The only person I really know who to be is me. Let’s be honest. I’m really good at being me. It seems like an oxymoron cause I’m really not good at being me. I struggle with me. I struggle with myself and loving who I am. Ok. Some days I struggle with even liking me. Even…a…tiny…bit. I guess that’s what I mean when I say “I’m really good at being me”. Ups. Downs. Good. Bad. Highs. Lows. Love. Hate. Anger. Peace. Happy. Sad. Shy. Friendly. Insecure. Confident. Scared. Faithful. Depressed. Hopeful. Ya know? “Me”. Because being me is all I really know.
Count yourself lucky if you are one of the few people in this world that don’t suffer from mental illness. Ok. There’s probably way more than a few but when you suffer from mental illness you think everyone does. You think everyone feels like you, thinks like you, acts like you, and sees the world like you do.
The only way I’ve been able to experience this life is to see it through my own eyes. We all suffer. We all have challenges. We all have anger, remorse, guilt, shame, pain, sadness, frustration, confusion, loneliness, laziness, judgement, sorrow, and times where depression and despair seem to be the norm. Cheers was a horrible show, by the way.
We all have those dreaded “negative feelings”. Feelings are just feelings. They come, they go. We learn the most when we accept those “negative” feelings as part of our lives and we deal with them and honor them. I don’t believe negative feelings actually are negative. I think feeling those feelings is actually positive. I was told that sometimes it’s good to “sit in your shit”. Not literally. (Tristan, that “literally” part was “literally” for you). Inside joke, legitimately. I love you and don’t get mad at me for swearing.
I don’t know if my mental illness is in control of myself right now or my feelings are close to my heart and I’m feeling human feelings of loss.
Sometimes it’s really really hard to tell.
My dad is dead. My brother is dead. Everyone has suffered some sort of loss and the grief that comes with those losses seem to surface at different times. Jesus was resurrected. Yesterday was supposed to be a happy day to celebrate the resurrection and that we can continue to “live on”. Yesterday sucked for me. It was brutal. It brought back feelings of anger, loneliness, and abandonment. It’s been almost seven years since I lost my dad. (I lost him way before that though). It’s been two years on April 5th that my brother decided it was time to go and he’d had enough of this life and was “ready to meet God”.
Abandoned. That’s how I feel.
We all deal with all of our emotions and feelings in different ways. That’s the point. Your life is yours. You see life from behind your eyes. My life is mine. I see life through my eyes.
Great, I get it. Jesus died. Jesus overcame death. I know this to be true. The problem is? Right now I just do NOT care because it doesn’t take away the fact that I’m hurting and I miss my dad and my brother deeply. My brother was ALWAYS my best friend. I’m lonely. I have others in my life, don’t get me wrong. I love all of them. I love all of you. I’m grateful for each and everyone of you.
I see you.
But that doesn’t take away the fact that I want to see Derek and my Dad and I miss them.
They are dead. Gone. In another world, dimension, planet, or what most people call Heaven or Hell.
All I know is that even though Jesus was resurrected that when I look from behind my own two eyes I still don’t see them. They…are…not…there.
And…that hurts. Mental Illness or not.
Be good to each other.
Be good to yourself.
I remember when Kylie (Sister Buchi at that time) sent a letter as a missionary for us to ask for specific answers in our prayers. Be direct. I don’t remember a lot of her letters (sorry, Sister Buchi) but I do remember this one. It struck my heart and has helped change a lot in my life. Since I read that letter my prayers have become direct, specific, and personal. My relationship with the Savior and my Heavenly Father have become more intimate, personal, and real.
My life has changed in so many ways. I’ve seen other people’s lives change. Because of my prayers for them, obviously. Just kidding. I’ve seen God answer the prayers of Jodi in one specific area of one of our daughters lives. It’s personal so I’ll keep it at that but her prayers were answered in a very personal and individual way.
3 Nephi 14:7-8.
“Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened”.
Perhaps we don’t fully trust the promise.
Perhaps we want relief on our timetable instead of allowing God to answer our prayers in His time and in His way.
Perhaps we’re so busy trying to solve our problems on our own that we fail to step back, look up, and seek the help we need.
Today, I will ask God for specific blessings. I will seek answers to the questions I’m struggling with. I will knock, believing that my Heavenly Father is willing to open the door, send answers, and give me the blessings I need. I will remember that He loves all of His children and will answer them when they call.
