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The Brother of Jared: A Journey Through Mental Illness

Roughly four years ago I had a nervous breakdown. It was a secret kept between my mother, Ralexwin's mother, Ralexwin and myself for all this time (although I'm pretty sure most of my in-laws knew about it).

It was a very dark period in my life and in my marriage and culminated in me being put on an anti-depressant called Lexapro.

Now, 4 years later, I have been working hard at slowly weaning myself off of the medication. Last week was my first week without an anti-depressant helping me control my emotions.

It didn't go so well and as I lay there on my bed, wrapped in my husbands arms and sobbing, I wondered aloud why God would give anyone such a trial. I have been taught my entire life that we were all sent to Earth with the gift of choice and yet depression hardly feels like a choice. Depression feels more like a vice wrapped around my neck and dragging me down into the deep black.

Ralexwin had no answers for me beyond his comfort and promise to help me not drown.

Then, last night, something extremely profound happened. We were sitting in the living room and Ralexwin was reading to me the story of the Brother of Jared from Ether in the Book of Mormon when I heard these words:

24For behold, ye shall be as a awhale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the bwinds have gone forth cout of my mouth, and also the drains and the floods have I sent forth. 
25And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?

I'll tell you now that when Ralexwin was done reading he looked up to see his wife of ten years sobbing into her hands.

It was as if God had spoken directly to me. As if He had described, in painful detail, exactly what depression felt like and then said "I didn't give you this trial without preparing you before hand."

So God had not forgotten me after all. God had not given me a trial without choice, in fact He had prepared me in advance for this very thing and was with me even as I endured it.

A light began to grow inside of me last night. A light I haven't felt in awhile. Even during the last four years of medication I have only ever felt as if the darkness was being held at bay and that perhaps, the light was gone forever.

Yet today, as I woke up (to a dismal layer of spring snow) I felt as if a spark had been lit. I can endure this. I can overcome this. I know I can because it was built into me to be able to do so.

Do I feel as if four years of overcoming a major emotional meltdown have been washed away by one scripture?

Absolutely not. I still feel as if I could burst in to tears or scream at any given moment, but that spark is there now...and it is warming me up and giving me hope, which is something I haven't had in a long while.


heather said…
This needs to be the Post of the Week.

I love it.

And good luck to you on your journey UP.
Leslie said…
I'm glad I checked in on you today. Thanks for sharing that. I'm sorry you felt that it needed to be a secret. I think you'd be surprised to know that many women go through the same valleys as you have. We need to be more open and supportive of each other. God often helps us by sending that help through someone else.

Don't worry about needing help. None of us is perfect. I have ovaries and hormones that have never been able to conform to normalcy and now a thyroid that is out of whack. I have to take medicine to deal with these, too. I have to ask people around me for advice when dealing with some of these things. I'm just glad to live in this more enlightened age instead of when they put women away and called them "hysterical" or crazy.

Don't give up. You are loved.
Lisa said…
I love that scripture. It has helped me through numerous depression days. The joys of being human, I guess. You are my hero to go off your medication. I can't do it yet. I can't wait to her how it goes.

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