Friday, August 24, 2012

Touched By The Light Of Grace: My Story



To my dear friends, family members, random readers, church leaders, loved ones of addicts and addicts…

I welcome you and I am very happy that you are here.  It is my sincere hope that you will find something meaningful in this post and on this blog; that you will walk away with hope or a better understanding of addiction and it's far reaching effects, especially among women.

It is important to note that I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or a Mormon.  If you are not a member of the Mormon church, some terms may seem foreign to you as I relate the below story of my addiction and how I found my recovery.  I don’t want to interrupt the flow of the story by stopping and explaining each term so if you have questions, ask a Mormon friend.  If you don’t have a Mormon friend, get one, we’re pretty cool!  Or, you can also check out Mormon.org which can answer a lot of your questions about our beliefs.

Please know that my story is a very personal one.  I do not share my story lightly and I admit I do have fears that there will be negative repercussions both for me but especially for my family.   But, I trust in the Lord and I continually find safety in the words of King David: “The Lord is on my side, I will not fear what can man do unto me.”  It has slowly been revealed to me over the past couple of years that it is my mission in life to spread hope to those who currently feel the shame that I have felt; who are bound by the chains of the adversary as I was and who feel totally and completely lost as I once did.  To you I say; you are not aloneThere is hope.  To the rest of you, if you have negative things to say, please just don’t.  My target audience is to spread hope to those who can relate to what I have to share and awareness to those who have loved ones that may be struggling, or just to those who want to hear a great story of how the Savior rescues and heals the broken.

With that… 

I am Sidreis and I am daughter of God recovering from a pornography and masturbation addiction; an addiction that is difficult for many to comprehend or understand.  My addiction started in my early childhood and it has made most of my life very dark, hopeless and lonely.  During the times I acted out in my addiction, I felt as though I was stuck in a very deep, sealed well; completely dark and cramped, with walls so high I couldn’t see the top. I felt completely alone with no hope of ever getting out.

As a result of the shame I felt from my addiction I doubted that anyone cared about me; I felt that no one loved me and that I had no purpose or value in this life. I felt that even if I tried as hard as I could, there would always be better, more righteous people than me.  I felt that if I wasn’t going to make it to the Celestial Kingdom anyway, then why try at all?  Why even be here on this earth where people would waste their time and energy on me?  I felt my spirit and my soul literally wither from the inside out.  For as long as I can remember I trudged through life, day after day, keeping a pasted smile on my face so no one would know the real pain that ruled every aspect of my life.  I was not happy, I was merely surviving.  I have struggled with suicidal thoughts throughout my life, and have attempted twice, most recently in 2007.

There finally came a point though, about three years ago, that I realized that throughout my life I had been trying to overcome my addiction my way, simply striving for abstinence rather than reaching for my Savior.  It was at this point, when I finally admitted just a bit that I was powerless over my addiction, that I made room for a glimmer of hope to finally shine.

I decided to go see my Bishop and go through the process of yet again confessing my indiscretions.  This time was different though.  My wonderful Bishop introduced me to the LDS Addiction Recovery Program.  He gave me the 12-Step manual and suggested I attend meetings.  I promptly dismissed that suggestion as I was too scared to face other people.  I still felt very alone and couldn’t believe anyone else actually struggled with the same thing as I did.  I did, however, decide to work the steps on my own and continued to see my Bishop weekly.  Those meetings with my Bishop were instrumental to my recovery.  Satan was working day and night to keep me down, but I found that he was left at the doorstep of the church building when I would meet with my Bishop.  His office became my sanctuary and I longed for those meetings each week.  I drank in his counsel and the constant reminder that my Savior loved me.

It took time, but as I worked through Step 1 in the manual my heart softened a little and I began to realize that there was no way I could recover alone.  I needed strength in numbers to be able to overcome my addiction.  I realized that Satan’s influence is much stronger when I am alone, and even though my Bishop was amazing with me, there was no way he could remain in that role of sole supporter forever.  I needed to find and maintain my own support system.  So, I decided to attend my first Twelve Step meeting. 

