Am I wrong about the truth?
12/10/2011 12:23:42 PM
I've been attending Addiction Recovery for over 2 years. I wish that I could say that I have clean for that long, but that is not my case.
I have many issues. I've been told by my Bishop & Counselor that I tend over analyze situations and conversations to the point that the truth of what was said and/or meant is completely distorted and I'm not seeing the TRUTH anymore.
Now having said that, I'm trying very hard to recognize THE TRUTH: things as they really are, as Elder Bednar would say. Maybe I am trying too hard, I don't know.
When I first started to attend addiction recovery meetings, I learned how to introduce myself as everyone else does when you are ready to share. "Hi, My name is ______. I'm addicted to __________." After about a year though, one of the missionaries in charge of our group, suggested that we change our focus on how we identify ourselves. It was suggested that we identify ourselves as Children of God, that struggle with addiction. We could add whatever our addiction is after that if we wanted to, but the goal was to get us to remember that we are Children of God first & that our struggle with addiction should not be the only way in which we identify ourselves.
We immediately adopted this into our routine. I would say something similar to, "I'm ________, I'm a Child of God & I struggle with ___________addiction." Saying my intro became easier, because I was reminded that I am a Child of God FIRST.
Another thing that I thought was a big step forward was that after taking steps 4 & 5, I stopped mentioning the type of addiction that I have. I told my group that I had take steps 4 & 5 and all of that was behind me now & that I didn't feel it necessary to identify myself from my past behavior. In step #4 it says, "you do not have to be what you have been.." So felt that I was moving forward.
Now it's a year + later and I still introduce myself the same way. Then something was brought to my attention. Someone fairly new to our group said that they have to say what their addictive behavior is because they are just trying to be honest and not minimize their behavior.
It's been over a month since this comment was made. At first my inner thought reaction was, "that is where this person is in their healing & repentance process & that's ok." Then I guess I let the adversary help me over-analyze the situation & I took a turn downward.
My thoughts started going to, "Am I really being honest with myself? Am I glossing over my addiction in my intro because I really haven't fully repented? Am I not telling the TRUTH? Then just like my cycle of ups & downs go, other things began to influence me. Negative reports of crimes, deaths of people that I knew etc, just began to build on me to the pointed that I was in a terrible frame of mind. My family & I attended our ward Christmas party & I didn't feel happy or joyful or part of the ward family at all. I had begun to isolate myself more & more.
I began lashing out at close friends, my Bishop, my Counselor & nearly all of my family. It all came to a head in one of my counseling sessions. After going around in circles for almost the whole session, a light bulb clicked on with both my counselor & I. We determined that with this small thought about how I introduce myself in my addiction recovery meetings, I went all the way back to NOT forgiving myself & NOT moving forward & NOT letting go of what I once was.
So, we figured out where it all started & what I needed to do to correct things & get back on track.
A blessing in this was that the next Addiction Recovery Meeting I went to, we were discussing step #8, Seeking Forgiveness. It was perfect & exactly what The Lord wanted me to hear.
So now I'm working on forgiving myself. I think that there are times in which sometimes our repetitive behaviors will cause us to have to forgive ourselves multiple times. My Bishop is always referring to how I'm just peeling the onion back more & more & more. I guess He's right, again.
So, I'm back to the TRUTH, without any distortions or over-analysis. "I'm ME, I am a Child of God, and I have struggled with addictions." Whether I choose to include the specific type of addiction or not, it does not matter. The Lord & I & everyone else that needs to know, knows my addictive behavior. I recognize & acknowledge the truth.
The Lesson learned is to recognize when messages are getting distorted. If the spirit leaves, then that is a sure sign that the analysis of the situation is not THE TRUTH.
What are your thoughts on this matter?


Hi ME    
"Welcome to the site these past several weeks. As you may know, I only resurfaced here a couple weeks ago myself, and it looks like your first few posts went unanswered before I arrived. When I'm around, it's hard for me to keep silent. Sorry no one said anything to you.

It sounds like you are on the right track. You've been working faithfully on your addictions with your bishop and counselors for years. You wrote:

Whether I choose to include the specific type of addiction or not, it does not matter. The Lord & I & everyone else that needs to know, knows my addictive behavior.

That sounds good to me. You aren't hiding anything. You are honest with yourself. You are working the steps. You are doing great! Don't let what anyone else says about their own addiction and recovery make you think that you aren't doing what you are supposed to be doing for yourself. You know yourself and your own progress. Keep going!"
posted at 23:04:30 on December 24, 2011 by beclean
Don't worry about the type of addiction    
"Dear Me:

I read your post and couldn't help but think of myself at the AR meetings. I have never shared with that group what my addiction is. In fact, we are discouraged from sharing anything specific about our addictions (which is fine by me!). I don't paricularly like to share specifics anyway. :)

I really liked your comment about not being defined by past behaviors. I do that to myself all the time, and it is so unhealthy. I wish I could stop doing that. We shouldn't be defined by past behaviors. Past experience helps shape us into the person we are now, but behaviors...I don't think so. We all have made bad choices at different stages in our lives. When I have all my faculties about me, the thing I ask myself is am I becoming a better person? Am I a better person today than I was yesterday? If not, what can I do to become a better person? We have to take a day at a time. Yes, we will have set backs along the way; believe me, I am struggling with some set backs of my own right now. But even that is acknowledgement that I want to be a better person, otherwise a so called set back wouldn't phase me.

You keep going in the direction you're going. You're doing great!"
posted at 19:22:37 on December 26, 2011 by want2change
thanks or your comments    
"Thanks for both of your comments, I greatly appreciate them. I see that this furom works & works well. We are all here to help & strengthen each other. Thank you so much for including me."
posted at 01:48:31 on December 28, 2011 by ME

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"Now, my brothers and sisters, let not Jesus’ redemption for us stop at the immortalizing dimension of the Atonement, “the loosing of the bands of death”. Let us grasp the proffered gift of eternal life! We will end up either choosing Christ’s manner of living or His manner of suffering! It is either “suffer even as I”, or overcome “even as [He] … overcame”. His beckoning command is to become “even as I am”. The spiritually settled accept that invitation, and “through the atonement of Christ,” they become and overcome! "

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987