Thursday, September 15, 2016

We are meant to find joy

It's been a while. Every once in a while, I get the urge to write, but it's usually too sensitive and personal so I keep it in my journal. But today, I started writing in my journal and was led back here to finish some of my thoughts.

I've been struggling. My pregnancy is HARD. Being a mom is hard. Being a pregnant mom to a toddler is hard. I could go on, but let's just sum it up and say things are hard. Life is hard.

I hurt my back a couple months ago, and it's made my pregnancy and everything else that much more difficult. I started physical therapy, which has been really great for me and has helped me be much more capable than I was after I hurt my back. But my back is still a problem and will continue to be for a long time.

Ben has been also struggling with his own things, and together, I feel like we are kind of a mess. Not in a really bad way, but we are both just being refined at the same time. And that makes it a little hard to lean on each other because we are both so drained in so many ways.

A couple days ago, I had a huge emotional breakdown. Part of it was the fact that it was midnight, and I was extremely tired after a long day of watching two of my nieces (so I had a 3, 2, and 1 yr old for 10 hours, which wasn't terrible, but it was just exhausting at almost 29 weeks pregnant). Part of it was simply hormones. But a lot of it had to do with being stretched way too thin and not taking time to back up and do some self-care. I get so busy caring for everyone else around me that sometimes I forget to take care of myself. I think I need to be (and honestly, who doesn't want to be) supermom, superwife, superwoman ALL. THE. TIME. So I go, go, go, and I forget to slow down and just breathe for myself.

For a long time, I have felt a little out of place in this "wopa-land" because I'm not in immediate trauma, and overall things are going really well. Ben and I are communicating well for the most part, and we are both making tons of individual progress with our counselors, which is helping us make progress in our marriage. I'm really happy. Happier than I have been in a very long time. And I just want to soak up that happiness, but life keeps throwing hard things at us, so I have been fluctuating between feeling happy, wanting to feel happy, and feeling stressed out, anxious, and not really knowing where to turn.

Ben hasn't acted out recently, and I feel like for the first time, he is in real, true recovery. Things are coming together in ways they haven't before, and I just feel so blessed to have him as my spouse and the father of my children. But, I have been feeling like I'm in a place of trauma because in a way we are at a d-day anniversary. What I mean by that is, during this time of my first pregnancy, things were really hard. He had started acting out again about two years ago (almost to the day, so at that point in that pregnancy, I was somewhere around 20ish weeks), and it started a cycle that got increasingly worse through the pregnancy. Towards the end, it got better. But then it got bad again after our son was born, and things were really scary and hard. So, maybe it's the fact that it's September (a month that has been ruined several times over the years, but especially during that pregnancy), or maybe it's the fact that it's that time during my pregnancy when things got really hard, but I'm having trauma flashbacks that I'm having to deal with. I'm experiencing anxiety and reliving pain, and I'm trying not to let fear get the best of me. 

Someone suggested to me that maybe I didn't take the time to process or feel those things at the time they happened, and so maybe that's why I'm struggling now. That may be true to an extent because I remember a lot of the end of my pregnancy and then being a new mom was spent in survival mode. But I do think I processed and felt too. I think it's normal to experience this type of flashback after a lot of pain, and I just have to figure out how to honor and process through it without letting it overtake me.

So a couple days ago, I had that huge emotional breakdown. It led me to feel a lot of shame because of the way I treated Ben that night, but I also spiraled down into a dark place of self-hatred. Which, in turn, led me to feel and almost believe that everyone hates me, that I don't have any friends who really care about me, that my family doesn't even care about me, and Ben especially hates me, and I'm not worthy of love. I felt inadequate in all areas of my life, and I felt so alone.

While I was being mean (or, in a gentler tone, while I was hurting and feeling like I was dying inside), I asked Ben to sleep on the couch. Because my brain was telling me that he hated me, and I didn't want him near me if he hated me. But after he left and I cried for a while, I was pleading for help and felt like I just needed to go out and get him, wake him up, and talk to him. He was nice and as compassionate as one can be at midnight when your pregnant wife is having an emotional breakdown. Then yesterday we both had some space and did some self-care, and we both feel better.

