Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Small Successes

Ever since I started writing again, I think I've been a little too worried about what I was saying, or how I was saying it because I knew that more people (meaning more than 0 people) were going to be reading it. When I started, it was kind of just a place for me to throw my thoughts out to the interwebs and I just hoped they'd find and help someone. Now I think too much about it, and honestly, it keeps me from writing a lot.

So I'm done with thinking too much. I'm done thinking about people who will be reading it. I am just going to write as if nobody's looking, and throw it to literally everybody, and the same time, to absolutely nobody. This is the joy of the internet. If it happens to find someone and it helps them. Great. If not, who cares. At least I'm writing and it's helping me and it's making me happy. Is that selfish? Probably. But I don't care.

So I just wanted to share with everybody/nobody that I had a small success this week. And I'm kind of proud of myself. I feel like lately I've been having anxiety about a lot of things. At least I think it is anxiety. Maybe it's not, but it's what I assume anxiety feels like.. Anyway, I think I sometimes will feel anxious in a moment, but right now there are a lot of things, all at the same time, that are causing a lot of anxious feelings. My chest gets really tight, my mind is consumed with irrational thoughts, it disables me, and I just can't shake it. It can be quite debilitating and I have a really tough time doing whatever it is I need to be doing. It's been bad lately.

Here's where the small success comes in. When I've felt like this in the past, it typically is a trigger for me. And sure enough, these feelings were again a trigger for me. But even though this was more anxiety than I've felt in a long time, maybe ever, this time I was able to navigate my way through it! It wasn't easy, but I'm so happy about what I've learned!

It started with recognizing what was going on. I first recognized that I was feeling quite anxious. Then when the urge to find pornography came, I stopped myself and asked why I was having this urge. I realized it was because I was feeling anxious, and I wanted to just disconnect from my life. I wanted to escape. Recognizing why I was being tempted helped me see a bigger picture. I needed to let myself experience all of these feelings, and find my way through them, rather than just push them out as quickly as I could. I let myself feel the anxiety. I let myself feel the temptation to view pornography. I let myself think about why. And I figured it out.

I didn't try to suppress my temptation, rather I put my focus and energy in trying to get over the debilitating anxiety. I worked on thinking rationally, and taking control of the situation, even though I just wanted to run and hide. I was able to act, and eventually I realized it wasn't all that bad, and my whole world wasn't going to fall apart.

I've been thinking about the Atonement lately, and about the strength that it gives me. I know I don't recognize it enough, or give it the credit it deserves, or really even understand it at all. But I know that it is what got me through this one. It gave me the strength to not only avoid a slip up, but also to overcome these anxious feelings. Anyway, that's my story for tonight. Thanks for listening. :)

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