To the Mood and Back

By Molly Bice-Jackson - 9:06 PM


On our trip to Boise last summer for a family reunion, my dad stood studying a wooden sign in my cousin's basement. I'm pretty sure he had his glasses on, perched on the tip of his nose. It was dark, and I could see him squinting. With my keen -5.75 and -5.25 vision, I already figured out what was carved on the piece of wood and was waiting to hear my dad say it aloud. I knew thats what was coming next. He finally turned to me and said, "Love you to the mood and back."

MOON, Dad. MOON and back.

Of course a million jokes were made as we laughed our way through them. "That's a great motto for you and mom". "Mood River". "Moods over MyHammy". "Moodglow". I still send him texts that say, "Love you to the mood and back" after I've expressed my frustration with him, or vented about my long and stressful day. (Now that they are in Russia it will have to be via email).

Anyway, the point is, I've had a lot of moods lately. I'm struggling guys. Really struggling. To the point of mental breakdown and admit myself to the psych ward at the hospital struggling. (Almost did last night).

I've been overwhelmed recently at the MENTAL toll losing Lucy has taken on me. I've had severe anxiety/panic attacks, insomnia... It's been awful.  Mental illness is no joke. It is real. And it is scary. So very scary. I would take a broken arm, a broken FEMUR, give up an entire limb, to feel mentally well. I think feeling physically and mentally well are some of the greatest gifts any human can experience. Never take your health for granted.

The brain is powerful. It believes what you feed it. The pathways it creates are incredibly powerful. I am trying to learn more about how to change my obsessive thoughts. I am seeing an acupuncturist. I have two therapists. I am singing and running and facing the sunlight head on. I have meditation cd's, books on tape, and the most wonderful husband.

Saturday he worked on our back deck all morning and afternoon, trimmed the giant tree with a chainsaw in our yard, cleaned up the entire yard, went grocery shopping with Peter, then baked homemade granola while doing all the laundry.

He loves me.

He loves me to the mood and back.

I need you to love me to the mood and back if I am going to survive this. I need all the help I can get. Peter has been going to different homes in my ward most days of the week because I am too dizzy from lack of sleep to take care of him. Sometimes I just lay on my bed and cry, unable to sleep, unable to nap.

I will get through this. This too shall pass. I can do it. I will improve. I might have to go to the moon and back, but I can do it.

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53 Loving Lines

  1. Prayers and love being sent your way.

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  2. Praying for you. Sending lots of love.

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  3. I don't know you, but I read your blog. You have been through so much. Just be nice and patient with yourself and you will get through this to. You have a great family and an extra angel to help you. And remember “this too shall pass.” Maybe not right away, but it will. It will get more bearable little by little. In the mean time I will be praying for you.

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  4. I'm so sorry you've been going through a difficult time. I won't say it's going to be all better soon, but I'll say that I love you. And I'll pray for you. Jason & I both will.

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  5. Molly:
    I'm so sad for you. I was listening to a Hilary Weeks CD this morning when a line in one of the songs struck me...."Some days the only thing that keeps me standing is getting on my knees".
    I promise I will keep you in my prayers. Hold on Molly. Some people say that time heals all wounds, but I believe Heavenly Father heals all wounds. He will heal you.....He loves you. Lucy loves you. Hold on Molly.

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  6. You can do it. I believe in you.

    Sending love, prayers, and well wishes.

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  7. Oh, Molly. My heart is sad. Even though my brief bout with PPD was only a fraction of what you feel, I still have just enough empathy to know that what you are dealing with is so. dang. hard.

    I wish I lived closer to you. If I did, I would come over and you could tell me the worst of what you feel, and I would never judge you. Then, after you had a good cry, I would tell you really inappropriate jokes that would make you laugh. And then I would play the piano so you could cathartically sing to your heart's content.

    But since none of that can happen... just know that you are in my prayers tonight.

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  8. one of the things my therapist told me was that she has a bumper sticker that says, "don't believe everything you think". don't you love that? i used to think that because i thought something it HAD to be true. turns out it's only true if we believe it to be true. i've had to learn (and still am learning) how to retrain my thoughts. they become habits (like you mentioned), and i can feel them coming on and i have to either abandon the thought and think about something else completely, or deeply analyze it's truthfulness before it spirals out of control, or else i become just a heap of nothingness wallowing in self loathing thoughts. retraining your brain not to go into those patterns of thought is tough. habits are hard to break. we're used to them. i almost don't know who i would be or what i would think about if i didn't have them! it's like a loss of identity, even as much as i don't want that to be a part of me!

    on another note, have you read byron katie's book, loving what is? i don't know if you will like it as much as i did, but it was really helpful for me.

