Slipped but Doing Well
By dstanley
1/29/2011 1:21:10 AM
I was depressed last night and struggled some and ended up slipping this morning. I'm feeling great though. I prayed right after (which is unusual for me) and then spent some time reading talks. I'm also practicing not being too hard on myself which is going well. I made a mistake, but I'm picking up and moving on. It isn't good, but it isn't the end of the world either. I'd like to be slipping less, but otherwise I feel good about my recovery. I'm making progress. I have a plan and I'm doing pretty good at following it. I got really frustrated with the whole church discipline and repentance process. My bishop doesn't want to tell me how long I need to be sober. Given I was almost 8 months sober twice, I can only assume longer than that. If where I was then wasn't good enough for him I don't know what will be. I told him I wasn't sure I want to meet with him right now. I'm sure he isn't liking that. We'll see if he responds. I don't want to deal with the drama of it. I'd rather just focus on my recovery. I feel good about where I'm at with God, and I don't really care what anyone else (he) thinks about where I'm at. He's always telling me it's not what he thinks but what God thinks. I think God forgives me and I don't think I need my bishop's stamp of approval (except I will someday if I want to go to the temple).


the gospel is true    
"but it flows off the tongue to say the church is true. so rly whats being said is, the (teachings of the) church is true. but given that, there is also the expression: the church is true, the people arent."
posted at 11:40:37 on January 29, 2011 by Anonymous
Anon is right,    
"I've revised my post. I said some things I dont mean because I feel so sick right now. Here's what I should have said the first time:

I cant stand it when Bishop's wont give people goals and time lines.

After reading your blog, I was reminded of something really cool that I heard from an awesome Seventh Day Adventist pastor. He said "never let the church get in the way of your relationship with God."

I know that my relationship with God is way more important than the church, and I don't have any references, but I think the leaders of the church agree with that statement. I hope you focus on what you need to do to make God happy instead of what your bishop expects."
posted at 14:13:30 on January 29, 2011 by ette
"The Bishop is the mouth piece of God. He is uniquely endowed with authority from God. He may be just a man true, but a man with authority from God. My Heavenly Father who knows me better than I know myself. My Heavenly Father know the beginning and the end. I believe I am unique also, so what I need may not be what is right for someone else. The Priesthood is the authority to act for God. Our church is and was anchored by this authority. So if I choose not to follow the direction of the Lords endowed servant I am basically telling my God to pound sand. I pray for my Bishop. I pray that he will hear the Lords voice, that he will know the will of the Lord and do it in my behalf. If a worthy Priesthood leader is giving me direction I take his words as the voice of God. I laid my belief, my faith, my life, my future on my Priesthood leaders voice. Not without much prayer and fasting. How can I chastise the direction I received when I have not had even a particle of faith to act on that direction? Do what is hard and uncomfortable?"
posted at 15:30:58 on January 29, 2011 by Hero
I Don't Agree    
"I've followed every direction my bishop has given me to the best of my ability. The problem is that he isn't giving direction. Throughout this process I feel that I have been left hanging and not knowing what the end goal is. What does he want/need to see to be off probation and go to the temple? That's all I'm asking and either I'm not being clear or he's unwilling to tell me. I pray for my bishop all the time. So I don't think I'm telling God to pound sand. I think I'm letting go of something that is frustrating and hindering me and focusing on what I know God wants which is for me to be sober. It is extremely hard to get someone to watch my kids at the times when he has appointments (after church and at the same time as YW/YM). I send him email on my status regularly, I don't need to meet with him just for him to say how's it going when he knows how it is going. He basically said in his email that he's unwilling to give me an x number of days answer, so I'm not sure why we need to meet. I guess I could ask him why he wants to meet. If meeting doesn't help me then we're both wasting our time doing it and I don't have time to waste. I am new to this idea that I need someone else to tell me when I've repented and when I'm worthy of going to the temple, so maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm just still ticked to know that the missionaries who come to my door may be masturbating, but I can't teach a lesson if I am (not that I mind not being able to teach or give talks). In my mind there is something very wrong with that. It also doesn't help me feel better about masturbation being considered such a serious thing, especially if there's no lust involved. It isn't a sexual thing for me right now. Now to go get my son from his nap and try to unwind and not let this all get to me and lead to mistakes."
posted at 16:56:35 on January 29, 2011 by dstanley
Without Lust???    
"Does your Bishop know this? The way I understand this process it to give yourself over to the will of God. Yourself includes your flesh. Now if God is now the owner of your flesh, and you have not given yourself in marriage at this time it is between you and God. To put it in different terms. You need to ask God about driving his car? How many times a week can you drive Gods car and not speed or get into an accident that could be fatal.

