My parents went on a mission and asked me to help out my younger sister who although she was about 40 had never been able to sustain herself. Almost immediately we had a big blowup about all the things she felt the world owed her but that she could not obtain. Thus began an almost two year period of totally ignoring each other. I was essentially estranged from my other siblings yet I was expected to keep the family together and lead them all back to a happy spiritual family life. At the same time I could barely keep myself afloat.
My health began to suffer. I was depressed and my blood pressure was going up. The internal stress was beginning to manifest itself in a variety of physical symptoms. I literally felt like I might explode. My employment was and is a pressure cooker. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to escape. It seemed like my options were the following:
- Run away and leave everything behind. But I really hate people who abandon their families.
- Stay and keep going as best I could.
- Kill myself. Quicker but only easier for me. Harder for everyone else.
Looking back it's interesting that I did not have on my list the option of talking to someone about my struggle. Early on I decided that talking to Church leaders again was not the solution and for me was not even on the table for discussion. After several visits to a doctor I was put on Prozac, blood pressure medication, cholesterol medication, allergy medication...
At the same time I had the opportunity to go back to graduate school. I did and it saved me for a few years. I love the University of Utah. The diversity of people, the openness of opinion, and the lack of judgment (at least compared to the rest of Utah) was a breath of fresh air to me. I graduated in May 2010 and finished up with a few weeks in Europe, which is another of my loves. Anyone who has not been to Rome should go as soon as possible.
With school over I began to slip back into a depression and listlessness that I could not tolerate but also did not seem to be able to shake. However, at last I think I was finally ready to take action, talk, and take charge of my life. More to come....