Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pain and Comfort

This past weekend was exceedingly difficult for me. I was completely overwhelmed with everything that I have to do. I felt completely inadequate to be able to keep up with work, school (I'm currently working on a Master's Degree), church callings, and family responsibilities. Add to that counselling and group therapy sessions, and I just couldn't see how it was possible to do everything. I also know that I can't really cut out anything from this list. I have to work to be able to support my family, I know that finishing my degree is something the Lord wants me to do, church callings are important in blessing my life and the lives of those I serve, I need to develop better relationships with my wife and with my children, and counselling and group are essential to my recovery.

I know these are not uncommon, and many people have much more on their plates than I do, but for some reason I was completely overwhelmed to the point of feeling excruciating pain and how much I have to do and how incapable I am of doing it all. This all added up to emotional pain such as I have never felt before. I can't even begin to describe how much this hurt.

I think that pretty much covers the pain part of this post, but what about the comfort part?

Through this experience, I received two types of comfort. The first comfort came in the realization that no matter how bad I felt, I would rather experience that pain than try to mask it with my addictive behaviors. This is a huge breakthrough for me because one of the major components of my addiction was using it to dull the pain I felt from life. Through this experience, I learned that I would rather feel pain in the moment than try to mask it and deal with the consequences of addictive behavior on myself and my family.

The second source of comfort came as I was finally able to come through the pain I was feeling. This comfort came from the Holy Ghost whispering to my hear that I can't do everything I have been asked to do on my own, but I was never asked to do it on my own. I have been asked to do these things by a loving Father in Heaven and He will provide the help I need to be able to complete them. Just like I spent many years trying to overcome my addiction on my own and was never successful, but once I was humble enough to allow the Lord to help me, I started to have success. This is obviously a lesson that I need to learn again. I am not capable of doing anything on my own, but in the strength of the Lord, I can do all things.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Taking Time To Be Well

I has been almost 2 months since I sat down to write.  Crazy, wonderful, insanely busy months where I learned so much about myself.

I learned that I need to allow myself to truly rest-- mentally, physically and emotionally.  That pushing myself did no favors for myself or my family.  I need to rest and reset my mind multiple times a day.  It is ok to not accomplish something (workout, dinner, cleaning, reading) and instead find peace in my mind.

I learned that what I put in my mouth affects my mental and emotional stability.  Choosing to only eat really GOOD FOR ME food allows my body to function optimally.  Functioning optimally allows me to love and care for my family and myself better.

At the gym, I heard a coach compliment a woman saying, "she treats her body like an athlete," and I understand it now.  Athletes use extreme care in nourishing and exercising their bodies-- their body is their livelihood.  My body is worth caring for.  My body is the tool with which I accomplish my life's mission.  My body is the tool my Heavenly Father uses when he needs to serve someone.  My body is worth the effort of eating well.

I am worth the effort.  My health and wellness is worth finding time to be silent.  My health and wellness is worth making time to be still.  My health and wellness is worth the effort is takes to say no to cookies and yes to spinach.

I am worth it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

On to the Victory!

I have been struggling the past few weeks with what to write. I've had a few ideas but nothing seemed to feel right. Then, this morning it came to me.

First, a little background. Recently, I've been feeling the need to work on my family history. I haven't really worked on it for several years. Along with that, as I was trying to decide what to study in the scriptures this week, I really felt impressed to study Doctrine and Covenants section 128. This is a section specifically talking about baptism for the dead.

In my study this morning, I came across a verse encouraging us in our efforts in redeeming the dead, but I also saw an application to recovery work:
Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing ... for the prisoners shall go free. (D&C 128:22)
Is not recovery from the plague of addiction for ourselves and our loved ones a great cause? Should we not be going forward in this work each day? We should rejoice and be glad because we will go free from our prisons.

I know I have been in prison. I have been in a prison of my own making due to the choices I have made. Now, I am breaking free from this prison. I am not completely free, and I may never be completely free in this life. I still have struggles. There are still days when it is incredibly difficult, but those days are not holding me back from my progression. Those days are a reminder of where I have come from and where I am right now.

My challenge each day is to go forward and not backward. I can learn from the past, but I cannot change it. Change only comes by moving forward.

With this in mind, we should all be prepared to move on to the victory!