Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Question...

A question was recently posed to me by a sister who reached out to me.  I felt impressed to ask your thoughts, my readers, so with her permission, I post the question:
Did you ever get to a point in recovery where you were totally stuck? No motivation to go forward, no real desire to go back; just stuck. I've been thinking about my journey a lot and realized I am doing better than I thought. In the last few months I have consistently gone 3-4 weeks between relapse, I was able to take the sacrament again, AND last night I got my temple recommend renewed. I mean, really, that is pretty significant considering where I was a year ago. What a great place to be! So why am I still feeling stuck? Part of me is realizing I am back to what my life was before everything imploded, and I am experiencing again the lack of certain life achievements that helped drive me to addiction in the first place. I'm worried about not having enough momentum to move forward. Perhaps its one of those "fake it til you make it" scenarios? What do you think?
The beautiful thing is, I feel anyone can offer insight here.  I, myself, am anxious to read your thoughts!

4 comments:

  1. This question rings so true to me. I have been in that exact rut more times than I could possibly count in my recovery journey. I think it's very normal to set a goal like getting back to the temple or something similar and then feel complacent once the goal is achieved. At least for me it is. I would suggest 2 things that have helped me when I feel myself in a rut.

    1. Blogging or journaling my experiences so that when I am in a rut I can go back and read the entries from when I was anxiously engaged. They serve as a wonderful reminder that the times I am most active and focused on my recovery are also the times that I am the happiest and best prepared for the stresses of life.

    2. While it is important to have goals I have to constantly remind myself that the real reason recovery helps me isn't because it got me back to the temple, or improves my relationship with my wife and family, or gained me a whole new set of awesome recovery friends and support. These are all wonderful and amazing things. But if they are my sole motivation for striving, eventually I will stop. The real reason living in recovery makes my life better is because it brings the Savior into my life on a daily basis and when he is my anchor EVERYTHING works better.

    Now that doesn't mean it is easy. I still struggle all the time and constantly have to remind myself, dailies will help me feel the Spirit. I need that, I can't function without it, that is the reason I need to do this. Then the very next day I get busy and forget all over again.

    That is why for me, recovery only works one day at a time. I do my best today, express gratitude for things that work well, surrender any struggles or failures to my Heavenly Father and then tomorrow I start with a clean slate, facing forward, and try all over again.

    ~~~ Tim

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  2. I used to struggle with this quite a bit. I'd reach points where I'd seem to plateau. Times where I felt somewhat purposeless and often thought "ok, now what?"

    I especially felt that way when I first regained my recommend. I remember even talking to the Bishop about it!

    What I came to learn was that the purpose of my recovery isn't to accomplish 'events.' Although the events do have purpose, in that they keep us focused in the right direction, the ultimate purpose of my recovery is to cultivate and sustain my relationship with my Savior.

    Still, why the slumpy mediums in-between the highs and lows?

    Two reasons, I think.

    1. It could be just that I have stopped seeking for opportunities to further my recovery. I felt that way after I received my recommend. "I did it, now what".. instead of "That was awesome, now I'm going to set this goal." or even better "Thank you dear Father, for trusting me and letting me re-enter your house. Please direct my path so that I may continue to do your will."

    2. I think sometimes God just gives us those slumpy moments to see what we'll do with them. My Stake Pres once said that the Lord lets the wind blow on my branches to strengthen my roots. Well I feel He'll also stop the wind, the push from our backs, to see if we'll continue to face Him on our own.

    One thing that has really driven my recovery is service. My desire to bring bright hope to other women who struggle with sexual addiction has led me down a course I never dreamed I'd ever have traveled.

    Be willing, and the Lord will direct you. Ask Him.

    Just my thoughts.

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  3. i imagine hiking up a mountain.
    most of it is uphill, and its difficult work, and i'd even go as far as saying theres a sense of validation and accomplishment that comes with the difficulty of the climb.
    but mountains aren't all uphill climbs, there are plateaus and valleys and even downhills.
    i think sometimes i get so used to the difficult climb that when things aren't as hard it may feel like i'm "stuck" and not progressing because its not taking all the struggle and effort that it was before and it was that effort and fatigue that made me feel like i was moving forward.
    getting a temple recommend back is a HUGE climb and i sincerely congratulate her for doing that, but after a peak its natural law that there comes a valley and i think thats an important time to set new "mile markers" or achievable goals to continue to find new ways of tracking your progress.

    and with that i also echo the first two comments of the focus of all of this is Jesus Christ. Its only by his power that can climb and Him that lifts us when we can't walk and it's his light that guides us when darkness surrounds us.

    there is no such thing as back to where you started because of all the life experiences you've gone through in the past year. you're always moving forward. sometimes it might just not necessarily be moving in the right direction, but you're always moving forward.

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  4. I've been thinking about this question since it was posted. And I don't know that I have a great answer, but I do agree that sometimes we do have "fake it till you make it" moments, and this may be one of those times. I have definitely had times where I don't want to do anything. I don't want to work on recovery and sometimes I just want to forget about it all - my addiction, the steps, all of it. And then God humbles me :) During those times I am learning to fall to my knees more often and for longer amounts of time. I find myself pleading for a renewed motivation. Often I am given a glimpse of the exquisite peace that can be afforded when I am close to the Lord, working hard and sober. These glimpses keep me going. On the other hand, these moments often lead me to really dark moments of depression which then remind me of where I don't want to go. But, I am slowly coming to realize that these moments are wonderful learning opportunities. They are seasons of growth, very hard and purposeful growth. I have to work even harder to put one foot in front of the other. When I have been continually blessed as I have done this. Have I done that every time? No. Many times I have chosen to sit or go backwards. I don't know why these moments/times happen. But I have to trust that there's a reason for them, and that God is still there and that He understands exactly what it feels like in them - and that He knows the way out... or up... or whatever.

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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"