My Quest for Healing is about the process I have been on while going from despair and misery to getting well physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. I have searched and struggled and tried my hardest to be happy, healthy and mentally well for over 20 years. I know there are others out there who have struggled and been stuck with their own issues, and so I created this website in the hopes that through my struggles and now the things that I am learning, I can help someone else feel validated and figure out how to be healed, happy and successful. Permanently. Just one month after I started on this quest I saw some great, and unexpected changes!
I have several hopes attached to this website: that this site will find those it can help – no matter what you’ve been through, or walk of life you come from, no matter your religion or what you believe in. And that the things that I share, and the way that I do it, won’t deter you from gaining insights for yourself and that you can use the things that I’ve been through to help you even if you don’t believe in everything that I do. I hope that you will read with an open mind and heart. Try to not let your thoughts get in the way, just go by your instincts.
About My Quest
I have never just wanted a bandage to cover up my problems, I want them completely gone. I have believed that it is possible, I just haven’t known how to do it and what the tools are. For me, I’m not satisfied until I get to the root of my issues and get them out. I have been diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder; had many physical issues that doctors and other health-care professionals didn’t know how to fix; suicidal thoughts; self-loathing; social issues; very negative and obsessive thoughts and actions which I felt would destroy me; been a very high-stress and negative person and not available for my family; struggled with being mom for 3 boys including one with Down syndrome; couldn’t deal with marriage; in debt for 15+ years; many intense and paralyzing fears my whole life; low energy; couldn’t exercise because of knee and back pain; and almost constant feelings of misery and despair. I share more about myself in the sections below.
I have tried traditional medications and many different alternative therapies including: Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Pilates, targeted exercises, eating raw food, herbal remedies, tried to strengthen my spirituality, and read/listened/watched many self-help/improvement methods. I struggled for 20 years to get well and in December of 2008 I came to the “realization” that most things didn’t work for me and I was just going to be miserable the rest of my life – however long that would be. The one thing that I have found to be a constant source of help to me, however, is my faith in Jesus Christ and the help that my Heavenly Father (or God as He is usually known as) gives me. Through the hard things, I am grateful that I still kept my faith intact. If I didn’t have the church I belong to and the hope that it gives, I know that I would not be alive today.
On New Years’ Eve, 2008, I was blessed with the knowledge and abilities I needed to get healing. I’ve heard about so many people being healed of many afflictions, and had always wondered specifically the things they did, step by step. I’ve wondered, “How long did it take them to see progress? Exactly what did they do? Was it easy? Did they have set-backs? Is my process the same as what they went through?” I haven’t come across anyone who has answered those questions for me, so I wanted to document the things that I did, the thoughts I had, and the changes I saw taking place so that it might benefit others. It really is my journal of the quest that I have been on, the questions I have, the set-backs, the sorrows and joys. I share it with you in my blog posts. I included the dates from a few weeks before my real quest actually started so that you can see a comparison (starting December 14, 2008). I am excited to look back at my documentation and see how much I have healed and how much happier and healthier I am in the future!
The methods that I write about are only the methods that I have come across so far in my quest for healing. I am sure that I will come across many more, and will talk about them in the future as I discover and learn about them.
In the Resources tab and and in the main blog I have many titles to books, cd’s, and websites that are linked to some sites where you can buy or get more information about. Also, under Other Things in the Resources section I have included things that I have tried, read, and listened to that I have liked and that have helped me in some way.
I was born into a good, very religious family as the youngest of 5 girls. From my earliest memory I had many intense fears that I felt dictated the way I thought and behaved. I always had lots of social issues – I was very shy, kids my age didn’t like me much and I had a very hard time with relationships, which continue to this day. I always felt like an adult and really hated being a child. I longed for the day that I would be an adult.
But I was also happy, kind, and very helpful. Supposedly I would do anything for anyone and was a “practically perfect” child on the outside, but inside I was conflicted.
For some reason (maybe my hormones starting?), somewhere between the ages of eight and eleven I changed for the worse. I became negative, unhelpful, selfish, sad, confused and angry. My mom wondered where her sweet, happy child went. I hated myself.
