Saturday, May 24, 2014

Journal: A Smörgåsbord of Catch-Up

I'm sure many of you have noticed I haven't blogged in a while. Well, to clarify, I've published blog posts, but they have mostly been guest posts, graciously contributed by others.

Dear Others: I officially thank you for saving my bacon.

So . . . more than a few updates on things....

The 'Incident'
Many of you probably don't know this, but I had an 'incident' a while back where a (hopefully former) Facebook 'friend' of mine completely threw me (my blog) under the bus on an ex/anti-mormon site. I caught wind of it because enough people from that site clicked on my blog link that it began to show up in my traffic feed stats. Anyway, I dealt with it on Facebook, and am just hopeful the person un-friended me as I requested. The point of this is, I think that as much as I didn't want what happened to spiral me into fear, it still did on some level, and as a result--I went quiet here on the blog. But the quiet has been screaming at me lately, and therefore I am making a very concerted and conscious effort to get back to writing.

I miss it.

I miss it because it helps me in my own recovery and I'm struggling a bit with that right now.


A Promotion
So my husband has been working hard over the last six months toward a promotion that he finally landed, and we are all very excited about it!

In a nutshell, our family will be moving to Price, Utah in August to start a new chapter in our lives. We took a family road-trip out there a few Sundays ago, just to check it out, and we loved it. Total sleepy town, but with all the amenities that we need. Also, it's far enough away that it will be a new adventure for us, but close enough to family that we still have a security blanket. Not that we need a security blanket, but it's nice to have one nonetheless.


In the Meantime
We've given notice at our current place and will be moving out June 14th. On June 16th, my boys and I will head up to Montana for a number of weeks to spend time with my family, and also bankroll some funds. Hubs will remain in Utah and focus on his job training.

I'm really excited to spend time with my family, but I'm also concerned. I just barely hit my year sobriety mark, and where did I last act out? Up in Montana. That trip was supposed to be relaxing.

It wasn't. 

Not that my family is stressful per-say... it was more just trying to fit everything in, and a round trip--13 hours each way--in the car with three kids = stressful. So this time, I'm just leary. And, I'll be bishopless for the time I'm up there because I won't really have a permanent residence anywhere yet...

One might suggest I just keep my records in my current ward...

But ...


Then There's the New Bishop
Oh ya, that. I don't think I have blogged about it. A new bishop was called. And he replaced my bishop, my hero, who had seen me through my entire recovery thus far.

At first I was good with it. It was time. He'd been in five years, and really, he was supposed to be released at the three year mark because he doesn't live in our ward's boundaries. I was grateful I had him for that extended period of time. So, like I said, I was good at first. Then I had a meltdown, and then I was good, and then another meltdown... and so went the cycle. I felt Satan creeping in like the slimy creeper he is.

Lying liar, lying out of his liar lying pie-hole on his liar face.

Telling me to stay away from the new bishop, that he's scary and mean, and basically anything to keep me separate. Fortunately, his lies are familiar to me and so I disregarded them and finally mustered up the courage to make and appointment with the new guy.

I like him. As bishops go. He's a nice guy. But...

And I communicated with him for a while.  And then I just stopped. And the sponsor in me is screaming at me how dangerous that is... but but... ugh. I can't rationalize and justify and schmooze myself anymore... recovery kills that. 

It's just hard starting over... and knowing that I'm going to start over again in Price makes me even less inclined to connect with this bishop.


The Temple Thing
And then this thing came up with the Temple, and I've really had a hard time with it. Maybe some of you can help me work through this one.

I've really relied on the Temple throughout my recovery. It's been my sanctuary from darkness and evil; a place where I can go to escape the temptations and whisperings of said lying liar face. I've spent my entire recovery believing that evil spirits can't enter there; that it's the one place on this earth where I can go to be safe from that.

But then someone recently pointed out to me that evil people can enter the Temple; whether to deceive or blatantly persecute... and they can bring unwelcome entities with them. Hearing that somehow made me feel unsafe all of a sudden. That there is no place on this earth that I can escape the evil reach of the adversary.

I mean, there have been many times that I, myself, have triggered while in the Temple. I thought for so long that there was nothing influencing me there, that it was just a biological response, or 'idle' time from sitting too long. But after hearing that people can bring in evil spirits, I can't help wonder if I, myself, have invited them into the Temple. I can barely stomach the possibility. Like, it scares me. Literally.