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  9. tough.

    not sure what to say... except hang in there... please.

    I am a firm believe in mental illness and anxiety attacks etc.

    ToOdLeS.

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  10. Very touching post. You are reaching out to people around you. Sometimes we need someone to lift us up and carry us when we cannot do it ourselves. Continue to hope and we will continue to pray. Hugs!

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  11. Molly, I am so sorry. After I lost my baby and got pregnant again, I had panic attacks around the clock (but particularly at night). I would wake up in a cold sweat with my heart racing. My mind would constantly race and I couldn't get a hold of my emotions. It's terrifying. I know how that feels. It's awful and all-encompassing and really, really scary. And I know that you're not exaggerating when you say "if I am going to survive this." It's very, very, very serious. I had that same thing where I *almost* checked into the hospital. It's so hard. Good for you for getting help. I hope you continue to access as much help as you can - with Peter, with your therapists, with everything.

    And I'm so sorry. If you need to get away, the rainy Midwest welcomes you any day or night. Many hugs.

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  12. i had a 17 week miscarriage that resulted in 1 1/2 months of postpartum depression. i had no clue what was going on, only that it was so hard to slog through each day and take care of my two littles. there was grief compounded by my infertility and guilt that i "wasn't doing everything i should do".
    PLEASE take care of yourself. try to rest, go out and enjoy the fall sun, love yourself. try NOT to feel guilty about anything, just take care of yourself.
    what you are struggling with is SO hard. i'm thankful you have amazing ward members who are so ready to step in and help you (and peter and vic). big huge hugs and lots and lots of peace and happy vibes coming your way from the salt lake valley.

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  13. Sweet, Sweet, Molly-

    Having some weird mental issues myself, my heart goes out to you my friend.

    Sometimes I wish someone would invent a brain suction device that would suck out all those thoughts and memories that hold us back or make us hurt so we could have peace of mind.

    I have experimented my home made device on some rats, but it sucks their brains right out of their little heads. Needless to say it's not ready for the public as of yet. I will let you know when it is ready for human use.

    I hope things get better for you soon. Sure love you.

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  14. I hope our thoughts and prayers can comfort you now as you have comforted and blessed so many.

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  15. I too am right in the middle of a bunch of OCD Mental CRAP. I hate it. It's all consuming, exhausting, and feels like it's never going to end.... My friend gave me this quote she found yesterday that I really love, "Let everything happen to you, beauty and terror, just keep going because no feeling is final."
    You can make it through this dark time and so can I. Wish we lived closer so we could talk. Mental illness is a swear word and I would never wish it upon my worst enemy.

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  16. My only advice? Don't add guilt about what you're NOT doing on top of everything else. IF there's one thing I know: husbands and kids are more easy going and resilient than us Moms give them credit for! They can make granola! Awesome that Peter gets to play with so many lovely friends! Just allow yourself the time necessary to get through the tunnel.

    And never forget how many people are cheering you on. You are like the American Idol favorite of this corner of the blog world!

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  17. Sending hugs, love and prayers....

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  18. I am truly thinking of you and praying for you. I know the devastating nature our minds can become but they also can become a beacon of light to others. They can allow us to feel Christ's love. I have not lost a child. I will not pretend I know how it feels. I have lost my family to some very very devastating things. If you want to email me I will share. Anyway I know more this past year than any other year. I have questioned my faith. My very existance on this earth. I have cried. Wondered how come He wasn't helping prevent it. I have told Him and myself I will NOT be anger just to say to help me try and believe it. I wonder what is the point some days. I do know it doesn't get easier my thing has been a year already. I am just trying to learn my new sense of normal. I like you have a very very loving husband. Sometimes I am worried he is struggling too but putting on a brave face for my sake. Know you are loved. You will get through this. I don't know how and when but you will.
    thedunstans@gmail.com

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  19. Since my daughter was born, my once-mild anxiety has been through the roof on almost a daily basis. Not that it's anywhere in the same planet as what you're dealing with, but I understand how consuming and nightmarish obsessive thoughts can be. The fact that you can admit you need help and reach out to others is HUGELY healthy. I admire you immensely for that; I struggle with being open and vulnerable about my inner struggles.