Anyway, now that I'm more calm and thinking more clearly, I've been writing to process and de-junk the rest of my brain. And I've been thinking about that night and how dark I felt. I don't want to feel that way. I don't like feeling that way, and I don't like the lies that Satan can so easily feed us when we start spiraling. Here's the real thing: God doesn't want us to feel that way either. I've been making more of an effort to turn to God every day. I'm not perfect, and it's much harder than it used to be when I was a blissful college student who made the goal to turn to God first every day before starting on homework. It was easy. It's not quite so easy anymore. But I've been trying. I try to pray, I try to study my scriptures or a conference talk daily, and I've been writing more. Writing helps me process and soak in what I've read.

As I'm making more of an effort to reach out to God, I see and feel Him more often. Sometimes I feel so alone, but it's not because God is leaving me alone. It's because the pavilion of pain I'm stuck behind is preventing me from seeing Him. But when I try to get around that pavilion, I find Him. Sometimes it takes longer to find Him that others, but I'm trying to be less angry about that and more accepting of life in general. Life isn't meant to be easy. But we are meant to find joy anyway.

That's something I'm trying to keep in mind. It takes effort, but if I want to find that true joy and keep it with me on a regular basis, the effort is something I'm willing to give.

I just want all of you to know that you aren't alone either. You have God. You have me. And if you open up and shame-bust to trusted people, you will find that they feel a lot of the same things you do too. Because we are all human. If you feel that you are suffering alone, reach out. That's the best way to break through the darkness. Satan wants you to feel alone, and he is good at his methods. But with God, we are never alone. And if He can't reach us, He will send others who can.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Life happens

It's been a very long time since a blogged. Possibly the longest hiatus I've had...

I'll start by shouting, "Hey, I'm pregnant!" [Almost 18 weeks along.] One of the last blog posts I wrote was about us starting to try for child number two. Well, things truly happen on God's timing. I wasn't anticipating becoming pregnant right away, but it happened. Which really just goes to show me that all the promptings and feelings I had that the time is right were important to listen to. And I like to think that this child of God is a strong spirit, ready to come to this world. We are so excited! [And I'll add a side note that while we were trying for three years for number one, that didn't mean the timing was any less important than this one. We felt very strongly that we needed to be trying, and it was definitely a growing experience. If anything, I've learned to be patient with God and trust in His plan, no matter if it seems different than what my plan is.]

The past few months have been very trying. At the beginning of my pregnancy was my husband's last relapse. It was difficult to take that leap of faith and start trying again only to have the addiction rear it's ugly head. Talk about hormones. Then there was the severe morning sickness that seemed to never end (the barfing has finally stopped, thank goodness. Nausea still there, but it's getting better!). And taking care of an active toddler during pregnancy is really something special. Haha. I'm learning to live in the moment and not stress too much. This pregnancy is really beautiful, as is this short time I have with only one child.

Through feeling sick and overwhelmed much of the past few months, I really haven't done a great job at doing my "dailies"--namely scripture study and prayer. It's not that I don't want to take those moments to bring the Spirit into my heart; it's just been difficult. When I feel stretched too thin, I just want some space for myself. I've been binge-reading the Harry Potter series during spare moments of time, which has been lovely but also taken away from other things I could or possibly should be doing.

Yesterday I decided to take time every day to study my scriptures and ponder, Even if it's a brief ten minutes. I've learned over the past few months that I need this spiritual renewal every day. When I go longer stretches without studying or praying, I really feel the impact it has on my daily life. I'm much less patient and feel far more overwhelmed with everything. On the other hand, when I keep Christ an active part of my day, I feel less stressed and more capable, peaceful, and whole.

I decided to start the Book of Mormon again, and I came across one of my favorite verses:

". . . But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." --1 Nephi 1:20 

These words really spoke to me today as I was reminded of all the hard things Nephi's family went through. I've read the Book of Mormon countless times, so I know what's coming. This verse had a profound impact on me as I thought about how his family fled Jerusalem and lived in the wilderness for years. His mother even gave birth to two children while they lived in the wilderness. Nephi himself was bullied by his older brothers. And they were asked to sacrifice and give much of themselves during all this time. Nephi is abridging his father's words, so he wrote these words about tender mercies after all they had suffered.

I was reminded that life happens. It just does. Hard things happen because of other people's agency affecting our lives. And hard things happen just because it's a part of the process we experience to grow and potentially become our best selves and live with God again. But no matter the hard things or why they happen, the important thing is that God is always there. He is always watching over us and giving us "tender mercies." We just have to keep our eyes peeled and never forget that we are not alone.

Friday, April 8, 2016

"That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake"

I was not going to write about this because of a few reasons that are very personal, but I had a powerful spiritual experience tonight prompting me to write about my week.

