Fear is one of my weaknesses. If I’m not careful it can consume me and overtake my life. I have fear about what others think of me. I am scared of the future and the bad things that could happen. Sometimes I am anxious about what my loved ones are doing when I’m not with them. I worry that I won’t do a good job in my responsibilities. Often I am scared that I’ll mess up. I have lots of fears.
The other day I was reading, “…perfect love casteth out all fear” (Book of Mormon, Moroni 8:16). How can love cast out fear? Maybe love is the opposite and they cannot exist at the same time.
I’ve noticed that if I occupy my mind with good music, a physical activity or just about anything, the anxiety will go away for a while. If I do something for others then I feel good about myself and my love for others increases and my fears stay away longer. I can work on being a true disciple of Jesus Christ and pray for the gift of charity (see Book of Mormon, Moroni 7:48). I can overcome my fears and replace fear with love.
I can support me!
I sometimes want someone to read my mind and give me everything that I need and want. Well, there is someone that can do part of that – ME! Some of my support can come from me.
I can be gentle with myself and give myself love and affirmations. I can notice my own growth and progress and pat myself on the back. When I surround myself with others who love me I will get more love and support.
I live with much less worry and stress when I am gentle with myself. When I notice my good qualities and gently work on my weaknesses I am giving myself love and learning to like myself. When I give myself affirmations I feel better about myself, feel more self-confident, empowered and courageous. I am a creative, happy, responsible and capable person!
When I take the time to look back and see the positive growth in myself I am giving myself approval and love. I have accomplished much! This gives me courage to continue to move forward.
Sometimes I just need love and a hug. My loved ones are often unable to give me the love and support that I need. But maybe it is illogical to expect one person to give me everything I need. I do have friends and family that can give me love and support. I just need to speak up and ask for the things that I need. Every person is different and has something different to offer. I don’t have to get all I need from one person. When I give love and support to others I receive some in return. And I can give myself love and support.
Detach with love.
At support meetings I often hear “detach with love”. But, how to I detach from my loved one and why should I? Is that even a good idea?
I can make myself crazy by trying to find out what my loved ones are doing when I’m not there, or by worrying about what they are doing, or by trying to control their life and situations so they won’t be tempted to turn to their addictions. These kinds of things can make me anxious and worried and keep me in turmoil and chaos.
There are healthy ways to detach from my loved ones with addictions. If I relax and let myself find peace and focus on my own healing, I can find serenity. I know that I will be given the knowledge I need when I need it. My job is to take care of myself. I can trust my loved one to Heavenly Father. He knows how to help them much more than I can.
God will help me to know the things I can do and say that will influence my loved ones for good. I can seek for peace for myself and listen to Him.
Addiction breeds isolation, misery, fear and low self-esteem on the part of those with addictions and those who love them. I knew I needed support but did not know where to find it.
I tried talking to people I trusted but they did not know how to help me and often would say things that hurt instead of relieving my pain. I began to feel that I must keep everything to myself and this increased my isolation. I feared that others would think badly of my loved one, of me and my family. When I found someone I could talk to I often would overwhelm them with all the negative emotions and happenings in my life.
When I found support groups I felt a great relief and weight off my shoulders. Finally I heard other people’s stories that I could relate to. It seemed that everything others said they were feeling and experiencing were my feelings and experiences. I cried all the way through my first meeting. In time I was also able to share my feelings and what was going on in my home. I slowly began to heal, to find peace and hope.
What have I learned during my journey? I have learned to love and trust support groups. They are confidential and have taught me about the atonement. A good therapist can really help. They will keep your conversations confidential and can help you heal. My bishop has been an invaluable source of support. He has given me wonderful blessings that have helped me to see God’s love for me and to see His tender mercies in my life. I have learned that it is best not to talk to others about my loved ones addictions and my pain unless I am prompted to do so.
All of us need love, support and help. Having a good support system can make the difference between misery, despair and isolation or a healthy thriving life.
I used to think that detaching was a bad thing. I love this person, why would I even want to detach? How can I be a kind and loving person if I detach?
Over time I am learning that detaching with love is a valuable tool. In fact, detaching with love is a loving way of life. Detaching with love allows me to take care of myself so I can serve and help others with my bucket full. Detaching with love sometimes means stepping back and allowing others to struggle, learn and grow. If a loved one is trying to pull me into an argument I don’t have to read and answer every text. I can let calls go to voice mail. I don’t have to respond immediately to every request and question. I can say “Let me get back to you on that.” Sometimes serving someone else is taking care of me. If I ask, Heavenly Father will help me to know what is needful and when I need to say no or let go.
As I am learning to detach with love I am finding that my life is more relaxed, serene and peaceful. I do not have to participate in drama. Taking care of me is a full time job!