Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Happiness

For most of my life I have struggled with depression, anxiety and paranoia (among other things). Abuse I experienced as a child could quite possibly be the culprit. I have spent many years praying that heavenly father would take away the pain and help me to enjoy my life. There have been happy times, but the anxiety lingers. I wondered if maybe the Lord just wanted me to be unhappy, maybe it is my purpose in life, or my cross to bear. Reading the scriptures, praying and trying my best to live up to my covenants have been a huge part of my life. Since the gospel is considered the "Plan of Happiness" there must be something to it, right? Have I just been missing something?  Over the last several years I have prayed, and researched happiness in the scriptures and as I received inspiration, I would research other topics.  Though I am still trying to figure out the key to happiness, I believe that I have finally found some sound counsel that I somehow missed along the way, and hope to make some changes that will finally make my life more full and happy.

I don't intend on this blog being much more than a place to store my thoughts, findings and experiments on the teachings of the scriptures and prophets. It will probably be more for my benefit than anyone else's, but you are welcome to follow along in my journey. Who knows, maybe this will help someone else?  Just know, that I don't intend on keeping this blog perfectly updated or even perfectly written. And if you have nothing nice to say about it, it would be awesome if you were to just keep it to yourself (especially since I have created this space more specifically for myself than for others).

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A New Perspective

Though my little ray of sunshine (my son) has only been in my life for a little more than a year now, I have developed a new perspective on my relationship with my Heavenly Father. It is so interesting to see how you as a parent work with your little one to protect or teach them about the consequences of life and then think about how our father in heaven probably does the same.

Getting ready for church this morning, my little guy was so determined to climb on the toilet. After his first attempt, he fell face first onto the floor. It must have hurt, but it seems it frightened him more than anything and within moments was climbing back up. Of course he didn't listen to me when I told him no, so I placed him on the floor. After multiple attempts and great persistence I removed him from the room. He was distraught. I let him cry it out for a minute, let him back in the room and it started all over again. Another round of crying in the hall and he became inconsolable. He wanted so badly to be just like his mom and do everything I was doing that he continued to overlook the consequences of his actions (he is quite the persistent little stinker :) ).  We rocked in our chair for a few minutes as I explained to him why it was so important that he stay off of the toilet and why I put him in the hall. Of course he doesn't quite understand everything I say yet, but I feel it is important to explain it to him anyway. I told him that I loved him and was trying to protect him.

As I consoled my sweet little boy, I realized that this situation might not be so different from other situations I have had as an adult. How many times have you wanted something so badly that you forgot to look at the consequences before acting? I do it all of the time. There are things I can't seem to figure out the first time around so I continue to make the same mistake over and over again. When life intervenes and removes that want from our grasp it can be quite upsetting. I have had moments in my life where my goals were finally in reach and then suddenly unavailable. There have been times that I have been so upset that I couldn't calm my anger if I tried, and many times cried and even taken my anger out on my father in heaven just as my little one took his anger out on me. I am sure after a while it all sounds the same to him (like the cries our children make sometimes) and he lets us cool off for a bit before he can make us feel better.  Sometimes we have to calm ourselves first and then we receive the comfort of the spirit.

How can I keep myself calm in moments of great frustration and anger? I will admit that getting on my knees to pray isn't usually my first step. Honestly, a good scream feels pretty good sometimes. For you, it may be a run, or to throw a ball, but what can we do to calm ourselves more quickly so that we can hear those soft whispering's of the spirit?  Kneeling down to pray is important, but when my heart is pounding and my blood is racing, it can be really hard to even get two words out. Maybe I need to bust out my MP3 player and listen to some hymns for a couple of minutes before I try to pray? Do you have any ideas?  Give me your input, I would love to hear what you do to calm yourselves and invite the spirit. 

Tamara

Conference

I am so grateful for the wonderful women's conference I went to last night. What inspiration! A lot of discussion about hardships and the atonement. The lord's help is vital in overcoming pain and hardships in our lives and we are so blessed to have such a thoughtful father in heaven who made this life possible for us. The pain our savior suffered in Gethsemane was for each and every one of us. As we pray and listen to the spirit, Heavenly Father can direct our paths however difficult they may be.

Is anyone else looking forward to General Conference this coming week? I am so grateful to have a living Prophet on the earth today to help guide us and give us inspired direction.
Come listen to a living prophet

Tamara

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

No Longer Afraid

I was watching a show the other night, I think it was NUMB3RS, the character said something I found to be quite profound. He said "I'm only afraid of being afraid again." WOW! This phrase hit me like a ton of bricks! That is exactly what I am afraid of! I have never been able to put a finger on it before now. How strange it is that we can be frightened by something as simple as fear itself. What inspiration! It sounds so simple when you put it that way doesn't it? The mere idea made me feel better and I had to share.

For some spiritually uplifting reading for the week, I would suggest reading the August 2012 Ensign, the article is called Forgiveness and Making up for Losses. If you are not familiar with the Ensign, it is a publication of the LDS Church. You can order the magazine online, or you can read it a few days later on their website at lds.org . 

Our biggest trials in life may be more than we can bear sometimes, but the harder the trial the more beautiful we become! Please listen to Hilary Weeks song Beautiful Heartbreak. What an inspirational message she has. It warms my heart to see these beautiful people who have suffered so much exceeding every expectation  they had for themselves. We too can overcome and find joy in our lives again. 



All My Love,

Tamara

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Insecurities

Today, like many others, I am struggling. It may sound silly to others, but hopefully someone else can relate. Yesterday, my family attended a neighborhood gathering with many acquaintances and a few good friends. The minute we walked in the door I said something stupid (in an attempt to be silly) and for the rest of the night it was all I could think about. I couldn't even carry on a normal conversation. I tried, but all I could do was sit and analyse something from the past that couldn't be changed. My insecurities have really sunk in and I am really struggling to even get ready for the day. My husband made it to church with the intention of coming back to pick me up after the baby wakes up from his nap. I asked him not to come get me. I know that if I go to church today I will probably start crying in Relief Society and be upset the rest of the day.

