Fear and anxiety make me crazy.
Fear and anxiety leads me to crazy thinking and acting. Should I check up on my loved ones? I’ve heard in my support meetings that this is obsessing, crazy thinking and acting, and leads to stress and anxiety. But I feel that my loved ones are lying to me. Don’t I need to find out? I can’t help them if I don’t know for sure.
But, I cannot control or change anyone else but me. How quickly I return to obsessing, having illogical thinking and acting crazy! My loved ones are the ones with the addictions, why am I acting crazy? The only way out of this downward spiral is to turn back to the Savior and put my trust in Him.
I can put off the natural man that wants to blame, accuse and have “grounds”. I can trust in God and my inner wisdom which leads me to Christ, to peace, to love, to joy and to serenity. I can “let go and let God” and put my loved ones in God’s hands. I will be led to know what I need to know, to say what I need to say, and to do what I need to do.
Learning how to use the atonement
Before I started going to support groups I was feeling hopeless and that my life was unmanageable. I felt despair and far from God. I did not know how to apply the atonement of Jesus Christ to my situation and really did not know that I should be using it. My constant companions were fear and anxiety. I felt alone and that no one knew or felt what I was going through. Satan had me firmly in his grasp and I did not even know it.
The very first support meeting I went to, I just sat and listened and cried all the way through it. Everything everyone said, I could relate to. What people were feeling, I felt. I had finally found a place where I felt I belonged and people who knew what I was going through. There were even people who were going through worse things than I and they were happy! And growing! And were laughing with others and at themselves! I was amazed and wanted what they had.
Support meetings have taught me how to apply the atonement to me, to my life. The atonement has given me hope and taught me how to trust in God. My loved ones have not changed, but I have changed and that has made all the difference!
When I look back at what I was and how I felt and compare that to myself now, I am so thankful for the atonement and for support meetings, and for every person who attends, because they teach me and help me keep my balance. I have found that when I don’t come to meetings, I tend to slip back into old ways and patterns and hopelessness returns. The atonement and the people that come to support meetings are my life line that keep hope and trust in God at the front and center of my life.
Today I choose to be present
“One day at a time” reminds me to live in the present. Feeling guilty about the past and worrying about the future takes so much time away from me and doesn’t let me enjoy each precious moment of now. I will no longer hide.
There is so much in my past that I do not remember. My family will get together and talk about things in the past and often I have no recollection of the event at all. I think it is because I learned very young to hide and not be present. There were lots of scary things in my young life and I learned to hide to be safe.
Hiding does not serve me very well now. I want to enjoy my life and feel joy and remember all my moments. When bad things happen, my first inclination is still to hide, but I do know better now. Often, when I take a close look at the “bad” thing, I can see that it is just an event. I can choose to not blow it out of proportion. I can choose to not be a victim and to let it go. I don’t want to hide or run away from my feelings anymore because I know if I do that, then I am also choosing to not feel happiness and joy. Every day is a new day and I am the captain of this day. Today I choose to be present.
My healing is never “done”.
I used to think that I would quickly go through the steps in my support group meetings and be done and healed and not need to ever return. But, I find that even though I attend my support meetings regularly, my bad habits of fear and anxiety, isolation and worry, feeling victimized and helpless often return when something “bad” happens.
I used to live with those negative feelings all the time, and when they return with a vengeance they surprise me and remind how miserable life used to be. My support meetings remind me of the atonement and how much the atonement has changed me and my life. Even though the people around me have not changed or chosen to find help and healing, and my circumstances have not changed, I have changed immensely.
I know that I can choose happiness and joy. I know now that I can feel my feelings, go through them and then choose to let them go. I know that I can choose to take care of myself and be kind to myself. I know I can be kind to those around me and let them live their life without trying to control them.
I choose now to attend support meetings, because I need the constant reminders to trust God and trust His plan for me. Without my support group, I quickly return to my old painful ways. But I know better now and I know how to regain my serenity – I attend a support meeting, and choose to give my negative feelings and my loved ones over to the care of my Savior and let Him take care of them and me. I’m learning that using the atonement and healing is never “done”, it is ongoing.