Ben has been out of town. Normally, when he goes out of town I get bitter and angry, which I think has to do with insecure attachment, triggers, and trauma. However, this time was different. I didn't feel that same anger or bitterness. I just accepted it and was determined to make it a good week.

Of course, that went to pot on Tuesday. I should've known the more I accept things, the more I will be challenged.

Tuesday night I found out Ben had relapsed. This hit me harder than I actually thought it would.

For one thing, we are experiencing a trial that we haven't experienced before: He is currently not allowed to exercise the priesthood. At all. Not even in the home (in the past, when he has been asked not to exercise the priesthood, he has been encouraged to still exercise the priesthood in the home). I can't remember when this happened, but it's been months. And I feel like our family has suffered from not being able to have Ben exercise the priesthood. For reasons I don't really want to explain right now, it's hard for me to reach out and ask someone else for a priesthood blessing, for either me or the little guy. I do when I feel like it's really super necessary, but if I think, "Well, maybe I'll pass this time," (which I have been thinking way more than I used to since I can't actually ask the man in my home), it turns into a lot of opportunities passed on.

Our bishop set certain dates/goals for Ben to help him work full activity in the church again. This Sunday (like, in two days) was supposed to be the one where if he could remain sober till this Sunday, he could start partaking of the sacrament again. He was so close. So close! And he next mark (I can't remember the spacing though) was for Priesthood, and the next one for the temple. I was way more devastated by the fact that this was a setback in him being able to exercise the priesthood again than by the details of acting out.

Anyway, it took a few hours to sink in. But then, when it did, I was a mess. A MESS. I reached out to my bishop, who happens to live across the street, asking for a blessing (I'm not sure I would have reached out to our home teachers in this circumstance, but I didn't have that option anyway because I have no clue who they are). It was pretty late, 10:00, so I decided if I had no response by 10:15, I would just go to bed. At 10:15, I had no response, so I sent him another text saying I was going to bed and not to worry about it.

That night, Baby Boy slept terribly. When he woke up at 12:15, I managed to get him back to sleep fairly quickly, but when he woke up at 4:30, all hell broke loose. No joke. We both spent much of the next two hours crying. And then two more hours crying/drugging ourselves with Mother Goose Club.

I asked God for strength to deal with it. But when I felt that strength waning and Satan starting to take over, I started begging, pleading with God to just let me get this kid to sleep. He needed sleep, I surely needed sleep. And I felt like I just knew that if I prayed/begged/pleaded enough, He would intervene. At 8:30, baby fell asleep from sheer exhaustion, and I did not feel like it was an answer to prayer. I felt bitter, angry, and violent (I did not do anything violent other than punch a wall. But I'm sure you have felt violent anger before...), and I felt like I was just an inch away from Satan taking complete control over me.

I didn't understand why God had abandoned me. Maybe He didn't, and when the kid fell asleep it was because of divine intervention. I didn't feel that way, though. I felt like I had done everything I could, and here I was with a fresh disclosure weighing me down and a child who wouldn't sleep (and I had been sick, so generally tired anyway). I felt like I knew my own limitations, and when I prayed for strength, I was doing okay. But when the strength faded and I prayed for sleep, I needed that help right then. Why it took two more hours for that prayer to be answered, I don't know. But I felt abandoned. I felt on the verge of Satan taking over, and I didn't understand why God had let it go that far when so much pain could have been avoided if He had helped when I called out.

And then, my bishop never reached out to me. He knew about the disclosure, and he knew Ben was out of town. I just thought, surely he would reach out to me to check on me and make sure I was okay after the text I had sent him the night before. And I thought, if God loves me, He will prompt my bishop to come visit with me. But nothing. He has told us multiple times to reach out to him any time, and many times, our reaching out has gone completely unanswered. So, that felt like yet another way I was abandoned by God. I was too hurt to reach out to him again.

Some other ridiculously stupid stuff happened on Wednesday that made me feel like the day was just hilariously terrible (but I was smiling by the end of the day), and I had worked through my feelings so I no longer felt bitter, angry, or abandoned. Confused, yes, but okay. I seriously went through a period of thinking I should just go inactive because maybe the bishop would pay more attention if I was an inactive member of the ward who reached out.  I also considered this option just out of pure spite. But, in the end, I knew that would be a poor choice and I just tried to accept the week's happenings and move on with my life.

Yesterday (Thursday), so many things happened that showed me God had not abandoned me. I just felt strong, capable, and loved. I sent up a lot of prayers of gratitude.

