“Happiness comes from serving others”

I think the drive behind this blog originally came from how well it worked as a coping mechanism. I’ve had depression my entire life, and I don’t know what changed that caused it to get so bad that I finally HAD TO do something about it. Normal levels of depression is what I was used to, so it was no big deal to go on with life feeling down or bad about myself. Somehow toward the end of my school career, that changed, and I was not interested in anything, and did not enjoy anything. Looking back from this point, it wasn’t the only thing I constantly “dealt” with. I wasn’t healthy, I always dealt with (but never admitted to) significantly high levels of ADD, there were plenty of other things that were not positive attributes, but were ‘just part of who I was.’

When it finally got so bad and I finally couldn’t take it anymore, I decided I needed to take care of myself. I sought treatment for the depression (that’s right when this blog started), and when I had health issues, I went to the doctor and tried to get them resolved. I kept telling myself I would eat better, but only made minimal improvements. Things were actually changing though and getting better. I graduated, eventually got a job, and then that’s when ADD finally took me down. Appearantly this happens to many adults because there are a lot of ways someone might find to cope with ADD in school, and it works all through school. But those same coping mechanisms don’t work in the job world. There are things you have to do, stay focused, right now, hours on end, and you must complete those tasks on someone else’s schedule in a timely manner. I was happy to be working and providing for my family, but in other ways my life was falling apart.

It was the job that led me to admit I had a problem (ADD) and to seek treatment and help with it. Ironically by the time I made it through all the different hoops, tests, and doctors visits to finally get treatment…was about the same time my short-lived job came to an end. That brought more depression, but trying to please my boss and not being able to was so taxing on me that it was actually quite a relief. For the ADD my psychiatrist prescribed Adderall. Oddly enough, I think that has been a better treatment for my depression than the Zoloft. Although I’m taking both, and I hear that they can improve the effects of each other.  Once I worked up to the full dose of Adderall, painfully miserable job ended, and full force starting my own venture…I was in a pretty good high upswing. It was pretty nice. was. Didn’t last.

I’m pretty good at getting depressed. It’s not like I meant to though. All treatments have side effects. I was taking care of myself. It was good to solve all these problems, but I became so focused on me. I wanted to solve all my problems, but I couldn’t, and it was bothering me. I had a hard time seeing how to serve others, even when I was trying to find ways to do so. I also didn’t feel like I could do much of anything for anyone, couldn’t handle anything. I probably could have, but not while being so self-centered.

My wife taught a wonderful family home evening lesson last night about being selfless. And then (ironically) we all wrote down a list of things we want, but for a good cause of letting others know some things they could do to be selfless. We were all committed to do at least one thing for each of the other people in our family before doing anything for ourselves. It has only really been one day, but I feel good. Not because of what others have done for me, but because of the joy I brought to their lives by serving them. I feel more accomplished, less stressed, and more happy than when I work on my own things. It has only been a day, and I’m sure like everything else I do, there will be swings and mood shifts, but I believe it truly works, and I’m grateful to have learned and have been reminded of such an important concept.

Moral of the story: I think it’s important to take care of yourself and be healthy so that you can take care of others.

Here’s some good stuff, that helped me to be led to the thoughts in this post.
“His love never fails, and we never will cease to feel inour hearts the urge “to mourn with those that mourn …and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.” Norwill the peace He promises ever leave us as we serveothers for Him.” Henry B. Eyering https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/04/the-comforter?lang=eng#watch=video

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