I was talking to one of my sisters last week about a very difficult challenge she is going through right now in her life and she said how we all have our own personal challenges to go through. It is true, isn't it, we all have trials that our especially our own. One of my dear friends just found out that she has cancer and is having surgery this week, she is very nervous about the surgery and what they are going to find. I was feeling so bad that my sister and friend have these difficult challenges and I thought, "and here I am with stupid depression." But as I thought about my challenge of depression, I realize it hasn't been easy. I have always thought of myself as a very strong person, but depression doesn't let you be strong, depression shows you how weak you are. When I was talking to my sister, this scripture in the Book of Mormon came to mind:
Ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
I have come to realize that my weakness is "weakness." Trying to care for everyone and everything started when I was quite young and as my family would come to me for help, I thought I was a strong person and could handle it all. The first sign I saw of my weakness was after I was married and had just delivered my second child. My husband had left the room with our new daughter and the doctor was sewing me up as I had external and internal tears. It was not an easy delivery and the epidural had gone into a vein so they had to stop it and were just using local anesthesia. The local wasn't helping much and I could feel everything as they were stitching me up, but I thought I could endure it. I laid there silently thinking, "it's almost done, it's almost done." Then my husband came back into the O.R. and asked if I could feel it. Tears rolled down my check as I nodded my head yes. I had been strong through it all, but as soon as my husband came back into the room I knew I could let go and let him take over. Over the years I have realized that I can be strong all on my own, but when my husband is there I can hand over the reigns of strength and let him help me if I need to.
Not long after I received my co-dependent diagnosis I had someone in my family call me about another member of our family wondering how we were going to help them. I worried all night long about what to do, I got very little sleep and in the morning realized I was being co-dependent with the situation. I realized I wasn't strong enough to help nor even strong enough at that moment to even know what was going on. This was a turning point for me, learning that I didn't have to be strong for everyone all the time and that I personally didn't have to fix everything. I learned that I could let someone else help for a change, I could let others and even my Heavenly Father take over. In fact, I found a song that said exactly how I was feeling. It is Which Part is Mine by Michael McLean, at the end of the song it says:
"Which part is mine, God? Which part is yours? Could you tell me one more time, I'm never quite sure. And I won't cross the line like I have before. But it gets so confusing sometimes; should I do more, or trust the Divine? Please, just help me define which part's mine and which part is yours. . . . After I've done my best I know you'll do the rest."
I know that co-dependents think that they have to fix everything, but we don't, we can trust others to help. I understand now that it is okay to be weak, being weak for a while, then strong for awhile and that bouncing back and forth between the two is balance. One of my favorite books is Forgiving Ourselves by Wendy Ulrich and this is my favorite quote:
"Instead of a never-satisfied God shaking His finger at my selfishness, I felt God reaching out His hand to me, asking me to give Him everything - my children, my parents, my worries - and to trust that He would both give me back the portion that would be for my blessing and tenderly care for the rest. I realized that when we hold back from God, something in us will start to die. We do not just struggle to give Him our assets; we also struggle to give Him our deficits. His request that we give Him everything - holding nothing back - can be a great blessing."