Monday, April 7, 2014

Yet If Thou Wilt, I'll Drink it Up

Okay, let me just start off by saying one thing I AM OKAY. I promise.  Okay, just thought I would get that out there before I get into explaining my week. Well, it was a long one. A REALLY long one.  It started off Monday when I plunged into a horrible panic attack in the middle of a relaxing P-Day. I was just so done with everything that I had been feeling. I remember just praying for help that I could get some answers and get these things figured out. Luckily, that morning I had FINALLY written a very honest letter to my mission President explaining that I really was not okay. I was shaking all the time. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I had come to the point that I was feeling so dizzy and stressed that I would just randomly fall in the street at times. I was SO sick of feeling that way.

Tuesday night, the phone rang. I looked at the Caller ID and didn’t understand why the Zone Leaders were calling me so late, and they told me that Hermana Gomez needed to talk to me right away. I gave her a call and she explained that President had just read my letter and that they were very concerned. They asked me a lot of details of things that have been happening and I was finally honest and explained everything. They asked me to buy some weird fish oil syrup type thing to take for now while they looked into other things.  The Anxiety just kept getting worse and worse. I drank the syrupon Thursday morning and it just about killed me. The WORST thing I had EVER tasted in my life. I choked the cup down with the faith that maybe, just maybe it would help me start feeling better. My companion asked me how I felt and I quoted Jeffrey R. Holland “If the bitter cup won’t pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in better days to come.” We got a good laugh out of that.

Thursday dragged on and I was so anxious that I, yet again, just about passed out. I was laying on my bed and my companion started saying that she was going to call the Zone Leaders. I forbid her to do it. Well, it didn’t matter, because, sure enough, just a few minutes later they called us.

“Hermana Simonson! We have good news! You’re not going to have language study today. Instead, you are going to go to the corner of Quiñones and Guardía Civil, and in that corner you are going to see a car. And you are going to get in that car. That car will be driven by President and Hermana Gomez….and they are going to take you to the hospital.”
I freaked out. I wanted to refuse to go, but I knew that I couldn’t. We got there, and it turned out that it was just President, with a very concerned look on his face.  He took me to the Hospital and when the Doctor attended us he asked me why I was here. I responded “Because they made me come.” He got a good laugh. I don’t think President thought it was as funny as I did. He started explained that they “obligated” me to be there because I was fainting in the street, shaking all the time, incredibly stressed out, not sleeping, not eating, etc. They wanted to see if it was Anxiety for sure, or maybe just some Parasite.

He ran a few tests for physical things and there was no problem. Then, he did a few Anxiety tests and looked at my President and said “Ya..she definitely has a problem. There is a reason she can’t sleep.” He told President that I need a Psychiatrist and President whipped out his IPhone trying to find the best one and get an appointment for as soon as possible.

The next day, my companion and I went to the Psychiatrist and we talked a little bit and figured a few things out. I was diagnosed not only with Anxiety, but also with Major Depressive Disorder. I almost didn’t believe it. I was really upset, I felt like everything was spinning. We went to go buy the pills and they informed us that our insurance wasn’t going to cover it, so we had to call the Zone Leaders to call the Insurance. 

Side story, the Zone Leaders hadn’t known anything about any of this until President had called them and they were pretty hurt that I had never told them. Anyway, as I talked to them and explained them what was going on, and then explained the Diagnosis Elder Avila, one of my best friends in the Mission, just cut me off and said “Hermana, just tell me one thing, How are YOU?” I answered “Fine” and he asked for details and I ended up doing what I had avoided doing for the longest time. I burst into tears. He listened intently and said “Don’t worry about the Insurance thing for now, we are going to get that taken care of. Just know something, okay? You are my hero. I admire you so much. I know that everything sucks right now but just know that this all means that you can start getting better at last. So many people would have quit and you kept going for SO long. While training, opening areas, being a leader, and facing these big problems, you’ve also been setting Baptism records and helping a lot of people. Just know that you’re amazing.”

So there I was, crying like a baby in the middle of a Hospital in the middle of the Amazon Jungle. Who would have EVER thought that my life would have come to this? My companion walked me outside and smiled and said “Well, I can cross that off my list.” I asked what she was talking about and she said “I never, ever thought that I would see you cry. I’ve lived with you for the longest time and have never seen anything less than a smile. I certainly don’t believe that you’re depressed!” We sat outside laughing and crying together and turned around to see President Gomez showing up. The Zone Leaders had called him and he wanted to see if I was okay, and talk to the Insurance people. The pills were bought and President explained that he was in the middle of some interviews and had to get back. I felt so special that he had left the interviews just to see if I was okay.

My companion forced the pills down my throat, but here comes the funny story. They were REALLY strong, instant pills and I started feeling a little TOO good. Long story short, I had been overdosed by the Peruvian Doctor. I spent the whole Saturday Conference laughing and sleeping and falling and fainting and saying crazy things. After the afternoon session, we were sitting outside of the Church and President and Hermana Gomez came over and saw me and said “There’s the drunk missionary!” and everyone laughed. “I am not stressed anymore!” I yelled and laughed. Oh, it was just hilarious.

It’s been hard, but you wouldn’t believe the support I have. Obviously it’s not something that I am telling everyone, but my District Leader and Zone Leaders and companion and Mission President (the people that I am forced to tell) make a great team to keep me going. One of the suggestions that the doctor gave was to get more exercise. My new District Leader, Elder Mejia, promised we wouldn’t be alone in that. Now, he and his companion have also committed to waking up half an hour early everyday just to go run with us. Such a sweet gesture.

After everything, I don’t take back what I have always said. Happiness IS a choice. Sometimes it is a choice to just think positive and take some vitamins. Sometimes it is a choice to move on with life. Sometimes, it is a choice to take the pill, be honest, ask for blessings, trust in God, and move forward. I don’t care if some Peruvian Doctor has declared me as depressed, I am just going to keep being happy. And, wanna know the best part? I still have five more months to wake up everyday and preach the Gospel of Happiness to these amazing people. I will honestly say that my life could not get any better.

Hermana Simonson

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