When I first walked through the door of the meeting there was only one sister there.  She welcomed me so warmly that my fears dissipated a little and I felt relatively comfortable.  However, as I sat there and more women filtered in, I felt my fear return.  I shrank in my seat and didn’t make eye contact with anyone.  I squeezed my recovery book close to my chest not wanting anyone to see it—as if hiding the book would hide my addiction from them.  I found myself wondering what I was doing there and how it would help me.  At that time, I felt no person, no God, and especially no program could release me from the binding chains of hell.  Looking back, I really can’t pinpoint exactly what got me to group, except that I wanted to be able to tell God in the end, at the judgment seat, that I had done everything I could to fix myself.  So there I was, trying to make that happen.  I didn’t expect it to work, but I was there. 

As the meeting started I felt the Spirit enter the room and surround me with beautiful healing light.  Tears immediately started streaming down my face as I felt the tender hand of my Savior touch me and whisper to me that He loved me and that I was in the right place.  Never in my life prior to that moment had I ever imagined there were others like me, and here I was in the presence of a room full of beautiful daughters of God, my very own sisters, that were faced with the same challenges as I was.  I left the meeting that night feeling more accepted, loved, empowered, and committed than I had felt in my entire life.  But most importantly, I felt hope. 

That hope that I felt that night is what has kept me going back week after week.  First it was only hope for my own recovery but over time I began to find joy in offering hope to others.  Through this journey hope has been essential to my recovery process and I am so grateful for it.

I feel the most exquisite gratitude for my Savior forI would not be where I am right now if it were not for His loving guidance and Grace; for His rescue.  I have been blessed with a sure knowledge through personal revelation, tender mercies and undeniable miracles that He loves me.  This knowledge helps me everyday to strive to stay on the recovery path, and keep my Savior as my focus.   

There was a time when I would struggle with my addiction on a daily basis; whether it was through stress, anxiety, depression, or at times just pure temptation.  This world can be so dark and sometimes it just seems like it would be so much easier to give up.  But now, since I have kept focus on my Savior, His Atoning sacrifice and His infinite love for me; and strive everyday to be humble and full of surrender to my Heavenly Father’s will, I have finally been freed of the chains of active addiction. I feel full of purpose now and I know the reward for doing what is right and fighting this disease is far more rewarding than the false sense of happiness I get from acting out.  My sexual addiction is only a symptom of a greater personal tragedy--not realizing my own self-worth.  If I can combat that, then I have won. But that is only possible by way of my Savior.

I did love my Savior prior to finding recovery, but it was from a distance.  My shame was so great that I didn’t believe I was worthy to call on Him.  I never knew how to personally rely on His power to save me.  But I have come to find that all I had to do was believe that if I reached out and trusted Him, He would be there.  And as I did that, I found that He was.  He provided the means for me to learn and live the principles of His restored Gospel by guiding me to the 12-Step Addiction Recovery Program.  I could no longer deny His outstretched hand.  It was then that I began working my recovery program—by admitting I was powerless to overcome my addiction on my own, reaching out to my Bishop and trusting God.

The message I want to carry is of Hope in the Atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; hope that each mistake that has tarnished us can be washed clean as if it was never there.  And hope that when we meet Him again we can be confident in His presence and boldly approach His throne and feel absolute peace as our gaze meets His.

I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for patiently working with me, molding me, and helping me gain clarity and understanding to be able to see, learn and absorb truth; and for rescuing me from the bondage Satan had me in.  Instead of believing that I am the runt of God’s children, I now know that I am His beautiful daughter; I know I am worth the world to Him; more than the world, for He created this world for me; for each of us.  I no longer look in the mirror and think I am ugly and worthless.  I now look in the mirror and see a change in my countenance, I see myself glowing in light with the power of Christ to protect me.  I no longer shy away from my own image, for I am made in His image, and I am clean.  

In the wake of my addiction the most important virtue that I lost was my ability to choose.  Agency is the single most important gift my Father in Heaven has given me and by action of my own my ability to choose had been stunted. I am so grateful to have that gift restored to me and know that no matter what challenge is placed before me that I once again have full capacity to choose for myself the path which I want to take.


I pray constantly that those who are struggling will be blessed with courage to see their Bishops and seek out meetings so they may be able to experience the Spirit that dwells there.  That they may also feel such undeniable love from their Father in Heaven and know, without any doubt, of His absolute love for them; that they may find refuge in the arms of our loving Savior; our brother.

