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What More Can I Do???
By anewrainbow
5/7/2013 1:23:50 AM
I have been a member of the church my whole life, and have a strong testimony of the doctrines and principles taught in the Gospel. 21 months ago my life was turned upside down when I first began to masturbate. I was 19 at the time. A few months earlier I had finally realized what sex was at all, and was curious about it. (Apparently my mom had tried to have "The Talk" with me on more than one occasion. I somehow managed to block these from my memory.) Then I aloud a friend to touch me inappropriately. I immediately went to my Bishop,, and have not talked to him since. But as my curiosity continued I was less inclined to continue seeking my Bishop's council.

A year later I almost fell away from the church. I had aloud my boyfriend to masturbate me, and I him. Over the next two months I began to justify this, saying that I loved him. We started talking about getting married. I was slightly concerned because I still desired a Celestial Marriage, so I talked to my Bishop. (New Bishopric) He gave me some good council, to make my standards obvious to him and avoid situations where we would be tempted.At first things were great, then I started to get sick. I was desperately trying to cling to what I knew was true, I could remember the happiness the Gospel had brought me and I wanted it back. But I still wasn't making it a priority, I was not attending church or institute regularly because of work and illness. I had stopped praying (except when I needed something) and I had stopped reading the scriptures too. But I no longer had the energy or conviction to stand firm. All I knew was that here was a man who loved me, despite of my illness, and that he wanted to take care of me. We could get married in the temple later. Surely things would be easier this way, and then we wouldn't be breaking anymore commandments.

After dating him for 2 months he came clean of all the lies he had been telling me, one being his age. (Turns out he was 17 years older than me, not 9 like I had thought.) If I could forgive him then he would marry me tomorrow. Not literally, but you get the point. I went home and talked over the lesser details of our relationship with my mom, and I prayed like crazy. I gave him my answer, I couldn't remain in this relationship. Over the next few weeks he started to get really manipulative, and I didn't know which way was up any more. Once I had completely cut myself of from him and the situation I caught a glimpse of where my life was headed, and I didn't like it.

I managed to go 4 months without masturbating, and I was going to church as often as I could. If I had to work I went to another ward at a time that worked for me, and I went to Institute activities every week. Then life started to get crazy and I didn't know what to do. It was becoming very obvious that my cousins were being abused, whose mother had sexually abused me, when I was 2, and other members of my extended family long before that. In my confusion, desperation, and anxiety I turned to masturbation. This was a lot to process! About a month later I started talking to my Bishop about serving a mission. I ended up realizing my Father needed me here and to focus on school. But through the process I had come out back on top and went about another 4 months without incident. Since I haven't let it become a regular habit, but it is still a habit I can't seam to kick. And my anxieties continued to haunt me despite efforts to trust the Lord, that in the end everything would be okay.

Still, within the last month I have made some huge progress. I changed wards and so had to tell yet another Bishop, and then the Bishopric changed. Now I know why I was prompted to change wards, my current Bishop is an old family friend and has been able to talk to me on a different level than I have previously been able. I have emotionally accepted/admitted to myself that my aunt did in fact abuse me as a child and have recently realized that I do have some memory of this. (Which I had none, or didn't realize that I did until now.) Also recently I have finally admitted to my parents that I have been struggling with masturbation at all, as was encouraged by my Bishop. It was hard, and I thought that they would think less of me. But I am so glad that I did. My mom asked me what she could do to make it easier on me.

Shortly after changing wards I was prompted to renew efforts to serve a mission. As far as my illness goes, I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease 7 years ago, and I can't remember ever feeling better than I do now. I have finally got it in remission! Not only have I been physically strengthened, but I feel spiritually uplifted as well. I know who I am, I want to do what's right, and I want to serve the Lord. But I have yet to completely rid myself of this infestation. I am working with my Bishop, he has my mission papers in hand. I know with the Lord on my side that there is nothing that I can't do. I know I can't do everything at once, but I'm improving as much as I can as fast as I can. As of yet I am not reading or praying daily, but I do one or the other every day. I remember to do both most days... I'm reading the pamphlet for preparing to go to the temple and also Preach My Gospel. But yet, it isn't enough... I slipped up again today

Please, someone, what more can I do? I know someone is going to tell me to pray and read daily, that's a given! I'm doing better in that regard, and am still working on it. I want to know, is there more I can or need to do? Any suggestions at all...PLEASE!!!

Comments:

12 Steps    
"Have you gone to a 12 step group? That is something that can truly help you continue to do well. It will give you a place to feel safe about talking about our feelings. As you work the steps you will learn about trusting in the Savior and healing. I love my 12 step groups. Hearing others talk and sharing my own thoughts really helps. It also keeps you actively working on your recovery. Find a couple meetings a week at first if you want, they can really help. Go to arp.lds.org to find meeting times near you."
posted at 20:56:14 on May 7, 2013 by Anonymous
Needing more    
"I've been reading some of the stuff on this site, originally I was to embarrassed and was absolutely against the idea. But as I read your post I could see that I needed something more. Thanks for the suggestion!"
posted at 02:09:40 on May 8, 2013 by anewrainbow
-    
"Satan will put extra effort into you to prevent you from serving a mission. Work with the twelve step program and keep praying to be delivered from temptation.

I personally struggled with masturbation for many years. Through the LORD I have been able to overcome it. You can do it. It is not hopeless."
posted at 19:54:40 on May 8, 2013 by Anonymous


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"Each one who resolves to climb that steep road to recovery must gird up for the fight of a lifetime. But a lifetime is a prize well worth the price. This challenge uniquely involves the will, and the will can prevail. Healing doesn’t come after the first dose of any medicine. So the prescription must be followed firmly, bearing in mind that it often takes as long to recover as it did to become ill. But if made consistently and persistently, correct choices can cure. "

— Russell M. Nelson

General Conference, October 1988