# The Brink

Well shoot. Never thought I’d be sharing this. This is really scary for me, but I want people to know so they can find hope, for themselves or others. It was internet sites like afsp.org that brought me back from the brink of despair and prevented my suicide. One of the major symptoms of depression is irrationality, so even though I was surrounded by loved ones and opportunities, I felt completely isolated, alone, unloved, a failure, trapped, and completely sunk under everything, with no way out. It was simply too much. How could a failure like me even have anything worth giving? I felt that I didn’t, and thus nothing worth living for.

A scientist at heart, I decided to do some research on the web on the best way to commit my suicide. What I found instead were complete strangers reaching out to me in love and compassion to let me know that I was actually and indeed very much loved, wanted, and needed. That there was a way out. That I could do this thing called living, even though it was hard and felt completely and utterly pointless.

I read these sites every night for weeks, months. Even years later I reflected on the love I’d found from complete strangers who got me, who sympathetically understood my burden without knowing anything about the details, only that it was hard. Each night I wept bitterly.

It would be years before I no longer felt the need to end my existence, and many more before I regularly thought of it as a viable option, and there are times still when I wonder if it may be a solution.

However, I found a way out of those troubles that plagued me. It did take time, but on the other side of it I discovered that my talents and skills, the very ones I thought inept and inadequate, were in high demand! That I was wanted, and that I had the power and ability to change my life, which I did. Drastically! The biggest change being me and the value I see in myself, for the troubles keep coming and always will (that’s life after all!), but I am more than equal to them.

Thank goodness 10+ years ago someone saw the value within me without even ever seeing me, that knew I had a calling and purpose in life, that I was needed, and that I was loved deeply, everlastingly, and abidingly.

Let me just reassure you, if you are as I was and still sometimes am – whether you struggle with depression or whether it’s just a bad day, month, or year – those statements in the last paragraph apply to you also!

# YOU ARE AMAZING!

YOU are loved everlastingly, abidingly, and deeply. YOU have great, infinite value. I see your heart, and I see it as big and wide and loving as the ocean. YOU are meant for great things. Your unique experiences, skills, talents, hopes, and dreams are NEEDED. You are the only one that can fill that role. Your wild, courageous, meek, warrior heart, oracle mind, brilliant talent is irreplaceable. No one can accomplish the things you were called to do. I sincerely believe that we were ordained to callings in this life: all of them unique. There are and will always be things all through your life that only you were meant to do. YOU ARE AMAZING! YOU matter to Him.

The hardest thing about life sometimes is living it. I’m ever so grateful to those that help me daily, weekly, yearly, or even just that once. The Lord asked us to bear one another’s burdens. Then he gave us unique gifts and talents to share with others, to fill their needs and their lives as no one else could because no one else is who we are!

To the YOU that was/is like me: now I find strength in carrying on because if little ol’ me can carry on, certainly YOU can too! Not because your life is easier, but because YOU are more than equal to the task!

$YOU \ggg{\sum{\text{your troubles}}}$

YOU are much, much greater than the sum of all your troubles! (The  $\ggg{}$ symbol is used in mathematics to indicate a major inequality.)

# A joy beyond measure

As a side note: This is why I created Nancy’s DoGooders. I have rarely found such relief from my burden than when I was using my unique experiences, gifts, and talents for others: whether that was through my work, as a volunteer, as a much needed friend, or as family. Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure! (We’d love to have you like our Nancy’s DoGooders facebook page to join us in our missions!)

# The Walk

As I mentioned in Just when you think what you aren’t making a difference, my friend Paige, a fellow sufferer, suggested Nancy’s DoGooders next mission be to help raise awareness and understanding for suicide and depression by participating in the SLC “Walk Out of the Darkness” on September 19, 2015. We’ll be wearing green. And if you’d like to show your support even if you can’t attend, then Paige came up with a brilliant idea for you to do so! Please check out the Nancy’s DoGooders Special Op Mission: Out of the Darkness Walk for how!

Already in sharing my participation in this event with others I’ve felt lives be touched, and who knew how much it would touch my own?! I’ve rarely shared these dark moments before (only with those very close to me). It scares me witless to do so! (Also, I can’t believe I thought witless was spelled with an ‘h’!) I’ve cried through typing every letter of this post. But if it even gives one person the branch they need to hold on to, then I gladly share.

# “Never give up. Never Surrender!” ~Commander Taggert

There is hope. There is much mire, but you are more than equal to the whirlwinds of life. You are an infinite being with power, and resources to call on in your hours of need. God doesn’t always, sometimes feels like never, relieve us of our heaviest burdens, but he will always be with you as you strive to be with him. He will always come to your aid, in ways you never dreamed of, usually small and simple, sometimes grand and glorious. Hold out for those moments. They are oh-so-worth-it! You are too!

