Monday, January 16, 2012

Never-ending Happiness

Mosiah 2:41

 41 And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.

I've been pondering this scripture ever since I heard it again on Thursday night.  I went to the temple that night with the Relief Society and I'm so glad I did, because we had a special little meeting in the chapel with a speaker and I needed to hear this.  This scripture means a lot to me right now, because of the promise that someday we can live with God in a state of never-ending happiness.  

I have always been a naturally happy sort of person.  It's not in my normal to be down.  But for the last 2 months or so, I have been struggling with depression.  I didn't actually understand what was happening to me, because I kept passing it off as "hormones" or "just being pregnant".  About mid-December is when I hit my all time low.  I was having daily crying spells and no matter what was going on that day (good and fun things), and no matter how much sleep I was getting or not getting, my first thought when I woke up was, "I'm not happy."  Logically there was no reason to have that thought as the things that normally would stress me out were not currently issues.  Everything was well with work, and home life, and cash flow, and scheduling, and health.  But I was still unhappy.

Thankfully my mother is inspired.  It's so important to talk things over with your mom if you can--it's like the motherly instinct never leaves you, no matter what age your kids are.  My mom and dad would joke with my that I was having "pre-partum depression", and after I started telling her about the crying spells she said, "That's weird that you're having the blues BEFORE you have the baby.  I wonder if that would put you at greater risk for post-partum depression after you have the baby."  And for the first time I clued in that I was having a valid concern and that this was not "normal" just because I was pregnant. 

So I asked my doctor at the next appointment about it.  He gave me a "Zen test" and his surprised response was, "Wow!  You are depressed."  That of course made me start crying because I would cry about EVERYTHING and I was so happy to know I wasn't crazy, that I had a real imbalance going on.  After we talked about other concerns I had with my pregnancy, he told me that my imbalance was being caused by my nutrition...or lack thereof.  And he said I wasn't getting enough vegetables.  I was surprised by this "answer" of sorts, although later it made complete sense to me.  A few months back my blood work showed up with a total lack of vitamin D.  How do you live in the Valley of the Sun and not get enough vitamin D?  I don't know, either.  But at that point he told my my baby would be at risk for rickets (bone softening & skull fractures) if I didn't take a daily D3 supplement.  Apparently that was just the first vitamin this baby started sucking me dry of, and only 2 months later I was out of all the nutrients that help me be happy.  It's not all the baby's fault, though.  I have to accept responsibility for eating a diet heavily loaded with chicken nuggets, breads, and dairy for way too long because they didn't make me nauseous.

Anyway.  It's been about a month.  I've been changing my diet.  I take a boat load of supplements (B6, D3, Niacin, Vitamin Complex pill, prenatal, folic acid, 5-HTP) I drink green smoothies, I put vegetables in my eggs.  I eat cabbage and kale, and bell peppers, and squash.  I've almost eliminated dairy completely, and I've bought recipe books and have accumulated a lot of suggestions from friends.  All of this coupled of course with extra temple attendance, and priesthood blessings, and prayer, and I finally feel like I'm working my way out of this.

I still have low days.  Last week Wednesday was awful.  My exterminator and family friend was really like an angel sent from heaven that day.  He was so encouraging, let me cry without making me feel stupid, gave me some suggestions that I've applied, and as he left, he stopped and said, "You know, why don't we have a prayer?"  I will never forget his love and compassion as he knelt with me and my kids in our piano room, and he actually shed tears for me and my sorrow as he asked Heavenly Father for a blessing to be on me and my household.  I can't even describe the way I felt after he left.  It was a rare moment in time that changed me and I never want to forget it.

We may have unexplainable ups and downs in this life, but with the Lord's help we can make it through anything.  We just need to try our best, never give up, and he will make up the rest.  In the mean time--especially on my low days, I'm going to remember that there is a promise of a kind of happiness that NEVER ends.  It's kind of happiness that cannot be disrupted by imbalances any longer.  It's a kind of happiness that will always be with us at the end of this mortal life, if we will just hang on faithfully until the end.

This is my testimony, and I know the Lord lives.  
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.