At age 13 I started looking for happiness in the wrong places, doing things I knew were wrong and hanging out with kids that weren’t the best influence on me. Fortunately for me, I have never wanted to smoke, drink alcohol or experiment with drugs. My mind was already very unstable, I shuddered at the thoughts of how those substances would mess me up even more.
Since probably the 2nd grade, reminders of scary scenes in movies that I had seen kept creeping into my mind and I didn’t know how to get rid of them. I remember vividly walking in the hall at school one day and one of those scary thoughts came into my head. It freaked me out. I felt like I was a good girl, so how could I even think such a thing? With every passing year those thoughts got more intense and more frequent. By the age of 14 those thoughts had become so insistent and intense that they just overtook me. One night it felt like my brain was going to explode or implode and I would die – and at that point I wanted to. That was the most scary, utterly hopeless, horrible thing I’ve ever been through. No one had known about this problem of mine for the previous 6 years, and I certainly didn’t want anyone to know this horrible evil thing about me. But fortunately, and by God’s help, a family friend who had been staying with us came home and saw me lying on the couch that night rocking back and forth and bawling. I trusted her, so I told her everything. She took me to see a church bishop (not mine of course, I didn’t want him thinking bad of me) which helped get me on the path of healing. Every time I would have a bad thought, I was to replace it with a church Hymn. It helped, some.
By age 16, I was still very depressed, grumpy, etc. For some very stupid reason, I occasionally watched evil, scary movies with my friends which just added fuel to my negative thoughts problem. It had gotten so bad again that I was terrified that I would hurt someone in my sleep. Every night I tried so hard not to go to sleep and prayed so intensely that I wouldn’t harm anyone. Every morning I would wake up and be so scared wondering if I’d done anything evil in the middle of the night. This lasted for years. I couldn’t stand it any more. I needed more help. I told my parents my problem, and we all made the decision for me to move into their bedroom. My mattress was at the foot of their bed on the floor – probably for a few months. What great parents I have! For some reason, I guess just from knowing that I was in there with them, it helped me get past the intensity of it.
I worked hard and prayed every day for the next 15 years that these horribly destructive scary thoughts would be taken away from me. They weren’t magically taken away, but through many years of work I can now say that if ever one of those thoughts enters my head, they don’t have the power over me anymore and I can switch the thought off. I was probably age 29 when I finally felt that I had conquered this problem.
The summer before going into 10th grade, I was a rotten, depressed and self-loathing teenager. I really wanted to get a new start with people who didn’t know me and hopefully find “good” kids to be friends with, so I almost changed schools. But that summer, some popular girls I knew from my neighborhood talked to me. I don’t remember what they said or why. But I do remember deciding that I would do whatever it took to be noticed and liked by the nice and popular kids. And I somewhat succeeded! I still wasn’t completely happy, but it was a start.
As a Senior in high school I was very involved in extra-curricular activities. I was doing some things that I felt were who I truly was and I felt happier, but still was doing things I knew were wrong. I furiously sought out male attention. I listened to music that was destructive to my mind and spirit. I always had a cold which was pretty much constant.
College life was pretty much the same story as high school. I continued seeking out male attention but each relationship was unhealthy and damaged my self esteem even more. I was floundering around with no direction of where I wanted my life to go. Two years into college and hating every minute of it, with several class failings later, I decided on Photography as my major. I wanted to work for National Geographic as a Landscape Photographer and travel the world! It felt so wonderful to actually have something that I wanted to do with my life! I immediately started on my Art Degree and was a little more content with my life. I was excited to be independent, get to travel all over the world (another of my passions), and best of all – no more guys, at least not for a long time.
Only a few months later, this wonderful man came into my life and I was hooked. I knew I wanted to be with him forever. We got married soon after – I had just turned 21 – and I just knew we would be blissfully happy. But soon after marrying my “knight in shining armor” my depression and major issues started in again. I had to quit school because I mentally couldn’t handle it, so I just worked.
