A lovely gift from Satan. Yes, I know the way he works on me and my body.
I started freezing yesterday.
By frozen, I mean, my body wants to shut down. I can barely communicate to different parts of my body to work. Like my fingers to type. Yesterday, it was my arms to stroke and my feet to kick while I swam. Then it was my legs to move when I walked. My mouth to work to explain to Jack what was going on. Tears barely even came out while we chatted last night. That is so not like me. I can usually at least cry.
All I can see about three feet in front of me is blackness.
I recently made the decision to tell a close friend about the addiction. I felt the prompting to tell her for a couple of weeks before I actually did. I was scared. I didn't want it to ruin our friendship. I didn't want her to freak out. And I wanted Jack to be okay with me telling her. That's what he fasted for on Fast Sunday, and then I waited to find a good time to talk to her about it. I'm so glad I told her because she just gets it. She may not completely understand everything about it, but she seems totally with it. And she is encouraging. I can't even describe it. But, in talking with her, she has said some things that I completely needed to hear.
We had a really good conversation yesterday. I felt light. I felt free. I felt loved and understood. I finally feel like I have a true friend in this place we are living.
We didn't just talk about the addiction yesterday. We talked about other things too. I could talk to her for hours. But eventually, I had to leave. As soon as I left, I started feeling weighed down. The feeling got worse and worse. By the time I arrived home, it took almost every ounce of energy I had to walk inside. To change my clothes to swim. To tell Jack about my day. To drive with him to the fitness center. We were going to swim for half an hour. I lasted 17 minutes then just couldn't do it anymore. It took all I had to shower. To stretch. To come home and make dinner. To watch the All-Star game (I slept through the All-Star game, actually).
My body was tensing up and shutting down.
I'm glad I'm at the point where I can really evaluate what is going on. I know that this horrible feeling is not me. It is not God telling me I'm doing something wrong. It is not because of the addiction. It's darkness surrounding me from Satan. I even know what triggered this, and I can see all the consequences of that one trigger.
It was triggered by a training I went to yesterday for school. The training all but completely overwhelmed me. Well, okay, it pretty much overwhelmed me. I have to go back to school in three weeks. For new teacher orientation. Then four days of learning about the new teacher evaluation system. Then four days of whatever else before school starts. Summer is almost gone. I don't feel ready. I'm finally getting over the stress and tension school caused in the spring. I'm not ready for that part of it to start over again.
Don't get me wrong: I absolutely love being a teacher. But the stress of 1) being a first year teacher, 2) having seven different preps, 3) trying to go paperless, 4) creating and implementing a new class 5) being in charge of a club--on top of financial burden, the addiction, back and feet issues, and some other things that I don't even want to get into is... um... HARD. Like really really hard. I have a thousand mixed emotions. I don't want to feel this way. I don't want to dread going back to school (the real me is so excited and can't wait to see her students again and do fun things with the club I'm in charge of and go to sporting events to support my beloved students). I don't want to be afraid of losing my few friends I do have here because of the fact that I won't be able to spend much time with them. I don't want to feel the guilt of not being able to be a good visiting teacher or not being able to give much service to my ward or not being a good member missionary. I have so many guilty feelings just beyond the darkness that I keep trying to push back. And then I'm afraid of not having enough time for anything. Time to study my scriptures and write in my journal. Time to process. Time to think. Time to meditate. Time to ponder. Time for Jack. Time to walk/play with my dog.
Anyway, the training triggered me yesterday. Just that simple overwhelmed feeling triggered all kinds of stuff (as you can tell from my last paragraph). I feel guilt. Darkness. Fear. And the list could go on.
Whenever I start doing really well, Satan attacks me. When I decided to marry Jack, things got really hard. There were times when I questioned it, even though I knew it was 100% right and the decision to marry him was a decision I took very seriously and made with God. When I went home to visit my family, my old young women's advisers threw me a bridal shower. My ex-boyfriend's mom came and made a scene. He was just about to come home from his mission, and she said that this shower was supposed to be happening in her house, and I was supposed to be her daughter-in-law. Thus came the darkness. That's just one example. With every big decision I have made, or with every great thing happening in my life, Satan attacks me. He tries to make me shut down. He shoves depression down my throat.
I can see that happening now. I finally have someone who can offer me support and fantastic insight, and Satan is trying to take that away. He is trying to make me shut down and withdraw. He is making me afraid. Jack and I are finally at a really amazing point in our marriage, and Satan is trying to draw me away. He is trying to get me to withdraw. He wants me to be miserable.
The Love Dare has been amazing. My scripture study lately has been amazing. My testimony has grown so much. I've learned amazing things about myself, my husband, God, and life in general. I have so, so much to be grateful for. I have friends and family who love me. And I have students who love me awaiting my return (as their real teacher and not just a sub!) in a few weeks. Life really is good. I am truly blessed. I'm blessed to have the gospel. I'm blessed to understand what I do about the Atonement. I'm blessed to have faith in my Savior. I'm blessed in so many ways.
But Satan doesn't want me to see that.
Jack and I recently read this article together for companionship study: "A Time for Faith, Not Fear." I loved this quote:
"I have found that usually when we face our most difficult tests, the Lord is there ahead of us to prepare the way through them.
"My wife and I were a bit anxious about going to Russia when called to serve there in 2006. We had never been to Russia and did not know a lot about it. The responsibilities of the call seemed challenging, to say the least. In a meeting in his office, President Packer gave us wonderful counsel: 'Remember, the Lord will have been there before you.' He then reminded us of the Lord’s promise, 'For I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up' (D&C 84:88)."
I am continually reminding myself that He has felt what I feel. He has felt more than I could even possibly imagine. He knows exactly what to do to succor me, and I will be okay through Him. If I rely on Him, everything will be okay. Everything will be okay.
And He sends me angels to lift me up.