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Dealing with Anxiety
By alwaystrying
5/24/2015 10:39:07 PM
A few years ago I was told by my Bishop that I needed to go to the Addiction Recovery meetings because I was dealing with pornography and occasional masturbation. My thoughts were nonetheless an issue as well. At this point, I don't want to go through all my issues that I've dealt with in my life and blame them all on where I am I, but I do want to say that as of late I've really been dealing with anxiety and in my research it seems that anxiety has been a large reason for my "escape" from reality. Although, that's quite ironic because when I get a panic attack in most any type of situation, I try to find refuge in altering my thoughts, looking at pornography, and distancing myself from people... specifically my wife.
When I first was attending the support group, she said that she was supportive, but since then, we'll moved closer to her family and she made the comment that she was very close to leaving me for putting her in the position of having to deal with my issues.

I don't know if it has been my anxiety, or my pride... but her comment, which was a few months ago, has really kind of messed me up. The reason being, that i know that I will always have to try to overcome the desire to not look or entertain thought of immorality, but is it too hard for me to think that my wife could at least learn to try to love me knowing that non of us is perfect? I still make mistakes, and although I used to feel comfortable in talking to her when this all first began... ever since that comment, I don't trust her much with anything.

What do I do? I will be adding more to this blog because I truly feel that i don't have anywhere else to go, but for now, please help me with some advice.

Comments:

It's difficult    
"My spouse doesn't like discussing my addiction at all. It's not that she doesn't love me, she does. However, no matter how I want to rationalize my behavior, when I act out on my addiction it is a betrayal of the vows we made to each other. It causes her great pain.

I love my wife too. So why do I sometimes act against our combined best interests? Why do I do things that jeopardizes our relationship? I act out because I hurt, or I'm afraid of something, or I'm feeling great anxiety, and I have come to use my addiction as a security blanket. My addiction, so the adversary whispers into my ear, just wants to make me feel better. The problem is, acted out releases endorphins, and other chemicals that make me forget my problems...for only a short while. Then the guilt and shame kick in and I feel worse than I did before, and then the addiction comes calling again saying it can help me forget my concerns for a little while. It's a vicious cycle, a rollercoaster I want to get off.

I have found that therapy helps. My therapist understands that I love my wife, and I hurt inside. She has the ability to take a clinical look at my situation and help me sort out my emotions and feelings. Since I'm not married to my therapist it doesn't hurt her personally when I act out--she just wants to help me make sense of it so I don't act out again.

Find someone you can talk to, whether it be a therapist, your bishop, or a sponsor that understands addiction. Your wife is not your therapist.

I'm sorry you hurt. I'm sorry that your anxiety gets the better of you at times. I hope you can find the hope and healing you deserve."
posted at 09:57:55 on May 25, 2015 by DANO42
just my few cents worth...    
"I would suggest you ask your wife to clarify her reasoning and have an open and honest conversation with her about her feelings and yours. Explain that you know that you both have hurt feelings over things that have happened, and you want the chance to talk openly to each other without fear of judgement - but understand that this means you need to not judge her for her feelings either.
I don't know your whole story, but I do know that your wife has the right to be hurt and upset, that her feelings, whatever they may be, are valid! She needs to know that you can accept that - she is probably also struggling to trust you enough to be open with her own feelings, but if you go on the defensive she may well clam up. She is likely experiencing betrayal trauma (similar to PTSD) and needs you to be supportive of her. When she can see that you are being honest and open with her, she will start to feel safe in expressing her emotions - unfortunately in my experience it's only when the husband is showing sincere efforts towards recovery that the wife feels secure enough to let those emotions spill out, which can cause additional hurt. But it's important that you are both allowed the time/space to feel so that healing can take place.
The fact that she is still with you even after saying what she did shows (imho) that she wants to work things out and fight this alongside you. Hold onto that knowledge, not the doubts and fears (they are Satan's tools as I well know!)
Counselling may help you find new tools for dealing with your anxiety.
One final thought... if there is a spouse and family support group near you that focuses on PASG, your wife might benefit from attending."
posted at 09:59:27 on May 25, 2015 by Anonymous
Thank you    
"I realize two things in my life... 1.) That I have always tried my best to make people happy or to at least help them feel that they are special and not forgotten by those whom love them. 2.) I question my motives in why I try to help people. I really feel that I want them to be happy because when I do, I feel genuinely happy... but at the same time I feel like I can now have someone to talk to myself, but when I open up a little too much, I can sense that they are worried about me and begin to distance themselves from me. Case in point, when I first started working at one of my job I had many people tell me that they loved having me there because I made them laugh and I didn't take life too seriously. It was nice to not always feel the pinch of the need for performance... although, I worked just as hard as the next person to be successful. However, I'm very much my worst critic and I question everything that I do... sort of Marty Mcfly in Back to the Future and not sure that he can handle that kind of rejection. My boss pulled me aside one day and was passing along some news regarding something that I overlooked with a report and the first and really only thing she told me was that she as going to come in and lay it on pretty hard but she knows that I am such my worst enemy that she knows that I already beat myself up and by the time she gets her chance, she feels its already done.

