I am human and make mistakes.
Being human is hard. I have always had trouble keeping my emotions under control. I cry easily – when I’m happy, sad, scared, worried, etc. This does not serve me very well. People did not understand and sometimes would misunderstand and think I was trying to manipulate them. I would also become very emotional when other people were emotional. This would sometimes lead to escalations.
I’m a very quiet person and when I get emotional I do not think very well and don’t know what to say. Conversation is very important, especially in relationships. Imagine trying to have a conversation about a subject that I felt very strongly about and my loved one thought something totally different. It was impossible and would either end up in an escalation or fight or I would go to bed crying and mad at myself for not being able to express myself. I also thought that if I agreed to something under duress, that I had to live with it.
Over time, I have learned to “detach with love”, meaning I can think more clearly and without crying during a conversation. I’ve also given myself permission to go back and amend something that I later regret saying or agreeing to. It’s OK to change my mind or my opinion. I’m still working on these things. Everyone is human and makes mistakes. I give myself permission to be human.
In dealing with addictions, it is so easy to fall into unhealthy habits and responses. If I learn to take care of myself, including having a support person, coming to support meetings and listening to everyone’s experiences, it helps me to see clearly, to respond in healthy ways, to not become obsessed.
Anger, obsessions, isolation, fear, and anxiety are some of my weaknesses and bad habits. They are tools the adversary uses to pull me down and to keep me down. I need the Savior’s help in overcoming my own weaknesses. As I grow spiritually and learn to respond in healthy ways through my own application of the atonement, my loved ones who suffer from addictions sometimes will seek change in their lives too.
One way I can respond in a healthy way is to “detach with love”. As I learn to take care of myself and to not rescue my loved ones from consequences, I can respond with compassion and more as the savior would. I attended a conference for group leaders in the Addiction Recovery Program and heard at least one experience where a husband sought help after his wife began to be less dependent and sought spiritual strength and growth through the atonement.
Even though my loved ones have not changed, I have noticed a big change in myself since I started attending support groups. I am so thankful for my own growth and for the hope I have in my life now. This growth and hope have come from the atonement and from attending support groups and from each person who shares their experience, faith and hope. Each one teaches me how to practically apply the atonement in my life.