Monday, October 14, 2013

Soul-Searching Through Step 10


Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching. I’ve been dealing with a lot of stuff, and I've needed to look inside myself and dig deep to find answers and solutions. And to stop being lazy and fearful.

My husband is 17 days sober. And counting.

That’s good.

That’s great!

But, I still feel weird.

When the addiction was hitting rather heavy, it was hard for me to face it. It was difficult for me to cope, so I turned to my easiest coping method: to pretend like it’s not happening. Not that I do that…But seriously, it’s much easier to let it be addressed (his confession/my questions) and then just move on without letting it ruin things. I hate it when the addiction ruins things! The problem is, I tend to move on too quickly--before I’ve allowed the emotions to run their course. And that ruins things. Like right now how I'm still feeling weird. I am trying to let my emotions run their course because 17 days ago when we had our last d-day, I ignored it. Actually I was strong for him, and then strong for me, and that is how I ignored it. Anyway, now it's just bottled up pain that has become more fermented with time.

I don’t want to feel pain. I don’t want this to be hurting our relationship. I don’t want to not want to have sex because that is a critical step in the baby-making process. And I certainly don’t want any months to go by with a chosen lack of fetus because I chose not to have sex (already a few chosen months have passed by, which is why I'm so emotional about it right now). My body is infertile enough without the addiction in the equation to add more un-pregnant months.

I don’t want these problems.

When he tells me he slips up, I feel sad. I feel hurt. But I also know he feels bad, and I don’t want him to feel worse and slip up again, so I shove it all down. Sometimes, I just don’t even have the time to deal with my emotions, so I shove it down and play pretend-happy. Or at least pretend-survival. The past few weeks have been crazy at school and we just moved. I don’t have time to deal with addiction problems. So, naturally, I let the emotions sit. I think I’ve dealt with them because I have acknowledged the emotions, but I haven’t dealt with them at all. They fester . They boil. They explode. I get depressed. And then I don’t know what to do.

I need to take my own emotion advice. That post I wrote about emotions? That was me processing. I was coaching myself on how to deal with things. And then, after I wrote it, I had to move on because things were so crazy busy.

It’s a horrible cycle. I totally know I’m doing it to myself, but I just keep on doing it because I’m getting so maxed out in every aspect of my life that I don’t know what else to do.

I need a vacation from life. I don’t even need to go anywhere special. I just need a break.

I’ve been stuck on step 10 for a little while. Because I haven’t had time or motivation to do daily accountability. So, I know I’m on step 10, and I don’t hold myself accountable. I just don’t. It’s too hard and depressing. I’ve seen myself slowly falling into old, bad habits. I’ve started being a little judgmental and saying kind of harsh things. I’m seeing the old me that didn’t cope with things well. I know that’s okay because I know I’m not perfect and I don’t have to be. But, it’s rather depressing to see the things I’ve tried to ditch resurfacing.

I hit a sort of breaking point this past week, though. By the end of the week at school, I wanted to kill everyone (not literally…sheesh!). I cried. A lot. I even cried at the stinkin' airport. In public. I didn’t even care anymore. I was just embracing my emotions.

I finally read through step 10 again. I have been pushing it off because I’m afraid to start holding myself accountable for anything—my actions, acknowledging my emotions, my thoughts, my motivations, my intents, my desires. I’m afraid to hold myself accountable because I’m a perfectionist. And because it’s kind nice to fall into Satan’s traps and feel like there is no hope? Yeah, right. That’s why I decided to get back into the swing of things. I chose depression (kind of), so I chose to un-choose depression.

Picking up my manual and reading through step 10 was one of the best things I could have done for myself right now.

I was reminded I need self-care. Self-care is important. I need to meet my needs. Yes, my students are important. My job is important. My family (as in mom/dad/siblings) is important. My husband is important. But you know what? I’M IMPORTANT TOO! My needs must be met just as much as anyone else’s. Maybe even more. You know how when you’re on an airplane, they go through the safety-demo and make sure everyone knows that if there is an emergency, YOU should put on your oxygen mask before helping anyone else? If you die, who is going to help all of them? That’s the way I see it. I have to meet my needs because if I die/fall apart/have a nervous breakdown, there will be no me to meet all of those needs that are currently being met by me.

I do a lot. I am stretched thin in so many directions. Sometimes I wonder how the world would revolve without me (although, to be honest, it would totally revolve without me). I give of myself constantly. I try to serve and make everyone happy. I give so much that I should be made up of negative matter—my body should warp into some other dimension or something.

I need self-care. My daily accountability? To check and make sure that I’m taking care of myself. That does include things like watching for pride and asking God to replace my negative thoughts with His peace.
I was also reminded in my study of step 10 that I will make mistakes. But that’s okay because it is normal, it’s a part of life, and my Savior has taken my mistakes upon Himself. I can turn them over to Him. I’ve done it before.

Isn’t it funny how this is so cyclical? I know with each cycle, I am growing. My growth is becoming deeper. But still. It’s such a cycle. I love/hate it. At least the fact that it’s a cycle means I’ve already gone through this, on some level, and I can give myself advice on how to get through it.

But you can also interject and give me advice if necessary.

Remember, self-care. Don’t stop taking care of yourself like I did. Read your scriptures. Pray. And do some crafts or something! (but seriously.)

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