It is important for your Bishop to meet with you physically, In his office and not over cyberspace. He has the power of discernment . He will be able to discern your heart. D, I am in your corner. I hope for your success. Ask the Relief Society sisters to help you when you have a scheduled meeting. You can work it out if you really want to. Pray and you will receive the help you need."
posted at 17:46:17 on January 29, 2011 by Hero
Without Lust...    
"It's interesting to hear that about masturbating without lust. I've had similar experiences. I've been able to just focus on something else and do it without any lust. The only problem is that it's still expensive. Think about the price we pay when we masturbate. We form a dependency and a habit, we lose control of our own bodies, we feel guilt, we become unworthy.

Masturbation might be possible without lust, but it still comes at a heavy price. I know that when I look at it that way, it sort of helps me say no to it."
posted at 17:57:52 on January 29, 2011 by ette
Yes, Without Lust    
"Without thinking about anything sexual. He knows now. I get that it's still something I need to stop because it is compulsive and it could lead me back into bigger problems, but I don't see it as a sexual sin when there is no lust involved. I don't need a permission to get a back massage for the pleasure I get from that. It does bother me that it is professed to be such a big deal yet missionaries can be out in the field even if they are. That seems like a huge inconsistency. One that I'm trying not to get too wrapped up about. I just think that what matters is that I'm trying to get sober.

I know I can work out the child care, but I don't want to go through all of that (including the very real anxiety I deal with when I have to make phone calls or ask for things) to sit in his office and have a conversation that does nothing to help me. We've never met regularly in the 3 + years I've been a member, and when we have I haven't felt like they were anymore than superficial how's it going conversations. I need to do things that are helpful for me. Having one of those meetings with him is just going to tick me off and increase the chances of a slip. I don't need that right now. I have enough stresses I can't avoid.

I sent him an email and asked him what he wanted to meet about and laid things out for him. I'm probably never going to get to the temple at this point until he gets released, but I needed to be open and honest. I couldn't just keep it all bottled up."
posted at 18:01:12 on January 29, 2011 by dstanley
"I agree that it's a problem when we are dependent on it. I don't think it has to be something we feel hugely guilty about, and I don't know that it should make a person unworthy. Is what makes it a big sin the lust that usually accompanies it or the act? Is it still a sexual sin without lust? Maybe I have those questions because I'm a convert. I haven't had it beaten into my head that masturbation is an awful thing. I think lust is a sin. I think addiction to anything is bad."
posted at 18:06:03 on January 29, 2011 by dstanley
Be honest!    
"You are right to be honest. Do you know if he has ever read He Did Deliver Me From Bondage? I believe this is recommended reading for Bishops.

