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The Brother of Jared: A Journey Through Mental Illness

Roughly four years ago I had a significant nervous breakdown. It was a silent meltdown. A secret kept between my mother, my husband's mother, my husband and myself. A time my young children refer to as 'When Mommy went on a trip for awhile.'

It was a very dark period in my life, and in my marriage, and culminated in me being put on a strong dosage of an anti-depressant called Lexapro. 

Now, 4 years later, I have been working hard at slowly weaning off of the medication. A few weeks ago I took my last pill. That first week without an anti-depressant helping me control my emotions didn't go so well and as I lay there on my bed, wrapped in my husbands arms and sobbing, I wondered aloud why God would give anyone such a trial. I have been taught my entire life that we were all sent to Earth with the gift of choice and yet depression hardly feels like a choice. Depression feels more like a vice wrapped around my neck and dragging me down into the deep black.

My husband had no answers for me, only his comfort and promise to help me not drown.

Then, one night, something extremely profound happened. We were sitting in the living room and he was reading to me the story of the Brother of Jared from Ether in the Book of Mormon and I heard these words:

24For behold, ye shall be as a awhale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the bwinds have gone forth cout of my mouth, and also the drains and the floods have I sent forth. 
25And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?
When my husband was done reading he looked up to see his wife of ten years sobbing into her hands.

It was as if God had spoken directly to me. As if He had described, in painful detail, exactly what depression felt like and then said "I didn't give you this trial without preparing you beforehand."

So God had not forgotten me after all. God had not given me a trial without choice, in fact He had prepared me in advance for this very thing and was with me even as I endured it.

A light began to grow inside of me that night. A light I hadn't felt in a long time. Even during the last four years of medication I have only ever felt as if the darkness was being held at bay and that perhaps, the light was gone forever.

Yet that next morning, as I woke up (to a dismal layer of spring snow) I felt as if a spark had been lit. I could endure this. I could overcome this. I knew I could because it was built into me to be able to do so.

Did I feel as if four years of overcoming a major emotional meltdown had been washed away by one scripture?

Absolutely not. 

Even today I still feel as if I could burst into tears or just scream my lungs out at any given moment, but that spark is there now...and it is warming me up and giving me hope.

And hope is something I haven't had in a long time.


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Cannwin spends her time searching for her inner Shakespeare in the hopes that one day she will be able to dethrone the king and take her place as the greatest writer of all time. She currently resides in South Dakota with her husband and four children. You can explore more of her world at The Great and Random Ramblings of Cannwin

 
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