I don’t know much about life but I do know this. Prayer works. Prayers are answered. Questions are answered. Problems are solved. Peace comes. The Spirit will lead and guide you.
One of the direct questions I ask every day is this. Will you please lead and guide me and go before me? Will you be on my left and my right side and the Spirit in my heart and angels round about me to bear me up?
1 Nephi 4:6. It’s my life guiding scripture. Most of the time I don’t have the answers or know what to do. Life is hard. So? I pray for the Spirit. Just read the scripture. You’ll understand.
If you ask for DIRECT questions from God then God will DIRECT your life. Ironic? No, absolutely not.
It works for me. Maybe it’ll work for you.
I’m able to celebrate 13 years of sobriety and 21 years of marriage this last week.
Here’s the hard part of this last week for me. Kobe Bryant passed away tragically. I’m not a huge Kobe fan but his passing (and all those who died) has made me sad and caused me to reflect. I’m blown away by the people’s lives he touched. It’s made me feel so “small” in this world.
We might not change the world. Our ripple effect might not be as big as his or others. But, every time we throw a pebble of love, kindness, help, and hope into the water of life? There will be a ripple. We never know how far that ripple will travel into the world but that small pebble might be exactly what one person needs.
I don’t know. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. Which is awesome for me…because this last week I am feeling extremely small.
RIP to Kobe and to all of those who were tragically lost this last week.
RIP to all those who were tragically lost in our lives.
RIP Derek. (Tell Kobe and the others hi. Tell all those who left a small little ripple in my life hi as well).
I’m not proud of this post and I’m definitely not proud of myself.
Let me explain. I love college football. I love watching NASCAR on Sunday after church. I love watching sports. I love watching North Carolina and Duke basketball. I love BYU football. I watch plenty of SportsCenter. I love baseball. I love watching the NFL playoffs. I love watching Survivor with my family every Wednesday night. It’s become a tradition to watch with Tris and Jodi. I love watching Ink Master. That’s about all, really.
Here’s the problem. College football is over. Survivor is over. BYU football is over. NASCAR is over and doesn’t start again until February. Baseball is in the offseason. NFL is almost over. It gets dark really early. The parties of Christmas and New Years are over. I have plenty of time at night cause all our “to do’s” at home are done and I can only work so much.
It might sound like I watch a lot of tv. I really don’t. I watch sports. I’ve started working later and later and I go to the gym. (I’ve lost 59 pounds in the last three months).
Here’s the other problem. When there was nothing on one Sunday afternoon after church I was thumbing through the channels.
Either the remote broke or it’s out of batteries and got stuck on channel 253. The Lifetime Movie Channel. Let me tell you how the movie goes. Someone dies. Someone has an affair. Someone moves to a small town. Someone falls in love. Someone is living a double life. Someone is out for revenge. Someone has security cameras put in their house. The cops won’t do anything. Someone dies. (Gun shot. Knife. Drowning. Falling down the stairs) The people who survive cry and hug. The movie ends.
And? Within minutes another movie with a similar story begins. And ends. And begins again.
I don’t know if I’m hooked or not but I can’t wait until NASCAR or BYU football starts again. Survivor. North Carolina basketball. Duke. Baseball. Anything good.
Or I wish someone would replace the batteries or fix my broken remote that has my tv, unfortunately, stuck on channel 253 forcing me to watch these stupid movies.
There’s nothing worse than getting your tv stuck on channel 253. Please send batteries. Call me a remote control tech. Please.
Gotta go. “Anniversary Nightmare” is just starting. Followed by “Dangerous Matrimony”.
I did, however, tell you I wasn’t proud. I’m not. But, that’s life. We all have “stuck, broken remotes” and things we’re definitely not proud of.
But…this is just becoming pathetic.
I don’t think someone’s favorite word while driving down the freeway should be Idiotstick. I don’t even know what Idiotstick means or where it came from. I just know that I say it, a lot.
I’m not the one driving in the fast lane going 64 miles per hour. I’m not the one in the hov lane going 58 miles per hour. The reason they have those lanes is so people like me who want to go just a little faster than the speed limit can go a little faster than the speed limit. I think. There’s literally a sign after a sign after a sign that says “slower traffic, keep right. It’s the law”.
Seriously. Pull over, PLEASE.