But what happened tonight is the sole purpose of everything else I have written.

This week has been exhausting, to say the least. Beautiful, but exhausting. Tonight, I got the little one in bed and sat on the couch wondering what to do first. I had promised myself earlier in the day that I WOULD do gospel study tonight, but the time came and I just felt so exhausted that all I wanted to do was veg. But, I chose to read a talk from general conference entitled "I Am A Child of God" by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom (read it here). I didn't get to pay enough attention to conference last weekend, so I've been studying the talks throughout the week. And this one, well, this was perfectly timed to come across today.

Words cannot even describe how beautiful this talk is. I highly encourage everyone to study it and let the Spirit speak to you in whatever way you need. But I want to share a couple quotes that particularly spoke to me:

In real life, we face actual, not imagined, hardships. There is pain—physical, emotional, and spiritual. There are heartbreaks when circumstances are very different from what we had anticipated. There is injustice when we do not seem to deserve our situation. There are disappointments when someone we trusted failed us. There are health and financial setbacks that can be disorienting. There may be times of question when a matter of doctrine or history is beyond our current understanding.
When difficult things occur in our lives, what is our immediate response? Is it confusion or doubt or spiritual withdrawal? Is it a blow to our faith? Do we blame God or others for our circumstances? Or is our first response to remember who we are—that we are children of a loving God? Is that coupled with an absolute trust that He allows some earthly suffering because He knows it will bless us, like a refiner’s fire, to become like Him and to gain our eternal inheritance?
Recently, I was in a meeting with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. In teaching the principle that mortal life can be agonizing but our hardships have eternal purpose—even if we do not understand it at the time—Elder Holland said, “You can have what you want, or you can have something better.”

and the last verse of "How Firm a Foundation"

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

These words spoke to me. They reminded me that I cannot see all, but God can. I don't know why I'm going through all the trials I am right now (there are more than I have just written about). Sometimes I feel like I am suffering so much in so many different ways, and I wonder why I can't just have a "normal" life--whatever that is. Why do I have to keep trying so hard all the time? Why can't I just have some my husband could go out of town, sure, but even if he had to relapse, couldn't I just have a baby who slept through the night he relapsed instead of waking up and being crazy when I'm exhausted and in trauma? Can't I catch a break?

But the reality is, after the 24 hours where pretty much everything went wrong, I had chosen God's path. And I felt peace and the knowledge that things were okay even though I didn't understand why I was experiencing what I did. And, two days after that first 24 hours, I have seen so much more light. We truly can't experience the light until we have experienced the darkness. I caught myself expressing gratitude for my trials on Wednesday. I didn't even know why I felt grateful, but I knew there had to be a divine purpose. There is. There always is. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016


I don't really know what to write; I just feel the need to write.

I've been struggling lately with feeling stretched way too thin. I'm being pulled in so many directions, and lately whenever I study the scriptures I keep feeling like I am not enough. That's not what I'm supposed to be feeling. I know God loves me. I have no doubt about that. But quite often, I just don't feel like I measure up. I think I'm doing the best I can in the circumstances I'm in, but I constantly feel like I don't do enough: I don't serve enough, I don't clean enough, I don't try hard enough, I don't study my scriptures or pray enough, I don't listen enough, I don't keep the Sabbath holy enough, I don't work recovery enough, I'm not patient enough. This list could go on, but I already feel so exhausted from writing it.

I recently had a close friend (who lives out of state but I saw briefly at UCAP last weekend) ask me if I was doing okay because from talking to me on a regular basis, I sound fine, but when she saw me in person last weekend, I did not seem fine. She said I seemed like I felt heavy, and that I wasn't myself.

And the thing is, I do feel heavy. And it was such a tender mercy to have someone see that and reach out in love. We had a really good chat about it, but it hasn't left my mind.

I feel heavy because of the addiction. We are trying to get pregnant, but the addiction isn't too far from my mind. My husband can't partake of the sacrament, attend the temple, or exercise the priesthood even at home (in the past, bishops have had him exercise the priesthood at home but not at church, so this is totally new and heavy to me because whenever I feel like I or the baby could use a blessing, I can't ask him and I just feel like a burden asking anyone else). We are both seeing counselors regularly, and talk of the addiction and recovery is very present. That's not an entirely bad thing except for the time and attention it has to take from other things I feel are important. Then there is the time spent working recovery and attending meetings (...if we attended meetings, but time).

