Sunday, May 22, 2016

When the Darkness Lingers

Last week, I read an article that hasn't left my mind. It was about suicide. The author talked about how suicide is a constant thought, but not necessarily tied to any action. Being suicidal isn't always as black and white as people would like to categorize it.

As I read this, I completely understood what this author was saying, because I'm totally there with her.

From the time I was really little, I can remember, having thoughts that everyone would be better off if I wasn't here. I was making people's lives worse. No one would really miss me. Such thoughts hit hard, especially when I'm more emotionally unwell. When I'm down for whatever reason.

For the most part, I can talk myself out of actually attempting anything... I can distract myself with my kids, my job, friends, exercise or whatever. I just have to make myself do something. Sometimes it helps my mental well-being improve; but other times, the darkness lingers, holding me in a vice. I can't shake it for weeks at a time. Life has no luster. I'm numb. It doesn't feel like I belong here or anywhere.

I don't know exactly what causes these thoughts that scare even me. Depression? Anxiety? Events from my past (which caused Complex-PTSD)? All of the above plus more?

I used to think maybe it had to do with my spirituality. Maybe I wasn't doing enough of what I should to get rid of these thoughts and feelings. So, I diligently read my scriptures, wrote in my journal, attended church and seminary/institute, and tried to do all the things I'm *supposed* to do for me to be happy. But, that doesn't always work like normal people insist it should.

Regardless, I still strive to do most of those things. I listen to good music to bring up my mood as well as other approaches to keep myself together. I hate feeling down, so I try whatever I can to pull out of it. Sometimes it's just a day. Sometimes it's weeks.

Logically, I know suicide isn't the answer. Those thoughts and feelings aren't reality. But emotionally? Emotionally the feelings are heavy, crushing weights, threatening to snap me in half. I have a deep fear of "what-if?" What if I just snap one day and the part of me that talks me down isn't there to stop me? What if the heaviness of my thoughts and feelings finally succeeds?

I don't know why I'm putting all this out there. I guess it's maybe because it wouldn't leave my mind until I wrote it all out. Maybe it's because I share too much. Or maybe because someone else needs to know they're not alone in this.

Every day I fight the battle to push through. I'm working on myself to try to "fix" any parts of me that are broken. Little by little. Piece by piece. It's a slow and painful process, but I think I'm getting there.

If you are in this gray area with me, hang in there. Confide in someone. Shove away the lies that come to your mind. You are worth it. You are needed and loved. You make the world a better place. Please don't give up.

© Wendy 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thinking Through Our Fingers: Does your writing always comes after?

It was my turn to blog about writing....I chose this topic because I struggle to put my writing first in the midst of my busy life.

Thinking Through Our Fingers: Does your writing always comes after?: I'm a mom of six energetic kids ages 4-14. While they're at school, I write 2-3 articles per week for my part-part-time job. I also ...

Monday, March 14, 2016

You Haven't Walked a Mile in My Shoes

Do you ever look at the struggles and trials someone else is going through and think how awful their lot in life is? Or conversely, how it's not as bad as so-and-so's? Or not as bad as the person may be making it out to be?

Here's the thing: You don't and can't ever really know what another person is going through--even if you've experienced the same or similar trial.

Why? Because every person is different. We all have had a different life experience, unique feelings and emotions, and varying perspectives on situations. We are individuals who think, feel, and act in our own way, in our own time.

Recently, I had an experience with this, where someone was minimizing something I've been struggling with my whole life. I was told that my experience wasn't "as bad" as the similar situation of another person. While what I had gone through was hard, this other person's was worse because of XYZ and ABC and 123. Basically, my sorrow, pain, and healing process were somehow less significant. Less difficult. Not as big of a deal.

This left me feeling hurt. Mentally and emotionally weak compared to others since I was still struggling. And, as much as I would like to be done dealing with this problem, it's not that simple. No amount of mental fortitude can heal some things overnight, or even over years.

