Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rescued a Kitty Yesterday

I was weeding my front flower beds yesterday and I would hear a "Meow," every so often.

I thought I was just hearing things or my hubbie was playing a trick on me until Mimi heard it too and tracked down the sound.

I found this cute kitty stuck in our holly bushes.
Mimi put the flower "collar" on her.

There's some mean thorns on each leaf
on the holly bush and I think she kept getting hurt
 every time she moved so she felt trapped.

Kind of describes some of my
past battles with depression.

If anyone I know that lives close would like her, please message me. She's really sweet.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Break Depression Cycles: Empty your Bucket

I once had it explained to me that everyone has an empty bucket per say that fills up with different stressors throughout the day. For those with a mental illness like bipolar we wake up in the morning with our buckets half full already. We physically, emotionally and spiritually need to be watchful of the stressors we face so we don't trigger anxiety or depression. So how do I empty my bucket so that I feel balanced in my life?

Blogging definitely helps.

Writing down old emotions gets them out of my head so I don't constantly dwell on them and become depressed.

Depression feeds on negativity and grows exponentially.

There is a strong temptation to mask how I am feeling (through excessive amounts of TV & reading) when I am depressed. I think this may be the reason why so many of those who suffer from a mental illness also suffer from addictions to drugs and other things.

I also hide.

In the past I have usually hid from the emotion and isolated myself from other people.'s what I learned this past weekend:

1. Empty your bucket through writing.

2. Purge: Allow yourself to feel the emotion, no more avoiding or hiding from it.

3. Refiner's Fire & Fuller's Soap: these words are used in the Bible to describe the Lord's ability to purify. He makes possible for me to be able clean up old emotions and feelings. So I repent and forgive when necessary or simply let go of the old "stuff." After writing my daughter Mimi likes to shred her paper. I like to burn mine (my refiners fire).

These three steps are how I like to 

                                          Break Free

                                                      from the cycles of depression

                                                                                                  and HEAL.

Friday, May 24, 2013

4 Day Mommy Vacation...It's been so awesome so far!

For the past two days I have been mentored at a seminar at the Salt Palace in Utah on how to better share my message of hope with others by changing how and what I think and on how I can heal from depression. Moms need to invest time in themselves so they can better serve their families. So I have loved this "mommy break" and I got to spend some time at the temple on Wednesday where I recharged my spiritual "batteries." And I also did some shopping! (:

I've said before that depression is part physiological and part "thinking disease." I'm excited that I am investing time into studying how I can change the way that I think. Tomorrow I hope to glean some more ideas on how to better share my message. I've come to learn that I allow way to much "crud" into my life and it's time to remove negative thinking and emotions. I will share what I learn!

I reread an old post about the symptoms of depression and was a little shocked. I have been trying to figure out what my triggers are for depression. As I read the list of symptoms I realized that some of the symptoms ARE triggers.

So my depression symptoms feed my depression and I get stuck in this horrible cycle.

But, I've learned some tools on how to

                                                              Break Free.

I'll blog what those tools are in my next post.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Green Smoothie Night was a BIG Success!!! And Lou Lou had a great weekend.

YEAH! I think I heard my volunteer "waitresses" who helped pour the different smoothies into cups count 43 every time. My good friend was such a big help in the kitchen and it was thanks to her that everything went smoothly. She was awesome in knowing what ingredient I needed next and would prep it and set it next to the blender. Thank you!

People asked a lot of questions, we laughed, I was gentle in the amount of greens I added, I taught them a lot about nutrition and they surprisingly enjoyed the recipes (surprising to them, not me, lol)!

It turned out to be a fun girls night and a good way for the Relief Society sisters in my stake to get to know each other.

I chose to trust that people would come and refused to take counsel from my fears that no one would show up. (:

 Life is so much better when we choose to trust.

I'm going to experiment. I will drink three green smoothies this week and choose to eat "healthified" treats and see if it makes a difference with how I feel emotionally and mentally. I already know that eating "crud," also known as sugary or highly processed foods that my body craves when I am depressed, actually makes my depression worse.

***My daughter had a lot of fun spending time with her cousin this weekend. We spent a night at my parents house and on the couple of hours ride back Lou Lou and my nephew laughed the whole way. They were being goofy and it made me happy to see her laugh and have fun. My hubbie and I both agreed that this was the best car ride ever. No fighting. Everyone got along. I LOVED IT! Thank you, nephew!

Friday, May 17, 2013

She was HIS before I became her mother.