ETTE, I agree with you, on the without lust issue. Righton!"
posted at 18:10:44 on January 29, 2011 by Hero
I Don't Know    
"I don't know if he's ever read it. Would it help if he has?"
posted at 18:19:11 on January 29, 2011 by dstanley
bishops, called of god, but still a man    
"yes bishops are called of god and can receive inspiration for us, but they are still men, and i have even been told by 2 different bishops, that they dont always know how to help those dealing with addictions. not to give stanley a reason to avoid talking to someone of authority in the church, but his bishop mite not know what to do. when i first began going to talk to my bishop, he said something to the extent of "if there is someone else who has authority in the church that you feel you would benefit more by talking to, then that is fine. whatever it takes." bishops have an incredibly tough job, and although they receive blessings that help them through it, they arent perfect and they make mistakes. none of this is to say i dislike the idea of going to talk to your bishop because i have a wonderful bishop and i love him for how much he has helped me."
posted at 23:43:13 on January 29, 2011 by kaybee
i was reading a comment    
"of yours and i noticed that you said that you dont see it as a big sin because there is no more lust involved and that it is just a way to blow off some steam. and this is coming from a 19 year old kid so take it as you will but maybe thats whats holding you back. if you are addicted to anything then you have lost your free agency. and isnt that what we fought for in the preexistance?! our agency is the greatest gift we have and if we give it up, why would god give us the added responsibility of temple covenants. what is the scripture about those who keep their first estate?"
posted at 23:50:49 on January 29, 2011 by kaybee
"I don't hate my bishop, I'm just frustrated with the way he's handling things.

I don't see it as a grievous sin (or a sexual sin). I think as an addiction it is harmful to me even without the lust.

People with food addictions are allowed in the temple, so just because one has an addiction doesn't mean they can't go to the temple.

I'm starting to think I need to rethink having joined the church."
posted at 00:45:21 on January 30, 2011 by dstanley
By the way    
"I'm a she.

posted at 01:01:52 on January 30, 2011 by dstanley
oops. sorry dstanley    
"i figured stanley was ur last name, but somehow i still connected the name stanley to a guy. im very sorry about the mix up. now that you mention that you are rethinking having joined the church, it occures to me, usually one doesnt get their endowments until they go on a mission (obviously ur not since you have kids), or are getting ready to get sealed. are you asking your bishop about a full temple recomend or just a limited use recomend for baptisms for the dead? i dont mean to pry, only trying to help. i know how wonderfully the church blesses peoples lives, and i hope you dont decide that it was the wrong decision because i know this is the true chuch that christ set up on the earth."
posted at 01:24:38 on January 30, 2011 by kaybee
Full Recommend I Think    
"since he said something once about not wanting me to make covenants that I'm not ready to keep, but I don't really know for sure.

