I hit the height of mine after the birth of my second child when postpartum depression set in. For many months which turned into years, I suffered in silence, suppressed the darkness and faked my way through on the daily, and nobody knew.
I remember one particular night rocking my sweet baby boy to sleep and just bawling. We’re talking the ugly cry, on steroids! I was so sad, so exhausted, so depressed and so “alone.”
Immediately the words to hymn 243, Let Us All Press On, flooded my mind, specifically a phrase in verse 2 (capitalization added for emphasis):
We will not retreat, though our numbers may be few, When compared to the opposite host in view, BUT AN UNSEEN POW’R WILL AID ME AND YOU, In the glorious cause of truth.
That was my answer. That “unseen pow’r” had been aiding me, would continue to aid me and continues to aid me, as I “press on” through my mental illness journey. I was never alone!
Many times the “pressing forward” is the biggest struggle. There is resistance and hard and it would be easier to just not; however I know as we struggle and wrestle and come as we are, that unseen power will come.
After that night I started opening up to people and telling my story. The vulnerability was freeing. Combined with therapy, friends and family, priesthood power, medication, and the aid of that unseen power I started to heal. My testimony of the atonement became real to me. I had truly partaken of His healing power.
To me this is what the theme of this year’s Women’s Conference means. Coming as we are to the Savior and partaking of His healing power in our lives looks different for each of us, but the invitation is the same. We are all His children. He beckons to each of us to come as YOU are-not like your neighbor, your sister, your friend, your mom or your fan-girl! Whether broken, happy, wounded, successful, getting by, trying, hopeful, depressed, killing it, anxious, confused, or whatever it may be- just come and He will aid you. He will bless you. He loves you!
I know that as I continue to come to the Savior as I am, imperfect yet repentant, questioning yet seeking, unsure yet faithful, His “unseen pow’r” is the constant care, and assurance to me, to just come!