Why I Don’t Want To Give Up

I thought it was important for me to share my own story with all of you. I have my short biography, but I don’t feel like it’s detailed enough for some to understand why I really started the blog and why I simply can’t give up and I won’t give up.

The Divorce

I’m convinced that all my mental health struggles stemmed from my parent’s divorce. My dad left our family when I was 9 years old. Before you jump to any conclusions about my dad, you have to know that I adored him! The memories that I have before the divorce was all centered around my dad. So when he left, I was devastated, to say the least.orange handle scissors cutting up a marriage certificate. Orange rose and petals on certificate. Divorce. My story: Why I Don't Want to Give Up.

Our family that was left at home also began to fall apart. My brothers were finding outlets and I felt alone. My little sister was, too young for me to build a dependent relationship with her.  She was only 5. None of us turned to each other for help, we were all against each other. Always angry at someone for something. Thus, there was constant yelling in the house. I don’t remember much of anything else, but yelling.

Going back to school that year after the divorce was the hardest and scariest thing I had ever gone through in my very young life. I remember asking my mom what I should do if I started to cry in class because I missed my dad. I don’t even remember what she told me. But, that’s the year the bullying started.

The Bullying

I was the only kid in my grade during elementary school whose parents were divorced. I was emotionally bullied from that year on through Jr. high. Kids called me names, I was publicly humiliated by some of the “popular” kids, and treated like an outsider. They teased about my glasses, my hair, my clothes, my teeth, and my name. I thought everyone hated me. So, I began to hate everything about myself, including my name. I would even tell new people that I had a different name than my own because I didn’t want them teasing me about my name.

sad girl sitting in doorway with hands covering her face. My story: Why I Don't Want to Give Up.In high school, I had friends, but I felt like I was faking it the whole time. I felt like this really awkward, kid who lacked all self-confidence necessary to thrive in the world. The only thing that really kept me going in life was seminary. It was the one place I felt at peace. I would come home from school exhausted from trying to be this “person” that I didn’t even know I was trying to be. I’m sure most teenagers feel that way, I know I’m not alone in that.

Social Anxiety

A lot of problems arose because of my lack of communication skills. Since our family was unfamiliar with effective communication, I was (and was for a very long time) very quick to assume that someone is saying, thinking, or doing something to hurt me. Because of that, I’ve lost so many friends because I didn’t know how to resolve conflicts or even know if I did or said something wrong. My social awkwardness led to my social anxiety and now I have a constant fear and anxiety towards making and keeping friends.

girl alone looking at water sitting on wooden bench. My story: Why I Don't Want to Give Up.

I would always try too hard to be nice, funny, or friendly to the “popular” people.  They would usually look at me weird and then turn their back and laugh at what I had just said. Then, later, I would mull over what I had said and beat myself up over how stupid I must have sounded. Then, I would promise myself that I wouldn’t go back to any social situation again because I felt stupid.

When Changes Started, I Was Still Struggling

My path to recovery started when I met my best friend. He “cured me” of my daddy issues. It has taken a few years for that to happen, but it’s true. I no longer feel like I need him to tell me he loves me constantly or that I’m afraid he’s going to leave me like my dad left my mom. But, I was still struggling with social anxiety and being okay with who I was. We would get invited to parties or outings with other couples and I would refuse to go with them. My fear of rejection was still very strong.man and woman with sunglasses standing in in front the ocean. My story: Why I Don't Want to Give Up.

This went on for years and eventually developed into generalized anxiety disorder. My first symptom was that I had trouble getting a full breath of air. I felt like I was drowning. Then, I started getting heart palpitations, then nausea. I finally went to a doctor, who diagnosed me with anxiety, but I refused to believe it. I told him that I didn’t have anxiety. Well, he prescribed me a medication and told me to try it out to see how it worked. Unfortunately, the side effects were unbearable. I felt like I was going to die. So, I decided that anxiety was just a part of life and I needed to cowboy up and figure out how to cope with it. (That was MY decision! I’m NOT saying that everyone should do that. Ever, ever, ever.)

My Breakdowns

I had a few minor breakdowns throughout the next few years, wanting to give up on my family, my job, my friends, my husband, and my life.  I was in and out of therapists, trying to decide if it was worth the money we had to spend on therapy sessions. It got to the point that we decided it wasn’t doing any good for me to go. At least that’s what I thought at the time.

