Just about two years ago, I wrote a blog titled Another Time. I wrote it just after my life had changed and though necessary, it was unexpected. This blog was the first time I made any indication in writing that I wasn't okay, but at least initially accepting of that trial. I was distraught and hurt, confused and lost, feeling extremely inadequate. In the blog, I made it seem like I was working on adjusting to the change, when I truly wasn't doing well at all.
Here I was alone, with few friends, struggling in my classes, moving into a new complex where I knew no one, staying a whole summer in Utah for the first time. With friends getting married and graduating, dating and getting straight As, I felt like I was going nowhere. To say I was "in a bad place" was a large understatement for a girl that generally didn't leave the house without a smile on her face.
Though this hadn't even been the start of the low point, only what felt to be rock bottom. Rock bottom being when my anxiety came in full force and depression entered the scene. I hadn't been doing well for months before the change, but now I was completely miserable.
Every day, I would wake up feeling the same, or more often worse, than I had the day before. I kept pretending things were fine by putting on a face, laughing and doing "normal" things when I was around friends or family. Trying to convince myself and others that I was getting better, but I wasn't. Inside everything hurt because of the depression; I wanted to crawl out of my skin because the anxiety was unbearable.
All I wanted was this "time" everyone kept promising me. This time when I would find my new normal, my new happy and start the new chapter in my life. Doing everything in my power to hasten this, I grew more impatient, unhappy and the frustration with myself, my emotions, my lack of ability to overcome this trial and in the Lord for not taking it away became overwhelming. The depression and anxiety were becoming unbearable and I didn't know what to do anymore. The place that I was in was not healthy. It was terrifying to feel the way I did and I wanted out. I decided I finally needed help.
As strange as this may sound, a complete stranger helped me sort through my problems. I looked forward to being able to ramble on to clear the irrational thoughts that cluttered my brain, making it hard to function with someone that was there to listen and tell me I wasn't crazy. As I was taught to handle my overwhelming emotions and anxiety, my thoughts and emotions became easier to sort through. Life started to seem livable.
I grew to finally recognize that I was doing fun, great and productive things. I was surrounded by people that loved me, people that wanted to see me happy, and were looking out for my well being. I got more comments about how I looked well, healthy and happy, something that hadn't happened in almost a year. I finally was starting to feel normal with a sense that the uphill battle wasn't nearly as impossible as I had thought.
Though the biggest growth came with the realization that I hadn't been relying on the Lord. The One that really was there the whole time to comfort me, aide my patience, listen to my thoughts, and who I hadn't reached out to much at all. I had only begged him to take away the pain, make the anxiety disappear, help me feel normal, and make this "time" come faster. Sure, counseling helped me sort out my thoughts, but it more helped me realize that I had another counselor that I never reached out to. A counselor that could have helped me come to many more conclusions about how to deal with my feelings way before it became almost too much to deal with.
Today, I share this blog with you (one that's been sitting in my drafts for months) because I finally feel like I've found that "time." I've gone through many trials in these couples years, and even continued counseling, reached goals and created new ones. It hasn't entirely been easy, but I've been better because of everything I went through.
I'm grateful for the difficult, yet rewarding trials that I've been given as they shape me to become stronger and better than I am. I still have my hard days and deal with anxiety, but those hard days and moments only make the good days better, as I recognize my blessings and the differences in my feelings compared to those moments of distress.
I'm constantly finding out who I am and the plan that Heavenly Father has for me. I'm happy, healthy and loved. Of course these realizations of blessings and the strength I gain from trials didn't come til I decided to turn more towards the Lord in all things. Looking to him more has made all the difference in my progress. 19 year old Jensen could have never predicted that I would be where I'm at today. I owe it all to my wonderful family, friends and The Lord.
I know that I'm a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father and He has a plan for me. And though His plans are always different than my own, He knows me, is aware of my needs and is always there to guide, comfort and listen. Without my faith, I never would have been able to see that I need to give myself more credit for how much I am capable of, how much I am worth and that I should never be settling for less than I deserve (And I deserve a whole lot!).
Life is beautiful and I am smiling through it all.