10/ 11/ 2017

BRB, gonna go copyright the term ‘Mind Maze.’

photo by MegBird


This morning I sat in the Costco parking lot and cried. I pulled myself together enough to get some chicken and Zyrtec, but I had to wear sunglasses inside because I didn’t trust my eyes. A tear creeped out while I paid and when Zeke reached to give me a hug, the floodgates opened again. I sobbed as I pushed my cart across the parking lot. Wishing a stranger would stop and give me a hug. I just needed someone to look me in the eye and tell me it would be okay.

I’m trying to convince myself it’s because I’ve been to the pediatrician four times in the past week.
Because we’ve had three cases of double pink eye,
two double ear infections,
two sore throats,
a bladder infection,
and now hives.
I’m trying to tell myself it’s my circumstance.
But deep, deep down I know it’s not.

I’m not good at self-care. I’m not good at putting myself first when so many other things seem more important. I don’t know how. I have moments where I get centered, but then I’m back at square one. Grasping for calm like I’m falling down a mountain. I’m reading, I’m praying, I’m breathing, but I’m stuck. And stuck is not where I want to be.

I am so blessed to have so much love, support and patience around me, but I can’t ask for help because I don’t know where to start. How do you ask for help with something you can’t describe? How do you say,

“I’m not sure what’s going on. I’m sad again. I’m really sad. I think it’s because I don’t take time to recharge. I think it’s because I focus all my energy on taking care of everyone else I forget to take care of me. And I know I’m taken care of but that’s different than taking care of yourself. I’m too tired to edit, which makes me feel like a failure. Because when I don’t make the time to edit at the end of a really long day, I feel like maybe videos aren’t my passion or I’m not pushing hard enough. And maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m lazy or maybe I’m scared. Or maybe I’m just not good enough.

I don’t know how you “fix” the sadness – the depression. Everything I read talks about self-care but how do you self-care when you don’t know what it looks like for you? Is it writing? Is it editing? Is it painting my nails? WHAT IS IT? Is self-care letting myself stop and rest? But then is my rest indulgence instead of care? How do I know if I’m helping or hurting? Why can’t someone hold my hand through this and tell me how to take care of myself so I know.
Why don’t I know?
How do you know?
Is it like falling in love? Do you just happen upon it one day? Does it smack you in the face one random Tuesday night and say, “HELLO! I’VE BEEN HERE WAITING FOR YOU.”
How do you find it? How do you know you’ve found it?
I just want to know what it looks like.
I’m desperate for its face.
Help me.

I’m just so thick in the forest I can’t see the trees, but I know I’ve been on the other side. I know I’ve been there and I know it was good. I don’t know why I keep getting lost. Are my woods some kind of mind maze? What I would give to have a helicopter with a rescue light and a rope ladder hovering above me right now. But that’s not how this works. I have to keep finding my way out over and over again. Sometimes I’ll be able to get out fast and unscathed. But there will be times, like now, where I have to fight for the light every day. Where I walk and turn and walk and turn and pray with all my heart I’m going the right way.

– – –

I know it’s not #fun to read about depression without some type of resolve. It’s not inspiring. It’s not enlightening. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a thousand times more:

We need to talk about our struggles while we’re in the middle of them so we know we’re not alone.

We don’t all exit our mazes at the same time. Some are in the beginning, some are lost in this weird circle that keeps producing dead ends, and some are on the outside, waiting, hoping, and cheering. Just because we’re not in the same spot doesn’t mean we can’t walk home together.
If you wait for me, I’ll wait for you.

9 responses to “BRB, gonna go copyright the term ‘Mind Maze.’”

  1. Kari says:

    Oh, Brissa. I’m heartbroken for you. I wish I could’ve been there to give you a hug – and not one of those awkward emoji hugs, a real one. The middle of it is SO daunting. Finding healthy, freeing self-care is hard because depression strips away the feeling that it’s working. Even when it is. It’s this fight of going through the motions and somehow maintaining the motivation even when you don’t feel progress. I wish I had the answers for you. All I know is that every day you try something that might be self-care, you get closer to finding the answer. I’m just so so sorry.

  2. Sarah Wells says:

    You’re not alone. I’m in a mind maze right next to you.

    I agree it becomes so easy to blame circumstances for emotions, and while I have no doubt they affect it, the depression is real. And more than just a rough couple months (in my case).

