Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Secret Dual Life

I can remember a handful of times in my life when I was depressed.

The problem is, I don't realize I have a problem until I'm no longer depressed.

And then, because I'm no longer depressed, I'm afraid to see a doctor for fear they'll think I'm making it all up.  Which, is where I am currently.

I realize I need help. I feel no shame in getting help.  I just fail to connect how to get help while currently not needing it. ...?  Does that make sense to anyone?

One article a friend posted on Facebook really resonated with me. It woke me up to the issues I've been having for at least 7 months, maybe longer.

The Secret Dual Lives of People Living With Mental Illness

This is my life.

I can look through past blog posts, text messages, and remember conversations I've had with people where I have told them about what a mess I am at home, while at the same time appearing put-together and "normal."

But the reality is, for the past while, I haven't wanted to go anywhere, do anything, clean anything, cook anything. The things I used to love (crafts, cooking, makeup) became a burden. To sit in my bed and sleep all day would have been heaven.

I blamed it on being tired because of work.

But that was simply not true.  It had nothing to do with my job.

Lance would always tell me I'd feel better if I got out of the house more.  Perhaps that is true, but how do I get out of the house when I feel like I'm carrying 500 extra pounds around?

It was easier to get out of the house while Lance was home, and not because he could watch Lily while I got ready. But because it was his idea to get out of the house. I was going because he wanted to go, not because I wanted to.

I can't even explain properly how I felt because I don't understand it myself. All I know, is that this is not normal, and that I need to get help somehow, because I absolutely cannot let myself get that way again.  I deserve better, Lance deserves better, and Lily deserves better.

Yesterday was a good day.  I wanted to get out of the house. I wanted to be around people.  I went shopping with Lily, I cleaned bathrooms, did dishes, and made dinner.

Small accomplishments for most stay at home moms, but a HUGE accomplishment for me, as I haven't done those things in months.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Do I?

I think I have depression.

I think it comes and goes in phases.

Most of the time I don't realize I've been depressed until I have a "good day" and I'm no longer depressed.

I'm not sure what to do about this new realization though.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Dear Last Year's Jenn,

If you wait a year, Lily will practically potty train herself.

Love, Current Jenn

Lily has been running around our house naked for almost a week now, but I finally think we're making progress!

It started out a little rough. Lily would tell me she needed to go potty, so we would rush over to the bathroom and get her on the toilet.  We would sing about 10 Primary songs, and... nothing would happen.

At that point we would leave the bathroom and continue on with our daily routine.  5 minutes later, Lily would tell me she needed to go potty.

Nothing. Rinse, repeat.

So finally after a few hours of this... Lily told me she needed to go potty.  I looked at her and said, "I don't believe you!"

Pee.  On the carpet.

I kept a positive attitude, had her help me clean it up, then we continued on.

5 minutes later, "Mommy, I need to go potty!"

"You just went!"

Pee.  On the carpet.

Then it was nap time, and I put her in a diaper.  I'm not ready to wash bedding every day.

The next day she told me she had to pee, and she peed in the potty almost immediately!  She tried to get off before she was done, so I had her sit back down and she had a lot more to go.

This happened once for me in the morning and once for Daddy in the evening.

I promised Lily I would get her a doughnut if she peed in the potty, so the next day we planned to go to the store to get one.  Daddy forgot that the car seat was in his car, so we had to take a long walk.

We walked down the street and had lunch together at Boston Market.  Lily was wearing panties.  After being there for a while she told me she needed to go potty, but I told her to finish eating.

I'm still learning too, guys. I realize now that was the wrong choice.

She peed on the chair and the floor, and of course herself and her clothing.

I DID remember to bring backup panties and pants, so we went in the bathroom and cleaned her up.

Then it was raining outside. Thankfully it wasn't raining too hard, but it was pretty cold, and we didn't have jackets on. So we walked over to a gas station, got Lily her doughnut, then walked home as fast as we could.

Potty training has been much better this time around.  Plus, I love seeing Lily's cute little butt all day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Goal Update

Monthly Enrichment night
It's next Tuesday! I'm planning on going. No idea what the activity is, but I'll be there.

Cook dinner 3 times a week
Nope. I've made dinner on Sunday. That's a step up from my Sabbath-breaking self.

52 Week Money Saving Challenge
We are on track, and have not missed a week!

Monthly date night
I got a babysitter for Valentine's Day!  I am so proud of myself. I texted a young woman in the ward, who reminds me a lot of my sister, Jessica. She's also the same age as Jessica. She's very sarcastic and really cute. She compliments my shoes at church. :)  I'm pretty excited! If it works out well, I'll ask her monthly.  We did not have a date in January.

Weekly crafts with Lily
Has not happened.

