Anxiety and Relapse
By Matrix
10/12/2009 9:16:26 AM
So I thought I was doing okay with my addiction. I mean, things haven't been that great for the past few months but I was able to stay sober, control my thoughts, that type of thing. I was feeling a little depressed but I just brushed that off as "withdrawal" from my addiction since it has happened before. Well, a few weeks ago my sister's boyfriend came to our house to stay for quite a few hours. I don't like this guy, never have. There is just something about him that I don't like it. I've found that I can't be in the same room as him for more than a minute without getting large amounts of anxiety. I almost have panic attacks when I come home from work for fear that he'll be at my house. I've tried to talk to a few of my family members about it but they have just told me to "shut up about it" and "learn to like him" (my sister just got engaged to him). I decided to talk to my facilitator about it. She was very helpful and I've come up with one reason why I don't like him. I see things in him that I hate about myself. Would something like that really cause that much anxiety?

Anywho, after rambling, having this guy in my house is so troubling to me that I keep relapsing every time he's over for more than an hour or so. I'm so disappointed in myself. I should know better plus I know how to control myself, or at least I thought I did. A huge problem I'm having is that it's usually a Sunday night so I can't do a lot of the things I'd like to do to get away from it all. I've prayed so hard to be okay with everything yet I'm still struggling. I really hate being an addict sometimes. Everything I do and everything I think and everyone I interact with involves aspects of my addiction. Sometimes it’s good but mostly it's bad. I dunno, maybe I just need to vent a little.

I've also been thinking a lot about my sister’s choices. She's always been the "perfect" person. She does what she is told, she's very active in the church, she's never done anything horrible in her life, she went on a mission, she's just all around a very very good person and I look up to her for that. I've always felt that she is a better person then I am as well. With her recent choice in who she's engaged to leaves me a little hopeless. I've always felt that because she is such a good person, she deserves someone that's equally as good. This guy that she's with now doesn't seem that great. I've tried hard to get to know him and the more I know, the more I feel she's settling for less than she's worth. It makes me worried for myself. I've always felt that because she's better then I'm she deserves better and if she's settling for less that means that I'll have to settle for less as well, like I don't deserve better than her because of the bad choices I've made in my life. Make sense?

I dunno, I guess I just had to get this out somehow instead of keeping it bottled up inside. I am going to make a list of things I should do to keep busy every time this guy is over so I stop relapsing. I hope I find something that works. I'm tired of being an addict, I'm ready for it to be done.


A few things to consider    
"I’m sorry to hear about your relapses, I know how discouraging that is. I also understand how being around awful people can cause addicts to turn to their addictions (I had a horrible companion on my mission that made me so frustrated that giving into my addiction was the only thing that kept me from packing my bags and going home).

I’ve heard that Sundays are probably the worst day of the week for LDS addicts, and I know they definitely are for me. I’ve gained a lot of extra strength during my weakest moments by going to a recovery meeting every Sunday evening. That way I can easily resist temptation throughout the day because I’m looking forward to the meeting, and then I’m actually busy for a couple hours after dinner, which is always the hardest time for me. You may want to consider getting involved in a Sunday night recovery meeting because it would help you stay sober on Sundays, and it would also probably get you away from your sister’s boyfriend.

There was one thing you said that I’m still scratching my head over: “I've always felt that because she's better then I'm she deserves better and if she's settling for less that means that I'll have to settle for less as well, like I don't deserve better than her because of the bad choices I've made in my life. Make sense?” That doesn’t make sense to me at all. It makes much more sense to avoid your sister’s mistakes than it does to repeat them. Why would you ever want to settle for less than you deserve?

By the way, I really don't think you need to learn to like your sister's boyfriend. I avoid half of my siblings spouses because I don't like them, and that hasn't ever kept me from having good relationships with my siblings. Once I had suffered through my siblings' engagements and weddings to their spouses, my relationships with them returned back to how it was before they ever met their spouses.

I hope your situation gets better, Matrix. My thoughts and prayers are with you."
posted at 12:24:10 on October 12, 2009 by ETTE
"I should really look into a meeting on Sunday nights. I know there are plenty of general ones around and although I love my group the most, those would most likely be very beneficial to me. The thing about not deserving better is just my addict talking. Unfortunately, I was told by a couple people in my life who knew about my addiction that I don't deserve good things because of me being an addict. I guess it stuck with me. It's a self worth thing I've struggled with for a while now. Oh well, I guess that's one for my character weaknesses page. I'm so relieved to hear that if I just "suffer" through a wedding and such then I can go back to some sort of normal. Thanks so much Ette and congrats on being sober so long. Keep it up."
posted at 13:30:00 on October 12, 2009 by Matrix
"I’ve been thinking and praying a lot about you today, and I can’t help but feel optimistic for you. You said that you hate being an addict and having your whole life revolve around your addiction, but you also admitted that sometimes it’s good even if you think that it’s mostly bad. Focus on the good! Think of all the people you’ve encouraged because you can relate to their experiences. I gotta admit that when I’m having an especially hard time staying positive, I love to read the uplifting blogs you’ve written. I’m always moved by the sincerity and compassion in your writings.

Maybe you’re having a hard time finding hope and serenity right now, but the things you’ve written on this site make it obvious that you’ve been richly blessed with those attributes. You may still be a struggling addict, but I guarantee you’re also still an incredible person. When you feel hurt by the insensitive things others have said to you, just remember that they don’t know all the good you’ve done because you’re a recovering addict. Please don’t lose sight of who you are and what you are capable of doing."
posted at 00:38:40 on October 14, 2009 by ETTE
Figured It Out    
"I've feeling very happy today despite having a near hit on Sunday. I talked about my feeling in group and my facilitator pulled me aside and gave me some very great insight. I had talked about a guy who had hurt me in the past and how my anxiety toward my sister's boyfriend matched that anxiety I felt for this previous friend of mine. I didn't link two and two together until my facilitator pointed it out. She helped me realize that there is something about this guy my sister is seeing that is similar to my old "friend", hence the anxiety. I haven't yet forgiven this guy for what he did to me which may also be adding to my anxiety. I'm not saying I like my sister's boyfriend now or that I can tolerate being around him but it gives me a starting point. I think if I can work on ill feelings for one person, the other will follow. That is my hope anyway. I'm also looking into seeing a therapist about it. I think it will be most beneficial.

Oh, and Ette, thank you so much for the prayers and the thoughts. It means a lot to me."
posted at 00:56:24 on October 21, 2009 by Matrix
"From what you wrote, it seems like you’ve made a lot of progress over the past week or so. In my opinion, the most positive changes you’ve made so far is that you were able to avoid a relapse last Sunday, and you’re willing to find professional help for your feelings of resentment. Personally, I prefer the therapists at LDS Family Services above anywhere else, even though they’re sort of expensive.

You might benefit from getting rid of the ill feelings you have towards your sister’s boyfriend, but I don’t think you need to force yourself to trust him. Intuition is a survival instinct that keeps us from repeating mistakes and getting hurt. In other words, if you think there’s something “off” about your sister’s boyfriend, then you should follow that feeling because there probably is something wrong with him, but of course that doesn’t mean you should hate the guy, it just means you should keep your distance.

Well that’s my two cents, maybe my opinion will benefit you somehow. Keep it up, Matrix, and thanks again for what you wrote on my other blog. It has helped me so much to look at my relapse as an opportunity to grow closer to the Savior. "
posted at 19:35:15 on October 24, 2009 by ETTE
"I love you Matrix. You are working the steps like a true hero. Thanks for being such an awesome person, and an inspiration."
posted at 21:40:18 on November 3, 2009 by toes_23

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"Just as the landfill requires dedicated work and attention, laboriously applying layer after layer of fill to reclaim the low-lying ground, our lives also require the same vigilance, continually applying layer after layer of the healing gift of repentance.…Our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, feel sorrow when we choose to remain in sin, when the gift of repentance made possible through the Atonement can clean, reclaim, and sanctify our lives. When we gratefully accept and use this precious gift, we can enjoy the beauty and usefulness of our lives... "

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General Conference October 2006