Have been wanting to write again here for a long time - just have not been able to decide what I wish to write about. Depression? Multiple Sclerosis (MS)? Something else? That’s probably why this post is so long (sorry about that, continue reading if you dare).

Well, for the most part this blog has historically not been for laughs - but guess my life could be termed as a comic tragedy (or is that a tragic comedy?). Either way you look at it, with few exceptions, I tend to write about things experienced past or present. Understand that’s one secret to writing: focus on what you know about - or go total fantasy where nothing is real. While I love to read fantasy novels, writing here is very focused on my very real life. Leaving aside the whole MS thing - today’s topic is once again returning to the realm of depression and dark thoughts (sadly something which I know too much about).

Please remember - it is not a choice to be or not to be depressed, it just is!! No one would willingly choose to live their life in this place. Let’s just say that the demon has once again reared its nasty head - filling my mind with all sorts of negativeness. This time deep depression and thoughts of suicide have lingered longer than I thought it could, or has before. Oh, every once in awhile it backs off a little and I am briefly almost normal. A few months ago I actually was smiling - something which has not happened in a very long time. A friend even made a comment about that, telling me it was good to see me smile. It did not last long and once again the looming dark clouds of depression quickly descended, plunging me back into the mists of despair. There is little to no light in this state of mind.

To make a comparison it sometimes might appear a lot like the story of the “boy who cried wolf”. Not that I make up dangers as he did searching for attention. No, black thoughts like mine should always be taken seriously - by myself and hopefully by others as well because they are very real. It is terrifying to think that someday I might act on those thoughts - worn out from fighting and with strength weakening, how easy it would be to follow the darkness and disappear. It seems like I am cycling through a repetitive and never ending lonely rocky barren landscape.

God may not get tired and turn away when we, His children, call out to Him for help. His love is always there. However, if I had a friend who was consistently like me, not sure how many times I could deal with it before turning away (mostly out of self-preservation). So, I really try to keep it much to myself, believing inside (even when told otherwise) that I am a burden to everyone and they are better off when I am not around. When the darkness descends I am engulfed in distorted cloudy mists, unable to see or remember times before that used to be so clear. The past few weeks I’ve thought a lot about what could possibly help - because someone asked me what is it that I want from other people. Concluded it is not about wants but actually has everything to do with needs. Hopefully I have uncovered at least part of an answer to this question with these two items.
  1. It is important to know that I am not faking, nor am I merely attempting to seek attention. However please acknowledge my state of mind - accepting that yes I am caught in a dark whirlpool, and no it is not my choice. Hopefully accompanied by communication that I am not alone. This can be done even if, or especially when, it is not understood.
  2. Instead of trying to fix my brokenness - perhaps remind me that there is light in the world. Light is so easily forgotten when I am feeling hopeless, lost, and alone. If there is no immediate response, please have patience and do not ignore what I am experiencing. It is a false belief that the darkness will magically disappear if it is never mentioned.
One unspoken clue that may have been noticed about my state of mind is the color of clothing which I choose to dress in. Usually it matches my mood - consequently I own a lot of dark color clothing. Black is self-explanatory; Navy is dark and almost black; grey the color of dismal mists; brown the color of dirt; and red. Wait... where did red come from in this boring color scheme? Red not seen as the cheerful color that most people think about - no for me it morbidly is often seen as the color of blood. Granted I do have a few different and brighter color shirts which I wear to work as an attempt to not be the daily office “gloom and doom” person. It’s all part of the mask which I wear to hide my reality. Or once in awhile I wear these colors because all my go-to ones are in the laundry, so please don’t read anything into it.

And that is where I am today, yesterday, and for weeks / months now - lost in depression. There are a few scriptures which have helped me - because even though I most often feel cut off from God, feeling there is a "pavilion" that stands between Him and me - I still do have a strong belief in the reality of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. I believe in their love for all of us, however I also often feel their love is there for everyone… except for me. There is quite a dichotomy in my life - knowing in my head that is not true (God does love all of His children) - but at the same time often feeling in my heart that no one cares, even God. Feeling this way is one nature of depression.

One of my favorite scriptures is found in Alma 7:11-12 - where it talks about what and why Christ suffered all that was placed on Him (notice not once in these two verses does it mention “sin”, even though The Atonement of Christ very much includes sin). All this was so “that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” When you know that the word succor comes from the Latin succurrere which means “run to the help of” - it gives a whole different view of why Christ experienced all of our afflictions, so that He can and will run to help us. There are also many talks given in my church’s bi-annual General Conference which are of great worth. Just one of my personal favorites is: Like a Broken Vessel by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

Sadly even though I read from the scriptures regularly, and have downloaded the audio of oh so many talks from General Conference and listen to them pretty much every day. They tend to work for only a brief moment in time, then once again I find myself floundering in darkness trying to keep my head above the surface of water. But at least they do offer some help, so I shall continue reading and listening even if the help is temporary.

Bountiful, Utah Temple
There are a couple of blessings in my life right now. First is that I have been asked to teach an adult Sunday School class. Preparing lessons for that, and feeling a deep desire and need to bare my testimony each time I teach has helped me immensely the past couple of years. That along with the wonderful insights I receive from class member comments. It has always been for me a reaffirmation of truth - however this too is often only temporary in length. The second blessing is being able to work in the Temple two Saturday mornings a month. There is a spirit found there which brings peace while I am in the building and for a short time after leaving. Wish that I could sequester myself there and live out my mortal days surrounded by that spirit of peace.

There are other sources of help which I have discovered. One is a YouTube channel by Seth Adam Smith - in particular videos he made with Ganel-Lyn Condie (she talks about her sister and suicide) - plus his videos that feature Carrie Maxwell Wrigley (my counselor with whom I frequently talk about many things, including Christ centered healing).

One source in particular has helped me to see how, and to know that I am in danger should the dark thoughts continue unabated - it is part of my church's online initiative to help anyone affected or impacted by Mental Health. This website, in addition to the wonderful spiritual guidance, they also offer other online resources to help. One section is called: Preventing SuicidePlease click on the links and read, there is so much more to be found! Personally I took note of the part, I’m worried about someone, where there is a list of wonderful information under the title of... Is it possible to predict who will attempt suicide? Are there any common warning signs?.

Please don’t dismiss or ignore if you see someone in trouble - by doing something, even small things, perhaps you will save a life. Also know that those who live with depression are very skilled in hiding what is really going on. This is done for many reasons - if you want to know some of mine just ask (but be prepared to find out).

To end this long blog post - here are some images I found on the internet and have kept them for awhile. Instead of doing possible future blog posts using these, decided I'd just leave them here and hopefully leave them behind. Don't worry about me... I'm fine.

Never cut myself - but the rest is fairly true.
A lot of it is related to PTSD


  1. Rebecca, thank you for sharing your experiences and your struggle! I know from experience how hard that is when all you want to do is to pull inside yourself and suffer in silence. Even though you may feel alone, remember that you have friends who understand (through their own bouts of depression) that are with you!

  2. I second Nick! There are SO MANY of us who love you, think about you OFTEN, and know exactly what you are dealing with. It's not an easy say the least...but it is a battle worth fighting! There is always HOPE for better days ahead! Love you, friend!