Today I was running errands and I sat in my car in the Walmart parking lot and just cried.
I hurt because my baby girl hurts.

So today I surprised Lou Lou with a fun lunch and sat with her. It's still cool when Mom comes to eat lunch at school. (;

As her mother I will serve her with little acts of kindness and speak her love language to help build her up.

I read this quote a few days ago and KNEW my Father was comforting and reassuring me that He's "got her back."

"[The Savior's] arms are outstretched with yours to succor and bless the children of our Heavenly Father, including those in your family."
—Henry B. Eyring, "Ensign and Liahona"

She'll be okay because He is watching over her. I'm placing this heartache at His feet. My Savior Jesus Christ and my loving Father in Heaven both love this little girl.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Green Smoothie Night!!!

Going over to the church in a few minutes to set up for the green smoothie night that I have planned for the whole Stake.
Please pray for me!
I am way excited to share what I've learned over the past couple of years since I started making green smoothies.
I FEEL so much better when I eat healthier. I really think it helps lessen the severity of my depression. I feel stronger and more able to fight against my disease.
Stay tuned later this week for a guest post by one of very close friends and someone I look up to. She was the one who started me on my journey to eat healthier and to stay away from processed foods. In an upcoming post I'll explain why.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Normally, I try to blog about positive and uplifting things but today I am feeling a little discouraged and sad for several reasons. 

I've been "thrown up" on by several people by their negative emotions. I'm upset with myself because I essentially give others "permission" to treat me that way. I am learning and seeking ways to "build my castle" including "signs" that are posted in front of me that say things like,

"No Dumping Allowed...EVER!"

My castle also includes a drawbridge and a moat filled with sharks, piranhas, alligators, crocodiles, and poisonous snakes. This allows me to determine who and what I allow into my inner circle. I want to make sure I surround myself with the right kind of friends and yes, even extended family members. I can't afford to be around family members who are toxic and make me feel depressed after being around them. I do LOVE everyone who I am related to but if it means that I have to hold you at a distance until you are in a healthier place I will. I have a huge need to be around those who are a great support system and help to lift me up. Fighting my depression is hard enough, I don't need others adding to my already heavy burden. I can love others from a distance! (;

This is a blog recording my journey and I think it's necessary sometimes to write about the bad days I sometimes have. The other day I picked my kids up from school and as soon as my oldest, "Lou, Lou," got into the car she turned her back away from me and started sobbing.

She cried all the way home.

I pulled into the garage, turned off the car and then gently touched her arm. She told me, "I don't want to talk about it." I told her okay and then climbed into the back seat and just hugged her while she cried for several more minutes.

My heart hurts when I see her hurt. It's so hard to watch my children struggle with something.

I let her know that she could come to either her dad or me ANYTIME when she felt ready to talk about why she was crying. Later that night she came to me and told me about something that happened to her at school. My Mr. And I both listened, gave advice when she asked, and we are praying for her.

Lou, Lou is also being bullied by some other girls in her class and I see my daughter internalizing and believing what they are saying.

Oh, it really makes me cry.

So my goal this summer is to build her confidence. I will teach her positive and powerful body language that sends a "message" to insecure bullies to "go bug someone else" because I (meaning my daughter) am confident and strong.

We all have bad days. It's what we choose that makes all the difference in the long run.

I choose to learn more about building my castle and I commit to applying what I learn.

I choose to BUILD my children up so they will value themselves for what they are worth. 

Our worth is infinite and divine. It's immeasurable because we were bought with a price through the bleeding and suffering of our Elder brother Jesus Christ. He loves us perfectly. He completely understands our pain because of the burden of our sins and sufferings He took upon Himself. We can pray for help.

Sometimes on days like these I offer up one word prayers in my heart that say, "Help." I know my Father in Heaven knows EXACTLY what I mean and how to help me. He answers through thoughtfulness of friends and family or by added strength and faith to push through how I am feeling.

I am never left comfortless.

The bleeding heart bush by my front steps.
I love this plant, it makes me smile every time I see it.

Why I am Here

"The Majesty of Motherhood- What I Would Tell Myself"

I would tell myself:

"It's not your fault Mimi has/had memory "hiccops". Your body carried her full term during a difficult and high risk pregnancy. Good job, Amber. You bravely fought to have her and to bring her here on this earth.

You taught her how to walk and talk, you can teach her the ABC's, #'s, and how to read, write, add and subtract.

It's not your fault you can't have more kids.