I figure that people who refuse to pull over have several reasons. 1). They can’t read the signs. 2). They are too proud to pull over to let someone by. 3). They don’t care. 4). They think they are above the law. 5). They think they are more important than me. 6). They’re from Idaho.
7). They’re Idiotsticks
My car has a speed warning that I set at 80 miles per hour. It goes off and warns me a lot. I guess I drive too fast. I do know I drive faster than 64 or 58 miles per hour. I also know I should probably reset the warning to 85 cause it gets annoying. And, after all these years I’ve learned that I probably won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
I also know that it frustrates me to no end at times because the truth is? I am the important one. I am definitely the most important driver on the road and I am definitely not the Idiotstick.
Or? Maybe I am actually the Idiotstick cause I’m the one that continues to get mad at Idiotsticks.
It’ll help eliminate you as an Idiotstick. It’ll also help me with my personal problem of being an Idiotstick.
Who am I kidding? Even if you pull over I’ll still find another reason to call you an Idiotstick.
I’m proud of myself though. Calling you an Idiotstick is way way way better than what I used to call you.
Even though I don’t know what an Idiotstick is.
Just don’t be one. I’ll try not to call you one. I’ll also try not to be one. Wish me luck, Idiotsticks.
Sometimes I’m happy.
Sometimes I’m sad.
Sometimes I’m filled with hate.
Sometimes I’m full of love.
Sometimes I live in darkness.
Sometimes I’m beaming with light.
Sometimes I sleep.
Sometimes I’m awake.
Sometimes I hate going to work.
Sometimes I’m excited to go to work.
Sometimes I get down on myself.
Sometimes I think I’m the greatest man in the world.
Sometimes I’m humble.
Sometimes I’m proud.
Sometimes my children drive me crazy.
Sometimes I could spend every second with them.
Sometimes me and Jodi fight.
Sometimes we get along.
Sometimes I doubt everything.
Sometimes I believe in everything.
Sometimes I laugh.
Sometimes I cry.
Sometimes I want to give up.
Always I try.
Neil Diamond is Jewish and has a Christmas album.
Christmas is for everyone because Christmas is about love, kindness, giving, charity, service, and light.
I have Jodi, Kylie, Sierra, and Tristan. Count ‘em. That’s four. Yes, Jodi is just one of the girls.
Think of someone who is an example of Christlike service. Highlight them on social media.
This is as social media as I get. I don’t have Facechat, Snapgram, Instabook, The Twitter, or any other social media outlets. I am, however, smart enough to Google the “Come unto Christ” calendar and am trying to follow it this year.
This post is for today.
I’m highlighting Jodi. She is an example of Christlike service as a mother. I could go on forever about how brilliant she is as a mother and everything she has given from her heart and her soul in being a mother. Mothers are gifts from God. Jodi definitely has that gift from God of being a mom.
I’m highlighting Kylie. She is an example of a huge heart and truly loving other people. If you ever want to see the light of Christ I’d suggest looking into her big, bright blue eyes.
I’m highlighting Sister Sierra Buchi. She is an example of love and service. After all, she is literally serving the Lord on her mission. Oregon, Portland Mission. Shout out.
I’m highlighting Tristan. She is an example of of being a good example, being a good friend, and caring for others. She wants to work with disabled children as a career. That’s about as Christlike as you could possibly be.
I’m highlighting Neil Diamond. He has one of the best Christmas albums ever. (Along with The Oak Ridge Boys and the Chipmunks). He is an example of love, tolerance, open mindedness, and a willingness to accept and love others regardless of any other motive.
I look up to these examples. Four girls. Neil Diamond. Jesus. They are examples of light. A true light that definitely needs to be highlighted.
(Too bad I don’t have Facegram or Intstabook).
I washed my BMW today. I cleaned, vacuumed, washed the mats, deep cleaned the inside, and washed my car again. Yes, I literally took it to a manual car wash and then again through an automatic car wash.
I washed Jodi’s Tacoma today. I cleaned, vacuumed, washed the mats, deep cleaned the inside, and washed my car again. Yes, I literally took it to a manual car wash and then again through an automatic car wash.
I washed our Tahoe today. I cleaned, vacuumed, washed the mats, deep cleaned the inside, and washed my car again. Yes, I literally took it to a manual car wash and then again through an automatic car wash.
I checked and filled all the fluids on all my cars today.
