It's comforting how in times of stress and heart ache you can find peace, if you've a mind to look for it, or allow yourself to see it, allow yourself to feel it. I'll share with you a song that helped me feel peace, but before I do I should explain something just a little bit.
As most of you know, mental illness runs in my family. My mother has paranoid schizophrenia and my brother, Walter, more dominantly than anything else had manic depression, which I'm sure contributed to his suicide. My brother, Bill, is so totally crazy that I'm not even sure there is a classification for him...to be completely honest. I know at some point during his prison term he was diagnosed, but I've no clue what that diagnosis was or is.
That being said, even when asked pointedly by people in my past why I'm not crazy (and yes, people have just outright asked me why I'm normal) I've never, ever felt like I was actually crazy, or had any fear of becoming so. Until five days ago...well four because it took me a good 24 hours to come to grips with what had happened.
So, one of the things I have never experienced before are panic attacks. They are often irrational and completely maddening. My throat closes up, I begin to sweat, my heart has been throbbing out of my chest and I feel as if I can't take a deep breath. It's extremely scary. I've had several a day, some worse than others, and it doesn't make sense to me.
When I talked to a professional about it - even though my sweet husband and a dear friend have told me in the face of what has happened that it was totally common - I felt completely relieved to know that this was a normal reaction. She even surprised me by telling me that what I did to stop these attacks from escalating was the right thing to do and that most people don't have the ability or knowledge to stop them without outside help, especially if they had never had them before. She told me that I may be even more aware of such things because of my family history, which I had never before considered.
So, I feel confident saying that I'm not going crazy.
But back to the song...one of the things that I've always enjoyed doing is listening to music. It is soothing and relaxing. I found a song, which I'm almost 100% certain has nothing to do with the Savior, but at least some of the lyrics brought me closer to Him, made me think and calm down. The song is "Save the Best" by Steve Reynolds. I had never heard of him before, but apparently you can get free downloads from time to time from iTunes. Jon downloaded this a while back, because it was free (we are so very alike). Anyway, here's some of the lyrics and what I got from them:
Your needs and my needs ain't always in line.
Your wants and your wants but they're not always the same as mine.
And your love is your love, but it ain't always the forgiving kind.
And your ways are your ways, but I hope that you'll keep me in mind.
And your maze is your maze, but I know you'll get through it fine.
And your world is your world, but I know you'll be home at night.
Save your best for me.
Save your best for me.
And we'll lay it all down.
So when I listened to this song - quite a few times - I started thinking. How very often are my needs and wants different than Heavenly Father's needs and wants for me? How often am I so determinely set in my ways that I do not see the way of the Lord? Hasn't the way always been clear, set so perfectly and straight that I would be blind not to see it? Does my maze, which feels ridiculously long and twisted, have any hope to follow the path of the Savior? Will my own journey, completely different from anyone else's, eventually lead me back to where I want to be, where I desire to be?
How can I be better and turn my grief to grace? Well, I've been pouring over the scriptures, trying to make sense of things. Isn't that the best place to find answers? Of course it is! I can't even tell you what passage has helped me most or guided my thoughts more in the right direction because there are too many to list. Perhaps D&C 64: 9-11, or D&C 58: 26-27, or D&C 14: 7, and then Helaman 5: 12...How can I not feel comforted remembering these promises for me? I do feel comforted.
I do see a light at the end of this crappy tunnel and realize that no matter how long the tunnel turns out to be, if I continue to pray and be faithful I will get to the end of it..and on to a different one that I can only hope is bigger and better. Maybe I don't know exactly the right way to feel or be right now, but if I persist I will be made to know. So, I don't know if makes sense or not to anyone else, but this song helped bring me out of crazy, maybe even more than the professional, I'm not sure.
It helped me think and realize the many, many blessings I have, and that most of the time I think that I truly do try to live my life as He would have me live it. Why else would I be able to feel peace now if I wasn't in sync with the spirit? I think I do try to save the best for Him, and I have to have faith that my best is going to be good enough, or that it will be made perfect through Christ - if I allow it.
So many things to think about. All jumbled and scattered, but I'm trying to make sense of it.