Two days ago, I was doing my Jillian Michaels workout and had all these positive thoughts about my life. I was feeling a little sore and achy, so I was trying to listen to my body and not push too much. At the end of the workout, she says something like "It's not about the crunch, it's about being strong physically so you can be strong in every aspect of your life." That rings so true to me. When I can't/don't exercise, or when my body doesn't feel physically capable of life's challenges, it seems that all the emotional challenges are that much more tough (and this element of my life will make more sense a couple of paragraphs down).
As I stretched, I thought about her statement, along with some metaphors relating to knowing how to push my body without pushing past its abilities, and I thought, "I want to write a blog post about this. There is so much depth here to write about and the parallels with dealing with the addiction trauma."
But alas, somewhere during that workout, I injured my back and in a fit of rage, I thought, "Screw this. Screw everything. Apparently nothing I think or do is right or good because God keeps letting this crap happen to me."
A week ago, I was pretty deep in some depression related to the addiction trauma. I finally, FINALLY worked through it on Monday and the week went way up. One of my friends said something to me about not remaining a victim and finding a way to be happy despite the addiction rearing its head in my home. I took that to heart and thought, "You know what? I have been in victim mode." I think I sometimes like being in victim mode because I want to bring my husband down. I want him to realize what he is doing to our family, so I pout and remain a victim, hoping his eyes will be open to see what is happening. But there is a time and place for hurting and working through the pain, and then there is a time for it to be done and for me to stand up and keep pushing onward.
Once I realized I had it in me to step out of victim mode and re-engage in my "real" life, everything seemed so good (except my relationship with Ben--that was still suffering, but that's okay). A lot of things started clicking and I felt really happy. I was listening to my body and mind and doing what felt right every second.
Then this back thing happened.
Thursday night, I really struggled. I mean, I couldn't walk very well at all, and I couldn't even hold my baby. I had some moments where I felt completely abandoned by God because I've been trying to do everything right, and He let this happen to me. I struggled for a lot of reasons that I'm not going to get into because it would make this post a lot longer than it needs to be. The main thing I struggled with, though, was feeling so incredibly dependent on Ben AND not being able to care for my baby. Because we were trying to avoid an ER bill, I took some strong medicine that made it so I couldn't breastfeed (not that I could hold my baby anyway...but still...I couldn't try even if I wanted to), and the poor child had a rough 24 hours. I was also worried about Ben being able to care for the little guy without me because of some past impatience he has demonstrated that has left a lot of unresolved feelings in me.
I've had a lot of time to think and pray over the past 48 hours. And here is what I have learned:
Sometimes things just happen that are completely out of our control. When things like that happen, we have two choices. We can either mourn it and live in the past (what could have been done so this didn't happen to me?), or we can accept it and move on to the best of our abilities. I think it's healthy to have a little bit of both in there. I think it's normal to go through a period of anger or mourning when a major trial hits. But there is a point where you have to be able to accept it and move on if you want to remain emotionally healthy and not let the trial totally drown you. I've spent a lot of time in the anger and mourning period when it comes to this trial of addiction in my marriage. A LOT of time. But I can't change it. No amount of pleading with or anger at God changes it. I have to just grasp what is in my control and move forward.
I have a lot of theories about how/why this back injury happened. I also had a lot of anger about it happening. But none of that matters. What matters is what I see now.
I'm grateful for a husband who has majorly stepped up his game and not emotionally abused me to make me feel like this is somehow my fault or that I am a financial burden to this family (this is the second time I've gone to the ER this year...and because of various health issues I have, I've gone to the ER on average about once a year since we have been married. So...yeah.). I'm also grateful that he understands and has empathy for my frustrations regarding this injury and all that comes with it.
I feel like I've had a good perspective on this whole thing. It sucks, but I can't do anything about it. All I can do is the little things that can help me recover. Walk when I feel up to it. Rest when I feel like my body has had all it can handle. Practice doing things on my own (sometimes Ben still has to help support me as I sit down or stand back up). Study my scriptures (every day this week I have read the EXACT verses I needed, as if God is speaking straight to ME from the Book of Mormon). Pray. Call on the Atonement.
For as hard as I've worked to maintain a balance between being married and keeping distance over the past few months, I've had to let go of all of that and depend on Ben for so many things. And as much as this trial sucks, it's been really good for our marriage.
Every once in a while, I still get a twinge of anger. But I'm letting myself feel it and let it pass through me. It's okay to be angry, but it's not okay (for me right now) to let it fester and become ugly. The best thing for me is to allow myself to feel, accept the situation, recognize the good, and keep moving forward. And really, I'm making efforts to use the Atonement every day. Sometimes every moment. It helps keep the crazy in check. I love the Atonement. But that's another post for another day.
But don't get me wrong.
Sometimes A lot of times, this is how I really feel...
And that's okay.