I am grateful everyday for my addiction.  If I didn’t have it I’d be a complete fence sitter.  But because of my addiction I am presented with opportunities everyday to turn to my Savior, to rely on Him and to love Him.

Some of you may find that some of what is written above may look/sound familiar to you.  Early in my recovery I had the opportunity to share some of my story in the book He Restoreth My Soul by Dr. Donald Hilton and more recently my story has been published on the LDS Addiction Recovery website.  I also had the opportunity to film an interview for the church regarding key points in my recovery process.  That interview, among others, is available here.

I do understand that some of you reading may not be members of the Mormon Church and may not believe that the aspects of sexual addiction that I struggle with are wrong.  That is OK.  We are taught in the Mormon faith the principle of the law of chastity which counsels against (among other things) participating in masturbation and pornography. 

I want to thank you for sticking with me this long. This totally turned into a novel!  Crazy!  But, I felt it was important to share this story as complete as I could as an introduction to my struggle, journey and continual recovery.

Please feel free to share this post.  As I said, my goal is to spread awareness and hope among the LDS population, especially women, but also to the world; that through the cleansing power of the Atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we can all be healed.  That won’t happen unless we share – so by all means, keep it moving!

Much Love,

Sidreis

50 comments:

  1. Thank you Sid for sharing your story with us! I can honestly say that I love you like a sister and that your testimony and story of your success through struggles helps me believe there's hope for me too. xoxoxo

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  2. Sidreis, i want to thank you for your blog. I became aware of your story and blog through my dear friend Carlyn. I have been following your blog for a little over a month now. I am so grateful for your courage and strength. Your blog has been a source of comfort for me as i have just started my own recovery from addiction. Thank you for this post today! It has lifted my spirit, and given me hope.

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    1. Thank you Anna!! I appreciate your comments. Makes me feel like it's all worth it! Keep moving forward and never give up. The light will eventually surround you and engulf you and all will be still:-)

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  3. Bravo Sidreis. You go girl. I know you are going to help so many!!

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  4. You are incredibly brave!
    I like what you said here: "My sexual addiction is only a symptom of a greater personal tragedy--not realizing my own self-worth." My feeling is that is the real epidemic among Mormon women, maybe even all women. Your symptom is sexual addiction, others deal with eating disorders, exercising in excess, shopping, depression, crafting, plastic surgery, even blogging!
    We all do something unhealthy to make us feel good about ourselves. This is the puzzle I'm trying to crack, for myself and my four daughters: How do we get our young women to believe, really and truly BELIEVE all the beautiful things we teach them in the young women's program about divine nature and individual worth? figure that out, and like you say, I've won!

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts on this! I completely agree. We use these behaviors to numb out reality; to escape. And that is a million dollar question... I feel like it's not something we can do for them. It's like teaching a child to ride a bike. We can tell them, even though it doesn't look like it really should be possible, that if they pedal and be still they will stay upright and progress forward. We can only hold the bike up and run along side them so long before we have to let go and let them figure it out on their own. Of course there will be crashes, the key is to stay as positive as possible and never give up. Thanks again!

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  5. I love you! I think you are amazing and fun and beautiful and I always have! I am happy I get to be your sister. Love, Kari

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    1. Thanks Kari! I appreciate the outpouring of love and support. I do have the best family ever:-)

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  6. Sid,
    Wonderful post...my new hero. My story will also soon be appearing on the ARP website. I'm going to send a copy of your story to all of the Bishops in my stake who are using the ARP Manual to work with those in our stake who are either too young to attend group meetings, or who for some other reason have not been able to attend. As a former Bishop and addict myself, I can tell you that these good brethren need to know that their work is making a difference. Your story will bring strength to many. Love you girl....

    ChefDaleT
    escapefromporn.com

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    1. Thank you so much Dale! I appreciate your willingness to pass on the message. I'm grateful to be in a position to help others. I'm with ya! Love ya back!