Finally, after a few years without therapy, my biggest breakdown happened. This time, I was serious about suicide. I wanted to give up on everything. I felt worthless and I felt that the universe would be better off without me. All the years of rejection came flooding back to me. Since I was 9 years old, I was rejected. My dad, that I adored, didn’t even want to be around me. I thought Rick married me out of pity, my kids needed a better mom, and I was a burden to my employer. I had no friends, people thought I was a nuisance, and I was terrible at everything.Portrait of tired young business woman with laptop at the office. My story: Why I Don't Want to Give Up.

So, I spent an entire day researching how to rid everybody of my presence forever. No one would have to deal with me anymore. They could move on with their lives without me and be happier.

Lasting Changes

When Rick came home from work that day, he noticed that I had been upset most of the day. I knew it was important to tell him what had been going on and how I was feeling. When I told him, I could see the devastation, hurt, and worry in his eyes. I’ve never seen that look on his face. I felt worse at that moment. I knew I had hurt him and I hated myself all over again. But, he didn’t tell me, “I can’t believe you feel this way, ” like I thought he was going to. Instead, he told me, “Something has to change. It doesn’t matter if you quit or what, but something’s got to change.”

Book of Mormon and Bible on white cloth with distressed wood background. My story: Why I Don't Want to Give Up.

We decided together that I needed to quit my job and focus on myself and my family. Through lots of studies, prayer, motivational talks, self-help books, fasting, and LDS conference talks, I have been able to stop worrying about what others think of me, completely. Yes, I no longer care what anyone thinks of my kids, me, my family, nothing. I don’t care! The only thing that matters, is what we’re doing as parents to get our children on the path back to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

We’re Not Giving Up!

If I have to see that look on Rick’s face again, I’m not sure how I could live with myself. I can’t scare him or worry him like that again. I realized at that moment that he loves me more than I can even begin to imagine. Giving up is not an option anymore! Yes, it’s hard! Anxiety, depression, worry, OCD, ADHD, fear, fatigue…it’s hard! Do I wish that experience never happened? Yes, I do! Am I a better person because of it? YES! I am who I am because of what I’ve been through. I am a stronger, more confident, happy, and better person because of it. I’m not giving up! I’m pressing forward with more determination and willingness to help others through their hard times more than ever before.

I don’t want anyone else to think they need to give up either. I know that my experiences are not as detrimental as other’s experiences. But, it is mine. Everyone has a different experience and a different view. Some might be viewed as a harder road than others. Who are we to judge that? Every path is unique and different than the one taken by someone else. I am always amazed at the paths some people have to take. But, even more, impressed by the fact that they get through it and they survive! The outcome is a stronger person who is invigorated by life.

Girl’s First Ski Jump

Listen to this girl. I can’t ever get through it without crying. Maybe I’m just a big sap, but listen to her! She is SO scared! Does she stop? Does she give up? ( turn it up so you can hear, it’s really a quiet video until she starts going down the jump)

Girl: I’ll be fine come on I’ll do it. Here goes something, I guess.
Coach: you can do this!
Girl: I’m gonna…I’m gonna jump. Whoa, my skis slipping off.
Coach: Just remember to never snow plow
Girl: Okay, no snow plows.
Coach: Just keep it straight and you’ll be fine, okay?
Girl:  Do you go faster on the end run?
Coach: A little bit a little bit, yeah.
Girl: A little bit? Is it any steeper do you think?
Coach: Not much
Girl: Not much? Same steepness. It’s just longer. It’s just longer…just longer. Just a bigger 20 that’s all!
Coach: Yep, have fun!

Friends, you can do this! I know it’s scary and hard. But, you can do this! Don’t give up!

I want to hear your story! Please share it with me in the comments below or send me a message at chandra@the-simplifiedfamily.com.

Journey to Bravery Signature for Chandra; journey to bravery; mental health; simplify life; family life; self improvement; chandra's signature

hands helping someone with text overlay - Don't give up! Why I won't give up on life and what keeps me going. small branch with green leaves on white surface with text overlay - Don't give up! Why I won't give up on life and what keeps me going.

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  1. Leesh

    March 13, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I sobbed and I smiled. Your bravery touches my heart!
    For what it’s worth…growing up, I loved every single thing about you…just the way you were. I didnt want to change a thing. I loved your laugh, I loved singing into my perfume bottles as we danced on top of my bed, I loved the sleep overs and I loved our time together. Just wish we had all those years back so we would have never lost touch.

    1. Chandra

      March 13, 2018 at 9:41 pm

      Me too! Our childhood together was some of my favorite memories! Thanks so much for your support! Love you, girl!

  2. rizelle

    March 14, 2018 at 7:00 am

    this is such an insipiring post! now a days it is very rare to find like this post. keep on sharing!

    1. Chandra

      March 14, 2018 at 7:01 am

      Thank you for reading!

