Saturday, October 10, 2009

Scatter Sunshine!

Some days are bad, they just are. Sometimes it seems like there are more bad days than good ones. I know you have all been through it. You know, those times when trials seem to come like rain. Times are not that great for a lot of us economically, job-wise, cheer-wise...

The other night someone knocked on our door, really hard. Usually when that happens it is an impatient person who has been standing there pushing our tricky doorbell when all along it is not ringing inside! I hurried to the door and opened it expecting to apologize for keeping someone waiting. Instead I found a bit of sunshine on our porch. Someone had brought a centerpiece from the Womens Conference dinner and left it for me to find. It was made of sunflowers and a Mason jar with rustic wire and a little card that said "Scatter Sunshine".

I smiled as I put the flowers on my piano. My sweet Relief Society Presidency knows of some trials in my life and I am sure they hoped to see me at the dinner and conference. I on the other hand was at home entertaining my mother and sister but I would not have gone even if they hadn't been visiting. I get claustrophobic in wide open places like chapels and at big events. I start to tremble and wonder if I will make it through whatever I am attending. Church every Sunday is a real trial for me. It has been this way for about a year. I have anxiety disorder.


I said it.

I was diagnosed a year before my son's life fell apart with the very same thing plus some O.C.D. thrown in to make the trial even harder. I went through months of trying to find the right medication and just when I felt like I was getting stronger my sister died. I thought I was starting to feel better a few months later when my boy's life went into a tailspin. I felt like the Lord held me up through a long journey of learning how to deal with his O.C.D. and trying to help him get through each day. The way I coped with my own disorder was to simply shut out the rest of the world and focus on home and family. I gave up my callings in church, I didn't volunteer for anything at the kid's schools, I stopped attending any function that wasn't vital. I basically disappeared.

I am still invisible to a certain extent. I now lead the singing in Relief Society and it has made me very happy to be able to give a bit of myself and my talents back to the Lord. This morning as we drove to church the same Sunday routine began for me. I started to shake. I could feel the tremors all throughout my body. I focused on breathing nice and easy. All through Sacrament meeting I tried to stay calm. In recent weeks I have ditched out on Relief Society because of this. I wanted to make it through all three meetings today because it was ward conference. I felt a need to be there and not leave my pianist in the lurch. I prayed for calm and the ability to stay. It was granted. In return I heard the most beautiful lesson on laying our burdens at the feet of our Savior. I was blessed.

I felt the need to come home and write. Pound it all out on the keyboard. I may start a separate blog to journal all of these experiences. I have felt the need to write lately...a prompting perhaps?

Did I just make any sense? It feels good anyway. Thanks for listening.

I love you all, by the way. Keep scattering sunshine!


Cheryl and William said...

Marianne- Thanks for sharing your struggle with us- that took a lot of courage. I never would have known that you were suffering, since you are still such an amazing mother. What a difficult trial to be going through- way to go on making it through all three hours of church!! It is the small things to be most proud of :-) My thoughts and prayers are with you- you are an AMAZING woman and I'm sorry you are going through this. Hugs

Gena said...

I love you. And I'm glad someone loved you and brought you some sunshine! You know I know, right? Call me. After Wednesday.

LOVE YOU!!! (did I say that yet?)

Lori said...

What an amazing woman you are! And very couragous too. That had to have been difficult for you to express yourself, but thank you. What a sweet person (whoever they are) to bring you a jar of sunshine. You little steps are becoming giant ones - hang in there and know that Our Father in Heaven is always right beside you whispering in your ear that you are wonderful and that he is proud of you!!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely gift of sunshine for such a lovely person. I had no idea of your silent struggle but do have some idea of the difficulty in dealing with these challenges. The good news is...people do recover. I have seen it in my own life. Someone I love very much struggled with severe anxiety issues and now is completely better. This is my wish for you too.

URFAVE5 said...

Oh Aunt Marianne, You are just one of the very most amazing women I have ever known! Me hearing of your struggles gives me hope, I know that that sounds very strange but I have always looked at you and at Gena as PERFECT in everyway! Knowing that you both have some struggles and seeing that you both get through them gives me hope. It makes me see that I don't have to be perfect either. That I just have to be perfectly trying. That is all that I have to be doing is just perfectly trying. Thank you for having the courage to share all of that with us. Honestly, no one would ever know you ever struggle with anything. You make everything seem so easy. I hope you know how much I love you and how much I adore you and admire you!

I'm glad someone brought you some sunshine. You deserve it! You deserve lots of sunshine because you always scatter a lot of sunshine to others!

Love You,

Annie said...

Aunt Mary,
I love you so much. I've known about the stuff you've been dealing with (maybe not to a full extent but mostly) and I admire you so much. I think sometimes the hardest thing we can do it share our trials, but I know that they help others.
I'm so grateful to have you...since Mom passed it's been really hard, but it's nice to be around woman who remind me so much of her. Thank you for keeping a little piece of her around me...ok gotta go find a tissue. I love you!


Anonymous said...

Marianne, Will you pass this info on to Dee...The swim is 400 YARDS according to the City of St. George Leisure Services site but that number is from 2009 (so last Spring), I'm assuming it will be the same for this year. Kami will check it out in the morning to be sure and then I'll let you know. Also, you probably already know this but the race is in April...I thought it was March, I'm going to confirm the exact date and I'll pass that along too. We're excited too, I'm especially excited that I will just be watching!!

Lianne Barr said...

Hi Marianne! Thanks for your fun comments on my blog lately! It's fun to hear from you. I'll try and send you a picture of Clara's princess dolls:) Thank you for sharing your struggles, that is such a hard thing to do. It is amazing what our minds do to protect us, isn't it? I am proud of you for striving to do things that are difficult. You are so fantastic! You are in my prayers!

Helen Ellsworth said...

My sweet Marianne, Boy do I ever feel like a failure as a mother. I haven't checked any blogs for a while. I am trying so hard to get some things in order before I leave this "frail existince". I have, currently been working on pictures to get them on discs for all of you. It is a quiet Sunday afternoon so I sorta' suddenly sat down at the computer to check in on everyone. When I read yours I felt like I could just sit down and cry. Of all people who should have known about this and maybe done something to let you know that I love you and try to help some, it is your Mother. Please know that my silence hasn't been on purpose I just didn't kknow. I ask your forgiveness and please let me know when you need comfort. There is so much I could say right now but it needs to be said in private. Here all week I have beeb sorting pictures ans running into the pictures I have of this sweet litle two year old beautiful little girl of mine and not knowing what you have been through. I have at least three darling pictures of you and Douglas Hunsaker, your cousin. I need to get copies to Lori and Doug. They are so sweet. I have an undying love for my children. Heavely Father sent me some of His best. That is not idle talk. You have all been so good to me. Know that I love you lots. Mom

Nancy Face said...

A precious member of my family also struggles with anxiety, especially in large, open buildings, so this sounds familiar to me. I'm glad you opened up and shared your experiences, and I hope things will improve for you. (((HUGS)))

Kristan said...

What a sweet letter from a mom to her daughter! And you are old enough to not just roll your eyes and walk away!

I have anxiety issues, too. They aren't fun at all. Thank you for your strong words and your wonderful spirit. Love you tons!