I also feel heavy because both my husband and I are suffering physical back problems. If you have never experienced a chronic physical issue, just know it takes a huge toll. Physically, mentally, emotionally. It beats you down. And because we are both suffering these physical problems at the same time, it's kind of hard to share parenting and home responsibilities when we are both in pain.

I feel heavy because I don't get nearly enough time for myself. I don't even know how to spend quality time doing things for myself because by the end of the day, I am completely exhausted and pretty much just want to watch Netflix.

I feel heavy because of fears that stop me from producing or practicing art.

This list could go on too, but it's too much effort.

I know I have much to be grateful for, and I think sometimes I at least myself because I feel guilty for feeling heavy from all these things. I feel like my life is constantly trying to figure out how to balance everything, failing, and trying again tomorrow. I do take time every day to be grateful (there really is so much beauty and joy in every day. Don't get me wrong. But right now I just need to focus on the hard stuff), but sometimes (or quite often) the heaviness just weighs everything else down and it's hard to get up.

I go through phases where I try really hard in my life. I try to be grateful, I try to serve, I try to clean and love my child and love my husband and love God and love everyone... And then I just get exhausted and I'm like uhhhh I don't know what to do except lay on the couch and watch Netflix and eat cookies and ice cream (which I do try to do sparingly).

Whoa. My head hurts and I'm ready to be done, but I don't really know how to end this. Just keeping it real.

The end. Ha.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Confidence in the Lord

There are so many things that are hard about being married to an addict. One of those things is figuring out what to do with your family. We are young and have one small child, but I've always dreamed of so much for our family. It took us a long time to get pregnant because of personal health issues but also consequences of addiction. This month marks five years of knowing about this other side to my husband. Five years of trying to figure out what to do. Five years of prayers, tears, heartbreak, and peace. Five years ago today, I had no idea what was in store. If I had to guess what my family would be like at this point, I would have guessed wrong. 

It's a tough balancing act to figure out how to manage the addiction in our lives as well as our marital and family relationships. Whether or not to have more kids has been weighing on my mind for months. I have so many fears and insecurities, but at the same time, I don't want to live with regrets. I would definitely regret not having more kids because I was waiting on him to find "solid recovery." I feel like we would miss out on a crucial part of our relationship, as well as spirits that could be in our family. 

People have asked me why I'm still here. Still married. Still waiting on him to get into full recovery. The simplest answer I can give to that is that God wants me here. The more complicated version is that 1) I still love him. 2) I still have hope for his recovery and the recovery of our family. 3) There is more good than bad, and I'm not willing to give up the good. 4) We have a child, and I want to do everything possible to make this work. 5) I have received my answer, and that answer is to stay. 

I know my choices don't make sense to a lot of people. But they make sense to me. I know I was led to this relationship. We had a difficult courtship, but I chose him. I chose to marry him for eternity, not knowing everything about him. Being married to an addict isn't pretty, but I'm not just married to an addict. I'm married to a man who loves me and loves our son. He is funny, smart, and helpful. We don't have the best communication, but we are working on it. He tries to be better every day, and he helps me be better too. We have come a long way with this one, but he is honest (yes, about his addiction). I can't see him as just an addict because he is so much more than that, and everything else about him is the person love. 

My life is a roller coaster, and there are definitely lows. Things are hard. But that's life. No one has the perfect marriage or family. We are just doing our best with what we are given. 

I mentioned in an earlier post that we have been trying to decide when is the right time to start trying to bring another child into our family. It's a tough decision. There are so many variables. And, honestly, I feel pressured by many people to not take that step until Ben is in full recovery and has a good bout of sobriety under his belt. That is important to me, but what is also important to me is having faith in God. Because things have been so difficult through our marriage, however, sometimes it's hard to have faith and trust in what I have received as personal revelation. I question everything. 

Today I studied this talk about choosing light. A couple of quotes stood out to me. 

"The adversary...will try to convince us that we have never felt the influence of the Spirit and that it will be easier just to stop trying."
"To ignore and discount past spiritual experiences will distance us from God. "

I really struggle with doubting my revelation. Especially my revelation to marry my husband--and everything that went along with that. So many times, I have doubted and discounted past spiritual experiences because I don't understand why I have been led to where I am. I let my fears take over, and I draw a wedge between God and myself. Reading this talk really helped open my eyes and pinpoint exactly what some of my problems are when it comes to revelation and fear. 