    I wish we were friends and I could come over and bring you an amazing peanut butter chocolate muffin from my local bakery and give you a hug. I can't do that, so I'll just tell you that even though I don't know you, I care about you and am always, always rooting for you.

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  20. We have a lot of people with mood issues in my family. I think creative people are prone to have so many feelings they don't know what to do with them all, especially when life stressors hit full capacity.

    My advice to you, Molly, is to remember that having a lot of complex feelings is part of what makes you an artist, and what you're going through right now is the downside of all that depthy feeling. (Note: the downside part loses a lot of its power if you don't think of it as a downside.) Try to embrace all of the parts of you...the highs, the lows, and everything in between. Not being afraid of being afraid takes 2/3 of the anxiety away right there. There is no shame in having deep feelings, and it isn't until you invite them in that you are free to bless and send them on their way.

    A skilled therapist can be very useful, but make sure you have a good connection with yours because that is all important. Exercise and being on a regular schedule to try to put some order in your world are also helpful. And don't be afraid to take psychiatric medication for awhile if you aren't getting any relief. I'm sure I don't have to tell you that sleep is essential to healing, and those meds can help regulate it again...and are better and safer than sleeping pills.

    Be gentle with yourself, and be as open with your family and trusted friends as you have been on the blog. They can't support you if they don't know what you're going through, and you can't heal as well if you are using too much energy pretending with people that are close to you.

    Sending lots of hugs your way and praying that all will be well. I know it will, because all of us who've read this blog over the years know that you are a strong fighter. Just use that strength more like you would in labor, when you're giving birth...RELAX into it and breathe deeply as you go through it. Let the pain wash over you and don't be afraid of or judge it. This, too, shall pass.

    =)

    PS. If you email your address to me, I want to send you a book I wrote a few years ago. I think you might relate to it.

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  21. Yes, you can do it. But it won't be easy as you already know. I'm so proud of you (I've come to have motherly feelings towards you) for not hiding. So many people are ashamed to have weaknesses and won't ask for help. You amaze me. Good for you for telling the world, and asking for help. This demonstrates an inner strength that will serve you well as you struggle back to health. You are in my prayers sweet Molly, as well as your darling husband and son. Hang in there sweetie!!!!

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  22. I always tell my kids and gems that I love them up to God! To the moon and back is good too~ You will get thru Molly. You are one tough woman. I wish, like the others, that I lived near you too. How great it is for your friends near by to be able to take Peter to help you out. Friends want to help, to be able to do even the smallest things for a friend in need. My gift is continued prayers. Continued thoughts and prayers for your sweet Lucy~ and for Vic and Peter. One day at a time. I am hoping tomorrow brings a better day for you Molly. Love, Meme

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  23. There are no words to ease the pain, but there are many of us feeling it along side you...I hope there is some peace in that. I just wanted to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers and I wish I lived closer and "knew" you so I could come and help, clean, cook, and listen. You are helping so many people with your honesty. Grief isn't something that ever goes away and the toughest days comes when it wants, when you least expect it and you do fall....but getting back up to your feet is what makes you strong, even when you don't feel it. YOU ARE STRONG and He is there beside you when you need extra help (along with your sweet boy to shower you with love and your incredible husband to help along the way). Love and hugs, Em....
    If you haven't heard this song I think you will find it "comforting", if there is such a thing right now.
    (Matthew West-Strong Enough)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8JsRxVczmQ

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  24. I feel weird giving advice to a complete stranger, but it looks like you are looking for help.

    First of all, I will pray for you. I can't even begin to understand the pain you must feel constantly.

    I have felt some pain..not from loss but from betrayal and I know the only way I got through it was by handing it over to the Lord.

    I worked the 12 steps, and they may help you. They basically give you practice at repeatedly handing it over to the Lord. Because really that is all we can do. I have received so much strength from that simple little action. Hand it over. I do it in every second of every day and it always makes me feel better. I have completely changed my thinking in this. When I go to negativity, I make a game with myself to hand it over and take back a positive from the Lord.

    That being said, I have no idea what you are dealing with psychologically. I am Bi-Polar Type II and wouldn't last a day without the correct medication, so I encourage you to get into your psychiatrist and get some drugs that will work.

