A Dark Night of the Mind

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Many of you have heard about this already, but I wanted to illuminate further what my present circumstance is.

When I arrived at the MTC, I was very excited and happy. I was still excited and happy when I wrote my first letter home. Soon after, though, the panic attacks rolled in. In the back of my mind, I thought they might be a problem. I’ve had anxiety and panic my whole life, and I had heard that many people struggle with their mental health on their missions. However, I had a strong, strong desire to serve and little patience so I minimized my mental health issues on my application and assumed everything would be fine. Surprise! Everything wasn’t fine.

As soon as they got started, the panic attacks never stopped. A few days later I met with a counselor and together we decided that I would go home, seek treatment, and come back when possible. When my parents picked me up, I felt a strange mixture of relief and some of the deepest sadness I had ever felt. I barely stopped crying for a week. That was a month ago. I have recovered from the grief and am mostly feeling impatience. I still have the same strong desire to serve as I always did but now I’m trying to be patient, trust in the Lord’s timing, and prioritize my health.

My theme song, in this challenging and confusing period, has been “Lead, Kindly, Light.” I can only see the very next step and although I wish I knew the rest of my path, I am trying to trust that the Lord will take care of me wherever I go.