Sunday, October 4, 2015

My plea for #LDSConf listeners. Support those that are suffering.

I know that general conference weekend is a wonderful time for many. I have no wish to demean or lessen the experience for those that look forward to and love general conference. And I also know how my own depression, perfectionism, and suicidal thoughts increased every October and April.

I had more than one bishop tell me it was partially because I listened too closely and tried too hard to do everything that every speaker told me to do. The last conference I listened to I remember two things. 

1. God just wants us to be happy. The speakers just want us to be happy. They are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have, but they don't actually know what I need. I do. Those closest to me might have an idea too. But mostly, I do. 

2. My friend Amanda told me about an experience she had. She was speaking to college women about eating disorders. She knew some things she would say could hurt 5-10% of the people sitting in the room - those that are prone to eating disorders would be triggered, but it was important to her that the other 90% hear what she had to say. It seems to be similar for conference talks as well.

With her help, the help of my parents, siblings and closest friends, I came to the conclusion that most of what was said wasn't helpful or healthy for me.

I was very lucky to be surrounded by loving and supportive people. They probably saved my life, and they definitely helped me make my life more worth living.

I started this by saying I didn't want to demean or lessen the experience of those that love conference. I also ask you to be aware of those that have been hurt or demeaned by the words spoken this weekend. Share the goodness, please, and also support those that are suffering.

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