Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The power of medications, prayer, and priesthood

I am a hypochondriac of sorts. I am afraid of taking foreign substances into my body and what they might do to me. This might stem from certain food allergies that I have had since childhood that make me afraid of and very cautious of what I eat. I remember in early adolescence attending assemblies in school about how to say no to drugs. I never got the chance to practice my skill because no one ever offered me any (I was one of those molly Mormon nerd types—still am, I guess, in many ways), but I don’t think I ever would have had a problem saying no even with peer pressure because I am so afraid of what I eat and take in.

Maybe it also has to do with other experiences, like passing out from local anesthetic administered for a wart removal, or the horrible affect that morphine had on me when I was in labor with my 2nd child, or how my emotions and anxiety go crazy when I try to take birth control pills, or how I became tolerant to and went through withdrawal symptoms to get off of Xanax, prescribed for my anxiety.

13 years ago when Scott and I decided to marry and not to wait to have our family, I prayerfully stopped taking a beneficial anti-anxiety drug that had no apparent side effects (Buspar, I believe) because we wanted to make sure that I was not taking anything that could potentially be harmful to future unborn children.

During those 13 years, I have not been easy to live with. But I have been able to manage. So even though Scott at times wondered if I should go back on something to help with my anxiety, stress, and volatile emotions, I always told him no, I didn’t want to be dependent on something like that, and I tried harder to be easier to live with.

Well, it has finally come to the point that I am ready to take his advice. I am no longer able to manage. It has been a really hard week for both of us as my anxiety levels have taken me to places in my thoughts that I never want to go again. My doctor called in a prescription for Zoloft for me yesterday, and now the drug that is supposed to eventually make me less anxious is making me momentarily more anxious as I think about taking a in a foreign substance and wondering what ill affects it could have.

I have wondered how I was able to brilliantly get through such a hard week merely a month ago as we met with our bishop, and yet since have had such a hard time dealing with the day in/day out stresses of work and family. I realized that many were praying for us the week we met with the bishop. I felt the power of those prayers and am certain that I had angels surrounding me for a few days. Then, once it was over, the prayers of others in my behalf were not uttered any more, and I fell hard without those angels around me. It is not that I am not grateful for the prayers in the first place, it just helps me realize what power there is in praying for others.

With tough trials come great opportunities, however. A highlight of the week was when I was going particularly crazy and asked Scott for a blessing. I was impressed with how powerful and immediate the affects of the blessing were. A few minutes earlier, he tried to calm me down on his own, with little success. But with the power of God, there was an immediate feeling of peace that started at his hands on my head and melted down through my body and allowed me to soon sleep and rest before facing another day. This blessing helped me realize a couple of things: It affirmed my testimony that God lives and that the power of the priesthood is real. But it also helped me realize that even though Scott is “disobeying” the prophet with his views on Proposition 8, God still finds him to be a worthy servant as he uses his priesthood power.

2 comments:

Damon In CO said...

Serendipity-

Sorry to hear about the struggle with meds. I think it's admirable that you stopped taking the anti-anxiety meds when you started having children.

I'm glad to hear the blessing helped. As you have pointed out before...our leaders are human and fallible and I would humbly suggest that perhaps in their vigor to protect families and marriage they have mistakenly taken aim at something that poses to threat to marriage and families.

Moreover I would submit that gay marriage and gay families are a part of that which needs protecting. Our church leaders may not see this today. The majority of our membership may not see this today. Almight God may withold specific revelation in regards to this because so many would be unprepared to receive it.

Whatever the reasoning might be I would not presume that Dichotomy is not on the path God wants him on. I believe the confirmations of the Spirit have affirmed that and I'm glad it was confirmed for you too!

Best wishes for results with the Zoloft. I have several friends who struggle with similar anxiety issues and I know of some of the battles that can arise. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

~Damon

Jacob Proffitt said...

While many drugs have undesirable side effects that you should be wary of, I am a complete convert to better living through pharmacology. Being treated for my ADD has made an incredible difference in the quality of my life and in my ability to achieve the things I set out to do.

My mom once said to me "you wouldn't expect someone born without legs to go without using a wheel chair to get around, would you? So why do we expect people with impairments that affect the brain to do without the aid of modern medical science?" Smart woman, my mom.