This week was a tough one. I started taking anti-depressants and my body took a pretty long time adjusting. Sister da Silva warned me that it would probably get worse before it got better, as she's seen members of her family adjust to medicine like that. It certainly was worse before it got better.
I spent a majority of the week in my apartment in physical and emotional pain. I was sleepless a few nights with thoughts of inadequacy and self hate running through my head. I wept, I trembled, I felt the world cave in around me. My body was weak and waves of severe nausea didn't help the fact. I couldn't eat. I couldn't relax. I was tense, and helpless and so scared.
Sister da Silva was so patient with me. She was there to help me separate the irrational thoughts from the rational, helped me find the positive, made sure I was never alone. Hermana Babb was sick again this week so we rested together as Sister da Silva and her companions, Hermana Gomez and Hermana Tobler, did missionary work. Life is going much more smoothly now, and a trip to the temple today will surely lift my spirits!
I don't think people understand how fragile and normal missionaries truly are. We are people like everyone else. We get sick like normal people, we feel pain like normal people, and we love reading tabloids in line at the grocery store like normal people. But unlike normal people, when we take time to adjust to new medicine, or recover from an illness, there's a twinge of guilt because we're not fulfilling our "missionary purpose." Of course if you're sick, your "purpose" is to get better. But missionaries are so focused on a work so much bigger than ourselves, it's stressful to be less than we want to be! There are so many missionaries that I know of that are going through physical and emotional trials, and it breaks my heart. I've held Sisters as they've wept bitter tears of sorrow; some of them tormented by a chemical imbalance in their brain, some because of tough companions, and some because a person on the side of the road thought it appropriate to tear them down in the worst ways possible.
Sometimes it feels like doom and gloom. But according to a very popular EFY song, there's always a midnight before the dawn! I can feel my medication working. Rational thoughts are easier to conjure. It's still hard to like myself, but my companion is doing the best job of lifting me up. I'm eternally grateful to her!
In a way, I'm grateful for this trial of depression. I notice the signs of it in others and I know how to succor them. I can feel empathy! I can serve much more easily. I find that as I'm helping others, I have less debilitating thoughts. What a miracle that is:)
In other super interesting news, Warren Jeffs wrote letters of "revelation" to all LDS Bishops. Oh my gosh that guy is nuts. It was hilarious. We lost 3 investigators in one day, but that's a story for after the mission.
Hugs and kisses all around. We are all worthy of love.
The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
This article in the Ensign really helped me. The author feels exactly how I feel!
Depression -- Rebecca J. Clayson