Wow I seriously can hardly believe that January 2010 is almost over. Life has just seemed like a whirlwind for me lately and I STILL feel like I am playing catch up from the Holiday's. We were lucky and had family come to us for Christmas this year, it was so great to spend time with those we love so much, I am sad when they leave because I know I wont see them again for awhile, but also there is a sense of stress relief when all of the family goes home and LIFE gets back to normal (whatever normal is anyway:).
This Christmas I was feeling especially grateful for my many blessings, I KNOW that my Father in Heaven loves me so much and is mindful of my family and I's needs. I KNOW that if I will put my life in the hands of the LORD that he will carry me through any trial that comes my way in this life. I feel a very deep gratitude for my trials, I didn't know that this was even possible! I know that the Lord has placed specific trials in my hands because he has given me the tools to endure and conquer these trials. Before we came here to earth we all lived with him in Heaven as his spirit children, he presented the Plan of Happiness to us (more information on mormon.org), we KNEW that we would come to this Earth to be tried and tested, we accepted this challenge willingly and I believe we were also prepared and received specific tools to help us through the trials we would face in our mortal existence so that we can worthily return to live with him again someday. My trials have helped me to grow in ways I didn't even know I was capable of. Over the last several months as I have accepted my own faults rather than constantly focusing on my husbands, there has been a mighty change in my heart. I have learned that the only person that I can change is ME!!! I have LITERALLY felt my heart soften, I have a greater compassion for my husband and a greater love for him (and it feels good).
With the craziness of the Holidays I got a bit off track on my own recovery process. I was doing so well with attending my s-anon 12 step group, reading my s-anon literature, having my personal daily prayer and scripture study, and especially with working on living the principals I have learned through s-anon. All it took was a few days of being really busy with the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season to through me right off track. It got me thinking that if it was THIS hard for me to stay on track with my goals that it must be 100 times harder for my husband who suffers from addictions to stay on track. I have never given my husband enough credit for the progress he has made, I in no way understand what it is like to suffer from an addiction, but for the first time in our marriage I am seeing him as a person who suffers from a disease rather than just a person who makes horrible choices. (Yes addicts do make horrible choices, but they are not horrible people, they are people who have a SICKNESS).
I am learning to set & KEEP boundaries with my husband, he knows what I expect of him and what the consequences are if he does not follow through. More importantly for my own well being I am learning to acknowledge that I need to set & KEEP boundaries with my self, I need to hold myself accountable for the promises I make to ME! My husband and I recently started working with an amazing councilor, this past week I was able to meet with him one on one which was a very enlightening experience. I have spent SOOOOOOOOO much time focusing on my husband, his addictions, his problems, that I haven't even realized that my life has become a MESS in the process, I also haven't realized that I am not happy with WHO I AM. This week the councilor and I talked quit a bit about being 'transparent', he asked if I feel like I have been transparent (completely open and honest) with my spouse about how I am feeling. As I pondered his question I genuinely felt like I have been open about my feelings with my husband, but I also realized that my "OPENNESS" has rarely come out in a constructive way. When I do open up about how I am feeling it is with anger, resentment, screaming, crying, etc... So although I have been open, I have not even come close to handling it the way I should. HOW and WHY did I expect him to be honest and open with me when I was being so horrible to him!
I am a work in progress just as he is, my trials are different than his, but I know now that it is NOT my place to MAKE him change, I can only change myself (and I will:).