@ldschurch Instagram account
“I had wanted to serve a mission since I was a little girl, and I finally had that chance when I turned 21. I served in Texas for 11 months before coming home because I developed anxiety and depression.
“I have occasionally wondered why God would instill in me such a strong, righteous desire to be His servant and then take it away. But if I’ve learned anything from this experience and dealing with the struggle of mental illness, it’s that God has a plan for me that is greater and far better than my own. He loves me enough to shape me into the person He wants me to be. Sometimes He takes away what we think we want to give us what we truly need, and I am so grateful that He did that for me.
“This journey hasn’t been easy by any means, it’s been heartbreaking and tear-filled at times, but Jesus Christ heals the soul and brings real happiness. I know that with my Heavenly Father and Savior by my side I can get through the trials that are placed before me.” —Ally
Thanks for sharing, Ally. #ShareGoodness
@telyourstory Instagram account
Allyson • Kaysville, UT • USA 🇺🇸 How do you explain to someone something you don’t even understand yourself? Something that you will never fully comprehend? That’s what living with a mental illness is like… trying to explain what’s going on in your mind without fully understanding it yourself. It’s frustrating, out of your control, and a daily battle, one that I fight everyday. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression while serving an LDS mission in Texas. It was, and can still be, a nightmare. I had wanted to serve a mission since I was a little girl, and finally had that chance when I turned 21. I served in Texas for 11 months before coming home due to developing anxiety and depression. I have occasionally wondered why God would instill in me such a strong, righteous desire to be His servant and then take it away. But I’m learning to walk by faith, knowing that God has a better and far more perfect plan than I do. Some days I feel like I got this and I’m doing really well. I’ve been able to find things that make me feel better: being a mom, having a job, social media, etc., on the flip side, they can also make me feel worse. It’s a never-ending oxymoron. But one sure-fire thing that always helps is knowing that it won’t be like this forever. One day I won’t be exhausted from fighting. I won’t have breakdowns and/or panic attacks in the middle of an exercise class, at church, or driving to the store. One day I won’t need medication to feel “normal.” One day my body will be perfected and I will be free from this illness. I’m so grateful for the Plan of Happiness and the knowledge I have that this life is only a small moment in the grand scheme. And I am grateful for a loving Savior who provided that possibility. He knows. He knows my struggle, He knows me, and He loves all of it. He is the only one who fully understands. And that is the most beautiful, comforting thing to carry with me through my struggle because I don’t even fully understand. He is the quiet, the calm, the solitude, the light, the comfort, the peace. And, “When there’s no peace on earth, there is peace in Christ.” He gives me the peace I need to overcome.
“… I don’t know that I really feel like I have that partnership with God…but I think it’s good for women to know and to realize and to be told that yes, you do have that partnership with God and He is there. Even though you’re going through the motions some days, it does matter. You are making a difference, even though it’s hard to see sometimes.” –Ally Hayward
In this interview, I talk to Ally Hayward, of Silently Surviving Souls about her diagnosis with anxiety and depression and dealing with mental illness in motherhood. Ally was diagnosed while serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and ended up coming home early to deal with her illness.
Motherhood has lessened Ally’s depression because her little girls give her a reason to get up and get going. Her anxiety has been harder to deal with as a mother because having children means there are a lot more things to worry about.
Ally has realized that sharing and being open about her struggles helps her deal with them. She offers advice to those who know someone struggling and hope to anyone who has issues with mental illness. Ally’s website and Instagram account @silentlysurvivingsouls are her way to be open and share about her illness and offer a place for others to share as well.
This is the 10th episode of the podcast. I’m so grateful for all of the guests who have been willing to share their stories and their faith with me. Over the past few weeks, I have had more than one conversation about how some moms may not always feel like God is their partner in motherhood or may compare themselves to someone else. I have felt the need to share that we are all unique, and we don’t need to compare with someone else our relationship and how we feel God.
I was so grateful Ally was willing to share she doesn’t always feel Him in the day to day. We had a great conversation about this and Ally expressed so much hope and faith I hope will inspire someone else and help someone else feel they aren’t alone. We all have our own journey to find our partnership with God and that is okay.
Salt LDS Retreat Blog Post: Healing is Feeling
I poured my heart and soul into this blog post and prayed for inspiration when writing it. Once we truly feel what others struggle with can then truly help them heal.