I went to the bank today to deposit a check we did for a big job for The University of Utah Healthcare System.
I blew and cleaned up all the leaves in the yard today.
I mowed the lawn twice today. Yes, I literally mowed it horizontally and then again vertically.
I went to Walmart today. I needed to get cheese, yogurt, and protein drinks. Lots and lots of protein drinks.
I went to Smiths today. I needed to refill my Seroquel and my Prozac. Yes, I take Prozac for depression and for generalized anxiety. I also take Seroquel for bi-polar. I also take hours and hours of counseling and therapy for my life.
My life is good. My life is blessed. My life is full.
My back freaking hurts now. My life was way too full today.
I also have severe episodes of OCD. What I’ve learned about OCD is that the O is for Obsessive where I Obsess about something. The C is for Compulsive where I Compulsively act on that particular Obsession. The D is for Disorder cause if you’ve ever experienced this then you’d understand why.
I’ve also learned that my OCD is way more active and present in my life where I focus on external things, lists, “to-do’s” cause I just don’t want to feel. I used to OCD over food.
That was my list. That was my day. That was my out of control OCD today. I haven’t stopped cause I guess I just don’t want to feel. I’m not exactly sure what I’m avoiding. I’m not sure what my feelings are. I’d love to find out but I have way too many football games to watch now. Don’t worry, they’re on my “to do list”.
Have you ever had one or two or three or a lifetime full of these days? Days where you stay so busy that you don’t have time to feel?
Yes, I literally washed all of my cars today – twice.
BYU plays Liberty today. I have season tickets. I have for years and years and years. I’ve been going to BYU games since I was a little boy. I’m now a big boy and still religiously go every week. Rain or shine. It’s 12:26. BYU plays at 5:30 and I’m wrestling with driving from Syracuse to Provo to go to the game. They’re playing Liberty. Liberty. I’m a huge college football fan and I’ve never heard of Liberty. Ok. I’ve heard the Liberty, Liberty Insurance commercials with that emu but I didn’t know they had a football team. I’m hoping they aren’t playing the Liberty Insurance Company.
I guess it doesn’t matter too much. I think that I’ll be watching the BYU game from home today cause I have a reason to not go today. I’ve had a recent complication with my surgery and my Dr. told me to rest, relax, and not do anything for 4-5 days. I’d send pictures but it’s gross so I’ll spare you.
I miss my brother, Derek. A lot. BYU football is our thing. We didn’t miss games. Almost ever. We had so many experiences and fun times over many many many many years. When BYU was on the road we’d either watch together or text throughout the whole game. Dang. I miss him. BYU football is not the same without him. It was his first love. His life.
My nephew, Teagan, bought Derek’s season ticket that’s next to my three so we’ve had the chance to go together the last few years. It’s been fun to go with so many different people over the years. I love going with my family, Jodi, and my girls. I’ve also enjoyed my son in law, Jordan, being able to go to some games with me. It’s especially cool when Jordan and Teagan go together with me cause it allows me to sit by two of the four black people at the BYU game. Teagan plays a game and sets the over/under on how many other black people he’ll see there. It’s usually five or six. It’s usually the under.
Jodi will only go to the BYU/Utah game. Kylie, Sierra, and Tris only like going when it’s cold so they can get hot chocolate and snuggle up together while eating Cougar Dogs, Cougar Tails, and everything else good…except Postum. (They did go sit in the car at halftime a few weeks ago against Boise State cause it was “the coldest game they’d ever been to)”. Kylie’s safe spot in this world was between Derek and I at all the BYU games. Derek’s last promise to her before he passed away was that he’d still go to all the BYU games and still sit by her. I can assure you he’s kept that promise cause I’ve felt him at every game.
Vance goes. Lil’ G goes. Jax goes. My mom and Erin actually went to a game with us last year. Ellie goes. Jadice goes. Taylor goes. I’ve gone with my father in law, my brother in laws, lots and lots of friends. My nephews and nieces have all gone. I’ve been able to teach so many of the younger ones the ra, ra, ra part of the fight song and dance to it when BYU scores. We’ve shared so many good memories over the years and I value them all.