As strange as that seems to others, hearing that ticked me off. Why do I do that? I don't necessarily want to get my butt chewed out, but if it's warranted, who is she to already say that since I'm my worst enemy, it's already taken care of. I can't tell you how frustrated and filled with more anxiety that I felt before. I HATE feeling this way!! How do I handle life in a way where people to read into the fact that I"m my worst enemy? I want to be the fun and jovial person that I used to be. I know that this job plays a big part of it, but if I took another step down I'm afraid I would be committees financial suicide....

Again, I'm just throwing my thoughts out there for the night for some help and directions. And, please look past the "worst enemy comment" and lay it into me fi needed. I'm afraid that I was raised with pretty thin skin... and i hate that too."
posted at 23:30:39 on May 26, 2015 by alwaystrying
Thanks for sharing    
"Alwaystring,
I was heartened to hear your struggles, not because you are in pain or suffering, but because your story seems to describe some of the same mindset that I have had over the years. I hope I can share my feelings a little later today. God bless you for your diligence
sjanderson"
posted at 12:55:00 on May 27, 2015 by Anonymous
i will try to comment tonight    
"i will try to comment tonight - sjanderson"
posted at 06:43:25 on May 29, 2015 by Anonymous
A different perspective    
"I'm a wife and on the opposite end of things than you but the comments you've made sound exactly like some of the things my husband makes. In Sacrememt meeting last we someone gave an awesome talk. It was kinda about taking an honest inventory of yourself. Not being afraid to look at your faults and make the changes needed but also not being overly hard on yourself. The story of a prisoner of was was told. When a man had been captured he realized there were three kinds of people in the camps with him. The pessimist, optimist, and a realist. He stated that the pesmist people were always down thinking they would never be rescued and were the first to not survive. The optimist did well for a certain amount of time. They had the mentality of by this time we will be rescued and all these things will happen. When that time frame had passed they completely gave up hope and did not survive. Then there were realist, who knew they may not be saved and accepted that but still kept hope in this. (Hopefully I didn't butcher the story too much) We need to be realists too. Take an honest inventory of ourselves. Without being afraid to see the bad, and the good and everything in between. It's hard taking a look at our own flaws and truly admitting to them. But when this happened we don't allow ourselves to make the changes we need to be better and improve. Taking an honest inventory of ourselves is required. I've noticed a couple things about my husbands progress. At times he just denies facts... He doesn't look at his flaws. He can do something wrong or mean and completely denies that it happens. He doesn't progress at all when this happens. He is so prideful and hurt knowing he is a certain way he can deny it in the same breath or a wrong word or action. At least that is my perspective of things... I'm assuming he too is his own worst enemy. He feels so awful at times that it fuels bad behavior and actions. Only if and when he can take an honest look at himself and admits his flaws, he is the most happy and successful. We are all imperfect. We all have faults and flaws and looking at those doesn't make us an awful person, it makes us a realist and that's how we will survive life. We need to accept we are not perfect and can use improving but at the same time realize we all have problems and deserve love (even from ourselves). Your wife loves you and just because she questioned staying with you doesn't mean she doesn't love and accept you. It probably means her heart is so hurt that she questioned if she could suffer and endure these things. It sounds bad but I've been there... It's really hard being the wife of an pornography addict, it's not that she doesn't love and accept you its that she is hurt deeply. For my husband this is also hard to hear when he knows he is that person who has deeply and undeniably hurt me, sends him into act out mode. I really think the only way to find happiness is by basic gospel principles by choosing the right and getting rid of pride. Allow yourself to take a real inventory of yourself and try to become better. Don't use those things to become down or hating yourself but use it as your anchor to keep having hope and allow yourself to be as clay in gods hands. President utchdorf said "So if you feel small and weak, please simply come unto Christ, who makes weak things strong. The weakest among us, through God’s grace, can become spiritually strong, because God “is no respecter of persons.” He is our “faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments.”" So don't view your weakness as bad things because they can become something wonderful. It's a blessing to have flaws. I don't know if any of this will help you but I read your post a few days ago and can see your struggles from the other side. Thanks for sharing your feelings here. It's nice we have people to support and lift each other."