I'm really torn about the church membership thing right now. I'm really bothered by the idea that missionaries aren't sent home. Are they still allowed to teach and give blessings? There's things I still have a strong testimony of, but there are things that I've never really bought into. Maybe some of it is getting too caught up in the imperfections of those running the church, maybe I'm just too caught up in how my situation is being handled. I don't know. I didn't go to church today. I decided not to set an alarm. If I woke up in time I'd go and if not I wouldn't. I slept kind of crappy, so I went back to sleep. Both kids have remnants of colds. I didn't think it would be great to go and be bitter and glaring at my bishop and resenting spending my time chasing my little one around the hallways. I don't usually get a lot out of church. I wouldn't have minded going and taking the sacrament, but I would have had to fight with my oldest who hates church with a passion and I wasn't in the mood for that."
posted at 13:07:06 on January 30, 2011 by dstanley
remember christ    
"I think it is always a helpful to remember that the church and its principles are perfect, the people however aren't. Everyone struggles with their own sins and has to repent on their own and be able to come to Christ with an broken heart and a contrite spirit so that he can help them become whole again."
posted at 13:52:25 on January 30, 2011 by Anonymous
See and Reflect by the spirit    
"Satan causes justification in so many ways of our own pride, which can be caused by anger, resentment, stubbornness all these things, and when we allow these things to bother us eats away our spirit, we become less happy, we doubt, which Satan uses to cause people to question them selfs what they believe. If you don't trust gods mouth peace then do you truly trust god. Let the Spirit guide your thoughts if you what you feel is not uplifting it is not from god. Every good thing, feeling is of god. Be patient, listen and see with your spiritual eyes as does your Heavnely father and the Savior sees you, pray for charity the pure love of Christ, and if you do this your heart and mind and how you look upon others will change, and remember if you come to conflict and dissatisfaction think what would the Savior do put yourself in the Savior shoes because I know from personal experience that when you do this, you will see what god wants you to see. Be open with your bishop and put misconceive ideas away about him, trust him, try to see it from his point of view, and when attending church go to learn and want to learn something and pray that your will, will be align with the will of our heavenly father. We love you and pray for you, the church is true and you know that be true to the savior and he will always be true to you. God bless. Remember this Every Saint has a pass and every sinner has a future."
posted at 14:09:28 on January 30, 2011 by harpoon
Need to Take Some Time    
"I need to take some time and let some of the frustration fade. I'm pretty wound up right now and I don't think making any decisions in that state is a good idea. My bishop thinks I have some misconceptions he can clear up. I may let him try and do that. I'm a little nervous about meeting with him though because I feel like things have gotten kind of contentious, on my end anyways. I try to learn at church, but that's hard with a 14 month old. I can't wait until he's 18 months old so I can at least get something out of the last two hours. :)"
posted at 15:00:24 on January 30, 2011 by dstanley
mouth peice of god    
"just because he is the mouthpeice of god, doesnt mean EVERYTHING that he says is doctrine. if you are having an issue with your bishop, that doesnt automaticly mean you are having an issue with God. it could, but doesnt mean so automaticly. dstanley, maybe you should listen to a conference talk on anything said in conference is inspired and in line with god's will. im sure there are talks you could listen to about all this. in the end, anything said here is he OPINIONS of other people. it is their thoughts and advice on what MIGHT help you. but the lord knows exactly what WILL help you. last time i checked, you can receive inspiration and direction in you life without someone else such as your bishop. a bishop can be a great blessing in helping to overcome a persistant sin in your life, but in the end, it boils down to being between you and god."
posted at 15:06:51 on January 30, 2011 by Anonymous
Between Me and God    
"That's part of my issue. I think it should be between me and God and not between me, God, and the bishop. My issue with my bishop isn't so much what he's said as it is not knowing what he wants from me (besides sobriety). I don't know that I can say that he's been a great blessing. I don't have an issue with God. I believe the Book of Mormon is true. I'm just not sure I agree with the way the church is set up. The thing that set this all off is that missionaries aren't sent home for mb, which seems to me to cause an inconsistency in how serious mb is. It makes me think about other things I don't have a testimony of though, and that makes me question joining the church."
posted at 15:16:51 on January 30, 2011 by dstanley
church structure    
"if you beleive that the book of mormon is true, then wouldnt that mean that joseph smith was a prophet? and he was inspired on how the church was to be organized? the organization is of god. the church doctirne is of god. the people are called of god, but that doesnt mean that they will always know what to do, and they arent perfect. i didnt like my previous bishop, but that didnt mean that i couldnt go to church and feel the spirit and learn from the speakers. i understand that you are a mother and that it is hard to get your kids to church. my father has been inactive all my life, but my mom still took me and my siblings to church, and (from what she says) often wondered why she was there, since she missed the talks in sacrament meeting because she was careing for the kids. and altho i have no experience with this, i hae her testimony that being at church gave her the extra strength she needed to get thru the hard times. dstanley, you specifically will be in my prayers. good luck."
posted at 16:25:00 on January 30, 2011 by kaybee
Good Point    
".....I guess that's part of my dilemma. I don't know that I can totally walk away, but I'm not sure I believe it all either. Maybe I just need to go back to acting like I believe it and jumping through whatever hoops I have to to get where I want to be. That feels kind of fake though. I grew up believing that repentance was between me and God only."
posted at 17:31:26 on January 30, 2011 by dstanley
quote from ARP manual    
""the only requirement for you to begin recovery is the desire to stop participating in the addiction. if your desire is small and inconsistent today, dont worry. it will grow!""
posted at 23:36:19 on January 30, 2011 by Anonymous
The reason Bishop's are necessary    
Well Into Recovery    
"I've been working on recovery for close to 4 years now. I started ARP not too long afterwards. 3 years ago I went to rehab for about 2.5 months. I think I can say I've always wanted to quit during that time. I think I'm getting to the point where it may be close to happening. I finally am doing this for me. I'm in ARP. I am doing LifeStar and getting individual counseling from the LifeStar counselor. I'm getting DBT therapy to work on my depression and emotion regulation. I'm working on the spiritual side of things. I had two years with only 3 or 4 slips. I think if I can keep my life as an unemployed single mom with two lousy ex-husbands together, I can make it. In fact I know I'll make it, it's just a matter of when."
posted at 00:26:14 on January 31, 2011 by dstanley
Me and My Bishop    
"Well, my bishop and I have exchange some emails, and I think worked things out. He sent me a really sweet email that made me cry (especially after the ones I sent). He offered to meet with me during the second hour of church so I don't have to make a special trip and he'll set it up with the secretary so I don't have to make any phone calls. With an offer like that I said I would meet with him (I had said before I didn't want to meet). I think he knows now what I'm looking for from him, and I'm hopeful we can get on the same page about what he's expecting from me. I'm going to try and put aside what I'm frustrated with. I just want to be sober, be able to go to the temple, and get my patriarchal blessing. I'll do whatever it takes to get there."
posted at 00:35:28 on January 31, 2011 by dstanley
Well done!    
"DStanley, it sounds like you're a great Mom who's really trying to do what's best for you and your family. I'm just starting out on my road to recovery, and hope I can go at it with the same strength and determination you show. Thanks for the great example. I'm definitely glad I joined this site. I love being able to talk things out open and honestly with you great people! :)"
posted at 00:43:08 on January 31, 2011 by JustMe
"Thanks. It is amazing to have people you can talk to that actually get it. People that can call you on your crap and be supportive. It's also great to be able to help other people. Even if it's just a good job, sorry to hear that, or hang in there. I'm sure you'll work your recovery well and find sucess. You can do it! :)
posted at 00:54:47 on January 31, 2011 by dstanley
"dstanley, i am so happy to hear that!!"
posted at 01:20:38 on January 31, 2011 by kaybee
Thanks JustMe    
"Thanks for the link. I'll read it. I get that missionaries need a chance too. I think it just hit a nerve. I also didn't take into account that some of the situation I'm in has to do with the more serious stuff I was doing 2+ years ago.

