A crazy life is not peaceful!
Before I came to support meetings I was angry and had lots of fear and anxiety. I was angry at myself and others, so feeling sorry for myself took up a lot of time. My life was crazy and I did not even realize there was a different way to live.
I was thinking that I cannot be happy because of how I was brought up and since I live with and around people with addictions and all the crazy behavior that goes with it (including mine). In support groups I am learning that I cannot change the past and can only control myself and my feelings. I am learning that feeling my feelings is important but it is also important to go through them and then let them go. I am finding lots of extra time as I am able to let go of feeling sorry for myself and let go of my anger with myself and others.
Now I have time to be happy and time to feel gratitude. Having more time means I can be more creative and start new projects. I can get more done in my life. I can even take time to relax which helps me to enjoy more serenity, peace and joy!
I am changing my behavior.
I used to feel the tension rising in my home and I would pretend it wasn’t happening. I thought that this time something different would occur but always the same things would happen.
In support groups I learned that it is crazy to do the same old things and expect a different result. If I practice the same behavior over and over and expect a different outcome I am the insane one. Ignoring behavior, worrying, being anxious or fearful never helped. I learned that I cannot control anyone else but I can change my own behavior, my own attitude, and my own thoughts. I can be happy and learning and growing no matter what is going on around me.
When I feel tension growing in my home I can choose to do something new instead of ignoring it or getting fearful, anxious or worried. I can make plans with a friend or go for a walk. I can go get a message or work on a new hobby.
When I do things differently my loved one’s behavior may or may not change. But when I take care of me and am creative I feel better, my self-esteem rises and that makes all the difference!
Peace can be an elusive thing as I live with and around those that have addictions. Chaos and crazy making sometimes seem to be the norm. But, the atonement is powerful and amazing.
I can access peace through the atonement of Jesus Christ despite what is going on around me. Having peace has a lot to do with my attitude. I feel better when I remember to put my trust in God and trust His plan for me. I can enhance that feeling by listening to good music, dancing, listening to conference talks, going to a support meeting, serving someone, going for a long walk, focusing on my own growth and learning, etc.
Peace and joy are treasures in life. As I focus on taking care of me and on the atonement of Jesus Christ, peace permeates my soul.
My life is not a soap opera!
I used to tell people that my life was like a soap opera. Bad things just seemed to always happen to me and my family. I did not know what to do about any of it. I always felt like a child, even as an adult and that I had no control over anything. I thought everyone else knew more than I did.
I was a timid and shy child. As I was growing up, I learned to hide. I hid in my room, in books, in being quiet. I learned to appease, please and placate.
I’ve been married multiple times. My marriages have not been easy because of addictions, bad communication skills, depression, etc. We have all suffered and learned many negative coping skills.
Going to support meetings has shown me that I was thinking of myself as a victim and others as perpetrators. This thinking affected how I treated others and how others have treated me. As I have been able to let go of being a victim, I realize I do have control over me and my life and that is really the only thing I do have control over. I feel like an adult for the first time in my adult life and am learning to make decisions and to take care of myself. Now that I am not thinking of myself as a victim, I can see the good in others and in myself and look on the bright side of things. I have given myself permission to be happy and to “take life on life’s terms”.
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.