posted at 10:58:50 on May 30, 2015 by Humbled32
A different perspective    
"I'm a wife and on the opposite end of things than you but the comments you've made sound exactly like some of the things my husband makes. In Sacrememt meeting last we someone gave an awesome talk. It was kinda about taking an honest inventory of yourself. Not being afraid to look at your faults and make the changes needed but also not being overly hard on yourself. The story of a prisoner of was was told. When a man had been captured he realized there were three kinds of people in the camps with him. The pessimist, optimist, and a realist. He stated that the pesmist people were always down thinking they would never be rescued and were the first to not survive. The optimist did well for a certain amount of time. They had the mentality of by this time we will be rescued and all these things will happen. When that time frame had passed they completely gave up hope and did not survive. Then there were realist, who knew they may not be saved and accepted that but still kept hope in this. (Hopefully I didn't butcher the story too much) We need to be realists too. Take an honest inventory of ourselves. Without being afraid to see the bad, and the good and everything in between. It's hard taking a look at our own flaws and truly admitting to them. But when this happened we don't allow ourselves to make the changes we need to be better and improve. Taking an honest inventory of ourselves is required. I've noticed a couple things about my husbands progress. At times he just denies facts... He doesn't look at his flaws. He can do something wrong or mean and completely denies that it happens. He doesn't progress at all when this happens. He is so prideful and hurt knowing he is a certain way he can deny it in the same breath or a wrong word or action. At least that is my perspective of things... I'm assuming he too is his own worst enemy. He feels so awful at times that it fuels bad behavior and actions. Only if and when he can take an honest look at himself and admits his flaws, he is the most happy and successful. We are all imperfect. We all have faults and flaws and looking at those doesn't make us an awful person, it makes us a realist and that's how we will survive life. We need to accept we are not perfect and can use improving but at the same time realize we all have problems and deserve love (even from ourselves). Your wife loves you and just because she questioned staying with you doesn't mean she doesn't love and accept you. It probably means her heart is so hurt that she questioned if she could suffer and endure these things. It sounds bad but I've been there... It's really hard being the wife of an pornography addict, it's not that she doesn't love and accept you its that she is hurt deeply. For my husband this is also hard to hear when he knows he is that person who has deeply and undeniably hurt me, sends him into act out mode. I really think the only way to find happiness is by basic gospel principles by choosing the right and getting rid of pride. Allow yourself to take a real inventory of yourself and try to become better. Don't use those things to become down or hating yourself but use it as your anchor to keep having hope and allow yourself to be as clay in gods hands. President utchdorf said "So if you feel small and weak, please simply come unto Christ, who makes weak things strong. The weakest among us, through God’s grace, can become spiritually strong, because God “is no respecter of persons.” He is our “faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments.”" So don't view your weakness as bad things because they can become something wonderful. It's a blessing to have flaws. I don't know if any of this will help you but I read your post a few days ago and can see your struggles from the other side. Thanks for sharing your feelings here. It's nice we have people to support and lift each other."
posted at 10:59:04 on May 30, 2015 by Humbled32
Finally commenting    