I really appreciate everyone's comments and support. I hope I didn't offend anyone."
posted at 11:12:38 on January 31, 2011 by dstanley
I'm glad    
"I'm glad you were able to improve the communication with your Bishop and set up an appointment for you both to speak! I hope it goes well. I know you didn't offend me. We Mormons just get a little skittish when people start wondering about the church. :)"
posted at 23:29:48 on January 31, 2011 by hubster
"I read the link you posted. It helped. Thanks for providing it."
posted at 00:02:58 on February 1, 2011 by dstanley
exactly hubster    
"hubster put that nicely. wasnt offended. just glad the website is helping. thats what its here for. :)"
posted at 01:21:03 on February 1, 2011 by kaybee
"This is a long post and I have to go to work but I need to catch up.

I just saw your thing about rethinking your joining the church. I've been right there with you. And from what little I gather its spawned from similar conflicts that i've had. I want to share some things. But for now I just wanted to say hang in there. You're gonna be fine. And maybe you won't be fine. But either way you're gonna be fine :) Ya dig? Good luck D thang ("aint nothin but a G thang babeh" -Snoop Dog/Dr. Dre) ;)"
posted at 12:50:48 on February 1, 2011 by they speak
"Honestly I can't remember what grandiose comment I previously had in mind now that I'm all caught up on the convo but I can shoot from the hip like I usually do :)

