". . . our stories are what make the difference, and if we can tell them honestly we can hope to help each other. In the end, we have nothing to offer each other but our stories." ~ Emma Lou Thayne

Friday, April 9, 2010

I Need Thee Every Hour

I'm trying to have the courage to share more; in hopes of finding a little understanding. I have kept so much bottled up and hidden. I've always had the motto "Fake it till ya' make it!" However, I've been failing miserably at the faking part more and more... Megan Dewey Clark has been an inspiration to me! I thank her for her courage to share and educate and giving me someone to relate to.

I was watching a Living Essentials episode on the BYU channel a while back during an insomnia night... ok, it was the wee hours of the morning... and there was a guest speaking about mental illness and the struggles that have passed down through generations in her family. I can't remember if she was a descendant of the woman who wrote it or what... but it brought this hymn more to the surface of my thoughts. The first verse speaks the most to me... but I notice how different verses can speak directly to people dealing with different trials in life. What a beautiful gift...

"I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord. No tender voice like thine, can peace afford.I need thee, oh I need thee. Every hour I need thee. Oh bless me now my Savior, I come to thee."  ~Annie S. Hawkes

Music has always spoken to my soul. My emotional strings are puppets to music. I find that there are different styles of music I appreciate in different moods. [OK, honestly, I can NEVER find an appreciation for hard rock or rap... but most everything else I can find something I like at different times... as long as it's not too loud when I have a headache. ;p ] I hear songs from decades past and they bring me back in time to a memory of something I was doing while hearing that song when it was new. Funny how many bring me back to the skating rink or trudging up water slides carrying my mat. And some take me to things that were not so FUN and bring sadness or fear from loss or abuse. Some bring me back to dancing as a cheerleader (LOL! Axel F, Michael Jackson, Foreigner...) Some remind me of the abandonment of some of those I thought were my friends when I didn't try out in high school.  Some to twirling my baton in high school, marching with the band, singing in the choirs (ESPECIALLY at CHRISTMAS), jazz band, pep band, concert band, playing in the school musicals or playing in the musical orchestra... I played the clarinet and oboe in concert band, the alto sax in pep/marching band, the Bari sax and flute in jazz band... I thought I would be a lifelong musician. I sang in all the choirs and played in all the bands. I could have gone to Weber on scholarship. I didn't... I married someone that was not good for me that went in the air force and I followed where he was sent. Totally disconnected from family and friends with a continual barrage of degrading demeanor, I slipped further down the slippery slope of lowering self esteem. I don't think I could even play those instruments anymore. Haven't SINCE high school. *sigh*

Maybe it's not so funny how I dreamed so big and then let those dreams die. Once I made a few bad choices, they changed the course I was on in spite of many trials that had been put upon me before. Perhaps I felt that since the more recent life altering were choices I made, so I must deserve what I ended up with and not good enough for the things I'd previously aspired to. The roller coaster got wilder as I began allowing depression to make my choices. I always had striven to stay close to the Lord, but I struggled greatly for several years when I didn't have a supportive spouse.

So what made him think it was OK to take me for granted so badly? Why was he so selfish that he didn't care what sacrifices I and the children had to make, as long as he got the things he wanted? He was good at promising things would get better; he never followed through. He was constantly ready to LEAVE us... then would change his mind and I'd take him back... My mother had many bad relationships, and in my mind, I was not going to get divorced... I would prove everyone that was against my choice that they were wrong and make it work even if I had to DO IT MYSELF. I learned the hard way that there are situations worse than divorce. Having constant belittling, cheating, etc... I was finally strong enough to not accept him back. I did give him a window of opportunity. He could go to counseling with me if he was serious about things being better. Well, that was not an acceptable option so it finally proceeded to a divorce. I believed life would end at that time. However, with the love and support of my ward members, I was able to get stronger and it ended up being a huge blessing. From the way he's carried on through life, his absence of paying child support, his canceling on the children at the last moment and leaving me to deal with the brunt of their disappointment repeatedly, I know he was not capable of being the man I needed him to be.

I had a wonderful visiting teacher, bishop, and relief society president and such great neighbors that buoyed me up and helped me gain more confidence and esteem. I was finally able to get to the temple. I couldn't do that before he left, because he was not supportive. The peace I found there! *sigh*

More trials came, but to jump ahead to ease your concerns... Decades have passed, I find that my depression was finally diagnosed so that I was aware of my additional trials. After several years, we discovered that I actually suffer from bipolar disorder and it leans more towards depression. Don't panic, I've never been uncontrollably aggressive or unable to control outbursts and such... It's amazing how many people imagine the worst possible scenarios whenever they hear "bipolar" or "mental illness"... The knowledge actually can help to cope... discovering things that trigger different reactions and avoiding them.

I am now married to a wonderful man that has a sense of humor, STRONG testimony of the gospel, and more patience in his little finger than I have in my WHOLE BODY!! And he loves me in spite of me and my many flaws! I don't know how he does it!! As I've gotten older, there are things that have been more difficult for me... Somehow, he doesn't seem to be phased. He is my miracle for enduring through things in my past. More will come out in future posts, I'm sure. But although I have various trials that I deal with, I am blessed and I KNOW that my Heavenly Father knows and loves ME!

... and as for the music, I acknowledge that it has always been important to me...  it speaks to me... I think since hubby and I don't have all the same appreciations in music style, I have abandoned it much of the time and I find I miss it. So some may tout the evils of an IPOD... well, I TRULY APPRECIATE MINE!  ;p

(((HUGS)))

1 comment:

Megan Dewey Clark said...

Sorry it took me awhile to look at the link you sent me. YAY for blogs!!! I also have the more depressive bipolar. It is cool to hear more of your story.... I look forward to more.

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