Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Everyday Heroes Vol. 1

I've been thinking a lot recently about people in my life who I consider my heroes. Some of them are living, some of them are not. The thing is, it's the little things that people do that make them my heroes.

Number one: My dad.

On Saturday, I worked a very long shift at work. I was exhausted. I got off at eight, and was so badly looking forward to going home and eating the pizza that Christopher ordered for us. Well....my car wouldn't start. I called my dad, and asked what he thought, and then I was off to the gas station. The gas light had never come on, and I wasn't sure why the car wouldn't start. Well...I walked through the snow, and got back to my car...put the measly gallon in the tank, and it still wouldn't start. I called my dad again, this time, on the verge of tears. I said, "Dad...it still won't start." He got in the car and came to me. (Mind you, I was all the way out at Kenwood, which is 30 minutes from home on a good day) In the meantime, I walked back to the gas station and got more gas. Well, the second time, my car did start. I drove around the parking lot, but was still scared to make the drive. I called my dad for the third time and said, "Dad...it's running now...but I'm scared because I don't want to get stranded." He told me to drive over to the gas station, so drive, I did. He met me there a few minutes later, got out of the car, and told me to open the gas tank. I said, "Why?" He said, "Just do it." So I opened it up, and he got out his card to fill up my gas tank. (It was already full by this time, but that's beside the point) He told me that the roads were really icy, and promised to follow me home. I'm 22 years old, but my Daddy still comes to rescue me when I need it. Cool? I think so.

The truth is....

I was reading Sarie's blog...and I was secretly wishing she would tag me...

And she did!

3 things I was doing 10 years ago:
1. Having sleepovers with Jill and Nicole
2. Being in Concert Choir at the Middle School
3. Developing film in the darkroom at school

3 things on my to-do list today:
1. Take a shower
2. Go to the bank
3. Go to see MISSY HIGGINS!

3 things I love about my [fiance]:
1. He takes VERY GOOD care of me
2. He knows when to tell me that I'm being ridiculous
3. He reminds me that I'm a daughter of God and that it makes me very special :)

3 jobs I have had:
1. Build-a-Bear
2. Nanny
3. Preschool teacher

3 movies I have seen more than once:
1. The Holiday
2. Mormon Pride and Prejudice
3. John Tucker Must Die

3 places I have lived:
1. Fairfield, OH
2. Chandler, AZ
3. Provo, UT

3 places I have visited:
1. London
2. Paris
3. Tijuana

3 T.V. shows I watch:
1. House
2. Will & Grace
3. Friends

3 things you may not know about me:
1. I hate my bellybutton
2. I named my car Norma Jean
3. I love pizza, but it makes me very sick.

3 people I tag: My sister Sarah, L.Bales, Cait

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The North Pole and The South Pole

I've been debating about whether or not I wanted to write this for some time. Clearly the decision has been made, and I've chosen to write. If you don't want to read the whole thing, don't. I don't even know how long it's going to be, seeing as once I get started, I may not stop. The subject line may be a bit deceiving. I'm not talking about Santa or penguins. I'm talking about....

*drumroll please*

Bipolar disorder.

"Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. Different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through, the symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide."
-National Institute of Mental Health

My life has been filled with unavoidable ups and downs. I don't usually mind them so much...I'm used to it. I've had some big things happen in my life. My mother passed away when I was six years old. My dad remarried quickly. My sister became a mom to me...and she left for college. I was overweight, awkward, and shy. I know you don't believe it...because I was overweight, awkward, and INCREDIBLY LOUD. That's my bipolar talking.

According to my dad...and this seems to make sense, people who are bipolar tend to be recognized by their manic modes. You all probably know me as bubbly, outgoing, smiling, happy, loud, rambunctious, and energetic.

What you don't see are the hours of crying, the sleepless nights, the endless fatigue. You don't see the times Christopher has to wait with me until I can calm down, the hours he's spent trying to convince me that everything will be okay, and that I'll pull out of the depression eventually.

So maybe the point of all of this is to convince you that Christopher is a saint. He is.

I've spent most of my life dealing with what I call "Trust issues." It means that I hold my guard up VERY well until I know how to trust someone. There are very few people that I have ever been able to trust completely. Christopher is one of them. Because I trust him completely, for better or for worse, he gets to see both sides.

We start out the evening just fine. I'm happy, he's happy, and we've both returned home from work. We laugh and play...we make dinner, turn on our favorite show, and build a fire.
...wait, what? I can't build the fire fast enough? Here it goes...and I'm gone.
suddenly the world is a miserable place. A place where I'm convinced that I don't do anything well enough, that everyone hates me, that nothing really matters. I try to hold on to myself for a few minutes, but we all know what's about to happen...

You get the picture. Nagasaki has just occurred in the family room. So he calms me down. He makes me drink some water. He waits until it's over. And then I'm fine again.

Luckily, because Christopher knew what was going on, he was able to discuss it with our family doctor when I went in for my initial visit. The verdict, you already know. Bipolar disorder.

So I take Prozac and Depkote. How does it feel to take an anti-psychotic? Ha...well, at least I'm not as psychotic while I'm taking it.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

- Plato

Lots of people struggle with things that nobody else ever knows they're struggling with. This is my battle. I don't tell you so that you'll feel sorry for me, I tell you so that maybe someday, somehow, you might feel like it's okay to be fighting a battle of your own. I have been fighting this for most of my life. I just recently started with the medication. The truth is, my greatest help came from

Alma chapter 7:

11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

I know it's hard. But even without the Prozac...there's an answer.

How blessed we are to have the atonement of Jesus Christ to make us strong! Christ experienced all of these things so that we can be succored.

I guess that's all for now. Just some food for thought.