Thursday, October 30, 2014

Submitting to the Lord and Step 3


It seems like every single day has gone wrong because of something or other this week. All I can say is I'm glad I talked to the bishop because at least now I can feel the spirit whereas before taking that step I probably would have had a much harder time trying to do this on my own.

I want God to direct my path so badly but I have to stay out of my own way and let Him! I am inadequate and I need Him.  I think my problem, though, is that I want relief immediately and I need to be more willing to have my burdens lightened according to His timetable, like the example of the people of Alma who instead of having their burdens removed, were given the strength to lift their own burdens well enough.

Submitting to God is drawing nearer to Him through prayer and letting go of everything with the faith that He knows what He's doing. I need to be more ready to obey any promptings which come to me as well. Through immediate obedience I am submitting my will to the Lord.

I did really well once before with this one. When I would think about getting on my computer I would feel a heaviness pulling me toward that choice, as though it were dragging me into it. I knew that feeling wasn't from the Lord so I would then pray for a what I should do instead. The Lord always then would place an alternative for me to go to, like doing the laundry or other chore in the house instead. Of course, this wasn't always something I loved to do or even wanted to do, but it always felt lighter to do it. So when I immediately obeyed this and kept following that lighter feeling and turning away from the heaviness, I was growing closer and closer to the Lord. I felt so much lighter and happier, and I was choosing the better part. I was being more productive, I was feeling more worthwhile, I was being a better wife and a better mother, because I wasn't wasting my time away anymore.

When I submit my will to the Lord's will, He helps me keep my priorities where they should be, and my perspective on the eternities. My problem right now is trying to feel that way already without doing those things. I can't feel the success without the hard work.

I was thinking about the concept of fasting today. Being pregnant, I can't really fast like a regular person. But I had heard about people in my situation still sort of fasting by eating only the bare minimum and refraining from indulgence. Fasting helps with the submission of will because it is putting spiritual devotion ahead of physical desire. Great practice for refraining from bad habits.

Prayer in the moment of temptation is critical but SO HARD because the adversary KNOWS it works. So he tries his best to get us not to pray in that critical moment.

Another thing I need to be thinking about is temple attendance. It's been a while and I really need to go more often.

But that first choice I made to make that appointment with the bishop and be completely honest was my first step in the right direction. I am now bolstered up in my commitment to abstain from bad habits and be more careful. But I must keep that as a daily reminder every single day! I missed my studying yesterday enough that I felt pressure and temptations, and relapsed into my media addiction to get away. It wasn't a horrible relapse, I was watching little anime cartoons with my little boys. But I wasn't helping around the house. I was using it as an escape.

I hate having multiple addictions that intersect and cross over onto each other.

Anime has porn, of course, and I had to squelch my curiosity. I've never looked into porn before that slip and I don't want to start now.  I knew if I got caught up in it I would get stuck easily. If I fail at this, everything else in my life happiness hinges on it.

I must succeed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Prayer and Step 2

I need to pray more, and I mean really.

Lately I realized that unless I'm praying with my family or my husband, my personal prayers have become small moments of introspective thought between all the other things I need to do. I've been so busy with my "have-to"s. When was the last time I actually formally prayed on my knees?

This should be a daily thing. When did it suddenly become easier to waste time on Facebook or some pointless app then to kneel in prayer?

If I take the time to really talk to my Heavenly Father, I know I would feel closer to Him.

I have never thought about it this way but my love language is QUALITY TIME. I must spend quality time with my family and my husband to feel loved and close to them. I must feel attended to, and I pay attention to others to show them my love.

Am I paying attention to God? Am I spending quality time with Him? I haven't been. And I don't feel close to Him. And that's my own fault.

I must do this daily and this will help me follow His will because I'll be able to feel Him with me, instead of feel like I'm grasping in the dark. I cannot do this alone. But God doesn't give me impossible things to do. His will is always possible.

This morning I tried. I prayed. It felt forced though and I hate it. Why do I feel that way now? Has it become that distant and hard? During the prayer I began wondering this and suddenly a very gentle and quiet thought entered my mind that I had been shoving away because it's easy to do that to gentle, quiet things.

