I spent about five years of my life trying to kill myself. That’s one-fifth of my earthly existence. I try not to wave this card around too much, but there is so much fear surrounding subjects such as depression and suicide that we are ready to crucify anyone with an opinion that does not have first-hand experience. Actually, we’re ready to crucify anyone whose opinion doesn’t align with ours. I tried to overdose on pills many, many times — so many that I lost count — and you would be shocked at how many times I am told that this does not count as a suicide attempt because I “didn’t try hard enough.”
Last week my husband, our two daughters and I returned from vacation in India. It was my husband’s first time meeting most of my family and our first vacation together since I’m still waiting on that honeymoon.
I’m about to embarrass my husband a bit and I do this with his permission and in hopes of illustrating a point. As I talk about him, think about how this applies to all of us. And should my husband choose to get baptized, he has a wealth of anecdotes about me with that we can all look forward to.
My husband and I came home from church last Sunday waxed slick with the Spirit. We sank into our couch deeply satisfied and curled up on each other. Oliver remarked how great it was to see one of our friends that radiates light.
“I don’t get it,” I mused. “He is earnest about the Gospel, but he’s earnest in a way that leaves people wanting more. I’m earnest, but I’m earnest in a way that has people sprinting for the nearest exit. I frighten and overwhelm people.”
This week in Sunday school a mother asked how to help her daughters gain a testimony of the gospel without being able to receive the priesthood. She wanted to know how to help young women beyond teaching them how to “bake bread.”
This is what I want my young women to know about their role in the church:
I’m in bed with a fever and quite close to delirium. I know this because my last coherent thought was, “No, my head is not an apple.”
Now that we’ve got that sorted out, don’t ask me about the incoherent thoughts.
Before I dropped out of college I double-majored in physics and philosophy. I joked that I just flipped to the P section in the course catalog and picked the first two majors I found, but in reality I chose philosophy because I never knew what to do with life and I chose physics because it was the only subject I found challenging.
I was leaning over the bathroom sink, applying mascara when my three year-old daughter, Zoe, pulled a tube of eyebrow gel out of my makeup drawer and cooed, “Ooooooh Mommy, I just love this! When I grow big and have my own house, can I have this please?”