"I know I have been promising to comment for a couple of days, well I have finally remembered and made time to do this. As I have thought about what you described earlier about wanting to make others feel comfortable - I hope I got that one right. It made me think of how much my self worth depends upon my ability to serve and provide comfort to others, how much i need and want to connect with others, and yet right now my wife and I are seperated by over 400 miles and with not a lot of evidince that we will be getting back together. That being said I am facing one of my fears right now being alone. I am continually amazed at how much my fear is related to being alone, that I can be in a crowd, be with family members people who i know and love, yet there is a fear of loosing them of not connecting with them etc. For that reason at time i would run away and turn to the addiction and acdting out. While I have been free from p@rn for a while now there are still negative feeligns and fears that are dragging me back down and in. i find myself jealous of others success, of their seeming happy family, of their blessings. In the long rung this is the same lust that got me to looking at inappropriate pictures etc. I had thought that by getting to a certain point in my life... that things would get better, that things would change, that "blessings would come".
One of my support groups has reminded me recently when i was bemoaning some difficult timesin in my life that the only thing I can control is myself, that my wife's choices are here own, that I cannont make her love me, that she has to decide for herself what she wants etc. To me this is one of the hardest things to accept, the reality that others can make choices that "go against" what I want or need in my life."
posted at 07:48:22 on May 31, 2015 by sjanderson
Sjanderson    
"I really like what you have said and it is so very true for us all in all of our struggles. I've had the same sort of feelings in my own situation. I tired explaining to my husband this just last night. It probably doesn't help you all since I'm on the opposite end of things... But from my end, if I want this (which I of course do) I can't control when my husband decides to take a day off from trying. It's really hard because these struggles are really hard. I just keep thinking in my head, if I let this happen Satan will win over my family. But, some times it's just so far out of my control. I'm personally not handing satan my family over but at times my husband does by not doing his part. I think this is such a good thing to remember. We just can't control everything. We can't control if we get hurt or when or how at times. But that's the beauty of life... We learn to receive comfort from our God and maybe we wouldn't be as close to him without these struggles. All in all, it will be worth it. I know we can trust our father in heaven and being here and enduring life will be worth it. Keep going.... Never give up."
posted at 12:31:41 on May 31, 2015 by Humbled32
thanks    
"thanks for your comments. I have just got a phone call from my wife saying that I need to get my stuff together or she is going to start making choices... not sure what that means. She doesn't see what I am doing, doesn't seem to care to hear what i am doing, that if what I am doing is not what she thinks should be done for recovery it doesn't count. I am in a unique situaution I think, that my wife has moved away to her mom's house, she wants to sell our house, have me keep the job here, but buy a house out of state and MAYBE someday I will be able to come live with them. I have looked for a job where she is, there is no work there, but the double whammy is that we don't have enough money to make ends meet. Anyway I have read my scriptures and I have said my prayers etc, and I am just holding on with my finger nails, wanting to scream at God asking him why he allows such things to happen. All I want to do is good, be nice to people help people, help make the world a better place and right now my family is falling apart. I don't mean to dwell on the negative or the bad stuff ... in fact this last week i thought that things were going better, but yet here I am sitting at the bottom of the well again."
posted at 15:07:19 on May 31, 2015 by sjanderson
Sjanderson    
"I'm so glad that we have this blog site. In fact, I really think it helps us see each other's sides of things. I know things are really hard right now but I do know that God doesn't want you to suffer and when you are sorrowed so is he and also I'm sure like many other people out there I too feel sorrow for you and your situation. Reading your post really has filled my eyes with tears.... I wish there was some way that she could understand that problems can be overcome and addictions can be controlled with the lords help. How about a fast tomorrow or this week in your behalf? Pick a day and I will fast with you. Maybe ask god what his will for you is as this point? I'm praying for you. God loves you and don't forget it and stay strong. Just because she cannot see your progress doesn't mean it will go unnoticed because God knows all your progress. Don't give up and don't let this bump in the road lead you to regress. You know who you are and stand immovable."
posted at 18:52:52 on May 31, 2015 by Humbled32
4 Things to help    
"In talking with addicts, I have found that there are four main reasons why they do not recover and continually relapse.