  3. Shiree | Confessions of Parenting

    March 14, 2018 at 11:21 am

    I love how genuine you are! I also struggle with anxiety and often have a difficult time explaining it. I don’t know exactly what mine is stemmed from, but your post has inspired me to try and find out.

    Thanks for joining #WanderingWednesday!

    1. Chandra

      March 14, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Thank you, Shiree! It’s been a really long battle trying to figure out where it all comes from. But, the important thing is that I know, I understand, I cope, I teach my family about it, and I support others. Thanks for your support!

  4. wraemsanders

    March 14, 2018 at 11:55 am

    It is hard to keep going when all you want to do is the opposite. Good luck!

    1. Chandra

      March 14, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      It is so hard. Giving up is not the answer. We become stronger better people if we can endure!

  5. Tasha | Unjunkiefied

    March 15, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Thank you for sharing. So many women and men for that mater, experience similar issues but give up. By you having the courage to share this story with your viewers, I guarantee you have touched atleast one person and gave them the strength they need to keep on going. Not that they aren’t still afraid but it gives a person the fearlessness to keep pushing forward. Kudos to you, girl! You did the damn thing! 🙂

    1. Chandra

      March 15, 2018 at 10:26 am

      Thank you, Tasha! You’re right that it’s not just women. I hope that through our trials we can help others become stronger. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Yolanda

    March 15, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Excuse me while I whip the tears away. What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your story and being so honest with your feelings. I can relate to your feelings even though it has hit me later in life. Talking about our fears is so helpful – especially when others can feel not so alone by connecting with someone like you. So happy that you are not giving up and looking for a good life for you and your family. xo

    1. Chandra

      March 15, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      I’m sorry to make you cry! Thank you so much for reading. There are definitely good and bad days, but we’re fighters!

  7. Lori

    March 15, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing such tender feelings with us! I’m grateful to hear you’ve found the key to survival. The gospel is a powerful tool when we use it to pull us out of the depths of dispair!! Sharing is also a beautiful way of healing and becoming all we were meant to be. Thank you!


    1. Chandra

      March 15, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      Thank you so much, Lori! I know that Heavenly Father is with me through this family struggle of ours. He knows that we are meant for greater things and is blessing us more than we could have ever imagined.

  8. Be You and Thrive

    March 15, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Chandra!!!! I’m singing your name over here!!! All hands raised and thank you for sharing your story! Our stories are powerful and change other peoples lives when they are heard! Thank you God for working in and through Chandra’s life! I can feel your joy as you share toward the end of the strength and hope you have received through your most difficult times. Ahhhh…! Love this and you lady. xo~ D

    1. Chandra

      March 15, 2018 at 4:27 pm

      You are too sweet!! Thank you!

  9. Colleen Mitchell

    March 15, 2018 at 7:16 pm

    I’m so sorry you went through all that, and I feel so moved by your transformation into a better place. Thank you for sharing this deeply personal story with us!

    1. Chandra

      March 16, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks, Colleen. I know that what I went through has strengthened me, and I hope that I can help other people to know that we can be brave and strong and use our experiences to strengthen others.

  10. gemmakate

    March 18, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    What a powerful, personal story you have shared. And your honesty and vulnerability are refreshing because we all have struggles and can easily get caught up in thinking we are alone in our own struggles. Thanks for sharing!

  11. dogtagsdollsdinosaurs

    March 19, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m sure so many can relate to it and find refuge in it! And what a testimony to your faith! Just beautiful.

    1. Chandra

      March 19, 2018 at 3:21 pm

      Thank you so much for reading!

  12. Sydney Kirkpatrick

    March 19, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing, all of these things sound so hard. I’ve dealt with anxiety too and it’s just not an easy thing to cope with.

    1. Chandra

      March 20, 2018 at 5:56 am

      You’re welcome, Sydney! Thanks so much for commenting. You’re right, it’s certainly not easy.

  13. Dani

    March 20, 2018 at 10:34 am

    What an honest and open post. Thank you for your bravery x

    1. Chandra

      March 20, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Thanks for reading, Dani!

  14. lucicoo

    March 20, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Its great to see someone not sugar coating with struggles of depression and anxiety. I grew up with social anxiety and anxiety and it sucks. You are anxious for no reason all of the sudden and you can’t speak to people you don’t know for no reason. People that don’t have that issue do not understand.

    1. Chandra

      March 20, 2018 at 1:12 pm

      It’s so true! I personally know lots of people who have been told, “You’ll get through it, it’s just a phase. Or, “You have nothing to worry about, stop worrying.” It’s not something we can control all the time.

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