      Sidreis

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing your personal struggle so publicly! You're a very brave and courageous soul, and i'm so glad you were not successful in your suicide attempts. I'm grateful you are still here, that you are learning to love yourself and the savior more every day, and that you have shared this with us :)

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    1. Thank you! I appreciate your comment:-)

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  8. That was amazing, thank you for sharing that with me. :) I miss you at foothill with me but you touched my heart in just that little time we worked together. You are an amazing woman and bravo for sharing your story.
    love you :) ruby

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  9. Sidreis, you are so awesome. I love you lady!

    This part is so true: "If I didn’t have [an addiction] I’d be a total fence sitter..." TOTALLY true for me too. Some people can coast along "lukewarm," but I've learned that I need to live really close to the LORD in order to be happiest in life.

    So proud of you! :-)

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  10. I am in tears. I read your story and an so touched at your strength. I cannot leave my name but we are in the same ward and I suffer from the same addiction as you do and am broken and worn down because of it. I wish I had your strength, your conviction, your faith. I've suffered this addiction for more years than I care to remember and it has destroyed me. It took away my sense of worth, my spirit, and my soul. I have a wonderful husband and beautiful children but I will never feel worthy of them. My husband does not know my secret and never will. It is mine and mine alone. He would still love me of that I am sure but it is so ugly and so demeaning that I don't want to risk the chance of tarnishing his idea of me. I've learned to hide it, to fake it, to put a smile on my face for the world while I cry in the shower every morning. I wish I could just let it go but it has such a hold on me and won't let go. Thank you for your testimony and your story. I now know that someone has overcome this and maybe it can someday help me.

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    1. My dearest Sister. Thank you for finding the courage to reach out, even if it's anonymously. I know even that can be scary. I want you to know that I feel you. I have walked where you are walking and it's a dark and lonely place. Like you, I was very fearful to tell my husband and I didn't for quite a long time (even after I met with the Bishop). I know the chains of shame seem impossible to break - but I also know that they can be broken. Please, feel free to contact me by email. You don't have to leave your name and you are welcome to even create an anonymous email address so I won't know who you are. I actually did the same thing when I first started recovery. There was a sister in our ward (she has moved since then) who was already going to group and found recovery who offered to help me, but I couldn't even let her know who I was, so I would email her anonymously and ask her questions, I would lean on her and express my fears to her and she helped me work through them. I am praying for you and I'll put your name in the Temple (as 'sister in my ward who is struggling'- I'm sure God will figure it all out). Anyway - my email address is bythelightofgrace@gmail.com. I am the only one who checks it. If you don't contact me please at least keep coming back to the blog... slowly the Spirit will chip away at your fear and you too will be bathed in light. I love you. ~ Sidreis

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    2. From one anonymous to another, dear dear sister, I understand your pain more than you may ever realize. I too struggle with a pornography and masturbation addiction. I actually am in a 12 step support group for it in Utah County. It is just for women struggling with this same problem. I have found hope and healing and peace in those rooms and I would invite anyone that is seeking those things to come and join us. I found my first meeting 4 years ago and I was so full of shame and embarrassment. Slowly, I let Heavenly Father into my life and it changed me forever. I have now been sober for 3 years in October and I would not trade that for anything. There is hope. There is happiness. There is peace. Please dear sister, I pray for you that you will one day feel it. Sidreis is a good friend of mine and please email her with any questions, comments, or concerns. I can tell you honestly that we both love you so deeply even though we may not know who you are right now. You can do this. You can and will overcome this. -Anonymous #2

