Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blogging Binoculars

Did you ever keep a diary during your teenage years? A cute little hardbound book with swirls or flowers on the cover that encapsulated your biggest dreams and your worst nightmares? Or perhaps the cover was black. Black as the secrets hidden inside.

I have dug out my old journals out from time to time and flipped through them, chuckling to myself. Not because the things inside are humorous, ridiculous, or childish. On the contrary--they were very real to me. They were my reality. I vented and spewed on my darkest days, fuming and screaming at the pages that couldn't hurt me back. I gushed and swooned and danced my pen merrily across the paper, telling secrets to the silent pages that wouldn't spill the beans. When something delightful happened, I ran to write it down, hungering to record it so that I could recall the joy after the memory had faded from my own mind. No, my chuckle as I look through the pages isn't in ridicule. It's because of what is missing from the pages--the rest of my life. And one word comes to mind: UNSTABLE!

I often think that my posterity, looking through my journals after my death, may wonder if I am a little schizophrenic. Let's face it--if you read my personal history and believe that's all there is to it, my life story looks something like this: happy sad yippeeeeee! boo-hoo happy HAPPY sad miserable blissful saaad happy ... You get the idea. 

But aren't our blogs like this too?

This blog isn't really a clear picture of my life and who I am as a whole. It only gives you a little piece. And I'm sure it's the same with you. When we are reading each other's stories, sometimes I feel like we are all standing in a circle staring at each other through or own huge pair of binoculars. We are focused on the trauma, the victories, the strategies, the effects, the resources surrounding this addiction. And that is awesome! For its own purpose. But I encourage each of us to remember that when we are in this underworld of blogs and forums, those binoculars are in place. I believe it was Buffalo Gal (from Kill Your Own Buffalo) who once said something to the effect of: "I wish I could meet you all in person. I am so much cooler in real life!"

Don't you ever feel like screaming:

There is so much more to me than what surrounds this addiction!

I know there is! There's more to me too.

Together, we are like a hospital. We hear each other and we heal each other. We point each other in the direction of fantastic resources. We encourage and lift one another, and we help spread the word about how to fight this pernicious plague. But remember, like a hospital, you don't have to stay forever. You can choose the length of your stay. Maybe you want to take a break and get back to "real life" for a little while. Perhaps you will come back and be a nurse or doctor for a bit. We will always be here in one form or another. (Actually, that is literally true, because even abandoned blogs continue to tell our stories!) And there is always a place for everyone.

But ... I have often felt guilty about leaving the hospital. I feel bad when I don't post for a while. I worry about my WoPA sisters when I don't see anything from them for a while. Some of us have even written apologies to this effect: "Sorry I haven't posted in so long! I've been busy working on my other blog (meaning the family blog)." My feeling is: We shouldn't feel the need to apologize to each other! We should feel free to break away and focus on and enjoy the other aspects of our lives whenever we like. In fact, that sounds pretty healthy to me! 

It's easy to get stuck here. It's easy to become obsessed with the blogs and the underworld that exists here. And sometimes that's what we need. Heaven knows I've been there! When my marriage and my life fell apart, you guys were all I had. No one else really had a clue what I was going through. But now things are changing for me. I'm in and out a lot. I'm sporadic sometimes. I'm healing. I'm less dependent on the hospital. Once in a while I trigger and I come swooping in to write a "my-world-is-falling-apart" post to my underworld friends because I know you will hear me when no one else understands. But remember the binoculars when that happens! Just because I have a bad day and I vent in a post doesn't mean my life really is falling apart. It probably just means I needed a visit to the hospital that day because I broke my arm. ;) I know not everyone can relate. We are each at our own point on our journeys. But just so you know, that's where I'm at!  

Life is good. I promise. Even in the darkest times, we can put down our binoculars and find at least one pretty flower on the ground next to us. 

Hang in there, my peeps. And if I'm MIA, know I love you all and am thinking of you. But I'm not sorry! :) :) :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

For Female Addicts

photo credit

You know ... women can be addicts too. I've always had a couple resources in my Addiction Toolbox tab for this category, but I don't think that's enough. So, I'm expanding and collecting more. Check out the new tab on my bar: "For Female Addicts"

As aways, if you have anything to add, please let me know in my comments section. And please share with anyone you know who might benefit!

You guys rock.



Terrific marriages

Totally swiped this beautiful image from True from the blog, Finding My True Identity. Soooo beautiful! LOVED the talk it is taken from that was given at General Conference today. It's basically a "How To" on having an excellent marriage in the face of technology, social media, and all the other things that pull on us from every direction. If you have time to watch/listen to it, I have posted the entire talk below. It is 10 minutes long.

NOTE TO SELF and all of us who are in this mess with pornography addiction

The trick is believing that there still are marriages out there like this. There are still men and women who are capable and willing to create and maintain marriages that are terrific! 

Dare to hope. That's the first step. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

We Believe in Being Chaste

Here is a snippet from Elder Bednar's awesome talk on chastity in the afternoon session of General Conference today. Can't wait to get it in print!

And in case you have the time or the desire to watch it, here is the whole talk:

12-step meetings on Mormon Channel!

Holy smokes! Huge shout-out to Tim (blogger from I Was Lost in the Wilderness) for pointing me to this amazing resource, which he found through the Overcoming Pornography website!

The Mormon Channel has put out virtual recovery meetings for all 12 of the steps of the Addiction Recovery Program (ARP). WOW! So cool! These are real meetings with real people, my friends! Recorded for your use whenever you need them.

You can access them on your computer here: 


If you have a smart phone or tablet, you can download the Mormon Channel app for free 
and then access the meetings by searching for "Addiction Recovery Program." (also available for Android)

Quick shout-out for the Mormon Channel ap in general? It rocks. Jack and I both have it and we love it! Jack entertains my kids on it all the time. :) You can get conference, LDS videos, Mormon Messages, all the new Bible videos from, the Book of Mormon reader (and all the other kids' scripture readers), and pretty much any other LDS content you can think of on there. And it comes in handy for FHE, too!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New LDS Site: Overcoming Pornography

I was on today and saw this featured on the home page. The LDS Church has launched a new site called Overcoming Pornography (

If you'd like to read the article about it in the Church News, click here.

The new site has a softer, more Christ-centered feel than the other anti-porn sites I have seen from the Church (i.e., Combating Pornography--which this site is replacing, Addiction Recovery Program). This one focuses heavily on sending addicts to their bishops and to the scriptures for help.

Also ... I've heard rumors about a new manual for loved ones of addicts published by the Church that is supposed to hit the presses this month! Maybe we'll hear about it at General Conference this weekend? Hmmmm ...