Bah! And I feel so yucky for even questioning this, because of the sanctuary the Temple has given me and all that the Lord has given me... but this is a real worry for me right now. I've even toyed with the thought of visiting with a member of the Temple Presidency in an effort gain some clarity and access some peace about it.


And of Course, the Cravings
... are off the freaking charts right now. And, I've had user dreams the past two nights. Basically, I'm under attack and completely tempted to isolate. Probably because of all the amazing things happening in my life right now. . .

In fact, I'm sure of it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I Don't Have a Testimony of the Book of Mormon

A couple of Sunday's ago, my husband told me that the lesson taught in Elders Quorum was on the Book of Mormon; specifically, the importance of having a testimony of it.

I found this odd...

When I think about my testimony, I don't think about the Book of Mormon, ever.

Fast forward to this past Sunday in Relief Society where the lesson was also on the importance of having a sure testimony of the Book of Mormon. Ironic, I thought. But any irony soon turned to purpose.

The moment when the instructor asked the class to share how, or when, we gained our testimonies of the Book of Mormon was the very moment I realized I didn't have one.

Odd, right?

I mean, I think about my Savior, Jesus Christ, in whom the bulk of my testimony is founded. And I think about tithing, I have a sure testimony of that. I also think about Visiting Teaching, because I have witnessed countless miracles as a visiting teacher, and also by being visit taught. I have a testimony of many aspects of the Gospel, but just not of the Book of Mormon.

Now to clarify a bit...

I do believe the Book of Mormon is true. I mean, I have never doubted its origin and authenticity, or questioned its teachings. But in the end, I have never actually received a full-on, bonafide burning witness of it.

Granted, I have never actually sought one either. A witness of it, that is.

So I went home with a burning desire in my heart; a desire to receive a personal witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

I am a seeker of knowledge.
My desire is righteous.
... and
I am confident that the Lord will answer.

... to be continued ...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Sweet Taste of Surrender

The following blog post is a guest post by one of the bravest women I know. Thank you my friend, for your courage and strength. Your words and perseverance both teach and inspire me . . .

~~~~~~~~~~

At first, the thought of surrendering was wonderful to me. I was fully ready to give up my addiction because it was making me completely miserable, and I didn't want any part of it. However, what I've come to realize is that everything really means everything. And that scared me to death because I realized that I have more than one addiction to give up.

I am completely, hopelessly, and pathetically emotionally dependent.

Of course I want to give up sexual addiction, because it makes me feel disgusting. But how do I become wiling to give up someone who makes me happy? Someone who makes me feel like I'm worth something? Someone I can't imagine surrendering without first being assured that it won't be forever? But surrendering doesn't work on those terms, on my terms. To me, having to surrender her is like admitting that I'm not capable of being that close to a girl; that I can't have that kind of friendship.

So now what? 
I can never be friends with girls? 
I can't open up to girls? 
. . . because there's certainly no way I would open up like that with a guy. 
I've been able to open up to people before without it becoming ridiculous, so why her?

These thoughts went through my mind when I began to contemplate what it meant to fully surrender. And all of that left me in a puddle on the floor for days, and right back to all of my addictions.

That was my wake up call . . .

I realized that what I was doing wasn't healthy; thinking about her every second of every day, lying awake at night wishing I could feel her next to me, longing for the day when she will feel the same way about me. This is what's holding me back from recovery. I don't feel like I've reached the point where I can say I want to surrender her. But I do feel like I have taken a step towards wanting to want to, by finally going to see a counselor willingly, and with no expectations besides wanting to be healthy.

So the idea of surrendering has evolved in my mind...

Instead of focusing on what I'm surrendering, I'm working on focusing why I'm surrendering it...
To come closer to Heavenly Father
To get the peace back that I've been longing for
To not wake up everyday and feel like my heart is being torn in half.

I feel broken.
I feel alone.
I feel defeated.

I feel my attractions are condemning me to live a life totally free of any kind of normal, fulfilling friendship or relationship.

I don't know why I struggle so much with same gender attraction.
I don't know why I struggle so much with addiction to masturbation.
I don't know why I have or need those trials in my life or what I will learn from them.

But what I do know is that God is my loving Heavenly Father, Christ is my Savior, and "all things work together for good to them that love God." I know that the only way to be healed is through the Atonement. And now I know that to access that healing, I need to be willing to give up anything, and surrender everything, to follow Him.

Anonymous

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"