Clean something (in my house) every day
Nope. I'm even failing at the dishes.  I have dirty dishes even if I haven't been cooking dinner? Apparently.

This is real life.

Judge me.

Remember friends' and family members' birthdays
There were three immediate family members' birthdays this month: My brother Eric, my sister in law Adree, and my brother in law Jeff.  I sent them each a card, but it was sent AFTER each of their birthdays.  I'm trying.

Where Can I Serve?

Well friends, a couple of weeks ago I got released as 2nd Counselor in the Primary Presidency.

It really hurt me.  I felt like I got fired.  There wasn't an explanation. There wasn't another calling extended to me.  I felt lost. I felt like a failure.

I wondered why they released me.   Were they just replacing me and keeping the other sisters?  Were they replacing the entire presidency?

I cried a little.  Then I started to fear what my next calling would be.

I prayed for peace and comfort.  I also prayed to know where I could best serve the Lord.

Well, the following week was rather interesting.  If you pray for an opportunity to serve then one (or more) shows up!

I got a text from a new neighbor of mine on Monday afternoon.  Before I get to the text, I must explain a little back story... *Cue fog!*

I was out walking my dogs with Lily one morning, and this lady came running up to me. She explained that they had just moved here from New York, and that she had to go back there for a month to finish things up for the move, while her husband and children stayed here. She was looking for someone to watch her kids during the day, on a flexible schedule, for the next month.

I sympathized with her, told her that sounded stressful, and then told her I didn't know of anyone.

I got home and I kept thinking about her.  I thought about how much stress she must be under, and how difficult it would be to come to a new place, not know anyone, and not know who will be taking care of your children for the next month.  I justified myself not watching her children because I struggle enough getting up to watch Lily at 10am, after working until 3am.  But then I felt like I should go back over to her house and introduce myself, and get a little more info and ask people around my ward if they could help.

So I did.

And this may seem like it's not a big deal, but I promise you that this is not in my nature. I do not introduce myself to people, I do not put myself out there.

My neighbor's name is Ashley. I told Ashley if she couldn't find anyone before she left, I could help her for a few days until they found someone.

So back to the text I received:

"Hi Jenn this is Jeff, Ashley's husband. She's going back to New York and I'm  having a problem finding a babysitter so she told me to get a hold of you. I work tomorrow 11:30 so I have to leave here by 10:30 and I'm supposed to work until 8pm which means I usually don't get home till about 9. I was wondering if you might be able to help with babysitting. Is there any way that you could watch the kids tomorrow, and if so how much would you charge me? Hopefully after tomorrow I will have a daycare set up for them. Please feel free to text me back and let me know as soon as you can, thank you."

I decided to help him out, even though I reallllllly didn't want to.

I needed to go to the store because we didn't have any food in the house.  So, off to the store I went.  In the parking lot I was approached by a woman who said, "I need to get some groceries, but I'm wondering if you would buy them for me."

This was a very interesting thing to happen to me, because, no joke, the DAY before, there was a woman and her children outside of our church, with signs, approaching people as they exited the building, and asking them for money.  Things like that make me very uncomfortable. I just said, "I have no cash."  As we drove home, I thought about how I could have helped them.  Should I have walked them inside the building and shown them the drinking fountain?  Had them meet with the Bishop?  I probably should have done something!  Whether or not they received anything from the Bishop just depends on them, really.  But to ignore their need and to walk away, ugh! I felt horribly.

I've often daydreamed about walking down the street, finding a homeless person with a sign and saying to them, "Come to the store with me, I'll get you some food."  Or have them come to a restaurant with me.  I'm more comfortable with that than I am with giving them money.  I also think that maybe I should have a box of granola bars in my car, to hand out to people who are asking for money.  If they truly are in need, they will appreciate it.

Anyway, before I could even register what the woman had asked or how much she was asking for, I said, "Ok, sure!"  I grabbed a shopping cart and said, "What do you need?"  I was prepared to buy her anything she wanted.

Guys, her response made me teary eyed.

She said, "Bread, bologna, and a drink."

I think that's pretty humble.  She could have handed me an entire list.  She could have asked for candy and junk food. But no, she asked for very cheap things.

So I went in, did all my shopping and included her three, humble items.  I brought them out to her, and her eyes lit up and she thanked me, said, "God bless you!" and then we parted ways.

As I walked away, a scripture came to my mind:

Matthew 25:40: And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Back to back opportunities for service.


Do not pray for something unless you are serious!!

I watched my neighbor's kids the following day and it was exhausting, but I felt good about helping them out.

Lily with Addie

I have received a new calling my ward and I am no longer seeking extra opportunities to serve others at this time. (Hahaha.)

If you're wondering, my new calling is the Primary Chorister.