Tuesday, March 20, 2012

You Are Broken Beyond What You Can Repair

The other day I talked to my mom. I consider my mother to be one of my truest friends. Somebody who isn't afraid to give it to you straight. While I may have not always appreciated her brutal honesty as a child, now, as an adult, I trust her deeply because I know that whatever she says is the truth. This does not mean that I necessarily agree with everything she says, because all people make mistakes and are wrong. However, I do trust that what she says is the truth, as far as she can see it.

Anyways, I was talking to her the other day about my last post here. She listened and then said some things that at first shocked me. She said (essentially), "You feel broken and messed up, somehow completely damaged beyond repair. And you are right." Ouch! Suddenly some of my deepest fears had been confirmed by someone I knew and trusted. Ouch, Ouch, Ouch! Then she continued on, "You cannot fix it. That is why you need God."

As I thought about different parts of that conversation, and did some reading last night on the subject, I have come to the conclusion that she is right. I have said before that I don't like to rely on anybody else. I have been let down by people, so I don't trust them to have my best interests at heart. I think I can do better than they can.  I don't rely on friends, family, my husband, or God, because I believe that they will somehow mess it all up and fail me or leave me. So I trust nobody with my life, but me. Going back to what my mom said, if I were perfect, I would have no need of the Atonement, of Christ, of God. I wouldn't need them. If I were perfect, there would be no point in this life. I realize that the way I have been thinking is a form of pride and self-righteousness. Thinking that nobody (including God) can take care of me better than me is prideful, and sinful. Thinking that I am completely beyond repair, and all of the trials and difficulties I have faced, I think, have been attempts to humble me. I guess I needed to be humbled to learn to turn to and lean and rely on the Lord. By blocking Him out, I was saying that I was better than He. When I relied on myself, I shut Him out, I turned away from Him. And not only did that not help me, it made everything worse. And I realize all at once, the vast infinity of His creations. I realize what a tiny speck I am in the grand scheme of the universe. And I am humbled that even though I am such a tiny, nearly imperceptible spot, He does care, and He does notice. I have not held up my end of the bargain.

I have been studying the scriptures (Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price), past Ensign articles, General Conference talks, etc, the last few days, looking for answers regarding "trust in the Lord," "happiness," and "joy in the Lord." Last night I read about "happiness." Everything I read listed prayer, scripture study, and service as necessary to finding happiness. I was angry, for a time, because I thought, "that is far too easy. It's too simple. I don't want to do that, it can't possibly be enough! There must be a secret somewhere."

I considered the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. At some point, the people fell into disobedience. Snakes entered their party and began biting. People who were bitten, fell ill and died painful deaths. The people saw their family members suffering, and asked Moses to ask God to forgive them and save them. Moses prayed and was told to make a brass serpent statue and affix it to a staff. He was told to tell the people that all they needed to do was look upon the brass snake and they would be healed. The people scoffed and cried it was impossible, because it was too easy.They thought "there must be a catch, a secret, something else you are not telling us." But there wasn't. All they had to do was look upon the brass serpent, and be healed. All I have to do is pray, read my scriptures, serve others, and keep the commandments. I have to do the right things or I will never be happy.

I confess, I do not read my scriptures much. They are confusing and hard for me to understand. I also admit that I do not pray much more than "Oh God, why me?!" and yelling towards Heaven, essentially kicking against the pricks, lying down and playing dead when life doesn't go MY way. This is not true prayer. This is what is referenced to in Mormon 2:13-14 "But behold this my joy was vain, for their sorrowing was not unto repentance, because of the goodness of God; but it was rather the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin. And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword for their lives." Ouch again. I realized that I have been cursing God for my troubles, that I have (at times) wished to die, to just be done with it all. I wasn't sad because I had made mistakes and some sins. I was sad because life wasn't what I wanted it to be. I was sad because I wasn't getting my way. And to a point, like my mom said, when life didn't go my way, I packed up my toys and refused to play anymore.That hasn't worked before, and it's not ever going to work.

Happiness does not mean that hard times will never come. It doesn't mean that we will avoid trials. It doesn't mean that life is a bowl of candy, and is always going to be sunshine and flowers. It means that we will have safety and security (which the lack of is what upsets me most) in the knowledge that we are doing what we are supposed to, and knowing that we can know with a surety that no matter what, God has our best interests at heart, and it is going to be okay eventually. As horse people say, "This too shall pass."

As so, I am committing myself to try again. I need to learn to rely on the Lord. And I can't do that if I don't know the Lord. And the way to know Him is to seek Him. And the way to seek Him, is to read of Him, study of Him, pray to Him. And so, that is what I must do.

There is a painting of the Savior standing outside a heavy door. There is no doorknob on the outside, He cannot open the door. He stands outside knocking, waiting for us to let Him in. And so, WE must open that door. He doesn't leave us, we locked Him out. It is our choice to let Him back in.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Don't Want To Anymore

I don't want to eat healthy. I don't want to exercise. I don't care anymore.

I am tired of trying. I am tired of crying.

I don't like who I am, or who I think I am inside. I don't like myself, and I don't like that I don't like myself. I don't like the way I think other people see me.

I tell myself that I am fat, lazy, worthless, bad, stupid, useless, a waste and incompetent. I see myself as fat, lazy, worthless, bad, stupid, useless, a waste and incompetent.

Being healthier, skinnier, less fat, etc, DID NOT CHANGE MY MOOD. It did not change my problems. It didn't solve my problems, it didn't make the issues I have go away, it didn't magically make my life happier, better, etc.