My first thought. Your doubts aint nothin but a thang and are nothing to worry about offending folks with. To be honest I think true faith grows in the soil of doubt. Just don't be a sissy and sell out on what you do know or have real faith in. Think of where Joseph Smiths doubts got him? Think of your own conversion - it probably started with a question. Think of every great scientist or religious or political reformer. Everyone one of them (rough estimate) started with a doubt or question about the current state of affairs or understanding. From Jesus to Martin Luther, from Copernicus to Einstein, from Fredrick Douglas to Malcolm X, from Thoreau to Gandhi or whoeva to whoeva - they all got started by questioning the status quo. So don't feel to bad you're in good company. It takes a great deal of fearless faith to move in their direction. Sticking your head in the sand and saying it's all true when you know good and well in your heart you have no business making such claims is not true faith at all or even a strong show of character. It's the opposite. That's a cowards course. Heavens-ta-betty if we all just knew everything was true and that every priesthood holder in authority was God's puppet (sounds like satan plan) why would He waist His time telling us to pray about anything? I mean I'd think praying and having the audacity to ask questions and have doubts would show, and be, quite the lack of faith indeed! ;)

However, a caveat: Many evil people have had doubts and questioned the status quo too. From Cain to Gadianton, from Karl Marx to Barack Obama (oh no he di-int just go there ;) lol). I think the key is humility. You know being humble and seeking Gods Spirit is true. Search your feelings D thang. You'll know if you're being prideful or humble in the growing of your faith and the seeking of answers and understanding. Try to be humble first and the answers you seek will come. Rather then seeking the answers in order to be willing to be/feel reconciled and humble. Damn...that's some good advice I oughta consider myself! I'm impressed :)

Now don't misunderstand. I'm not slyly hinting that if you're just humble enough you'll come to know that you're bishop, John the baptist, and President Monson get together and play Shoots n Ladders and Clue every saturday evening so you should just trust your priesthood leaders and if you don't it's just cause you're to prideful. I don't know what God will tell you or when He'll come to you. But I trust He will. Just be humble.

Another thing, maybe im off base but if you're like me D you suffer more from the conflict itself then what you think is causing the conflict. I just take the eclectic approach in this case. Life is a buffet. Take what ya want leave the rest. That seems to ease the conflict for me. The important parts of the church will still be true. For example: the idea of a corporate executive, red white and blue lovin, clean shaven Jesus doesn't jive me one bit. I love my cabinet makin, poor folk lovin, vagabond, beard wearin Jesus so back off. Yet, what ideal does my culture (including and especially my mormon culture) seem to have me aime for and appreciate? So what do I do? I listen to the beat (spirit) of my own drum. I still know the church is true even when the culture sucks in my mind. Maybe that doesn't make any sense. It's late. And I ramble when I'm tiered. I guess my point is so what the missionaries are sinners and if the church did something about it they wouldn't have a missionary program. Maybe the church is wrong in that I don't know. But like you said the book of mormon is still true and you need to get sober. Stick with that, the rest is cream cheese. Good night."
posted at 02:47:26 on February 4, 2011 by they speak
"No way I just posted that long. I'm so embarrassed"
posted at 02:48:51 on February 4, 2011 by they speak
It was a good long post    
"I think I've kind of gone back to the theory I had when I joined the church. I know that the fundamentals of the church are true. It's OK if I don't know if I agree with all the details. Since no one is perfect, things within the church aren't going to be perfect. I know I'm in the right place. Being frustrated with what feels like inconsistencies in how things are treated didn't/doesn't give me enough reason to abandon the rest. I can't control how other things are handled. I can only work on me, and I need to be sober regardless. I think I got more caught up in the conflict than I needed to. I realized it was just getting me frustrated and getting in the way of doing what I needed to be doing. Thankfully I didn't let it lead to a relapse, and I didn't say anything to my bishop in the midst of it that totally ticked him off. I'm very thankful for his patience and understanding."
posted at 11:22:58 on February 4, 2011 by dstanley

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"I need not define your specific problem to help you overcome it. It doesn’t matter what it is. If it violates the commandments of the Lord, it comes from Satan, and the Lord can overcome all of Satan’s influence through your application of righteous principles. Please understand that the way back is not as hard as it seems to you now. Satan wants you to think that it is impossible. That is not true. The Savior gave His life so that you can completely overcome the challenges you face. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990