Before I found support groups I was broken, numb and my life was out of control. I thought life just happened to people and I certainly had no control over it. Even as an adult I felt like a child and that everyone knew better than me. Everyone knew how to do or handle things while I did not.
Slowly I learned to listen to my feelings and even to give them a name. Gradually I learned to feel my feelings and to express them in appropriate ways. I slowly built a link between my broken self and God and then to my whole and healed self. God is taking my shattered self and piecing it together into wholeness through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I am learning how the atonement can and will heal me.
Today I am still not totally whole and healed. I am still working on myself and always will be. But, I can see that whole person now and most of the time I feel more whole than broken.
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.
Support groups have saved my life from chaos and misery.
When I first started attending support meetings I thought I would quickly learn how to manage my loved ones with addictions and how to heal myself and then I wouldn’t need to attend any longer. I was very busy and thought that I had no time for meetings every week.
After 2 years someone asked me why I still attended meetings. I told them that I tried to stop attending meetings and found that I slip too easily back into my old ways of coping with things and being miserable. Support meetings have taught me how to use the atonement to find peace. I need that peace and happiness in my life.
After four years my daughter asked me why I still attend meetings. I told her that they help me to mind my own business and help me to stay out of her business. Minding my own business is still a full-time job.
I have now passed my six year mark of attending support meetings. I still love attending meetings. They always buoy me up and leave me feeling better than when I came. I believe that support meetings have saved my life from chaos and misery. I don’t know what I would have done without the support of longtime members when I first came to support groups. I hope that I can pass the message along.
We all see things as we are not as they really are. Support groups help me to put things in perspective.
Going to support meetings helps me to be honest with myself and to see things as they really are. Things are rarely as bad as I think they are and at meetings I hear that “no situation is hopeless”. I can talk to others and see where my thoughts and actions are illogical. As I listen to others I discover ideas to use in my own life. I see others in far worse situations than my own that are happy, joyful and have serenity and I realize that these qualities are within my reach. I often come to a meeting feeling down and I time and again leave feeling buoyed up and hopeful.
Support groups are helping me learn how to leave my crazy, illogical thinking behind. I’m learning how to be honest, easy going and happy in my everyday life.
Before support groups I was lonely and miserable.
Before I started attending support groups I felt lonely and isolated. I was afraid to talk to anyone about my situation and what I was going through. I had tried a few times with negative results.
When I first started attending support groups I was worried about my differences from others and that others would judge me and my family. But I found that support groups gave me unconditional love and a place where I felt like I finally fit in. We were all going through very different problems and trials but our feelings and negative coping mechanisms were remarkably similar. When I was finally able to share, I was not judged or blamed. I felt relief, love and acceptance.
When I focus on my differences from others, my attention is focused on others. When I work the tools I am learning and attend meetings regularly and read and study the literature, my focus is on me. It is really not my business what others are thinking of me. When I focus on me I don’t care what others are thinking of me and I am happier and healthier.
Support groups have saved my life from chaos and misery! I am learning to use the atonement to heal and recover in support groups. I am finding companionship and friends. I am learning to listen to God and to my heart.