I often forget and fall back into old behaviors and habits. I call this “forgetting myself”.
Through support groups and the atonement of Jesus Christ, I know better ways. As I practice these better ways they become more a part of me. But, often my first reaction or inclination is my old behaviors. I’m learning not to berate myself, but to calmly stop, step back and think, and choose a better way. Then I am remembering myself.
Sometimes choosing a better way might mean I have to go to a loved one and tell them I’ve changed my mind. I used to think that if I said something I had to stick with it, but that does not support change. Giving myself permission to change my mind allows me to be true to my own goals and values. Changing takes time and I need to be patient with myself as I learn. I also need to be patient with others as they get used to my new ways of behaving.
When I remember the person I want to be I don’t forget myself or react with an angry temper. A quiet voice helps me remain calm and able to think. I can remember to not forget myself.
Why am I back to fear and anxiety?
I am so thankful for the tender mercies of the Lord! Support groups are a tender mercy in life.
Recently I found myself moving backwards to the survival methods I learned as a child and to negative coping methods I have acquired from living with people with addictions. Things like: turning to people for support that cannot give me what I need, perfectionism, trying to control others, or running away from feelings like sadness, anger, worry, anxiety etc. My favorite way to run away is to not be present in my life so I don’t have to feel. These bad habits may have helped me survive, but they do not help me now. They keep me from learning, growing and being happy. I was stuck in fear and anxiety. No matter what I did I could not pull myself out of my slump.
During this difficult time I chose to go to extra support meetings. I know support meetings will remind me of principles and truths that I forget. I prayed and asked God for help and attended more meetings with hope, listening carefully for something that would help me feel better. At one meeting I was reminded again that one of my weaknesses was turning to people who cannot support and help me. I knew immediately that this was causing my fear and anxiety. I was reminded that I can put my trust in God and in my Savior Jesus Christ, that I can trust God’s plan for me. I felt the fear and anxiety flow out of me and be replaced with trust, peace and God’s love.
Support groups have saved my life from stress and fear and anxiety. They teach me how to apply the atonement to my life. I am so thankful for support groups! Without them I would be alone and in isolation I tend to regress. Support groups give me constant reminders, support and love that help me to learn, grow and be happy.