My insecurities go beyond just yesterday though. In the time that I have been married, I have never been very good about my church activity. Not because I don't want to be there, but because I become overwhelmed and insecure about everything. I struggle to get up in the morning and often wish that I could crawl back under the covers and pretend that the day hasn't started yet. Some days I even feel physically ill because I am afraid to face something that day.

In the last month our ward was split and there are a handful of us that are now in a new ward. It seems everyone including my husband have callings already, everyone but me. This is a recurring thing, it seems to have happened in almost every ward we have been in since we got married. New people would move in and receive a calling and I would never get one. I used to even ask the bishop to make sure I got a calling quickly. I knew if I had a calling that had me involved on Sundays, I would be more likely to make it, still no calling. I stopped asking. I have to be honest, it kind of hurts my feelings. I feel like no one really sees any promise in me, like maybe I am missing something that the other sisters in the ward have. It does however make me wonder sometimes if I am defective or something.

Because my insecurities have already been stirred up and I am on the verge of an anxiety attack, introducing other fears will only make me worse right now. For the sake of my family, sometimes it is better that I remain in a place where I feel safe (like home) than introduce new stresses. Hopefully next week will be better.

By the way, Conference is coming up! I am so grateful to have a living Prophet on the earth today! Don't forget to mark your calenders!  It starts April 1st 10:00 am MDT.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Social Anxiety

Over the last several years I have struggled deeply with social anxiety. The problem has been life long, but I didn't notice how bad I had become until a few years ago. I have always been a bit paranoid, and wonder if some of my anti depression meds as well as others contributed to some of the paranoia.

It has never been unusual for me to become concerned about the perception others may have of me, but at this particular point in my life I was delving deeper into my past with my therapist, was on edge and quite depressed already. Getting married and introducing physical intimacy into my life did seem to heighten my anxieties as well (due to my past). I had also started seeing a new psychiatrist who of course has the opinion that medication fixes everything. Every few weeks I was going in for a follow up with my Doctor on a new medication. If I was still struggling with a certain problem, instead of weaning me off of one medication and slowly starting a new one, she would drop one and start me on a new one immediately. I expressed my concern, but she assured me that it was totally fine so I gave her my trust and continued treatment. I had a few days where I was not lucid at all. I went to work and couldn't keep my eyes open, was dizzy and my chest was heavy. The purpose of going to a psychiatrist was to get help, but all this particular doctor did  did was mess me up more.  I should mention that I later discovered that this woman had retired shortly after my last visit with her. I have had some very competent psychiatrists in the past, it was just this particular Doctor that I was concerned about. I strongly believe that there are times that medication is absolutely important to help balance moods and behaviors, but when swapping medications so quickly, I don't think there is a  safe way for a person to know for certain weather some of the affects are residual from a medication you were taking a few days ago or if it is the new medication. I discontinued her care, went to a family doctor and restarted medications that had worked for me in the past.

So, with my overload on new medications and unreasonable fear of other people's opinion of me, I became a mess. I quit my job because I felt that my "friend" had betrayed me and had created a coup with the others I worked with to get me fired. I to this day have no idea how much of my fear was actual and how much was imagined.

Over the next year I struggled to even look for a job for fear the same thing would happen, let alone actually keep one when I had it. That next job was similar to the prior in the fact that I was surrounded by people with too much time on their hands which added to the constant whispering and backstabbing of coworkers. My anxiety levels skyrocketed. I had struggled for years prior with attending my church meetings because of my fears, this made it even more difficult.  I tried to participate by accepting a calling as a visiting teacher like the rest of my peers in the ward, but even interacting with as little as two people made me sick for weeks afterward. I locked myself in my house when I didn't absolutely have to be somewhere (like work).

I prayed for months that I could finally find a job where I could feel safe. It was so important for me to find stability so that I could continue my recovery. When I finally started my current job, I really struggled with the same fears and issues. I cannot tell you how difficult it was for me to stick with this job long enough for me to get comfortable. Every day I worried that I wasn't good enough, and my insecurities showed in my work. My customers questioned my ability to do my job. I tried to reassure them that I was competent by telling them how long I had been in the field, but due to my own insecurities, my clients would pick my work apart. This only made me more fearful. My other coworkers were also quite close, and because I was so worried about everything else, I never made an effort to get to know them. It was nice to finally be in a busy work environment where people didn't have as much time to gossip though, and I didn't have to work with adult men anymore which made me feel safe also. I decided that I needed to make this job work. I felt like this job was supposed to be the answer to my prayers, I just had to push through my fears to get to the good part.

I didn't really start noticing any positive changes until I went off of almost all my medication and got pregnant. I don't know if it was the pregnancy hormones or the idea that I had a responsibility to care for something more important than myself, but I started to recover. I began to work with more confidence in myself and began to care less about what everyone else thought of me. My job is still intact, I love it and all of the people I work with! We are a close knit group and we get along really well with one another. I really wish I knew what it was that made the difference,  all I can say is it was a miracle! Since my baby was born, I have struggled with mood swings and fears, but not nearly as often or as extreme. I can't thank the lord enough for this little cutie! He has saved my life!

Friday, March 2, 2012

We're Joining Technorati.com

Our hope on the With Patience Bear blog is to reach out to anyone that has been affected by abuse and trauma. We hope that in the coming months as this blog grows and the word spreads about it, that readers will share their stories with us. We're now using Technorati.com as another source where bloggers can find, share, distribute, highlight and network with other sites and individuals that are going through these same experiences.

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