I first want to blog about a talk I heard during our General Conference. Elder Jeffrey Holland, spoke about depression, anxiety and the perceptions people have of these disorders. I have gone back through older conference talks and have not, so far found a talk on this subject. His words pierced my heart and soul and never have I ever felt a subject needing to be confronted more than this one at this time.
He spoke of serious depression as well as those that we try and conquer daily, like tax season, and bad hair days....we all have those days.
I loved when he said "if you had appendicitis, God would expect you to seek a priesthood blessing and get the best medical care available" so why do we so many times feel embarrassed or lack of acknowledgement when we are diagnosed with these mental and emotional challenges?
So many times I have heard men and women say, "if you had a positive attitude and put a smile on your face, things will change" or one of my favorites is "if you read your scriptures and have personal prayer everyday, you will not have trials, difficult times or depression" OK, I'm all about reading from the scriptures daily, and personal prayer on a daily basis at least once a day, and while I think these are practices that are worthy and good, they do not take away depression or anxiety. That's like saying if you read scriptures and have personal prayer you will never get CANCER. or a HEART ATTACK, STROKE OR DIABETES. Really people? Depression is a diagnosis, sometimes it is genetic, passed down from generation to generation, sometimes it is brought on because of a choice not made by the person.
I have learned through personal experience it is real, it can be debilitating and humiliating. While I have spent years trying to find some peace and understanding of this diagnosis, I have come to realize I chose this life, and it is my life, the life the Lord and I chose together. God's plan for me is not always clear, but one thing I know without a doubt is that our Savior also felt the pains of depression and anxiety, through him we can triumphantly hurdle over those tests and trials, and through our faith we can endure to the end, this knowledge helps me understand more that the Lord has a plan for each one of us. HE loves us unconditionally, that love will never change or end. On days when I am feeling discouraged or in doubt, I can lean on the fact that I KNOW HE LIVES, I KNOW HE LOVES ME AND I KNOW HE UNDERSTANDS, even when the natural man may not.
For me, HOPE is NEVER LOST.