All my love, prayers, and angels to aid your way,

Fancy Nancy

# State of anxiety

So… I’ve been in a state of anxiety ever since this summer when I conceived the idea of a group of people using their God-given gifts (Which sounds silly, but is accurate: they are gifts God gave us after all!) and talents to uplift the lives of others.

Then someone challenged me (Thanks Mindy!) to show up to that vision and make it happen!

I about did all the things that people do when they’re afraid: crap my pants, scream, cry, I think I actually threw up a little, and I did hide!

# I know what I am doing is right!

But then I did it. I showed up to my vision in hope and faith that it would show up to me. I did it because my friend Mindy told me that it doesn’t matter if I end up looking like a fool while doing what I feel I was meant to do. She told me to trust my instincts and spiritual insights. I made that a daily declaration:

I fall in love with my ideas. I trust my instincts and spiritual insights. I follow my heart, no matter how scary or how foolish I may appear to others. I know what I am doing is right. I show up to my vision, and my vision shows up to me.

She was going through this herself: showing up to a vision that scared her, and that encouraged me as well. I found an image online that inspired me with this quote:

“She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans.” ~Kobi Yamada

# Dreams into plans!

Time to be this “she”! Time to make can’ts: cans, and dreams: plans! So I bucked up and stuttered my way through inviting one of my best friends to join me on the journey. I totally messed it up. I texted her crazy stuff, didn’t make sense, it was awkward, and I was so embarrassed! It took me a week to “trick” her into seeing me one-on-one so I could explain myself in person. When we were one-on-one I was too nervous to come out with it and instead did some venting. Then while she was talking I rudely interrupted her to tell her what I’d come over for! I explained my vision and how I wanted her to join me, and she, amazingly, was pleased and excited to join me — and, might I add, hadn’t thought anything weird or awkward about the texts I’d sent! I knew some people would not feel drawn to my cause, but all the sudden here was this wonderful woman telling me how honored she was that I asked her first, how much she already believed in my vision, and how excited she was to be my right-hand hench-woman! Little does she know how much she is MY ROCK!

With that victory in hand, I invited my little sister to join us. I knew she was busy with PA school, but I needed her on my side. She was honored to join us — and does all she can in the midst of her busy schedule, which is really just hearing me talk about it and supporting me. And all that is all I need from my left-hand hench-woman!

I have since invited one other to join our team who declined, but that’s okay. I wanted him to know he was invited, and it’s okay that he doesn’t feel pulled to my cause, that his life is calling him currently elsewhere. I love him just as much as I ever did! And undaunted because I actually know he has a part to play with us in the future which he will love, and he will be amazing at!

# Nancy’s DoGooders, a Team of Pure Awesomeness!

On August 31st, 2015, we did our first good deed together, Paige and me, and it was amazing! Paige and I, mostly Paige (I just gathered the information, helped with suggestions, and then cooked us dinner) made homemade pies for a bake sale to raise money for a baby’s heart surgery for a family I knew personally. And as we were doing it I knew my vision of doers of good needed something more! So I created the facebook page Nancy’s DoGooders, a Team of Pure Awesomeness that same day to encourage others to share their gifts and talents to uplift and brighten the lives of others.

That was when the panic started! I just told the world what I was doing. I just told them my vision! I just, what did I just do?! AH!

# Should I just give up? Should I quit?

I immediately started scheduling doing good quotes for the page and came up with the idea of simple weekly missions. I went through my list of friends and invited people that had been generous to me. A couple people liked the page! And my aunt liked my page description! So with that courage in hand I went through my friends list again and invited a couple more people. I worried and fretted. I was so scared to just invite people openly to join. Not many likes. Should I just give up? Should I quit?

# Never give up! Never surrender!

As I pondered on these things, the spirit brought to my recollection two of my favorite quotes:

“Never give up! Never surrender!” ~Commander Taggart, from Galaxy Quest

(Which just goes to prove that even a parody of science fiction can have lasting effects on our lives. Whatever your calling, follow it!)

“Never, never, never, never give up!” ~Winston Churchhill.

(From a man the world admires!)

and in cleaning out my closet, a task I was doing to hide from my calling, I found this one:

“When you cannot make up your mind between two evenly balanced courses of action, choose the BOLDER.” ~WJ Smith

# Worth it for the one!

These three bulstered my own tenacious spirit, and I discovered that it doesn’t matter how many people like the page or the posts, or hates the group, or dislikes me. If Nancy’s DoGooders facebook page and missions helps just one person show up to their gifts and talents to help others, if all the many posts only brighten the life of one, and even if all the silly things I do makes only one person happy, that is enough. Just one is more than plenty! The worth of a soul, even just the one!, is GREAT in the sight of God. So once again I carried on through the mire. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, what I look like, what I think it might appear to others to be! It matters only that I’m heading in the direction that I feel God has called me to go in, and that makes my heart sing! And that’s scary!

