Pulling myself out: developing a pattern

In March an angel told me, “you need to move back to Provo. In that ward you have friends and people who love and support you. You can’t do this alone.”

She was 100% right. Within 10 days I was back in that ward, even though I blew off the suggestion at first. The location is in pretty high demand, so the fact I ended up there so quickly is miraculous. 

I’ve written several times about how it was the right thing at the right time, so I won’t belabour that point. There are some other things that might be assistive. 

I’ve worked everyday to overcome the depression I experienced. I don’t think I’m out entirely yet, but I’ve put my nose to the grindstone and pushed forward. Some days “effort” is defined as “waking up, throwing off the covers, kneeling, praying, and getting back in bed until tomorrow, promising to fight harder the next day.” But every day there was some effort. 

That drive to fight and progress has to be there. Even in the darkest hour. 

I need friends and support. I have several people who know most of what’s going on in my head. I’ve asked for their help. Several more people in the ward know to come looking for me if I drop off the radar for a while. But friends have helped me cope and fight my way out of the pit. 

I had to set good habits. I had to find simple things that I could accomplish consistently. Little things are how big things happen. Most of you will be familiar with Alma 37:6,

by small and simple things are great things brought to pass;

It’s true. Small things provide momentum that allow me to move forward and steamroll the big things that previously blocked my way. 

My friends provided help here by providing a level of accountability. I set myself two simple goals to start

  1. I would kneel and pray every morning and every night. After any kneeling prayer–sometimes I needed more than two each day–I would send the praying hands emoji,   , to a friend. 
  2. I would spend 15 minutes each day (ideally in the morning) studying and memorizing scriptures. When that was finished, I sent    to another friend, because I nailed it. 

Several other goals have grown from these, a bit more grand, with a bit lesser success, but these two have provided the foundation for me to build on and claw my way back upward. 

No matter what is troubling you, I believe these three things can help:

  1. Fight everyday. Make the choice to fight, even if the only battle of the day you win is to choose to fight harder tomorrow. 
  2. Include friends in your struggles and ask them to support you in specific ways. 
  3. Find small things that you can do everyday to build momentum, even on your worst days. 

Success comes from these three small things alone. Your success is based on your continued effort, not on any immediate outcome you can see. In the moment, we imagine overcoming as a Sisyphian task, but the daily struggle yields progress of millimeters and momentum. 

About the author: Lee J

Lee J Hinkle spends his days writing video game code. It was never a job he expected to have. Check out Rogue Invader online. Any search will send you to the right spot. Unless the language is foreign. Then maybe 50% will be right. He tries to be a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and hopes his Father recognizes his efforts.