I constantly get onto my husband to find a better paying job, thinking that that will make me happy. I want lots and lots of money. But now, I don't think money will solve my issues either. I think my personal issues are bigger than any problem I have in life.  My personal issues are bigger than having no money, bigger than my kids' health issue, bigger than the confines of a tiny podunk town with no opportunities for me and the kids, bigger than a church that doesn't support it's stay at home moms, even though they stress the vital importance of such work. And I feel that none of my issues will be solved by losing weight and being healthier, and addressing all of these problems listed above won't fix it either. I fear that I am incredibly messed up. That there is something inherently wrong with me. I feel like a broken, worthless piece of junk. Unworthy, and undeserving. And when I feel like that, the entire world caves in on me. And I have nothing. I feel abandoned by God. And I resent Him. I feel like every new problem is punishment from a vengeful and hateful Father. I feel like He is only punishing me as I deserve. And every trial is just further evidence of His disappointment and dissatisfaction with me.

And then there is a tiny, tiny voice inside that cries out that I do deserve to feel loved, that I do deserve to be taken care of, that my needs are important, that I matter and am important.  And yet, that small, insignificant voice only serves to make me feel worse about myself. If I do deserve happiness, then why don't I have it. What is wrong with me that I am not getting what I deserve, what am I doing wrong? If I deserve to be happy, then why aren't I?

And so it goes, on and on. An unrelenting barrage of demeaning and hateful thoughts coursing through my mind, raining down on my soul and dragging me down further and further. I want out. I don't like this. But if I can't indulge in the sugary, numbing respite, then what else is there? If I can't escape into a momentarily pain-free world of binging, then where can I go? I am startled because I can see how easy it is for people to become addicted to drugs, because I am addicted to food. Food is my drug.

Eating, binging, allows me to feel numb, if only for a moment. It destroys my body, but for that small moment, I don't have to deal with everything else. That world is powerful. I miss it. And I confess, I have been revisiting it. Which is why I have gained 15 pounds.

I find myself sneaking food, so that nobody sees it. I find myself thinking about when I can get more food. I contemplate what I will eat next, while I am eating now. And when I am not eating, I am plotting how, where and what to eat next.

Doing so makes me feel like a bad person, like I am just lying to everybody. Which is true. I am. And liars are bad people, so I am. But, I also don't think anybody truly cares. I shouldn't "be airing my dirty laundry." Or, 'since I go to church, I am fine.' Or maybe, I am just a big whiny-butt, and people have heard it over and over, and no longer care. I just complain too much. I am big wimp for not being able to handle normal life. Since my son doesn't have diabetes, I have nothing to complain about. Since none of my children have died, life is a joy ride for me. Since I have a home to live in, (even though I can no longer afford it, and need to sell it, but can't because we owe more than it is worth) I am sooo blessed. Oh, and I have a husband, I have the perfect life. If that is all true, then why am I so miserable?

I am tired of trying. I am tired of crying.

I am tired of fighting it. I am tired of hiding it.

I am messed up. How can a person whose life is so perfect, possibly feel miserable.

And so I struggle on. Trying to resurface in the drowning deep. Struggling for that next breath. Reaching for just one more handhold, then one more foothold, as I try to climb the cliffs alone. Resentful, angry, sad, alone, abandoned, and lost.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Starting Over

I have been awful at this of late. This morning I realized I had put on 11 (ELEVEN!) pounds :( So sad. But every bit deserved. I quit working out, I quit watching my portions, I quit eating healthy. So yea, totally expected, but not happy. This morning I finally fit in a workout. It's hard. I have four kids between the ages of 1 and 6. My hubby works long hours. We don't make much money, so I can't afford a sitter or a gym membership. Plus, the nearest gym is 40 miles away. So it is difficult to find time to work on me. But that is no excuse. So this morning, I put the baby in his jumper, sent the 6 year old off to school, told the other two I was going to exercise, and got to work.

Have I mentioned my love for Richard Simmons?

He is an amazing man, just amazing. He is close to 70 years old now, and is STILL conducting weekly classes at his gym in California, and putting on his "Cruis to Lose" cruise program every year! I have a few of his videos, because I just love the way he leads the workout, the way he encourages and strengthens people. I would love to be able to meet him some day. Is it silly that that is a dream of mine, LOL Who cares. The man has inspired me. Do you know that he was once an overweight young adult? When he decided to lose weight, he went to several gyms and was turned away because his weight was an insurance liability. Appalling! So he started his own gym, and he never turns people away. I find him an inspiration. He marches to the beat of his own drum, and I love it! Anyways,  I put in a Richard Simmons tape (love that man), "Dance Your Pants Off!" I finished it just a bit ago. I am so glad I did. It felt so good to do a little workout.  

It wasn't easy, I had kids who want me to play with them instead, but you know, taking this 45 minutes a day for myself isn't going to harm them. I was with them the whole time. But not taking this 45 minutes a day, could one day kill me. I want to be there when my kids graduate college. I want to be at their weddings. I want to see my sons serve missions for our church, and our daughters if they so choose. I want to know all my grandchildren. And I can't do that if I die from preventable issues. Obesity is preventable. Type 2 diabetes is preventable. Stroke (to a degree) is preventable. High blood pressure, high cholesterol are preventable. If I don't take care of my body, get healthy, stay healthy, etc. and I die from a weight-related illness/disease/issue, then it is MY FAULT. I imagine the guilt of that would haunt me forever. I see it as little different than a parent who walks out on a child's life. So I am striving once again, to hit the ground running. Here we go!