# Our next mission!

Yesterday, September 9, 2015, my friend Paige, my right-hand hench-woman, got in my car to go shopping with me, and one of the first things she said to me (after handing over the potato chips that she checked the ingredients list on to make sure I could enjoy them with her! <sigh> She’s so awesome!) was, “I have our next mission.” I will honestly share here what I felt: excitement, and dread. What if she suggested a mission I wasn’t interested in participating in? I think she was feeling the same, What if she isn’t interested in participating in my idea? But thank goodness she didn’t let that hold her back! Her project was amazing! It showed she understood exactly what my vision was about! It showed she knew me!

And so Nancy’s DoGooders next Special Ops Mission is to participate in the “Out of the Darkness Walk” event in Salt Lake City, UT on September 19, 2015 to help raise awareness about depression, suicide, and help those in need of hope. We made it a special ops mission on Nancy’s DoGooders page, and then posted about it with our personal donation pages on our facebook timelines.

# What was I thinking?

I personally did this at 2am this morning. That’s when the panic attack hit me. I have been really sick for several months. I am on the up and up, but I don’t know that I will actually be able to participate in the actual walk. AH! I was so nervous what people might think about all my Nancy’s DoGooders stuff, and about that personal post. What was I thinking?

# I didn’t want to get out of bed!

I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. I certainly didn’t want to check facebook and see all the people who were ridiculing me and didn’t care — at least that was I was thinking! But I did want to check to see if our friend Alina had joined our team, so I braved the misty waters and noticed that not only had Alina joined our team, but that our little team had already received donations! Someone had donated on my personal page! WHAT?!?!

# I am on the right track with the right people behind me! How blessed I am!

My dear dear friend Tammy Sauer had donated and left me this beautiful message:

I broke down in tears immediately! Now that was worth it! It was all worth it for Tammy and her dad! I immediately thanked her and asked her permission to share, and she immediately gave it! What an amazing woman! Then I thanked my Paige for thinking of this mission! Wow! Two great women!

That’s how I know what I am doing is right. That’s how I know I am on the right track with the right people behind me! How blessed I am!

# Victories piling up behind me!

I look back over the past couple weeks, COUPLE WEEKS!, And see the victories piling up behind me, the lives changed, the hearts that sing! And I remembered that I shouldn’t judge! I don’t know whose heart resonates with my own! I openly invite every one to join my Nancy’s DoGooders! You know what happened?! People immediately did!

The world has need of helping hands! It needs your strength, your unique experiences, God-given gifts and talents, and your compassion. That’s what Nancy’s DoGooders is about! Using your own uniqueness and overflowing love and joy to fill the needs of others in ways no one else can, because they’re not you! We need you! We need what you can do! If it makes your heart sing, then join us! Join Nancy’s DoGooders on facebook. We are only just starting, and there is so much more good to follow, so many great things you will do!

We can’t wait to have you on our side!

Gah! THIS IS SO EXCITING!

# Facing the facebook facts! It’s snowing!

It all started as a beautiful, but windy, sunny day on Tuesday 4/14.

I don’t know why, but I find it hilarious that the weather app says it’s dreary. ~Nichole

Then, the storm came in. It has been snowing pretty consistently since it started yesterday.

Fact from Facebook: It has snowed more in spring this year than it did all of fall and winter! ~Rody

In fact, it has snowed so much in the last 24 hours that lots of people have gotten on facebook to express their feelings about it!

If it’s going to snow, I want presents. ~Rebecca

Which was my thought exactly. These past seasons it has snowed in Utah: the day I got back from California back in November right before Thanksgiving, and then not again until Christmas Eve. I want presents.

Snow is not a present. Hmm… unless it’s a snow cone. That can be a present. ~Me

The snowflakes were so large this morning that it was like they were pieces of paper falling from the sky. I told my little brother this and he looked up the largest snowflake on record: 15 inches. “See!” I told him, “Paper falling from the sky!” He then took a piece of paper, his math assignment, and let it float to the ground. I picked up the mock snowflake and exclaimed, “Math homework! I hate this snow!”

Dear Utahns: You complained about not having snow this winter? Here: I’ll dump it all on you now!! 70 in January, and snow now. Why? Because screw you, that’s why. -Mother Nature. ~Conveyed to us via my sister Elona.

This just goes to show that we don’t have to have snow in fall and winter for our water. We can get it all in the spring!

Aw Utah, I wouldn’t take you any other way.

I really want to name one of my children Trouble. Another will be Random. I think the third (triplets of course!) will be Mischief.

Also, these will be their first names, so when they’re asked if Trouble (or Random, or Mischief) is their middle name they can say, “No, Trouble is my first name, I go by my middle name.” 😉

I’m going to be an awesome mommy!