I guess my point is, since you truly don't really know what's going on with someone or what their different experiences in life are, you can't judge them and decide their life is far better/worse than another person's. Everyone's journey is unique. We all handle adversity and successes differently. We shouldn't judge someone's experience based on our own life.

You haven't walked a mile in my shoes, and not even close to the whole road. I may walk my miles differently than you do (or how you think I should), but at least I'm still walking.

The best route to take is to have more compassion and empathy for those around you. Try to understand how people feel in their individual circumstances. Don't make them feel worse by downplaying their situation or comparing it to someone else's. We all have strengths and weaknesses and some of us are better equipped to handle certain situations.

 Lift others, don't push them down. Love more, judge less.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Thinking Through Our Fingers: What ingredients do you need for a great first cha...

On the Thinking Through Our Fingers blog talking about great first chapters.

Read about it here: Thinking Through Our Fingers: What ingredients do you need for a great first cha...: Recently, I was in the midst of prepping for a first chapter contest for an upcoming writing conference I'm attending. Not only is this ...

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Book review: "Rhino Trouble" by Grant Olsen

"Rhino Trouble" published by Cedar Fort, Inc.
Author Grant Olsen has written a children's book titled, "Rhino Trouble."

Olsen tells the story of two brothers who live in Nepal. The boys are given the task to protect their village's crops from the rhinos.

The rhinos are tricky and manage to get past the boys, until, on the third night, the boys come up with a plan to save their crops.

This is a great book that not only teaches young children that they can solve problems, but it's also a look at the lives of the children in Nepal.

Illustrations are by Mike Carpenter, a digital artist.




Olsen wrote "Rhino Trouble" to honor the children in Nepal who really do protect their villages from rhinos during the night. Additionally, he is donating 100% of the proceeds of his book to the earthquake-ravaged Nepal, via The Umbrella Foundation, a charity that works to help and protect children and families of Nepal who have been displaced or trafficked.

You can find Olsen's book on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Book review: 'Asleep on the Hay: A Dust Bowl Christmas'

Asleep on the HayAuthor and illustrator, Ben Sowards, has written his first book, "Asleep on the Hay: A Dust Bowl Christmas." Sowards uses a story to help teach children and adults alike the true meaning of Christmas.

Paul lives on a farm in the midwest—the Dust Bowl. Because recent dust storms destroyed his family's crops, his parents are seeking employment out west. It'll just be his grandfather and his beloved calf, Ellie, together for Christmas.

When a couple with a baby show up on their doorstep in need of help, Paul's grandfather not only shares with them their small amount of food and gives them a place to stay, he also decides to sell Ellie to help them get their truck fixed so they can get their sick infant to the doctor.

Paul is upset at the prospect of selling his calf. The woman gives him a small box with an engraving of a scripture Paul has heard many times before, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you...Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

Paul runs to the barn to be with his calf and angrily throws the box on the ground, breaking it. He discovers puzzle pieces inside, begins to put it together, but then decides to shut his eyes for a bit and snuggles up next to Ellie.

He falls asleep and has a dream where he finds himself in Bethlehem and overhears King Herod's plot to kill the baby Jesus. He runs off to find and warn Mary and Joseph.

What happens gives him a personal experience of the true meaning of Christmas and changes his heart.

With beautiful illustrations by Sowards, "Asleep on the Hay" is an enjoyable story for all ages that can bring the spirit of Christmas into readers' homes.

This is Sowards' first book he has authored, but has illustrated other books such as "A Christmas Dress for Ellen," "Seven Miracles that Saved America" and "Christmas Oranges."

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Thinking Through Our Fingers: When the negative feedback comes...and it will

I'm on the Thinking Through Our Fingers blog today talking about how we can "shake it off" when it comes to negative feedback (and knowing the difference between negative and constructive!).

Thinking Through Our Fingers: When the negative feedback comes...and it will: As writers, we love to hear all the awesome things people think about our writing. And while there is a lot of positive feedback (probably m...