This year was difficult because the first time in my life I had no idea who I was, who I wanted to be, or what I believed.
First off. I came back from Germany realizing that I had no problem with alcohol or drugs and it was definitely something I didn’t want or need in my life. But I DID come back from Germany realizing that (shhh!) kissing is really fun!
And boom! Off to find out this year that waiting until marriage is hard. If only I had paid more attention to Sis. H who stated in Sunday school, “You’re gonna get horny!” But I was too surprised—and perhaps jealous—that she could pull of saying “horny” in church.
Anyway, badda bing badda boom, Anne Louise found her weakness this year. Kissing! Who would have known?
So you know. That sucked butt. Because realizing how hard it is to wait brought me to more thoughts. Even after fifty temple marriage lessons in Young Women’s, I still hadn’t thought about how important it was to me to get married in the temple. What was the big deal? What if I did everything else right and not married in the temple? I am still unsure. But I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a big whoppin’ testimony that God loves me and that he has given me commandments and every time I have obeyed his commandments I have been a happier person. I know this to be true. So. Even if I don’t understand the importance of temple marriage yet, I’m not ready to make a decision about sex or simply marrying outside of the temple. I’d rather leave my options out now before I make a decision and perhaps regret it later.
Second. When I came back from Germany I was physically ill. Because of the German food and the stress and anxiety of living away from home, my stomach hurt all. of. the. time. I would wake up in the middle of the night with serious heartburns and a stinging stomach. I told Josa about it and we tried different things, but it never went away. She took me to a doctor and I tried to explain the stomach issues, but he didn’t understand. I would call my mom and tell her how sick I felt, but she wasn’t there. When she and my dad finally visited in May and we took a trip to Vienna, they realized that I was in serious pain.
When I got back from Germany I sat with my doctor and talked to him for forty-five minutes about my stomach problems. I gave him every detail—when my stomach hurt the most, what was happening in my life when it hurt the most, what I ate every day in Germany, and so on. I took two pills of Prilosec every day and it still hurt like no other. Months and months and months later, I am no longer taking Prilosec. Just a swig of Maalox every two weeks. Yippi!
Third. I became too obsessed with my body. I felt ugly. I hated the “sugar pouch” under my belly button. I was skinny, but never looked good in a swimsuit. My hair doesn’t work with any damn product, I have chicken legs, blah. Blah. Blah. I would spend hours looking at girls on Facebook and models online and feeling horrible about myself.
I wish this wasn’t one of the things that was so hard for me this year. I hate it when girls feel ugly or when they do things to their bodies to make them feel prettier. I HATE the billboards on the freeway advertising boob jobs, I HATE the sexy-voiced woman on the radio telling women to get liposuction for their love handles so they’ll look better in a bathing suit, I HATE it. But even a freaking 5’10”, 120-pound girl still feels crappy about herself because she thinks her giraffe legs look awkward and that her love handles never look good on camera!
Forth. Anxiety. I went to doctors and therapists to get ideas to control my anxiety. I didn’t just want to swallow a pill every day. I’m stubborn and I really hate having to take medicine for anything really. I’d rather be super woman and do it all on my own.
One therapist said this:
1. Exchange negative self talk for positive.
2. Stop what if’s—if this happened, what would I do?
3. Ask yourself, what’s the worst thing that could happen? (Unfortunately you, dear therapist, don’t know my very creative and somewhat disturbing family because we can ALWAYS think up a reasonable and terrifying ‘worst thing that could happen’ because we’re genius.)
4. Ask for what you need.
5. Exercise. (Definitely.)
6. Accept your anxiety. (I HAVE accepted my anxiety, but accepting it isn’t making it go away!)
Good things and bad things. I am still suffering from anxiety. It’s not as bad as it was while going through college applications and the other things, but it comes and goes.
Last but not least. I came back from Germany and realized that the warnings were real. My best friend had changed. My best friend was different. I ignored all of those emails I received in Germany from friends because I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t want to believe that the girl with whom I spent every summer day, stormy night, weekend, and study session didn’t want anything to do with me anymore. I acted like I didn’t care. I pretended that it was her own choice and if that’s what she wanted then great. But inside it stung. It’s been a terror without her.
Summer is here. I have things to do, places to be, people to see. I want to be happy. I want to be me. So far it’s been a beautiful summer. It’s time I get out of the shlums and learn to love life again.
(Gotta end with a cheesy statement.)