# Trouble

I’ve been in bed a lot lately so last week I watched the entire Anne of Green Gables series. After successfully persuading a grouchy old lady to her point of view, said old lady tells Anne:

Yet man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward. Job 5:7

I just love that so much because we do have a lot of trouble in this life don’t we? And, if you’re anything like me, most of it we cause ourselves! Yet I love that as we have trouble we can always rely on the Lord. He doesn’t always (almost never??) take our troubles away. Rather, at least for me, he strengthens us to move through them.

I got really sick last week, just five days after my gallbladder surgery. My mother and father didn’t know what to do for me. At 3am Wednesday morning I asked for a priesthood blessing. I was so miserable; I wanted to be healed so bad. But instead of healing, I was blessed with strength. I was hospitalized Wednesday afternoon, and by Thursday afternoon I was ready to rip out the IV and stagger home (and by stagger home I mean: lay in the back seat while Mom drove us home). I only just started eating solids again a few days ago (I ate an entire banana on Sunday!), so healing has been slow. But through it all I was never scared or worried: I mean, your parents being stumped on what to do is usually a scary thing! But I knew I was in the Lords hands, and he was strengthening me. While I was in the hospital, to help myself deal with the pain and nausea I kept counting backwards in my head from ten. In my favorite book series, The Amber Chronicles, Corwin says, “The hardest thing about time is doing it.” Yet the Lord reassured me through it all that I was going to get better, and to just take it slow. And here I am, eating bananas, cereal, and real chicken broth! 🙂

It gives me comfort to know that God knew we’d have trouble and sorrow in this life, but that he also provided healthy ways for us to deal with it all. Later on in Job, Job says that though his friends scorn him (and all the other stuff he had happen to him!), “but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.” (Job 16:20) God always hears us and knows our needs, and if we endure to the end, in the end He shall wipe away all tears from our eyes. (Rev 7:17)

# Go Get Them!

Well! It has been a long, hard, fantastic, crazy year for me! I started a new business as an essential oil wellness advocate, a new blog, and my master’s program in Entertainment Arts and Engineering (aka video game development) at the University of Utah on the engineering track. I have had three different jobs, two of them internships (Internships make life crazy complicated sometimes!), in five months. Currently I am at EA Maxis as a gameplay engineer intern, and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I get to make and play games, and work with incredibly talented and intelligent people. I’m living with my older brother, his wife, and their five adorable children. They have date night on Fridays, and two Fridays ago I was their date idea: we played cards til really late! It was super fun! I’ve met lots, lots, LOTS of new, fantastic, kind, and intelligent people! And I’m busy making plans for the next two, three years of my life. It’s been hard, and I’ve cried plenty, but it’s been great too. I don’t know that I’ve been happier except maybe when I was a little girl before my depression.

Just after moving out to California this summer, then living with my bro’s family, at the end of my first week at EA, I wrote something I’ve never written before, something that astounded myself, in my journal. I wrote:

Saturday I woke up happy.

I’ve had more days like this, days I woke up happy. I’m getting to know myself, who I am, who I want to be. And I know I’m heading in the right direction. It’s taken more than a decade for me to figure it out. I had to wait til I was thirty to have a day where I woke up happy, but it’s been worth it. It’s all been worth. All the sweat, the tears, the embarrassing moments, the failures, the successes, the mistakes, the apologies, the intimate moments of reconciliation, and the discovery of myself, my Lord, and my purpose.  I’m still figuring it out. I still have a lot to learn. But it is so peaceful knowing who I am and where my life is headed, for now. I’ve dug deep and worked hard. I heard once that it takes 5-10 years  to truly create change in your life once you start sincerely trying to make it. It may have taken me a little longer, but that’s okay. I’ve figured out enough that I have peace now. My life isn’t, by any measurement, settled. I still have a lot of work left to do. But I’m up for it. I understand now how to work hard — you take plenty of breaks! I’m so much closer with my family and friends. I’m so incredibly grateful for their help, love, support, friendship, generosity, and righteous examples to me. It’s been a beautiful experience.

Happiness is laying exhausted on the battle field victorious. It’s not easy. It is worth it.

I’m going to go get them!

# Happiness Is…

A text good morning from a cute boy!

A beautiful spring day!

Sitting alone, closing your eyes, building up the energetic feeling of a warm and cozy fireplace, sunshine, and the scent of roses, and then having your sister and friend come sit by you!

Star Trek!

Rice pudding.

Playing Left for Dead 2 with the lil bro.

Bunnies!

The cutest nephews in the world!

Hearing the beloved voice of a wonderful friend you haven’t seen in years.

God’s warm, embracing love letting you know everything is going to work out as long as you keep pressing forward.

Pressing forward with confidence and a hope for better things.