I especially value the time when Johnny Harlein caught the pass from John Beck on the last play of the game to beat Utah. We were in the corner of the end zone at Rice Eccles where it happened. I value this memory because of the experience I had watching Derek get slapped straight across the face from an elderly woman, Utah fan. So, after that play and the game ended he pulled out the double middle finger birds, said some choice words, as only Derek could, and got slapped. Hard. It’s a long and funny story. I’ll tell it one day but just know that right after those words and that slap he ran down to the field, left me uncomfortably standing there, and happily celebrated with the BYU team – as if he was on it.
I 💙 BYU football. I’ve learned over the years that it’s not all about the wins and losses. It’s about the experiences, the relationships, the fun, the memories, and the times I’ve been able to share with my family. BYU could go 3 and 634,999 and my love for BYU would still be the same.
I will not be going to the BYU game today. I will also not be receiving any texts from Derek today. I will, however, think about all the great times, experiences, and memories that BYU football has given me.
I’ll also laugh a little bit while watching the BYU game today remembering that “one time he got slapped”.
I love you, Derek.
I love you, dad.
I love all of you that have shared these BYU experiences and memories with me over the last many many many years of my life.
Rise and shout. The Cougars are out.
Ra, ra. Ra, ra, ra. Ra, ra. Ra, ra, ra…
I’m not an overly religious person.
Don’t get me wrong. I try to go to church on a regular basis. I go through cycles where I’m dedicated and go every week and I go through spurts where I just don’t go. Sometimes I just lose interest in the religious side of church. The do’s. The dont’s. The “cross me off the list” aspects of church.
Read your scriptures – check.
Go to church – check.
Pay your tithing – check.
Go to the Temple – check.
Say your prayers – check.
Live the word of wisdom – check.
Have family home evening – check.
Do your genealogy – check.
Watch General Conference – check.
Put together the best food storage in the neighborhood – check.
Home teaching. Visiting teaching – check. (Although it’s called ministering now, I think). I wouldn’t know. I don’t do whatever it’s called.
I do most of these things, by the way. Check. Uncheck. Do better. Be better. Blah. Blah. Blah.
I think some of these things are important, at least to me. I go to church to take the Sacrament. The rest of church? I just don’t…know. It is what it is. I go to the Temple. I pay my tithing. I pray, a lot. A LOT!! I do other things and I don’t do other things. What I’ve learned about myself over the last several years is that I do some of these things for the right reason. I do these things cause they help me, my spirituality, and my relationship with God and with others.
I grew up with a dad who was a “Franklin Planner” fanatic. I had a Franklin Planner and if you’re about my age (47) you had one too. You prioritized daily activities and checked off the things you got done and the completed tasks. Check. If you didn’t get something done you’d prioritize it on the top of the tomorrow list. It was all about getting things done, chores, tasks, lists. It was about checking things off. The problem with this philosophy is that everything in my life became a chore, a task, a checklist.
Most of my life I’ve lived by the “check me off the list” philosophy. I still do to a certain extent. Sometimes I even write something on my list that I’ve already accomplished just so I can cross it off my list. I don’t, however, practice this way of living in my religious life anymore. Thank goodness.
Oh Lord, MY Redeemer.
I am an overly spiritual person. If you can be overly spiritual? I’m not sure. Like I said, I do some of the checklist items. I do the things in my present life that help my spirit. My spirituality. I focus on those things that help my relationship with myself, my God, my family, and my relationship with others. I do these things that bring me closer to the Savior. The phrases are “I want to be more like Christ”. “I’m trying to be like Jesus”. The true reason we/you should strive to be “more like the Savior” is because the closer you come to being like Christ? The closer you are to being yourself. Your true and authentic self. Loving. Caring. Kind. Nice. Understanding. Forgiving. Sincere. Humble. Patient. Tolerant. Honest. Peaceful.
The hard part is this. We can’t cross those off the lists because we don’t put them on our daily lists of “to do’s”. You can’t checkoff attributes. You can’t checkoff your way of living. You can’t checkoff your true nature. They are not chores, tasks, or things to “get done”. We like to get things done in our society but the truth is that being nice, loving, caring, kind, patient, honest, understanding, etc…can NEVER be checked off a list. They simply become a part of who we are. Our character. Our attributes. Our nature. Our part of “trying to be like Jesus”.
Oh Lord, MY Redeemer.
I believe in Jesus Christ. I am not ashamed of it. He is my truth. He is my light. He is my Savior and my Redeemer. He is my idol, my example, my role model, and my friend.
And the other truth is this.
He will never ever be crossed off of my list!