Wednesday, October 15, 2014

When Plans Don't Overlap

Today marks exactly 1 year since I came home early from my mission in the Adriatic South States. According to my former agenda, right now I should be on the streets of Albania handing out blue hardcover copies of The Book of Mormon. But I'm not. Instead, I'm in Provo, UT, USA @ the BYU library reading from a tattered, green chemistry textbook. So what happened?

Before my mission I was prescribed antidepressant/anxiolytic meds for what doctors thought was Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). I suited up, nametag and all, thinking things were fine and dandy. And for the duration of the MTC and first several weeks in Kosovo, things were just that: fine and dandy.

Then circumstances took a turn for the worse. Several scary, life-threatening incidents went down that consequently overwhelmed me with unimaginable levels of anxiety. (That's another story for another day) It seemed only logical to up my daily dose of Zoloft. So I did. I doubled it, actually.

Then things turned from worse to frenzied psychotic. I felt constant compulsive urges to commit suicide, so I was put under 24/7 lock-down supervision. Missionary Department Psychiatrists concluded that my response to the upped-antidepressant was indicative of some form of Bipolar Disorder. And that's just bad news. So they decided to medically release me and send me home to the United States.

I couldn't help but think that God's plan for me was ruined: I was supposed to serve my 2 years, come home & get married, and live happily-ever-after, right? Instead I was sent home after 4 meager months, lonely, and dealing with symptoms of Bipolar Disorder. How could something that awful ever be part of a loving Heavenly Father's perfect plan?

Neither did things get better in any timely fashion. It wasn't just once that I cried out in desperation, "Lord, where art thou?" Heck. It wasn't even just 10, 50, or 100 times. It took a solid 10 1/2 months, 12 different psychotropic medications in all their varieties and combinations, and a seeming eternity of psychological and emotional anguish. And then something clicked.

The long-awaited day finally arrived when the dark curtain was lifted and my life was flooded with light. Happiness returned as a regular emotion, rather than just a distant dream. People, school, work, and even routine daily activities became surprisingly interesting and engaging. Every facet of life surpassed my grandest expectations one-hundred-fold. Even now I am dumbfounded by just how good ordinary life can be, and is, on a daily basis.

You know, when God comes to the rescue, He doesn't just perform CPR and haul you off in an ambulance. No, when God comes to the rescue, He gives CPR with a complimentary manicure and massage, and takes you away in an emergency medical limousine! I couldn't even begin to express how tenderhearted He has been to me the past 365 days.

So why did God send me home early from my mission? I might soon as well discover a new principle of relativity in quantum mechanics before I know 100% why I'm home. But I have my ideas...

What I do know, however, is that God has made me more compassionate, less selfish, more intelligent, more handsome with whiter platinum hair, ripped shoulders, and shredded abs (that there was all probably just icing on the compensation cake), more appreciative of life, and most importantly, more happy.

So for now I'm at BYU. Studying Neuroscience. Making my best attempt at meeting and dating the incredible BYU girls. And just living lYfe.

Even though my once-thought-perfect plans were revised, happily-ever-after is still 100% possible. That hasn't changed a bit :)

1 Year Home And Happy As Ever

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