Yesterday was my birthday. The day went really well – we went out to eat with Ray and Amy and tried a new place.
Beck made me breakfast in bed and gave me a new computer bag. She also made me a book called “Rock Bottom” that contains her journal entries about the pain of this addiction. This is something I’d ask for as a way I could read back and remember the pain I’ve caused. I feel it is helpful for me to not dwell on the past, but it is also important that I don’t forget where I’ve been and what’s happened, thus getting comfortable and casual in my recovery.
In our talk last night Beck and I talked about some questions her counselor had for her – questions directed at my recovery. Here they are:
- What is this “fear of being alone” about? How are you going to answer this?
- How is this time going to be different? I need to have faith in the process. My future is riding on your choices.
- What have you learned from this experience? What signs will tell you if you are starting to get too comfortable?
I feel these are really good questions for me to think about – questions I don’t necessarily have the answers to right now but that I can think about and pray about and come up with answers.
I’m going to try to tackle #1 right now.
What is this “fear of being along” about?
I honestly don’t know exactly other than what I talked to Becky about last night. I feel being the only child has been one of the biggest challenges of my life. I’ve always been sub-consciously aware of others perceptions of me as spoiled or “the only child”. I’ve never really had someone to tell me that how I’m acting is either acceptable or totally off base. I don’t know that I’ve ever really felt I fit in 100% with people – partly because I don’t know what that really even means.
I think the stigma of the “perfect son” may have something to do with this as well, although I’m not sure. I don’t know that I ever really talked to Mom and Dad about the problems I was having or the challenges I was going through. I think this was due to the fact that my dad felt I was the perfect kid and my mom seemed to overreact to any small thing, or at least it seemed that way to me.
That loneliness could be that I wasn’t really sure who I could reach out to for help.
I feel like when I was in the tougher times a few years ago, Becky was also in the thick of her young women’s calling and work and everything. I felt like many times, she was so busy working on other projects that there was not a lot of time for us to talk about things. Then when I did try to express what I was feeling (although I didn’t know what I was feeling then), I felt she would correct me or give me the “yeah but” which, with my pride, would cause me to get irritated and not want to talk at all. Where I am now tells me this is just stupid – that I shouldn’t get defensive. But where I was at at the time, in a vulnerable spot, I think I felt even more “alone” – like I didn’t have the ability to really communicate or connect with anyone at a deep level.
I feel like I also haven’t always put my trust in God or believed he was really there to help me.
In my tough times, I’ve rarely turned to Him in prayer. I’ve rarely turned to the scriptures for answers. I say rarely because there have been times when I have turned to Him and the scriptures and the results have always been awesome; but I think I’ve allowed Satan to be such a part of my life that I was quick to forget the help He’d given me time and time again.
I’m reading an article right now about Elder Ballard talking to students at Weber State. Here is some of the advice he gives:
Live a Christ-anchored life. Make time for self-evaluation. Find and befriend a lonesome person. Stay clear of harmful things. Say thanks to your parents. Don’t forget to pray. And never take life too seriously—it’s okay to have fun.
[We] also need to find time to keep “spiritual sensitivities” sharp… Stay connected to the scriptures, to fellow ward members, and with relatives.
If you stay anchored to the gospel of Jesus Christ, I promise that you will not have any challenge that you can’t deal with.
“There shouldn’t be anyone on this campus that is lonely,” he said.
Remember, he added, to stay in regular contact with parents. Let them know you are thankful for all they do.
Exercise, relax, and don’t forget to have fun. “Never get so serious that you don’t have a chance to laugh or see the funny side of something.”
Come to know the Lord by studying the scriptures and those essential moments in the Garden of Gethsemane when Christ atoned for the sins of the world…
Jesus Christ wants to be your friend. Let Him in.
So how do I stay anchored in the gospel of Jesus Christ?
How do I “let Jesus Christ in”?