I have a voice
Sometimes it is hard to speak up. I have often been yelled at or belittled for speaking up. But, abuse is never OK.
It is OK to say that a behavior or how someone is speaking to me is not alright with me. I can say it in a quiet but firm manner. I can be prayerful about timing and pray for the right words to say, and for the right attitude. If my loved one does not like me speaking up, I do not have to go into fear or anxiety. If I felt prompted to say something, then I don’t need to feel bad. I did the right thing by speaking up. I can only control myself. I cannot control how others react. If someone else reacts negatively to something that I have said or done it does not mean that I am wrong or bad.
Heavenly Father loves me as much as he loves my loved ones and will help me and guide me and give me the strength and courage I need through the enabling power of the atonement of Jesus Christ to do the right things. I am a child of God and I am given agency to act, and am not just to be acted upon. I can speak up when necessary.
Isolation leads to a downward spiral
Isolation is not a good thing! For a long time I felt like I could tell no one my problems and that no one understood how I felt or what I was going through. Isolation caused me to have thinking that was not logical (“stinking thinking”). Isolation allowed Satan to put negative thoughts in my head and fear and anxiety became my constant companion. Isolation caused a downward spiral in my spirituality and emotional well-being.
Heavenly father knew I needed help. He gave me a friend that knew about step programs and kept inviting me to come until I came. At first I could only listen and cry. Almost every word that other people said was exactly how I was feeling. Heavenly father knew that I needed other people. I needed good examples of people who were happy even though they were going through hard things. I needed to hear that I didn’t cause it that I can’t control it and that I can’t cure it. I needed to hear about “stinking thinking” so that I could recognize it in myself and stop it. I needed to hear how other people could give God and Jesus Christ their burdens so that they could live happily. This is part of the atonement that I had not understood until I watched other people doing it.
I am so thankful for the atonement! It is amazing! I am so thankful for everyone that comes to support groups. I need to hear your experience, faith and hope because it buoys me up and helps me to deal with my own life in more positive and hopeful ways.
Does God care about me?
Fear, worry and anxiety kept me from feeling God’s love, from feeling the spirit and from receiving revelation. As I have learned to let these negative feelings go, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, I have again been able to feel the spirit and recognize revelation.
Through revelation I have learned to understand my loved ones better, to look at them with compassion instead of bitterness and fear. Through revelation I have learned about my weaknesses and received help to overcome them or gifts to compensate. Through revelation I have received help to know what to do in my life, what some of my mission in life is and help to work toward those goals. Through revelation I have found that instead of thinking of life as miserable and looking forward with fear, worry and anxiety, I can look at life as an adventure and look forward with joy and anticipation at what the future will bring. This healing in my life has come through the atonement of Jesus Christ, which I am so thankful for!
I was not able to see the good in my loved one until I was able to see that I was thinking of myself as a victim and my loved as the perpetrator. When I saw this, I was able to work on letting go of being a victim.
When I wore the attitude of victim all the time, I subconsciously thought that I could not be happy because of my situation and what I was going through. In support groups I saw people who were happy and growing and laughing and grateful and had serenity. They were not victims and many were going through worse things than I was. I wanted this! It was the first time in a very long time that I had even considered that I could be happy or that my loved one might have some good qualities.
As I have been able to let this victim attitude go, I have been happier, I enjoy life more, I am able to grow and learn, I am more grateful and see my blessings and can see the good in my loved one. I still have to watch myself. My tendency is to fall into this victim behavior/attitude when bad things happen or my loved one reacts with anger and emotion. But, I now know a better way and I can catch myself. I am not a victim!
Why am I back to fear and anxiety?
I am so thankful for the tender mercies of the Lord! Support groups are a tender mercy in life.
Recently I found myself moving backwards to the survival methods I learned as a child and to negative coping methods I have acquired from living with people with addictions. Things like: turning to people for support that cannot give me what I need, perfectionism, trying to control others, or running away from feelings like sadness, anger, worry, anxiety etc. My favorite way to run away is to not be present in my life so I don’t have to feel. These bad habits may have helped me survive, but they do not help me now. They keep me from learning, growing and being happy. I was stuck in fear and anxiety. No matter what I did I could not pull myself out of my slump.
During this difficult time I chose to go to extra support meetings. I know support meetings will remind me of principles and truths that I forget. I prayed and asked God for help and attended more meetings with hope, listening carefully for something that would help me feel better. At one meeting I was reminded again that one of my weaknesses was turning to people who cannot support and help me. I knew immediately that this was causing my fear and anxiety. I was reminded that I can put my trust in God and in my Savior Jesus Christ, that I can trust God’s plan for me. I felt the fear and anxiety flow out of me and be replaced with trust, peace and God’s love.
Support groups have saved my life from stress and fear and anxiety. They teach me how to apply the atonement to my life. I am so thankful for support groups! Without them I would be alone and in isolation I tend to regress. Support groups give me constant reminders, support and love that help me to learn, grow and be happy.