one day I decided I had had enough and I left. I distanced myself completely from those who caused me harm. I was surprised at how quickly I felt free and able to do what I wanted to do, but that’s when the panic disorder kicked in full gear. Suddenly, I was allowed to be me. That was a scary thought after being told how to be for my entire life. I had multiple panic attacks a day, and they were not small panic attacks. They were painful, so painful, and physically/emotionally exhausting. The trials I went through for the following months are not something I would ever wish on another, and not something I want to experience ever again. It took a really long time to come out of the pain and guilt I experienced. You read that right. I felt guilty. I felt guilty for distancing myself as if I had been selfish enough to tell them that they were treating me badly and I was not going to let them anymore. I felt guilty for trying to protect myself from the abuse I was receiving. I expressed these feelings to my therapist and she asked me one simple question: What did I do that harmed them? Suddenly, it clicked. I had done nothing to harm them, only to protect myself from them harming me. I looked back and realized I had finally come to accept who I was, who I am. That was a pinnacle moment for me in my journey towards healing. Finally realizing that I was free to be me and not what anyone else wanted me to be, I could come out and let the world really know Meghan as she is. Since that moment I have felt myself completely blossom as an individual. I no longer allow people to call me selfish for protecting myself.
If there is one thing I want you to take from this post today, it's that it is okay to be concerned about you. If it is selfish to take some time to take care of yourself then by all means, Go. Be. Selfish. Since I began to allow myself to be selfish I found that my panic attacks decreased to the point of almost no longer existing, I was sleeping better, and I even legitimately smiled. Since I have allowed myself to be selfish I have become truly and genuinely happy. I really hope you will take the time today to allow yourself to be happy with you really are.
           

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

7 Days Free!!! :D

After about two weeks of long strings of panic attacks I was able to take a trip down to Texas to visit some family. While down there I felt like a different person. There was nothing for me to fear and nothing to trigger an attack. I felt so wonderful and free to be who I wanted and not worry about anything. This feeling of freedom is a feeling that I don't think I have ever felt. I was allowed the time to let myself heal and to have some deep pondering time.

 I learned a few things on that trip that I will continue to use for the rest of my life. Probably the most important thing I learned is that I have the power within me to heal from the damage that I have experienced. I learned a new exercise that has helped me so much. It requires some visualization and I had to close my eyes the first few times I did it. I imagined being able to take my heart out of my body and hold it in my hands. I asked myself what it looked like: Was it plump and healthy? Was it battered? What did it look like at that moment in time? I then imagined myself handing my heart over to the Savior and allowing his healing touch to put my heart back into a full and plump state. After receiving my heart back I would put it back inside of me. Every time I do this it gives me this new sense of energy to my system. I feel as if I am "whole" in a sense. It gives me this new sense of motivation to be better and it wipes my fear right out of my system.

I am making progress in moving past my anxiety! I often don't feel like I am making any at all, but then I take a good hard look at myself and I realize just how far I have come. I am very excited to say that I am at 7 whole days without any panic attacks!! That's the longest I have gone in almost 5 months. My panic attacks seem to be the center of just about all of my problems. This week I noticed I have been sleeping better and all night which means I am making progress with my insomnia. I have not had stiff muscles and a stiff back which means my functional scoliosis and tendinitis is improving.  My mood has been much better ruling out feeling super depressed 24/7. I am feeling so good and ready to take on the world!