Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I love spring.

I can finally say that although I don't understand all of it, I am grateful for what I have experienced this past year....It was like I'd been hit by a train. Depression leaves you with nothing to live for, you hardly have the will to open your eyes, even though you have everything to live for.

the earliest stage of my depression
that smile is not real; I didn't know what was happening to me

I know how suffering feels. I know how it feels to be completely hopeless, to feel like you've lost everything, like you're garbage, to loathe yourself. I know what it feels like to believe that God has abandoned you, and that it's all your fault.

Christmas Day 2005
I don't know who took this picture, but I didn't feel I was worth
the lipstick on my face; I'll spare the pictures on the days I didn't
make an effort to get ready for the day

But what a glorious gift it is to come to the realization that all of that is lies, and that in your suffering you have actually come to more fully know God, understand what He went through, and become more like Him.

This comes from my journal, February 2006. I was realizing that I was overcoming a near year-long battle with depression and that I was going to make it. As a result, that spring was especially meaningful to me. It was like as the world was coming back to life, so was I. I saw everything with new eyes. And every time spring comes around again, those same feelings and memories of being excited to live and love life again return more powerfully than they do at any other time of the year.

Some of the most important things that came to me as a result of this most defining time of my life so far was:

1. A deeper love and appreciation for family. I am not capable of expressing what I learned about how much my parents love me through this experience and how it brought me closer to each of my sisters and brother.

this is the picture that hung on the wall during my depression;
I remember looking at myself in the picture thinking
"where did that girl go?" I started to believe she wouldn't
ever come back

2. I met this boy not too long after

finding my ultimate definition of happiness after so much despair

and 3. I emerged with the assurance that GOD IS ALWAYS THERE, present, mindful of you, even when you are convinced He isn't. This understanding has helped me every single day as well as through other difficulties that have come.

The following song on this video brings me to tears when I consider it as a prayer. My sister Hailey discovered it when she went to Lion King last year, and I want to thank her for being a giver and letting me share it here, because I know it is meaningful to her as well. To anyone who has ever experienced an endless night. If you are still there, may you find the strength to hang on because I promise dawn will come.


It almost makes me uncomfortable to write this last part because I don't know how to say it, but there may be some of you reading this that remember this period of my life and you were part of the answer to many many prayers. Your concern, your love, your support, and unconditional friendship helped me to make it. Thank you.

11 comments:

prcessmag said...

You are so inspiring Brittney! Thank you for sharing...it's very brave of you. I struggle with depression on and off, and it's good to know I'm not the only one that has experienced it.

Christy said...

Thanks for sharing this! It is so wonderful to have a bigger perspective on life, and to know we are never ever alone, no matter the circumstances.

I had no idea you had a blog, and I hope it's okay that I follow!! :)

Danny Hansen said...

This was good to read. I often reflect on the scripture, "Did I not speak peace to your mind?" whenever I revert back to the "worthless" days. Thanks for putting it into words.
Danielle and I think you and Danilo are perfect examples of a happy marriage.

Shina said...

I love this post-- (Sorry I am looking through people's blog friends and I found yours)- I have also struggled with depression over the years and there is nothing more comforting to me knowing that my Father in Heaven is ALWAYS there for me. The atonement of Jesus Christ is not only for those who sin, it is for those who struggle in this life with problems they face... Thank you for your post- it inspires me:)

Lisa said...

oh Brittney. Thank you. I'm going to share this with someone I love that might benefit from hearing your story. Thank you for writing it down. I truly love that we are good friends. Thank you again.

Dax and Kelli said...

Brittney!!

I just happened to run across your blog and I am so glad I did! I have looked up to you since I met you. I think you are so beautiful inside and out! Your family is so darling...I love you so much and miss working with you in church callings. Keep in touch.

Kelli Jones (Pace) :)

Caroline said...

Hi there - I went to high school with your sister Hailey and found your blog through Nate and Mandi's :)

I think it is so great that you wrote this and put it out for others to read. Depression is not an easy thing to write/talk about. I experienced it for several years when I was younger and little blips of it pass through from time to time. It really does make you feel helpless/hopeless doesn't it.
While I no longer deny what I went through and years have gone by, it's still hard to accept and talk about.
I really feel though that the more people are able to become open about it, the less stigma there will be attached to depression and hopefully the easier it will be for people to understand that it isn't forever and that it's okay to confront what you're feeling and seek help.

Jackie Norris said...

Love your honesty, Brittney. I'm so happy that you are so happy now.

Souli & Ashley said...

I very much understand this. The last couple of years has been really hard for me in this aspect. I've felt some of those same thoughts that you did. Thankyou for your words. Just another thing to keep us all smiling. I'm glad you are doing better. I know I am trying to be to I have my moments still though.

Melissa said...

I love you Brittney, more than words can tell.

Kathy said...

I've said it once, and I'll say it again my friend: you have such a gift with words! I love how heartfelt and real your words are. One the mission we'd remind each other we had to experience more sorrow to experience more joy (with the emotional rollercoaster that missions are)...but you said it so much more beautifully and deeply! I love you!