My past attitude about self gratification was that it wasn't any big deal. I was mistakenly trying to make my marriage better. But before then, even, when I struggled during my single life, it was because I couldn't give up the pleasurable feelings and I didn't see how it was impeding me. I never knew better, though, because I never went without it. It was a constant since my tiny childhood years. My feelings were unrepentant because I denied how detrimental my behavior was.
I feel that now I have given it up completely, but I still have rationalized my media addiction. It's a little harder to differentiate and pinpoint when there is a problem, because the problem is only present when I'm getting a high from the use of media. If I'm escaping reality or numbing myself through that immersion into another world. The biggest clue is if I lose the spirit's companionship.
I need to realize my dependence upon the Lord for everything and show my acceptance of this dependence by dedicating my time to prayer and strengthening my connection to Him every single day. By doing that, I can be led by His will in my everyday choices, so I can remain free from the binds of addiction.
I have now made a list of my weaknesses with the strengths they can become written next to them. It's interesting to look at this list and feel hopeful that one day I might be completely humble but confident, without the "better than" or "worse than" attitude that I have had. Someday I can become completely in ownership of myself and who I am. My likes and dislikes will become evident realities of my identity and I will no longer chameleon other people's. It will be a time when I can no longer feel sexually inadequate, but have a healthy relationship with my husband and the Lord. A time when I am ever present in my own life and no longer lost in another world of fantasies or dreams. I will be the kind of person who allows others to make mistakes without trying to be their savior or rescuer. I will serve others while also providing healthy boundaries by the guidance of the spirit in my life.
I have never lost the desire to participate in church activities. It is what saved me in my youth and when I lost my way in college. I always attended church anyway. I believe my life could have gotten much harder if I hadn't. But at the same time, I felt somehow that I did not belong. I saw the world in a different way from how these people at church saw the world. I felt alone. But as I try to allow the Savior to strengthen me now and dwell within me always, I can see how everyone at church is really much like myself. We are all striving to allow the Savior's power to heal our hearts and guide our lives. Knowing this helps me to feel more unified with the members of my ward at church.
My recovery began in a sneaky way, with me pointing fingers at my husband and then having my hand turned to point at myself. Over and over again.
I would say "it" (all my unhappy circumstances wrapped up with a big frowny-face bowtie) was because of one of his obnoxious qualities, and then because of his addictions, and then I would get a nice surprise. Something about myself would get revealed to me and I would realize I was guilty.
How self righteous, how proud, how blinded I was. I'm thankful those baby steps provided by the Addiction Recovery Program have slowly given me the chance to open my eyes and own my faults, little by little. How far I've come. How far I have yet to go.
It's so sad how evil tries to justify itself. It's constantly making excuses. Every abuser, every sinner, makes some kind of excuse to alleviate their conscience so they don't have to feel the pain of guilt. But then it only puts them in Satan's hands when they - I - when I refuse to feel Godly Sorrow for my wrongs. The steps help me get there.
I have learned that being perfect is impossible. But that's ok! I've learned that my Savior is there for this very reason. In taking upon His name, I am made clean and whole. "Perfect" in the scriptures is defined also as "complete". I know I can only be made complete in the Savior, if I am daily placing myself in His hands.
Recovery is ongoing.
It is never finished.
I need to be patient with myself because the Lord is patient with me, as His child.
I need Him every single hour. I know that my Redeemer lives.
YLDS Radio helps. I need to play it every day. Music brings the spirit into my heart better then anything else. Today I've been sitting and listening to it as I have read and it has brought the sweetest spirit into my heart that I never want to let go. It's made me recommit myself to keeping it with me, and doing what it takes to keep this feeling with me always. I must commit to maintaining a healthy balance in my home with every form of media or technology, so that balance can keep the spirit in my home. I want my kids to feel that difference.