Women Like You | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Women Like You

When I was young, I used to sit and think about things that would boggle my mind. Like, what if there were other earths and people in the universe? If every star was a sun with its own solar system, that would mean there were millions of other earths out there! And what if there were more universes? Or, conversely, what if nothing ever existed? That one was really a brain buster--I would sit there and concentrate as mightily as I could until I almost felt like I didn't exist.

Was I a strange child? (Don't answer that.)

One of my favorite things to think about was other people-- I was (and still am) quite the people watcher. I love to watch perfect strangers in a public place and realize that they have a life. They have parents. Children. A job. They went to school somewhere. They have friends. That random guy driving the car that just passed mine? He has a life! And so does the woman sitting in the stands on TV at the football game. And all the people in airports. They have lives, too.

I don't know why that was particularly mind-boggling to me, but it was. Maybe because as a child you are usually in your own small universe and it is hard to comprehend that there are things that go on outside of your realm. But, suffice it to say, I thought about this particular topic a lot.

Everyone has a story. And I kind of love learning the stories of the people I meet. Which is (obviously) one of the reasons that blogging appeals to me so much.

A few months ago, I was asked by the people at Time Out For Women (tofw.com) to be one of their contributing writers. At first I thought I might get to ramble on and on about my own life, but clearly they felt I do that enough already. Instead they asked me to find inspiring LDS women and to write stories about them for their Women Like You feature. Initially, I thought that perhaps finding women to write about would be the most difficult part of the job, but as I sat down and thought about it, I realized that indeed, everyone has a story. So many of my friends have inspiring and uplifting experiences to share. Or struggles that they have overcome or are working to overcome. The hard part has been doing justice to their stories.

My latest article went up yesterday and I want to tell you a little bit about my friend Marianne before you go read it. Marianne and her husband were in our ward when we were first married. They did not yet have children, and we had Bria. We always sat with them at church and Bria loved them. Marianne started to bring books and things for Bria and she really looked forward to it--sometimes I think she liked Marianne and Ryan more than she liked us! Then, when I was pregnant and ill with Chloe, Marianne told me she would be helping with Bria as much as she could. She really taught me a lot about how to serve others. Later, both of our husbands began doctoral degrees in different areas of the country and we really only kept in touch with Christmas cards. One of the other reasons I have loved blogging is that it has given me the opportunity to keep in touch with all of the many friends I have who are all over the country, and when Marianne began a blog I was very excited to read it. That is when I learned of her struggle with depression.

When I thought about women to write about, Marianne was one of the first that came to mind. I was so happy when she agreed to share her story, and like I said before, I hope I did it justice in the 500 or so words I am allowed. One thing is for certain, I learned a lot just from the questions that Marianne answered for me, and I am thankful for her wisdom and her faith. Depression is something that perhaps doesn't get enough "air time." I think all of us could use a little more education on the subject, whether we struggle with it ourselves, or whether we need to develop more compassion for those who do.

The link to the article is here: Was My Depression Real?

(And, you know, if you have any women whose stories are inspiring and something many women would relate to and you think they'd be willing to be featured....let me know.)


  1. Oh, good for you!! I love your articles over there and am on my way right now to read this one. You are amazing.

  2. I read the depression article and I can relate. I hit rock bottom in my pregnancy with Christian. It was so bad that even when I have struggles with depression now, I know it's nothing compared to that horrible gritty hell I was in. Dick Cavit put it best: "...when you’re downed by this affliction, if there were a curative magic wand on the table eight feet away, it would be too much trouble to go over and pick it up." That sums it up right there. I don't like to talk about it because of where I was and I don't want to be there again. Sure, I have my moments and struggles (I had some trouble with my pregnancy with Alexander, but nothing like with Christian's) with it still, but once you hit bottom, you don't want to be there again.

  3. These will be great contributions from you, no doubt! Depression is real and it carries far too negative a social stigma oftentimes. It's just great that some people never feel depressed, but for those of us who do at times, it's not our fault. I remember my doctor saying to me when I didn't want to admit that I might be one of "those" people, she said, "What people? One of those people who have less seratonin than others? Is that "those" people's fault?" Sometimes it can be brought on situationally, but alot of people just struggle feeling the same mood stabilization as others. There is no shame in that. Love you Lara!

  4. You did a great job on the article!
    Depression is very very common and you can live a good and normal life once you get a handle on it.
    I've suffered from depression my entire life and it got worse everytime I birthed a child (hormones).
    It used to be that people did not recognize it at something real - the knowledge and help has come a long way in the last 20 years or so.
    Your friend sounds like a beautiful, caring person, full of charity and love of being a mom!
    She is a great example of how depression, while always present, does not have to rule your life!

  5. If we don't already have enough things in common - I as a child would think what if the whole universe as we know it is only the size of a spec of dust in another universe and what if time is really happening in parallel and not chronological. Now I am haunted with thoughts of a dusty house (and what if I destroy an entire universe if I dust) and time travel with a highlander!

  6. What a wonderful opportunity! I know you'll do amazingly.