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    3. Dear sweet, beautiful "anonymous" sister. I don't know you but the words you wrote with such a broken heart and the pain you're feeling, I felt them in your words and sister, I've been there before too. That is Satan and his handy work, telling you those lies and keeping you in the darkness afraid to be open to your husband about your addictions. I too felt that my husband would lose that perfect image of me in his head if he knew all the things I've done...and mine told me that he didn't want to know everything, just the basics of my addiction like pornography or masturbation but those things, though demeaning and wrong don't define me, nor do they define you. You are strong...stronger than you give yourself credit for for even reaching out anonymously. I believe as well that in time, the Spirit will engulf you and keep you in the light and you will find the strength to make the necessary positive changes in your life to get to be truly happy and no longer seek to fake a smile or cry in the shower... Oh honey, reading that broke my heart. No one should ever have to fake a smile or cry for fear of being less than perfect. You are PERFECT and God's power and the healing atonement of Jesus Christ can make you even more perfect still. You are a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend and a daughter of God. You are wonderful...this addiction is truly poison, but Sidreis and those of us women at group would love nothing more than to be able to share our stories with you and you with us. We welcome you to join us there. We never judge, we've all been there before and some are further along the path of recovery...I myself still stumble and make mistakes, relapse a time or two, and though I feel shame in the relapse itself...that shame dissipates quickly because I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT all that happened was Satan caught me off guard and I'd distanced myself from my God's protective embraces. I find the courage to right these wrongs and work towards having a better, relapse free tomorrow...and that goal of one day being free of this addiction is what keeps me going. I started going to group in January of this year and I have had moments of sobriety mixed with moments of relapses. The beauty of this addiction that we share is this, it makes me truly want to be able to re-enter the Holy Temples again. I want nothing more than to be worthy to receive a temple recommend again so I can do sessions for my family and just to visit to feel the Spirit there. I know that Satan is working ever harder on me now that I have made the decision to do what's right, but we have strength in the Lord our Savior as well as our fellow sisters in recovery at the LDS 12 Step meetings. We LOVE YOU! I love you! I will pray for you to find the strength to continue to reach out for help and to know this...YOU ARE NOT ALONE! WE LOVE YOU AND ARE JUST ITCHING TO HELP YOU ANY WAY WE CAN! WE LOVE YOU! YOU ARE WONDERFUL AND LOVED! YOU ARE NOT AWFUL BECAUSE OF THIS, YOU ARE STRUGGLING BUT ARE GOING TO BEAT THIS JUST LIKE I WILL ONE DAY BEAT THIS! I LOVE YOU! Please feel free to contact me too, my email is panda.yorkie@gmail.com... I love you! Oh please dear sister, please don't cry anymore and smile for real...you are NOT ever alone. XOXOXOXO

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    4. Oh my dear Sister Anonymous, reading your comment breaks my heart. I too have struggled with masturbation and pornography. 19 years of active addiction. 19 years of believing that I had to carry the burden alone. 19 years of shame and fear. 19 years of hell. I have been sober for 23 months now! 23 months of freedom! It was hard, so very hard to start on the path of recovery, but my dear sister, it can be done! You can be free and you can be truly happy. Please know that there are many of us who have been where you are but have found the way out. Even if you are not yet ready to start on the path, please just tuck this away in your heart until the time that you are ready. We are out here and we ache for those who are still caught in addiction and we want to do all that we can to help free you. We love you. Our Saviour loves you. When you're ready to take the first step, just reach out and we will support you and guide you on your journey to find He Who Brings Deliverance. My dear sister, you are not alone in this.

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    5. Just found this blog and read all these responses. I have felt alone forever in this addiction. I'm married 13 years with four beautiful children. I too feel unworthy of my family. What's funny, is that my hubby has struggled with this addiction as well and has been free of it for nearly six years thanks to the help of our Savior and the addiction recovery program. I have no doubt that he would help me and still love me, he would totally understand. I just feel like I am stuck in this. I honestly can't remember NOT having a materbation problem, even as a little girl. I think I may have been molested as a child. Then when we got married, I found out about my husbands addiction, and was hurt but watched it with him a few times to get an idea of what he liked. We stopped but it haunted me and plagued me and I'd watch it alone. He then sought help and has been doing amazing and I am so proud of him. But for some reason I just feel as though the Atonement doesn't apply to me because I am a woman, we are supposed to be the guardians of virtue, and I have tarnished mine, and have failed to be above rubies. What would my bishop say? He is a dear friend of mine, one whom I look up to. I will let so many people down. I feel a little hope since reading these posts, I'm not alone, but I still feel so alone and scared.

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    6. My friend, the Atonement DOES apply to you and anything or anyone or anything that tells you otherwise is completely of Satan. Please know that you are not alone. You are loved and you CAN be free of the terribleness that surrounds you. I encourage you to reach out, to me, to your bishop, to a friend... but you will never feel the sweet peace our Savior brings while hiding behind fear. Much love to you.

