One of my favorite movies is A Knight's Tale because, well Paul Bettany as Chaucer and it's just a great movie. A line that I've adopted for hard times comes from aforementioned Chaucer. He's lost everything gambling and he's walking all alone when one of the characters asks him what he's doing.
Chaucer: Uh... trudging. You know, trudging?
[They all stare at him]
Chaucer: To trudge: the slow, weary, depressing yet determined walk of a man who has nothing left in life except the impulse to simply soldier on.
Lately it feels like I am trudging. Simply soldiering on in hopes that I will find something...
and I'm struggling.
I recently started a new intense therapy for my depression and anxiety. It's working, but-- much like recovery-- it's hard, it's emotional, it's going to take time. I've had many low days, depressed days, and it's affected my work. Which is an added stress. I'm easily triggered and very emotional. I've had to avoid news, social media as it relates to politics, etc. I've had to reset my expectations of what I can and can't accomplish in a day... and be happy with the results, even if all my to-do boxes aren't checked off.
One thing that's been hard is my addiction. I've been in recovery for seven years, but I find myself easily triggered now in podcasts, music... all the old triggers. I know it's because my body and my brain want to help me... and that's how they used to do it! And I may have slipped up last night. I stayed up late late into the night watching romantic movies. Historical romance. Because I'm lonely. I would love some romance in my life. A partner. I'm so tired of doing it all myself... but at the same time I have no desire to even get out there and date. I tried to go to a Singles Dance a few weeks ago and... never again. I'm okay being single, I love my life. I so do not want to have to deal with all the dating crap I would have to go through right now... but...
So I found myself watching these videos, movies I've seen before. Based on historical fiction books. Very romantic... and I felt that longing, that feeling of wanting that or desiring that feeling, and the longing that comes with watching people kiss. I used to use kissing or sex scenes in movies to feed my addiction. So I'm not sure if last night was a slip up, or just a simple longing for something I don't have in my life... I want to talk with my bishop, who is a good man... but I don't feel comfortable talking to him about this.
One of the reasons? My testimony is struggling. It has been ever since the news broke of the MTC abuse scandal. As a victim of abuse myself. As someone who was treated differently, especially when my parents divorced... a someone who was not believed... to read that response from the Prophet of the Church... broke me. Because I'd always held onto the hope that a prophet would have reacted differently than my bishop did. I held onto the talks given over the years from these same leaders that abuse was wrong. They condemned it... except for now, apparently. Because that first statement blamed the victim. And THEN to find out they had known about this for EIGHT years! This predator has never been punished! And this woman is still trying to be heard. It broke me. I watched as fellow abuse victims in group struggled with it. I struggled with it. Because this is not how the Savior would have acted.
One night I had a huge crisis of faith, because if these "prophets" could treat a victim of abuse in such a way... was the Church even true? Where would I go?
I stayed. I stayed because I believe in the gospel. I believe the gospel is true. I believe in eternal families, and priesthood power, and the ARP program. That is from Heavenly Father. I believe that God is trying to work with human beings... but I struggle to accept President Nelson as a prophet. I've struggled through each conference this year. The lack of women giving talks or prayers. The lack of talking about real, pressing issues. The obnoxious emphasis on the name. Then, to be told by these same priesthood leaders that my sole role in this life is to be a nurturer and to get married and have babies... that can't be my sole purpose! I am single. My purpose has to be more than that. More than waiting until I'm dead to get the real blessings that I missed out on this life.
Today, I didn't go to church. Mostly because I slept through it. I've been struggling with attending church. I don't feel that I belong.
I did talk to my bishop about my concerns and he helped, a little, but he thinks "there's more to the story." Which I don't believe.
Anyway... that's where I am. Today, even though it's Sunday, I think I will clean my house while trying to listen to conference. I did love many of the talks from October Conference... I'm working on it. Maybe we're in transition. Because the Church has changed, my bishop pointed out, it will continue to change. I must hold on to the belief that the gospel is true.
Because the Church's ARP program has changed me. It saved me in many ways.
I'm going through my own transition as well. In an effort to help my therapy be easier, I'm simplifying my life. One way is that I'm changing PASG groups. They moved my original one further away and it's a struggle to get there. Plus, there is a different ARP mission area closer to me and I feel the desire to be closer to home. Most of the women from the group when I originally began coming, no longer come. It's new people and I figure I can feel just as alone in a new group and not have to drive 20 miles. And to not have to freak out every week trying to survive the interstate traffic. I hope to make new friends there.
Wish me luck as a trudge.