11 months later, our first son was born. Instead of being happy and having it be a wonderful experience, there were major issues. He was born with Down syndrome. The thoughts kept coming in my mind of, “How on earth am I supposed to handle this and be his mom?”, “Did I cause this because of my past, and how negative I am?” and “Is God punishing me?” He also had a hole in his heart (AV Canal) that was fixed when he was 5 months old that caused him to stay in the hospital for his first two weeks. He came home on oxygen and medications to keep him alive until he was strong enough to withstand the open heart surgery, and to top it off we lived in a basement apartment with hardly any natural light for 6 years. My depression plummeted. Life was absolutely miserable, and I made it miserable for my family. I was only 22 years old. I was completely immature, had major issues, and now I had a child with special needs. It was just too much for me. I said horrible things to people, I almost ran away many times, I wanted to check myself into a psychiatric hospital (but too chicken to, I guess), had many anxiety attacks, wanted a divorce one minute but then didn’t the next (even though my husband wasn’t the problem) and I just didn’t know what to do, who I was, or where I was going in my life. I didn’t have a plan or goal. Then 2 more children came. I was not nice to any of them a lot of the time. I couldn’t handle basic stresses. I wasn’t satisfied with just being a mother, and I didn’t feel like the mothering type. I knew many people who aspired to be moms when they were little, but I never did. I felt guilty for not wanting the same things that it seemed that everyone else wanted. What on earth was wrong with me? But I thought that I was supposed to suffer through it while my children grew up, and then I could do what I wanted. I felt totally trapped. We didn’t have the money to travel, and I was too depressed to go hiking, camping, and doing things in nature which were very important to me.
Since being married, I had been mostly been a hermit. I tried hard to stay away from anything social. I felt more comfortable at home. I hated to go on the errands that I needed to. I had been in the mindset of “not enough time”. I was always in a rush, and pushed my family to do everything quickly. Most of my children’s bedtime rituals had been “hurry as fast as you can and get into bed. This is MY time now” or I would just be plain upset. I had had to take frequent “breaks” from being a mom by going to a hotel by myself for a night or two. My husband has had to take on a lot of my responsibilities because I just mentally couldn’t handle much. He wasn’t allowed to do things because of my fears. He couldn’t be himself because everything was about me and had to be done on my time-frame, I blamed him for everything, and was almost always upset with him – for most of our 13 years of marriage. He is such a wonderful man, I know he will go to heaven just for putting up with the things I put him through and being loving through it all.
My children wanted to play with me, have me take them to the park, do fun things with them, but that was practically impossible for me. I was always bugging the boys about calming down, being quiet, and leaving me alone.
I have always believed that I am supposed to stay home and raise my children, and that I’m not supposed to do anything that would take me away from my family responsibilities. But, I was not happy JUST staying home. I had an inner conflict with this, which made me miserable. I wanted so much to be a good mom. I felt that maybe I needed to do something more because my mom went back to school when I was young, had her own choir for 20 years, and was very busy. But yet, she still was a great mom. Or maybe I was just supposed to do something more?
My husband, Chris would try so hard, many times through the years, to help me feel better and get better. He knew there was a good person inside me. I am so grateful that he was willing to stay with me long enough to find her! My boys, and husband, are SO wonderful – they deserve to have a happy, loving mom and wife. I was just so awful to them most of their lives. It’s amazing that they are still such great boys. I want to enjoy them while I can!
I have worked for money since I can remember but I always spent the money I earned. By the time I was old enough to get a credit card – I was all over it! Free money, or so I thought. I continued to work, but I also continued to spend all that I had and bought anything else that I wanted on credit. I went into marriage being in debt and so did Chris, and we just continued to spend. For some reason, we kept making VERY expensive mistakes. When would we ever learn and break this chain?
Will this EVER End?
My almost paralyzing fears continued and actually worsened. I remember being in the car just after a rain storm and Chris was driving. He wanted to drive through a big puddle in a parking lot. I screamed and completely had a panic attack. I was sure that there was a huge hole and we would be swallowed up. I had always been terrified that no matter where I went or what time of day it was, that someone was following me, or hiding waiting to jump out and do something bad to me. (I could go on and on about all of my past fears, but I won’t.)