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    7. All of you, the secret is NEVER GIVE UP; LOOK TO THE LIGHT OF CHRIST every day. He has already paid the price, you just need to accept His gift; but it does take time. Remember Elder Bednar's talk about the process of pickling cucumbers? Go read it, and put yourself in it. It takes time to change into something (somebody) else, to rid yourselves of addiction and replace it with the Light. I didn't have the porn addiction, but the other for over 30 years. I didn't have the 12-step program; I only had my Saviour and my many bishops. But I didn't quit, and finally, I made it! I made it, and you can too! DON'T GIVE UP! He never will!

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  11. Sidries,

    What a beautiful blog! I am so proud of you for spreading the sweetness of our Savors real and tangible love for us. I love you.

    @Anonymous #1

    If you are in Sidreis's ward, then you are in my ward. I don't know who you are but I love you and our Savior loves you. Satan will have you bound in chains and wants you to HATE yourself. You have an addiction, but that doesn't make you less of a person, at least not to me, and certainly not to the Lord. We all sin, but Satan will tell you that your sin is the biggest and ugliest. He'll say that you are doing something so vial and evil that if anyone knew what you really were they would shame and scorn you. THAT IS A BIG FAT UGLY LIE! SATAN IS A LIAR!!!! If I know you or meet you soon, I would just see you as a lovely woman who needs extra love, not punishment. Please talk with Sidries, the bishop, your husband, or someone. Don't let Satan steal you. If you think he has, I am pleased to inform you that HE HASN'T WON YET! He might tempt you, but you HAVE POWER TO CRUSH HIS HEAD. It might not feel like it now, but with the Savior you can feel peace, love, light, worthiness, and all of the feelings you have missed for so long. Free yourself so that you can LIVE! I don't care if I don't know you, I am routing for you and I don't think you are a disgusting evil girl. I think you are someone who just needs to find a lifting hand in the darkness. Satan is evil, not you. You are a daughter of God. I will pray for you in my evening prayer.

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  12. Sidreis,
    You're are an amazing woman and daughter of God. You are also a wonderful teacher and someone that many can relate to. I am very blessed to know you personally, and am very grateful that you're in my life. You're strong and wonderful. I love you!

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    1. Thanks Starrie:-) I kind of think you are pretty awesome too! Love ya right back!

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  13. I feel privlaged to know you Sidreis and am so thankful that I have the opportunity to stand beside you as daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us and desperately wants us to seek him in our darkest moments. Thank you and the other sisters who have the courage to come forth and seek the atonement of our Savior.Sometimes they are small steps, but small steps in the right direction You all are examples to me of elect women.

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    1. Thanks girlie:-) I feel the same way about you! Working with you and presenting to the Relief Society and receiving such a warm response definitely boosted my courage to open up to the world. I'm grateful for your love and your support. I wouldn't be who I am without it!

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  14. This gives me a lot of hope in knowing i can overcome this horrible thing that has been pulling me down for so long. Thank you for sharing and letting me know i'm not alone.

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    1. Thank you! That is my goal: to shed light and bring some glimmer of hope. You made my day! And you are hardly alone. I have attended the two womens meetings in my city the last two nights and last night there were about 24 sisters in attendance and tonight there were about 10 sisters in attendance. We are getting new sisters each week as well. The Savior is gathering and uniting us and it is SOO AWESOME! You are so not alone:-)

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  15. This is a wonderful blog--thank you for reaching out to people that are hurting so much. My husband is addicted to pornography and masterbation, and I appreciate any healing words/stories I can get!

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    1. Thank you! I appreciate that! I'm glad it's given you hope:-)

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  16. Thank you so much for sharing your story and letting us know about it.

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  17. Wow! Thanks so much to all who have shared! Anonymous, don't worry about hubby, my guess is he'll love you even more once he finds out you are human. It really helps for me to understand that women also struggle with this. I used to think women just don't understand!! Now I see how the shame and humiliation is even harder for a woman to overcome because she thinks she is the only one. Well that bubble has been popped, and we can begin to see things as they really are. Let's go forward and bind Satan with the strength found in numbers. Thank you, thank you, each and every one for helping me move a little closer to recovery!

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    1. Thanks Dan! Yep, this is for sure a human disease, not just a mans disease. Statistics say 1 our of 3 people who view pornography are women. We just keep secrets better then men apparently;-) All joking aside. Thank you for recognizing my quest to shed shame and unite those that are struggling. I appreciate your comments and your Spirit!