This week, we made the decision to start trying to bring another child into our family. It's been months in the making, and all along, I've just prayed and asked God to help me know when it is the right time. I've resisted thinking too much about this decision because I've been afraid. But this week, I really felt like the time is now. 

As I spoke to a friend about all of my fears regarding this decision (namely, am I being an enabler if he is still acting out but we are trying to have another child? or am I completely stupid to make this decision?), she told me that receiving revelation and pressing forward in faith is the most courageous thing I could do. 

All I really want is to have faith and courage. I know God sees all and comprehends way more than I can imagine in this life. The fears I have are valid, but so is my faith. 

So here I go, pressing forward and trusting God. I feel so much more peace than I have in months because I am no longer resisting or dwelling on fear. I am just trying to press forward doing His work and trying to keep to the path that goes back to Him. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Crash and burn

Life has been very busy lately. On Thursday, I crashed and burned. After processing through my grief, guilt, and shame, I came to a place of peace and acceptance of what had happened. And then I committed to making sure I get time every day to just be me. I've spent so much time caring about everyone else around me (baby and husband with injured back are the main ones) that I haven't taken the time to take care of myself. I've been numbing through facebook, which has really only led me to feel more guilt and shame than I need because it's a poor attempt to do something for myself that is not actually meaningful most of the time. 

Sometimes I just really hate being an adult because I have to be responsible. Blech. But at the same time, I love my responsibilities, namely my family. I love my son and spending time with him. So, I'm taking the time to make sure I'm doing what needs to be done while balancing me-time. I just have to make sure that the time I spend on myself is meaningful, not numbing. Numbing always leads me to want more and feel guilt for not doing what I *should* do for myself. 

The most important thing is that I take care of myself so I don't crash and burn like I did on Thursday. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I haven't forgiven him

I've been thinking a lot.
I don't even know if my words can adequately describe what has been on my mind and heart. It's been two months since I last wrote here, and, well, that's a lot of thoughts.

I'll try to stick to what prompted me to come to my computer and write, and we will see where it goes from there.

We have been married for almost five and a half years. I've known about the addiction for almost five. It's been a long road, and anticipate a much longer road ahead. Because I don't anticipate divorce (although I do keep it in the back burner for protection).

For much of our marriage, I've tried to be Christlike. In how I've treated Ben, in how I've treated others, in how I've sought revelation. I've tried to forgive. I've tried to be merciful and loving. And yet, sometimes I still feel this gaping hole in my soul. And that is what I have been thinking about.

I haven't forgiven him. I think I did at one point. I forgave and tried to move on. I try to live in the present and seek guidance from the Lord with each situation. But as more came out in our marriage, it became harder to forgive.

I hoped when our son was born that it could be a fresh start for our family. In some ways, it has been. The past year has been beautiful and amazing. But it's also been heartbreaking and hard. I definitely wouldn't change a thing (well, except the addiction. that can go away)--meaning I don't wish I was divorced or something because I love my little family.

But two years ago, this month, Ben confessed some things to me. Things that he thought would be deal breakers. Things he thought would finally break me and make me file for divorce. He did it because he was coming clean and trying to enter real recovery for the first time ever. I admire him for that, and I am so grateful he started that journey. Things have been up and down over the past two years. He started doing really well then things spiraled down again. It's just tough to keep chugging along sometimes.

And my point of all of this is that I recently realized I haven't forgiven him. I keep thinking maybe I have, but I haven't. And I don't know how. Which is extremely discouraging because I know that our relationship can't be healed or whole, and I can't be whole, until I forgive him. I'm not trying to rush that (okay, maybe a little because it's starting to stress me out). I don't know how to forgive, and I feel like it's taking so much effort and energy.

I want to continue on with our life. I want to trust and forgive him. I want to have more kids, and I want our lives to become this magical place where I can look back and say, "The road was rough, but we made it." I think we are on that road, and maybe we will get to that place one day. But dangit, I'm tired of being patient on the journey. I just want to get there already.

I don't really know what's in store. But I'm trying really hard to work on me and take things one day at a time. I'm trying to seek God's will and have hope and faith in His plan for me. He can see all, and I can only see right now.

I wish there was a recipe for forgiveness. But, alas, there is not. I think I'm holding on to it because somewhere in my brain I think forgiveness is synonymous with trust. I know it's not, but there must be part of me that thinks that because I think I'm unable to forgive as I'm using it as some kind of protection. I'm trying to learn how to let that go so I can move on and be made whole.