I knew I had SO much to be grateful for! “So why am I not being healed?” I wondered. “I have a wonderful, kind, supportive husband, he has a good job, I have the best children, no one is out to harm me, I live in a free country, I have my spirituality and the church that I love.” In fact, the gospel of Jesus Chris and membership in my church had probably been the only thing which got me through. I’d probably be in jail, dead, in a mental hospital or on the streets somewhere without it. Even though I grew up in that church, I really was converted to it in my 20’s. What a blessing that has been to me! I firmly believe that being active in a pursuit of something higher than ourselves is extremely important in our lives.
I had compared myself to so many people, “Why can’t I be like them?”, “Why are they so happy and I have so many more good things in my life than they do?”, “If I were just were able to have that talent that they have, then I’d be happy”, “See, I’m not a good person because I’m not like them and can’t do the things they can”. At age 27 I was diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I thought, “I FINALLY know what’s wrong with me!” I went on medication which didn’t help much. I just had to deal with side effects, and I went to therapy, which only made me feel worse because I was dwelling on all of the negative things. Deep down I knew these things wouldn’t “fix” me for good, and I didn’t want to be on medication the rest of my life. There had to be a better way – but what was it?
I had heard time and time again that exercise would help me. But I hated it. When I just made myself walk, swim, or do any other form of exercise, it didn’t seem to help me feel better anyway. Unless I was dancing. I ADORE dancing and always have. My sisters and I always made up dances in our living room and performed them to whomever we could. But, I couldn’t dance anymore because of my knees and back because they hurt too much. I wanted to get them fixed, so I went to doctors. But they said that nothing is wrong with them, and they couldn’t help me. So, I wondered, how do I do something that is very much a part of me and makes me happy when I have physical problems, and there is nothing that can fix them?
I discovered the Law of Attraction from The Secret soon after it was released, and I just knew that so many of the things said in it were true. OK, so I’ve established why I’m not happy. So now Heather GET HAPPY! But it wasn’t that easy for me. For some people it is that easy. I tried the “Secrets” for a while, but nothing seemed to change. What was I doing wrong?
When I was 28, my mom developed Inflammatory Breast Cancer (Chris’ aunt died of it 8 years before this). She tried many traditional and “alternative” therapies, and after the doctors told her she was cured, it came back and she died 9 months later. That certainly did nothing to help my depression, but then again, I did learn some wonderful things from that experience, and continue to learn from it! But then I was paranoid that I was going to get breast cancer, especially since I was so negative and unhappy. I just knew it was only a matter of time until my body developed it.
During the summer of 2008 I read a book about ADD by Dr. Amen, and knew that I had it. And my doctor confirmed it. But what could be done about that? Medication? Nope, I wouldn’t do it. I felt that there HAD to be a “cure-all”, something that I just hadn’t realized, or hadn’t discovered yet. I continued with my fervent prayers for help. I wanted a CURE for everything!
About a month later, I felt “in the depths of despair” after someone told me some things that hurt me deeply. That day I almost ended my life and would have if my three adorable boys wouldn’t have been with me. Deep down I really didn’t want to die. I wanted so much to live a happy and joyful life and to be healed! But I felt that I didn’t have anymore hope and couldn’t keep on this battle. It was too much.
I prayed SO hard for help and I tried my hardest to get happy and get out of that depression and get rid of my suicidal tendencies. Soon after, a new friend came into my life who actually had wanted to meet me since we had moved in several months before. I was shocked. Someone actually sought ME out! We became instant friends. She listened to me and she talked to me for many hours over the next few months. She told me I was a wonderful person, and had so much potential. Wow – that was heavenly to hear! She suggested that I give my pain, anger, and any burden to Christ because it worked for her to heal her trials. I tried it and it definitely helped some. But it still wasn’t the cure-all that I needed. It was strange, though. I had really felt like now was my time to be healed for good.
By December I had slipped deep into a depression again. I resigned myself to the fact that nothing worked for me like it does for others, and the feeling I had that now was my time for healing was just “wishful thinking”. I felt like I was stuck this way for the rest of my life, however long that is. Probably not long.
YES! It can end!!!
To read more, please go to the Home page (my blog posts) to read about my healing process, and what I am doing to become the happy, vibrant person that I have always wanted to be! Healing has happened, and my life is amazing!
I have put an audio player at the top left sidebar with a few songs that I feel is very relevant to My Quest and of my healing. I hope you enjoy them as I do.