Let go of guilt, it's not healthy.

Give your oldest daughter CHOICES and she will choose the right.

Trust her. She is a VERY valiant spirit.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Fear Challenge: Post my picture on my Blog...

Oh dear.
This is such a huge step for me because it is so easy to want to hide this disease 
from those who I know and associate with.
There are so many myths about mental illness.
Part of that comes from Hollywood and part comes from ignorance.

A LOT of FEAR and some thoughts of anxiety are racing through my head...

Will I be judged?
Will my friends stop trusting me?
Will they stop being my friends because of something their brother's uncle's mother's daughter-in-law's next door neighbor who "is" also bipolar did? (:
Will this affect my kids and how they are treated? (I certainly hope not because there is a mother bear in me who wants to shield my "cubs" from hurt and teasing. Plus, I don't see what my disease has anything to do with them and how they should be and deserve to be treated).

Years ago I lost a close friend when I told her about my disease and that really hurt. Another person my Mr. and I invited into our home told me how horrible bipolar people are because of something someone else did. As she was ranting, my husband gave me one of those looks that said, "Should we tell her what you have?" I slightly shook my head that said, "No." Looking back I really missed out on a great opportunity to prove to her that not all people who have a mental illness are like that or behave that way. I know that I have some hurt that I need to let go of. I know I need to trust people, be confident, & not allow others' opinions dictate how I feel about myself.

It is amazing to me when I look back a couple of posts that I had blogged about not taking counsel from my fears. So without further ado, here's a picture I took of myself today. My first name is Amber.

Aren't I cute?
I certainly think so!
See, I'm normal looking, but my husband thinks I'm quite hot.

**Oh, it was so hard to hit that PUBLISH button.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Letters from Home

A few weeks ago I wrote a letter addressing it to my Heavenly Father.
I told Him everything. I was seeking guidance on whether on not I should sign up for this mentoring program
or if it would be too much for me to handle.
I wrote about my fears,worries & my hopes.
I listed 6 things that I "am" willing to put on hold so that I could create the necessary time and space in my life for this program. 
I am making room for success.
There are changes that I need to make in my life and WANT to make in my life.
One year from now I do NOT want to be in the same place I am now. 
I do not want my cycles of depression to last 2 1/2 months at a time.
I want to know what my triggers are for depression and have the tools I need to avoid them.
I already know what triggers my anxiety and I am careful and wise in avoiding the ones I have control over.

I then addressed a letter to myself from my Father and carefully listened to the Spirit to know what to write.
What a powerful experience.
I cried and felt so loved. The Spirit was so strong.

I felt that I should share a little bit from that letter:

"I know this bipolar illness has been very challenging for you. It pains and saddens me to see you depressed or struggling with feelings of despair or hopelessness. I want to see you healed. I want you to feel loved despite the depression. I want you to TRUST me, relying on me to help inspire, comfort, & uplift you during those times. You are so strong. I want you to believe it. I want you to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that YOU ARE STRONG. You were a strong warrior in the preexistence during the war in Heaven. You were unwavering, strong and steadfast. You were a great help to many thousands of people. Your influence was GREAT. You are a very choice spirit. Because of the battle skills you have and demonstrated against Satan and the powers of darkness I knew and trusted that you would be brave in facing the lonely darkness of depression. I needed you to go through this trial of depression so that you would know how to succor those of my precious children who are downtrodden. Your influence will be great. You will be able to help lift many thousands of people who suffer as you have suffered. I need you to be able to be there for them. I love you. Keep fighting, be undaunted, trust ME, put your trust in ME and I will lead, guide, comfort and help you in your journey towards healing. You are a choice spirit. I love you and need your help and leadership to rescue others.
Just typing this made me cry.

 I strongly encourage my readers to try this experience. 

Write a letter to God and then carefully listen to what comes into your mind and heart and write it down. You will feel His love.
You will be amazed as you learn things about yourself that you didn't know or have forgotten.

Depression is a battle that can be won and I am fiercely determined to do it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Knick knack

Not long after I blogged on 
April 10th
my hubbie and I were on a date
and we went shopping at 
the cutest old mercantile store.
They sell some gifts & 
a bunch of old-fashioned candy.

I saw this magnet  there that grabbed my attention
 and I just had to buy it.

It reads, 
...each sunrise
gives hope
to your dreams
& light
for your way.

There are no such thing as coincidences. 
I know that my Father wants me to focus on Hope, 
which is to TRUST in His promises.