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  18. Wow, just wow. Can I just tell you how amazing you are and how thankful I am for your courage, love, and faith? I have sexual addictions and for most of my life I felt alone and hopeless. Recently in my life, God has been blessing me so much, and your blog, though I have yet to read everything, is so inspiriational and I just love it so much! I really look forward to reading the rest and am so thankful you commented on my blog because it led me here to find this absolutely amazing blog and an amazing daughter of God. Again, thank you so very much for your courage and faith. Opening up about things like this can be so hard at times, but I know you will be blessed so much! You are a wonderful daughter of God!

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    1. Thank you Mitchell! I appreciate your words, a lot. I admire your courage as well. Keep up the good fight!

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  19. Oh how these are the words of SO many! All I could think while reading through this is how much I could relate and how much I had heard it from other sisters who attended the PASG meetings with me. I applaud you for what you are doing.

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    1. Thank you! I applaud you as well! We are pioneers in this fight to get better!

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  20. Good luck in your recovery. My ex was not. http://mywifeisasexaddict.blogspot.com/

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    1. I'm sorry your experience did not end as you had hoped. Sometimes major things need to happen in order for healing to occur. You do deserve to be happy. I wish all the best to you!

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  21. Hello Sidreis!
    This is your Ohio friend from group. My group will begin here today and I was looking for the "support in recovery" page. My search brought me to your page, so thank you very much for posting it! Your strength and courage is boundless and the help that you are selflessly giving will reach far beyond time. Thank you for your example! Thank you for your honesty! I will be sharing your blog with others so they can see that it is really possible. True recovery is really happening and our Savior really loves all of us.
    Yes! You are a chosen Daughter of God!

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    1. Hey Susan! Thanks for the kind words. You are welcome to share my blog with whomever you feel would benefit, that is what it is here for. I appreciate your strength as well.

      Question though - you speak as if we know one another, yet, my memory is failing to remember you... do we know each other? If so, how/where? I can't seem to remember anyone from Ohio!

      That is great that you have a group started there. Is it a women's PASG group or general ARP? How was it?

      Anyway - feel free to keep in touch!

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  22. Hi Sidreis,

    I was in your group with Lacy this summer. I only attended once this year but last year I think I attended a meeting with you in meeting in AF. The meeting this summer you had a friend from Idaho there and I shared a story from one of my missionary daughters. You shared a poem that you wrote.

    Thanks again for your inspiring words and courage!
    Susan

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    1. YESSS!! I remember you now! I admit, it took some help from Annette, my friend from Idaho. I was having a total mental block. But now I can see you clearly!

      I'm sad you moved to Ohio!! Dangit! But I'm happy you have found a home. Keep in touch, will you? Feel free to email, or invite me on facebool (bythelightofgrace@gmail.com or Sidreis Keller Agla on Facebook).

      I wish you all the best in the world!!

      Love you!

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  23. I realize this was posted a couple of years ago, but I stumbled across your blog a few days ago as I have struggled with addiction since I was a young girl. Finding your blog has been a sorely needed answer to prayers so deep in my soul I was too ashamed to voice them. The strength I received in reading your posts gave me the courage to finally see my Bishop on Wednesday, thank you so much for sharing your testimony as it has TRULY given me strength. Bless you, bless you, bless you many times over. What I could NEVER see myself admitting or even confessing to others, I know is possible for me to do after finding you and so many others. A big, eternal THANK YOU to say the least.

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    1. Dear Breaking free - thank you SO much for your kind words. I can't tell you how grateful I am that my experience has given you hope. Seriously, that's all I've wanted from the beginning of this journey, is to touch and help the individual to come out of the darkness into the light. To feel worthy of the light. And to feel that their own light is valuable. Thank you thank you. You are the very reason I do what I do! Much love and success to you. Keep in touch if you need/want to (bythelightofgrace (at) gmail (dot) com.

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  24. Thank you for sharing your story. I have a "diagnosis" for you "condition". You're human. Please seek out support from NON-LDS sources in your area. If you post the desire, I'm sure you will receive numerous invitations. Good luck in your journey.

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Thank you for sharing a moment with me:-)

Ezekiel 34:11-12,16

"For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick"