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Three years!
By sierra
8/6/2010 4:59:32 PM
I hesitate to post sometimes. I hate to think that someone might think I'm "rubbing it in" or bragging or anything of the sort. Please know that's not my intention. My sole intention is to maybe encourage and bring a little hope to someone struggling. There's my disclaimer....take it or leave it!! :)

Next week is an anniversary of sorts for me and my husband. It will be three whole years that he has been completely and wholly clean and faithful to me. I literally CANNOT believe it's been that long!! I truly can't. As I read some of the absolutely heartbreaking posts from the wives who are not as far along as I am, it brings it all back. I'm sure I've felt every emotion described here on this site by the loved ones. I remember those days and yet it seems like it all happened to some one else. I don't know how to explain it. I WISH that three and a half years ago, when the bombshell was dropped on me, that I could have had a crystal ball and gotten a glimpse of the future. I wish that on one of those days where getting out of bed and facing the day just seemed too impossible and I prayed that I could just die because the misery was just too great...I wish that Heavenly Father could have granted me a vision or something. A glimpse into a day in my life three years in the future would have been wonderful! I probably wouldn't have believed that I could be this happy. Back then I fully expected to just "endure to the end" as best I could but I didn't expect to ever have joy in life again. I'm sure I was clinically depressed now that I think about it. At the time, life was bleak. As I'm sure life is bleak for many of those reading this (both loved ones and addicts). Oh how I wish you could get a glimpse into the future and see the happiness that is just around the corner if you're willing to reach out and grab it. Life is not meant to just be "endured". I know that now. I will never allow ANYBODY to determine my happiness again. Looking back, I see how messed up I was. Even before I knew about my husband and his past, I relied on him for my happiness. What a mistake! If he came home from work grumpy, I was grumpy. If he was neglectful of me, I became sad. If he was rude, I felt bad about myself. If he was loving, I felt happy. If he was complimentary towards me, I felt beautiful. If I have learned one thing from this experience it is this...my happiness does NOT depend on what anybody else says, does, is or has been. I can choose to be happy regardless of any circumstance I find myself in. What a revelation! Some days I fall into old patterns and let others dictate my mood or my self worth and I try quickly to snap out of it. I'll never give anyone, and I mean ANYONE that kind of power over me EVER again!! Once I realized this, I've been able to move past the past. It took me a long time to realize that I have to love myself THE MOST. I loved my husband way more than I loved myself and when he didn't love me back the way that I loved him...well... it about destroyed me.

I do believe that when Satan can't get to my husband he turns his focus onto me. It's annoying really. Leave me alone for Pete's sake! Sometimes I'm aware when he's trying to get at me and can mount a defense. Sometimes I let him in and let him start whispering doubts and reminders about things long in the past. I KNOW that right now my husband is clean. But I'm also not a fool and I know that at any time, if he lets his guard down, he can be right back in the filthiness. There are times when Satan wants to get me to doubt my husband. If he can do that, he can create a fight between us and drive a wedge. A couple weeks ago, he suceeded and I had "a moment". It was just a weak moment where I started wondering if I'm being played for a fool after all. He was once a master liar and manipulator after all. Ithought maybe I'm deluding myself. I was working myself up into a frenzy with these thoughts. Then something happened. I call it one of the many tender mercies of the Lord. We were sitting at the table one Saturday morning talking. I was being quiet because in my mind he had committed foul deeds indeed and I was thinking about how I could try to catch him. All of the sudden, he put his head down and got quiet for a minute. I asked him what was wrong. He looked up at the ceiling and didn't say anything for a few seconds. It was weird. Then he looked at me and said "Sister (Smith) needs some help." I asked him how he knew this. He said that he didn't know but he wanted to drive over there right away. So we got in the car and drove over there. I felt silly and didn't want to go. How awkward to randomly knock on someones door and say "Um...do you need help?" So I felt weird. But he had had a feeling so we went. When we pulled up this Sister from our ward was sitting on the porch crying. We walked up and asked what we could do. My husband told her he had been prompted that she needed some help. She started bawling even more. She told us how she was pregnant and sick and her husband was out of town and her kids were out of control and her house was a mess and she was exhausted. She couldn't stop crying. So I loaded up her laundry to take home and wash for her and we loaded up the kids so my husband could take them to the park and she could take a nap. This is an honest to goodness true story. She told us later that she was sitting on the porch praying for help to get through the weekend until her husband came home. This experience taught me two things. One---my husband is CLEAN. The Holy Spirit does not dwell in unclean vessels. If he was living a secret life of sin (as Satan had been whispering in my ear all morning) there is no way he would have been receptive to that prompting. Two---it taught me that Heavenly Father is aware of every single one of us. No matter how small the problem, he is aware and wants to help us. Being overwhelmed with laundry and rowdy kids isn't even that big of a problem compared to some trials but He was aware of this womans plea for help and answered her prayers. Two very valuable lessons I learned that day!!
I hope sharing my experience doesn't make anyone feel bad. My intent is not to rub my happiness in your face and say "Look how great me and my husband are!" I ONLY wanted to say that there is hope. I was one of the most miserable, depressed, angry people alive on this Earth three years ago. When I think of some of the things I wrote on this site in my wrath, I cringe. I was a crazy woman back then. Yikes! My husband was about as steeped in sin as you can imagine and he managed to stop and never look back. THREE years!!! It IS possible. Just don't quit. That's all.
I have so much to say and so little time. I often think about the people on this site that helped me get through the hardest time in my life. Robin, how are you girl? I hope you are in a better place. Summer, Angelmom and all the other hurting women...just hang in there and do the best you can. That's all you can really do and if you're not making progress like you want then just picture that day in the future when you're happy again. I know it's coming!! For all of us!! The Lord has promised happiness to the righteous. God does not lie! Hold onto that and don't give up! Love ya'll!
Sierra

