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90 Day Challenge: Day 1
By johnroberts
8/2/2013 1:11:06 PM
I'm writing a 90 day challenge simply because that seemed to give me enough direction before to abstain. I made it over 100 days -- somewhere around 110, actually -- before lapsing again.

It's been less than two weeks since my most recent lapse, but since I didn't keep track of what day that was, I'll just start today.

I think the most frustrating thing about this whole p/m problem I have is that I don't feel worthy of being happy until I've had at least a month of sobriety. Of course, that leads to depression and self-esteem issues, making it easier to give into another lapse.

Last night, I was on the phone with a friend who recently returned from a mission. "What was one of the most important things you learned?" I asked.

"I learned that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy, and he's sad when we're sad," my friend replied.

That struck me. I suppose my natural worldview is that life is suffering punctuated by short periods of happiness or pleasure. The suffering brings us growth and progression, the ultimate point of this life. I see happiness or even basic enjoyment of life as something reserved for long in my future, well past my death.

Anyway, I've been doing some research today. I'm still not fully convinced life is supposed to be "happy" as most people define it, but I think of the brethren, and they seem to preach a gospel of happiness.

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"I have come to know that thoughts, like water, will stay on course if we make a place for them to go. Otherwise, our thoughts follow the course of least resistance, always seeking the lower levels. Probably the greatest challenge and the most difficult thing you will face in mortal life is to learn to control your thoughts. In the Bible it says, as a man ‘thinketh in his heart, so is he’ (Prov. 23:7). One who can control his thoughts has conquered himself. As you learn to control your thoughts, you can overcome habits, even degrading personal habits. You can gain courage, conquer fear, and have a happy life. "

— Boyd K. Packer

BYU, Speeches of the Year, 26 Sept. 1967