I need to talk to my bishop and confess about my slip. Because I haven't. I've told my husband and said I was sorry. I apologized to God in this prayer. But I remember when I had talked to my bishop he had said if I ever have a slip I was to speak with him and update him on my progress. It's been a year with no problems so I haven't talked to him about it again.

So I told Him I would.

There are so many rationalizations not to go to the bishop. My husband even seemed to tell me I didn't have to. That makes me wonder how much he confesses to the bishop, himself. But for me, I know I must. This problem has lasted since I was a small child all because I didn't ask for help, and I never confessed to the bishop. The thought came to do that, but I was always too scared and it trapped me.  Now I must do it, in order to really take Step 1 of being Honest and move on to the Hope in Step 2.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Step 1

That's right. I need Step 1.
Although there's a new support group program for the meetings I attend as a support person to an addict, I realized I really need to keep working the steps for my own problems and not just the principles. The principles are great, and all, but I have my own problems that I need to focus on, not just the pain caused from someone else.

So I realized the reason for my slip was because I hadn't been working very well on my own spirituality on a daily basis like I had before.

Fact: I have gone back into denial about my problems.
Fact: I thought I could rely on myself again, but I can't.
Fact: I never will be strong enough on my own because I am weak. The Lord is my strength.
Fact: When I rely on the Lord's strength, things become much easier.
Fact: In God's strength I can do ALL THINGS.

I felt trapped during and after my slip. My behavior and choice surprised and saddened me. I disappointed myself. I justified that I wouldn't give in to self grad, but just curiosity - but what could I really expect from myself when I put myself in a situation where I am separating myself from the Lord's presence?

Lately I have been also feeling more helpless and vulnerable because my son has been having major issues, and so we took him to child psychiatrist who diagnosed autism spectrum, ocd, depression and anxiety. At first I just thought, well, he's going to grow out of these things. I've thought that all his life. But I'm slowly realizing this is real. And it's making me feel helpless and sad, and I don't know what to do. I don't know what medicines are safe, I don't know if medication is right or wrong. I've heard such negatives about medication, but I know there is a purpose for it.  I've been desperate for answers from God and yet I'm not feeling close to Him.

So. Here's another Fact: I must make my relationship with God a priority every single day so I can be a better wife and mother.
Fact: These steps don't only apply to my addictive behaviors, but to my efforts as a mother.

God has a plan for me and my son. I must trust Him that if something we are doing is wrong, I will know it. God is great. I will rely on His strength.

When it comes to sin and shame, secrets are one of Satan's greatest tools and I must be brave enough to remain completely honest at all times about everything. I must humble myself and in doing so I will have greater strength to cope with this life.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Recovering from a Slip


My first slip.

In over a year.

I cried.

The slip was an odd one, I must add. I think the trigger was different then anything I've had before because I haven't had an addiction to pornography at all, just to self grad and I was doing so well staying away from that kind of thing until I was triggered by seeing pornography and giving into curiosity.

The thing is, I didn't even like the images I saw. They grossed me out and I felt awful because I knew I was looking at abuse victims. But when I tried to exit out, the sites wouldn't let me. I had heard how they catch you like that.  But, being on my phone, I knew if I didn't back out completely, the site would come up again the next time I opened the internet. It always opens the last page viewed automatically.  So it took a while but I finally managed to get out of the predicament I was in but by then my physical body was reacting in spite of the disgust I felt mental, emotionally, and spiritually.

Now I don't go online on my phone anymore. I took off my Facebook app because it has links to articles or other things I find interesting and those seem to have "related" links that just go downhill from there.

My computer has a good filtering system so it feels safer to use.

I felt like I had gone back to ground zero, but I think that's one of Satan's tools when we slip.  A slip is not a relapse unless we have completely given up on the effort in recovery. A slip is just a slip because of weakness. So I'm getting right back up on my recovery wagon and firmly staying seated.

I am not relapsing!

But what I must do is re-evaluate where I'm at right now.

A conference talk recently talked about prioritizing our spirituality and one specific sentence struck me.
"You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!"
Elder Richard G. Scott's talk from Saturday Afternoon.

I keep telling myself "I need to..." or "I really should..." but actually DOING it has become really difficult lately. I need to make prayer and scripture study a bigger priority every day so I can keep myself in check. I need to spend less time wasting time and more time doing things that are more important.

Laziness and idleness are my greatest pitfalls.