1. Pride – This is a major problem with addicts. In his talk, “Beware of Pride,” Pres. Benson said that it is the universal sin. He also went on to say that it is enmity toward God. We want God to bow to our will. We want Him to agree with us, not us agree with him. There is only one opinion that counts in this world: God’s. If our opinion agrees with His, we are in good shape. Also, addicts do not listen to council and keep on doing things their way. The problem is that pride takes on so many forms. I would council you to read the talk.

2. Lack of Intelligence – “The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.” (D&C 93:36) What is intelligence? In his book, “Increase in Learning,” Elder Bednar said that intelligence consists of three things.
a. Obtain spiritual knowledge. Secular knowledge is all well and good, but there is a lot of useless knowledge floating around. We must gain spiritual knowledge. Joseph Smith said that knowledge is power and salvation. All too many addicts lack spiritual knowledge. They do not know what the Church actually teaches. There is a lot of false doctrine out there that got started because one person said something, and then it was said by another person, who was quoted in Sunday school, etc. Find out what is true knowledge and what is false.
What do you do to obtain spiritual knowledge? Do you study your scriptures or read conference talks, or the books of the apostles and prophets? The problem is that many people faithfully read the newspaper or the sports page, but not the scriptures. They know all the stats on their favorite sports teams or soap operas or NASCAR, or whatever, but they cannot recite the Articles of Faith nor can they recite Moroni’s promise at the end of the Book of Mormon.
b. Gain an understanding of that knowledge. Understanding is gained when you pray to have the knowledge confirmed to you as true through the Holy Spirit.
c. Implement this knowledge and understanding in your life. Live what you have learned.
This is what makes up intelligence.

3. Inability to Control Thoughts – Every single addict I have ever talked to has the problem of controlling his thoughts. There is one major thing to remember regarding controlling your thoughts. It all starts with what you put into your mind. If you spend your time looking at filthy things, your mind will be filled with filthy thoughts. If you spend your time pursuing spiritual things, your mind will be filled with spiritual thoughts.

You cannot recover from pornography addiction if you continue to put garbage into your mind. Satan and his minions know every single thing you have ever looked at, so they know what is in your mind. What do you think they are going to do with that knowledge? Where do you think those evil thoughts come from in the first place?

Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith said, “[Satan] has power to place thoughts in our minds and to whisper to us in unspoken impressions to entice us to satisfy our appetites or desires and in various other ways he plays upon our weaknesses and desires.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, Pg. 81)

Elder George Q. Cannon said that “evil spirits, … invisible to our eyes, yet palpable to our senses, are constantly seeking to instill into our minds evil thoughts and wrong desires, to prompt us to commit sin and thereby grieve the Spirit of God and to lead us, as Cain was led, to perpetrate crime which resulted in his becoming Perdition.” (Gospel Truth, Pg. 66)

Elder Francis M. Gibbons said that “while Satan can convey thoughts, he does not know whether these thoughts have taken root unless they are reflected either in words or in actions.” (Ensign Oct 1991)

You want to control your thoughts? Control what you put into your mind.

4. Unwillingness to Sacrifice – What are you willing to do to get well? What are willing to give up to recover? The problem with unrecovered addicts is that they are not willing to do whatever it takes to recover. They usually want to hang on to one little part of their addiction. Sometimes this is unwittingly, but usually they want to keep some part of their addiction.

I gave up watching TV and movies. Why? Because about 99% of TV shows and movies have immodestly dressed characters. That is the addict’s drug. What is inappropriate and immodest? What I have seen in the church is that the vast majority of members go by the world’s standards of modesty. For them it is OK to show a bit of cleavage or have a dress that is just a couple inches above the knee, or it is too tight. For examples of what is modest simply look at how the women of the Tabernacle Choir are dressed. Also look at the sister missionaries. Those are all the examples you need.

An addict cannot keep looking around at immodestly women, whether in person or on the TV or in movies. Elder Hartman Rector, Jr., talked about this. He called it “feeding the evil desire.” “When [the addict] stops feeding the evil desire, it dies. But of course, what usually happens is that we feed the evil desire just enough to keep it alive and so we keep ourselves in constant turmoil.” (Conference Report, April 1970, Pg. 139)

This ties in with the inability to control your thoughts. It is part of the garbage you put into your mind. As long as you keep feeding this evil desire, you will be unable to control your thoughts.

Work on these four things and you will make progress."
posted at 00:45:59 on June 13, 2015 by Anonymous
Thanks coach    
"."
posted at 17:42:35 on June 14, 2015 by they_speak


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"By emulating the Master, who endured temptations but “gave no heed unto them,” we, too, can live in a world filled with temptations “such as [are] common to man”. Of course Jesus noticed the tremendous temptations that came to him, but He did not process and reprocess them. Instead, He rejected them promptly. If we entertain temptations, soon they begin entertaining us! Turning these unwanted lodgers away at the doorstep of the mind is one way of giving “no heed.” Besides, these would-be lodgers are actually barbarians who, if admitted, can be evicted only with great trauma."

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987