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Shame
By Matrix
11/17/2008 10:30:06 AM
I hope I can get my point across even though I probably won't say it as eloquently as I'd like so bear with me.

I went to an ARP fireside last night and it was wonderful. Both speakers did an excellent job and the spirit was very strong. When I first arrived, I was sitting by myself. As more people came, no one sat by me. This kind of thing doesn't bother as I like keep to myself most of the time. It was a couple minutes before the meeting started and I turned to watch more people walk in. One woman in particular stood out to me. You see, this is a woman from my family ward who I grew up with. She knows me well and I know her well. She is a drug addict and goes around speaking about her addiction. She is not ashamed of who she is or what she's done. She has been able to help many people by having that addiction.

Well, she turned towards me and looked at me. She gave me a puzzled look and so I waved to her. She signaled for me to sit with her so I did. Once there, she asked how I had heard about the fireside and I told her through group. Again, she gave me a puzzled look. I just looked at her and went, "Yup, I'm an addict." The puzzled look changed to a look of curiosity. I then said, "It's probably not what you're thinking." She then went on to guess if it was an eating disorder (because I'm naturally very thin) or if it was exercise. I kept saying no until finally I said simply, "I'm a sex addict." I assumed that was the proper title considering all the things I've done in my addiction.

She then gave me a new look, a look I'm getting used to as I tell people about my problems. It was shock. Everyone I've told (except for those in group) have been shocked by my confession. To look at me, I look "perfect" and to those that I grew up with, it's even more shocking because I "act perfect." Her look quickly changed from shock to pain as she realized how much I must be hurting. I couldn't look directly at her because I was so ashamed of what I was. At that point, I really realized how ashamed I was of myself and what I had done. Before then, I had only thought I was ashamed when I had messed up and needed to confess but last night was day 23 for me and I was still ashamed.

She asked a few more questions and I gave her a few more answers. Nothing too personal. Mostly just how long had I been suffering silently. She then patted me on the knee and said I had nothing to be ashamed about. I was finding recovery and I will help others because of my addiction. She felt really bad for me. She told me there is a stigma when you say you are an addict but she believes its bigger when you say it involves sex.

After the meeting, she just hugged me and said I was a wonderful person for coming forward because it must have been hard for me. I knew she loved me tons before she knew about my addictions but I know now she loves me more. Addicts love addicts more then I ever thought one person could love another, even if they have never met each other.

I don't know exactly why I felt so ashamed around another addict. Maybe it's because she knows me, but I can't wait for the day when none of us have to feel ashamed. I can't wait to be able to say to someone, "I'm an addict" and all I'll get from them is love and support. As for now, I get to face the world as it is and know without being told, that just because I did bad things, doesn't make me a bad person. I'm a child of God and if He loves me for who I am, nothing else matters.

Comments:

Thanks    
"Thanks for sharing this Matrix. Your story brought me to tears. You are such a brave person! I don't think I have ever sat in a group and said out loud that I am an addict. I always seem to skip that part because part of me is ashamed. Even around other addicts I feel the shame. I have been doing so well lately day 135 probably the longest I've ever gone. But I still feel ashamed at the fact that I am an addict. It's not something I like about myself. It is something I am working on however.
I am grateful for your testimony. I am also grateful that you have found someone to tell that will still love you unconditionally. You are a big strength to me.

Be good"
posted at 16:29:51 on November 17, 2008 by toes_23
Hang in there Matrix    
"I've no doubt that this lady felt the same way at one point. Shame can bring us down and that will, of course, turn us back to the addiction. But also it CAN help us overcome our addiction by remembering to turn to the Lord.

May God bless you to stay focused on your Savior."
posted at 17:52:01 on November 17, 2008 by nyronian


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"Don’t live your life in despair, feeling sorry for yourself because of the mistakes you have made. Let the sunshine in by doing the right things—now. It may be difficult to begin, but pick up the scriptures and immerse yourself in them. Look for favorite passages. Lean on the Master’s teachings, on His servants’ testimonies. Refresh your parched soul with the word of God. The scriptures will give you comfort and the strength to overcome. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990