    I keep trying to express to others this exact thing, knowing self care needs to be higher up on the list but not knowing what that’s supposed to look like. Should it be exercise? A class? A hobby? I just don’t know. And everything costs money and time and that gives me anxiety and then all of a sudden I’m stressed, depressed and anxious in a messy house, somehow getting nothing done, not even the things for others or the bare minimum and it’s this terrible whirlpool that continues to pull me under and I’m rambling now, but I hope you know you’re not alone. Thank you for reminding me I’m not alone. Sending a virtual hug to you in that costco parking lot.

  3. Emily says:

    Just crying reading this. I struggle with depression off and on. One time during the thick of it last year I got a blessing from our bishop that basically said “These feelings won’t go away yet. But you’ll learn and grow from them.” I realized God is always there, but can’t always take away the burden. It’s so hard. But we’re here for you! And don’t stress about not editing. I haven’t written a song in like 5 years…life just gets busy. Doesn’t mean you’re not passionate. Love you! ❤️

  4. Megan says:

    Oh Brissa. Just feeling all those emotions with you. It’s rough, and it’s a dark pit that you (I? I say you, but I mean me. You know?) keep trying to claw your way out of. Literally claw. For me, I have times where I am successful at clawing my way out of the pit and other times not so much. A few months ago I was so angry with God because he wouldn’t make me better. I’m being a mother to some of his perfect spirit children and that’s what I’m SUPPOSED to be doing right now and he won’t heal me. I don’t think I’ve ever been angry at God before that point. I was curled up on the floor of my shower (because let’s be real, sometimes that’s the only safe place) and literally begged him to heal me. And he didn’t. Not fully. Apparently I have something to learn through it, and until I do understand, God is helping me deal with it all. Which is a blessing, and I’ll take it 🙂 (though, admittedly, I’d way rather have the blessing of just being healed NOW.)

    ANYWAY. That’s a ridiculously long rant, and way TMI. But sweet Brissa, please know that you are not alone. And you are strong! And it’s good for me to remember that I’M not alone. So, thank you. Lets keep talking about it so we call all get out of this mind maze together. Love you.

  5. Meg says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this. I’m in the exact same spot. What you wrote about asking for help with something you can’t describe – you said it perfectly. I don’t understand how to make it back out of the maze. But it is helpful to know someone else is in here with me.

  6. Hannah says:

    My mental health has been really struggling and getting married has been on of the hardest things. I have had break down after break down and I’m ashamed that my marriage didn’t have that perfect honeymoon phase and swooning over my husband. I am *constantly exhausted and just feel so broken down. But this has finally pushed me to make a therapy appointment. And my first one is today! I’m not entirely sure what self-care looks like but I know part of it for me was making that appointment and also allowing myself some slack and getting that 32 oz Mt. Dew (trying not to cut my self slack *every day). I don’t have the answer but I know that I am amazed by your strength and willingness to share in your darkness. We need each other to speak in our struggles and be those safe spaces. Thank you for your safe space 💕

  7. Danica says:

    You are such a beautiful writer. This line:

    Just because we’re not in the same spot doesn’t mean we can’t walk home together.
    If you wait for me, I’ll wait for you.

    THIS IS WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT. walking each other home and sharing the struggle together. Please don’t ever stop writing and sharing your struggle. It gives me so much hope knowing I’m not alone in how I think and feel ❤️

  8. Ashley says:

    Yes! I’m currently outside the forest. But I’m waiting for you, cheering for you, helping and praying for you! The forest part is so so hard. I sometime had to pause for a small minute, remind myself what the outside felt like, and hope with everything I had that I’d feel that again. In my head I had heerleaders- family members and friends who had faced and overcome their battles. I would picture them with signs, cheering me on. Some days that vision was he only thing that got me through. Some days I cried on the hill walking home from byu campus, just wishing someone would ask me how I was doing. You are not alone in this!
    I don’t know if self care has one single answer. Sometimes I think it’s just being aware of how you’re feeling and acknowledging when you’re not okay. (And talking to someone about it!).
    Here waiting! Ashley

  9. Paolita says:

    Te AMO Brissa. Although depression is not something that I am personally familiar with, there are so many near and dear to my heart (including you) that are, and posts like these help me to want to be MORE aware, more loving, more patient. I want to be that person that “waits for you” to walk home with. Thank you for being willing to let us see that part of you. I imagine it’s not easy, but you inspire so many more people than you know. Te Amo

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