Comments:

thank you    
"Sierra,

I love your posts. You give me and my wife so much hope for full recovery. This is my 6 month anniversary of starting recovery and times are still hard. I have glimpses of spiritual inspirations like your husband. Christ is starting to work through me and accomplish good work. I wish I knew you in person. My wife would probably hang with you, and we could all have a group hug. That's what I am needing at this moment."
posted at 17:52:51 on August 6, 2010 by lawrence
Thanks Sierra    
"What an inspirational story (about your husbands recovery and about your husbands prompting). A good reminder of the blessings of being clean--so that we can be instruments in the hands of the Lord. I just started going to 12-step group this year. It has been such an important part of my recovery. Your husbands story is a story of hope for the addict. Your story is also inspirational. Last week I asked my wife why she was no longer angry at me. She said that at some point she realized that who I was did not have to define her. I think that fits with what you were saying. That has been an important step for her.

By the way--I have read your comments on other threads--two threads are in my "favorites" section because of what you said. I found the post about wether a person can expect relapse and still be in recovery especially profound. For me it was (and is) time to no longer expect relapse or "slipping". That post was very helpful for me.

Lawrence--let's keep on going--in three years we can share our stories to give hope to others!

Jim"
posted at 21:58:13 on August 6, 2010 by Seekrecovery
Thank you, Sierra    
"Once again, you have given me a lot to think about."
posted at 11:10:02 on August 7, 2010 by BeClean
Hope for her    
"Your post gives hope that she can be healed. I have prayed every night for that and at times it seems it just won't but deep down I know it will. I pray for her to be healed not to suit my purposes to have her back but so that she can be happy with or without me. So you have given everyone hope that it is possible and while we all know it is, it is refreshing to know that she can be happy again."
posted at 12:01:49 on August 7, 2010 by ruggaexpat
Thanks Sierra!!    
"Thanks for writing this! I am so happy you are doing so well. It gives me hope. I have so much to learn. I do put my happiness in my husband’s hands…and that is quite possible why I fell so hard. You have been so helpful to me in my recovery. Thank you for not forgetting about us, even though you are in a much better place…I’ll join you in that better place some day. :)"
posted at 08:22:15 on August 9, 2010 by summer


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"Now brethren, the time has come for any one of us who is so involved to pull himself out of the mire, to stand above this evil thing, to “look to God and live” (Alma 37:47). We do not have to view salacious magazines. We do not have to read books laden with smut. We do not have to watch television that is beneath wholesome standards. We do not have to rent movies that depict that which is filthy. We do not have to sit at the computer and play with ographic material found on the Internet."

— Gordon B. Hinckley

General Conference, October 2004