    God bless you. Your honesty is a breath of fresh air. And I hope you feel loved and supported from your readers, your family, and your church family. But most of all, know that God watches over you. Consider the lilies of the field. Know that he and Lucy stand together and pray that you will find happiness. They don't want you to grieve any longer than is absolutely necessary for your growth. Christ grieved for you, so you don't have to.

    I have learned one huge life lesson. We are here to experience mortality. All that happens to us can either draw us closer to the Lord or farther away from Him. The deciding factor is us. And when you think that we are judged for our thoughts (WOW) it really helps me to think more upon the Lord in humility and gratitude, even for the hardest things that He has given me.

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  25. Molly,
    Please call me if there is anything I can ever do for you. I know you've been thinking about the benefit concert too so call me and delegate some of the stress. We are now living in Saratoga Springs so we're closer than we were in Idaho. I'm tied to home Mon - Thurs. Taking and picking up the kids from school but I'd love to help in anyway possible.
    I wondered how I'd do with this move and leaving all that trauma and emotions in Idaho. I've done better than I thought I would so far. We've only been here a week but the sun is looking brighter and I think I'll be ok here.
    I Love you and love your honesty and your desire to help those of us struggling in our own trials.
    My number is still 208-251-1362.
    Love Amy

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  26. I love you to the mood and back, so let me take Peter off of your hands! Liam keeps repeating "Peter will come back" this week...he misses him. -Rach

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  27. Love you Molly and know thatI am thinking of you and praying for you.

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  28. Molls,

    Want to take a trip to Texas? Yeah me neither, but want to come visit me? I'd love it. And I just happen to live in Texas so it's part of the package. BTW, this is a sincere offer.

    After Lamp was born I came the closest I have ever come to having a complete breakdown....just like you described--check myself into a hospital breakdown. Luckily a friend in our ward came to my rescue. And as hard as that was for me, I know it pales compared to what you're going through. My situation was a relative quick fix. My point is, I think we're all 1 or 2 experiences away from complete mental breakdowns. Mine wasn't as serious or enduring as yours, but all of us are pretty fragile creatures when it comes down to it. To see how far you've come and how much you've endured tells me something about your strength. I know it's so lame when people say things like "I couldn't do it if I were you" because that somehow implies that THEIR pain would be so much worse because THEIR loss would be greater or something, so I'm not trying to say that. But there is a strength there that is important for the rest of us to witness. I just don't know why this reprieve from pain is so difficult. I wish you peace Molly.

    Hugs,
    Migs

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  29. Molly, even though I have not experienced the trauma that you have in losing a child,I can relate to you in what you are going through right now.

    The last two months, I too have been having crazy anxiety/panic attacks, depression, and insomnia. It is excruciatingly painful. I completely agree with you about rather having a broken bone than have any mental health issues. Definitely never take your physical and mental health for granted.

    I have four kids ages 10, 9, 7, and 3, and it is a fight everyday just to be able to get out of bed after getting what little sleep I get on meds and take care of them and everything around my house.

    You are very lucky you have such a supportive husband. Please hang in there, I know the darkness that you feel. We both have to get through this. I will pray for you.

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  30. I am struggling so much now too. i am so glad you have such a support system around you and what we would we do without our husbands holding us up when we can't stand ourselves. Sending my love........

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  31. Gosh dang it, I wish I had magic words that could make things better for you.

    From the comments it looks like you have lots of friends, family, and strangers praying for you and sending happy thoughts your way... I will do the same!

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  32. I'm not sure if I've left a comment for you before tonight. I've been following your blog daily for about 9 months now and have been so touched by your life and struggle to keep going since you lost your precious daughter.

    I don't know what it feels like to lose a child and I pray I never have to, but it's my very worst fear (I'm sure most moms would agree) and my heart just aches for you and the other moms who have lost their children.

    I have, however, struggled with depression for 12 years and couldn't agree with you more: Mental illness is VERY real. It's not something you can wish away or even pray away. Even though I've been off meds for the last few years, this awful disease creeps its way back into my life on a regular basis and I'm now starting to experience anxiety attacks as well.

    I'm SO sorry that you're having to face this in addition to the grieving process. There's no "magic wand" to wave, unfortunately, but like you said, you've got amazing people in your life to help you and that makes a BIG difference. And you always have the most loving older brother, Jesus Christ, who DOES know EXACTLY what you are going through because He suffered it for you on the cross. Take this burden to Him and He will help you carry it (and on the worst days, He will carry YOU). Thank heaven (literally!) for the gospel. So glad we have that!!

