The past couple of months have been pretty hard for me personally. There hasn’t been a big tragedy or anything like that in my life, it’s been little things, including mental health, that have added together to make this a hard time.
As a bit of background, at the beginning of the year I left the job that I’d had for almost 8 years to focus full time on my company, Morrise Products. At the end of last year, I started working on a design for a product for kids/families that has the potential to do remarkably well, feel free to ask me individually if you want more information. I am currently working to complete a second prototype so that I can get initial funding for the product with the hope that we can start producing and selling it by the end of the year.
These new work-related endeavors, along with having mental health and other heath challenges, have resulting in my now very rollercoaster like emotional status. Let me explain what’s been going on.
As my income now is almost non-existent, I have been running a race against time, now just a few months down the road. I constantly ask myself; will I be able to get funding for this project before I need to go find a new job? In the past, I wasn’t worried about finding a new job, but recently, these questions have started popping up in my mind. What if I can’t find a new job? What if we need to move across the country? What if I don’t make enough to support my family? What if I don’t like my new job and it makes me miserable? The typical kind of questions one would ask. This of course is interspersed with the excitement that this new project will be very successful. I can go back and forth on this a dozen times in one day.
While all of this is going on in my head, I have 10 kids, a wife who need me, weekly volunteer service, a new “improved” type of panic attacks, more on that in a bit, and recently I have been starting to feel that my life has been something of a failure. Over the past few days, I have begun to feel that the last 20 years of decisions coupled with my lack of doing everything I should have been doing, which covers the range of not spending enough time with my kids to not progressing as far spiritually as I should have to not learning the right things to make my skills marketable enough to support my family. Overall, I feel like the fight or flight response has been switching sides in my head every 15 minutes or so for days now. This may be due in part to a switch in anxiety/depression medication that I initiated when the new panic attacks started.
A month or so ago, I had my first, what I call normal, panic attack. Previous to this, my panic attacks were very brief. I would go from relatively calm to hitting myself in the head or punching a hole in the wall in a matter of seconds. This new type of panic attack lasts 30 minutes or so and while the peak isn’t as high, it was a very long drawn out process. Since the first one, I have had several more.
Couple this all with my extreme exhaustion, and I now wonder multiple times per day if I can even keep going on. When it is nearly impossible to get out of bed in the morning, how much of quality can I really expect myself to get done during the day.
Now, you are probably saying to yourself at this point one of the following: Well you shouldn’t have had so many kids. You shouldn’t have quit your job until you had money coming in? You should take better care of yourself, eat better, meditate, exercise more, etc. I expect you are saying one of these things because I keep telling myself these same things, plus a number of other ones, over and over in my head.
The truth is, I, with the help of Cassanda, have been trying to do the best I can. Why did we have 10 kids, because we felt that was what Heavenly Father wanted us to do. Why did I quit my job when I did, even though I didn’t have money coming in, because that is what we felt that we were supposed to do. Should I take better care of myself, I really should, but it is really hard, and hasn’t really made me feel any better in the past when I have done a better job of eating no sugar or processed foods, etc., and exercising has made it worse, even when I have been consistent.
So, could I be wrong, possibly. Should I have taken a different path in life, maybe. Do I wish I had, not really. The fact of the matter is that I am trying. I may not feel like I have a single thing figured out, but that doesn’t mean I have it wrong either.
When I step back and look at the important things, this is what I see. I worked really hard in school, got good grades and now have a master’s degree in a good field. I was a good enough person to meet and get the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met to fall in love with and marry me, and we still love each other, in fact we love each other more than ever. And, I have 10 kids that while difficult to raise, I wouldn’t trade for anything. Overall, I am trying to be a good person that cares about others and uses my “powers” for good. Am I perfect, absolutely not, but I’m trying, and that is what matters.
When we see ourselves with the eyes of the past, or even with the eyes of the present, we are forgetting about the potential that we have. What is most important is not who we are now, but who we are becoming, and it is the difficulties that we have in life that help us in the becoming. Would I erase the decisions and the difficulties of the past, I admit it would be tempting, however, these are the very things that define who we are. Without experiencing the darkness of the past, the future may not be as bright as we think. Wherever you are in life, give yourself a break. Remember the good, learn from the bad, and press forward, even when it is hard, to be a better you today then you were yesterday and a better you tomorrow that you are today.