Yesterday was a contrast of sorts. Many good things, but many bad things. I started out with a dark paralyzing feeling that was really painful to fight. It's difficult to describe, but it was if I was fighting with more than my brain; I was fighting lies. Almost as if I was fighting for truth. I don't even know if this makes sense? I just knew that I had so much to catch up on in the house (mostly cleaning) and I couldn't find any strength to do it. So, feeling desperate, I offered up some prayers, and then I asked friends on Facebook to give me motivational words. They did such a great job! Lots of hilarious videos and motivational quips filled my mind and after pushing and fighting my brain for a few hours, I was able to get up and start working. I worked hard and I got a lot of things finished! In the middle of doing my work, my Brandon called me (made my day). After the kids got home from school, I ran a few errands and went to therapy, as well as grabbed dinner for the kids.
The best part was what happened after dinner. The kids and I went to a local nursing home with another family in our ward and for nearly 40 minutes, we sang songs with the residents. The sister missionaries showed up to sing with us, too. We had such a wonderful time! This particular family does this often (has for years) and invited us to join them. So, earlier this week, on Monday, we had dinner with this family and FHE, where we practiced the songs we'd be singing. It was such a simple thing and yet so wonderful. The residents had such a great time, and they loved the little kiddos. Even the kids said they really enjoyed doing it! Brandon was bummed he was gone and couldn't join us, but we're going to do it again in June.
After coming home, the kids occupied themselves by playing games of chess with each other, taking turns playing Minecraft, playing tag, and being silly. We were listening to our Imagine Dragons station on Pandora and I was crocheting. It was a really contented time (and the house was clean!).
The contrast wasn't as significant as light and dark. It was more subtle. More like... fear and then peace. Okay, so maybe that's a really huge contrast. But maybe it didn't feel so significant because first, it was in my mind/heart (not external) and second, because I've been in this conflict for most of my adult life. Whatever the case, this contrast was there and it was interesting to observe. I think I've learned some more about this darkness in my mind, and it has me pondering...
I would be lying if I haven't approached it in a spiritual way, either. I can see that satan was having an effect and exploiting my weakness (i.e. mental illness) and trying to convince me to cling to that as an excuse to ignore my responsibilities and give into all the fear and darkness that occupies my brain. The peace, however, that I felt, was the Spirit whispering strength to my soul; filling me up with love and quiet, telling me that what I did yesterday was good! I served others. I was fulfilling my roles; I was giving to others in a very positive and healthy way.
Fear and Peace. (*this is me thinking some more*)
Sooo... the psychiatrist upped my meds and my therapist is concerned about my negative self-image and critical self-talk. My homework this week is to think about how I feel about myself. To find out where it's coming from; why am I so mean to myself? Why am I so worried about external validation and why can't I overcome it with internal validation? What can be done to counteract that critical dislike of myself?
Meh. We'll see. I think she's right, because I am my harshest critic, and I'm very sensitive to how others perceive me. But I'm not sure I know the answer. I take care of myself, I take care of my family, I have a personal relationship with Christ, I've come a very long way over the last two decades when it comes to maturity and discovering who I am. But I guess I have a lot further to go.
Ooh, some good news! Brandon comes home this afternoon! Huzzah!
Have a fantastic weekend, dear reader! I will be watching LDS General Conference with my family. You should, too! I really look forward to it every six months.