    Praying for brighter and better days to come your way, Molly. Words can't express how you've inspired me over the last 9 months to be a better mother and person. You really are incredible, even when you might not feel that way. Thank you for your example and honesty!

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  33. Precious Molly,

    This too shall pass. And you will heal...completely! It is so hard when time is both your enemey and your friend. But our loving Father designed our hearts with such profound elasticity as to accomodate joy ans sorrow at the same time. Sending love and prayers dear Molly!

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  34. "Sometimes I wish someone would invent a brain suction device that would suck out all those thoughts and memories that hold us back or make us hurt so we could have peace of mind."

    Amen.

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  35. great post.
    i just love love love you.

    and i so needed this post to help me feel not so alone right now.

    xo

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  36. mental health has a bad stigma, and its not right. mental health issues are just as real as phsyical ones.

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  37. Praying for you! You can do this. We all love you to the mood and back.

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  38. sweet molly,

    I am so sorry for the pain you are feeling. all i can say is that you are SO loved. much more than you feel right now. look in the mirror and love yourself. tell yourself you are strong, and that you will beat this.

    Heavenly Father will help. there is VERY real power in the Book of Mormon. read it. and read some more until the pain eases and you are given the strength to rest. the strength to feel the encompassing love of our Savior. "He will not leave you comfortless, He will come to you."

    many prayers, and much love your way.

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  39. Mental health issues are real. And scary. And HARD.

    I have tears in my eyes thinking about the times my own battles with insomnia and depression have just about sent me over the edge.

    Just hold on. You're doing all the right things by talking with therapists and letting others help you. Just hold on to the hope that one day you will feel good again.

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  40. You CAN do it! We are all with you, behind you, on the right and on the left lifting you up! Just like Heavenly Father! You are an amazing person and Heavenly Father wouldn't have given you this mission if He wasn't sure, that you were gonna make it! Although I don't know you but I love you still!

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  41. Sending love from our little corner of the world. You can do this. I just know it. Here's hoping you're feeling more "you" soon.

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  42. You can do it! We are all behind you in this. I really do appreciate you being so honest and open on this blog. It helps all of us realize how human we are and the crazy emotions we all can feel. Sending positive and happy thoughts and prayers your way.

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  43. If you feel you need to admit yourself, it's OK if you do. If you are considering harming yourself or have any actual plans to do that, please do go to the hospital - that is the smartest and safest thing to do. Or, if you feel you need a family member to be with you at all times, ask for that, tell them you are in danger. I'm so sorry you are feeling so bad, I don't know you, but I was suicidal for several years after my brother died at 25 and still struggle with depression 17 years later. The only reason I did not kill myself was knowing my family could not survive another loss - but I truly did want to leave this world and the terrible pain I felt. I am much better now but it has taken so long for me to finally get the support I need to heal. I wish you comfort. You are absolutely justified in losing your mind - grief is so overwhelming and adjusting to life without your child must be taking everything you have and more. There is no shame in asking for help -whatever form that help must be. God bless you.

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  44. Molly,
    Whenever I fall into my fall depression about my life, I try to remember the advise given by President Eyring in a conference talk. He talked about finding how the Lord had touched you or your family that day and writing it down. I know from personal experiece that this works. When I can't drag myself out of bed, or off the couch etc...I pull out the journal that I started and read how the Lord has influenced my life. It seems so small and inconsequencal but through my tears and rage and heartache and pain I know that he is there.

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  45. I feel your pain. The only reason I'm able to sleep is because I'm on some strong drugs... I would die if I didn't sleep... I'm glad you are asking people for help. Especially people to help you with Peter. That means you are very humble and on your way---I know you are going to be fine--I mean look at all these people who love you and don't even know you! Okay--I don't know you, but you inspire hundreds, more like thousands of people, so you will make it, I know you will!

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  46. I don't know you, but my heart aches for you. I know that our Savior knows your pain and you are not alone. Hang in there. Maybe you could read Pres Uchtdorf's Forget Me Not talk. It helped me when I was down.

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  47. My prayers include you Molly. Hold on.

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  48. My heart is with you and you all are in my prayers. I can't begin to know what to say. I just hope you can rely on God to help you with your burden! Big hugs!

    -Sam

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  49. I am saying a prayer for you right now. I hope today is better. I know Halloween hurts. Everything hurts sometimes.

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