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Last days
By John Anon
10/21/2006 9:49:59 AM
Step 3 - Key Principle — Decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
I don’t know about you, but I have always had a problem with last days. I will act out in addiction and assure myself guiltily that it was the last time would do that. Then later (often not much later) I would do it again, because I had already done it that day or because I still felt guilty so once more wouldn’t make a difference. If I was going to feel the shame and guilt, why not feel it over something worth feeling it for, right?


I have spent much of my life living last days. I have quit my addiction thousands of times and then come back to quit it again. Often I would find myself acting out almost unconsciously and then, after I had done it, rationalizing that a few more times over the next several hours would mean that I could do it and not have to change my story to the bishop when I saw him.

Oftentimes, I planned my last days. I said, “This is the last time I am going to do this. I am going to go all out so as to get it out of my system. Then I won’t have to worry about it anymore; I will have gone as low as I can go, I’ll know what that’s like, I’ll repent and move on.” Of course, there are several self-deceptions in that. Doing it only creates a greater need for it in your system; You can always go lower; you can’t repent if you don’t really want to stop.

I didn’t (and sometimes don’t) really want to stop. That’s the reality of my addiction. I was happy to have last days because it meant I got to act out at least one more time. Another last day, another opportunity to act out.

Coupled with this was the thought that I was repenting, because I was enduring punishment. Though I lied to everyone else, I never lied to the bishop. When he asked me to not partake of the sacrament I (usually) didn’t partake (and confessed woefully when I did). When he asked me to not use the priesthood, I would avoid family gatherings where it would be necessary. When he asked me to not go to the temple, I would not (I was very proud of the fact that I had never gone when I felt unworthy). Then, having done my time, I would have my blessings restored, declare myself forgiven, and go out and sin some more.

Last days. I have had too many of them. All they have done is convince that I really am an addict and that I really do need to rely on God and that I really do need to turn my life and my will over to God. So that’s good, I guess. I just wish I hadn’t gone the “last days” route to figure it out.

What I want are first days. On a first day, I say today I will turn my will and my life over to God. On a first day, I say that today I will keep the commandments (all of them that I can). On a first day, I can look back over the day I’ve had, consider what went well and what didn’t, and pray to have a better first day tomorrow.

Many “Anonymous” organizations keep track of sobriety, by noting how many days since you last acted out. There is something good in that, but it isn’t everything. Most of those groups also have a saying, “If you have twenty-four hours of sobriety, you are tied for first place with the rest of us.” You’ve just had your first day; Have another one tomorrow.

Comments:

Been there, done that    
"I have had SO MANY "last days" in the past. I had these EXACT thoughts many times over the years:

“This is the last time I am going to do this. I am going to go all out so as to get it out of my system. Then I won’t have to worry about it anymore; I will have gone as low as I can go, I’ll know what that’s like, I’ll repent and move on.”

The more I learn from each of my fellow addicts, the more I learn how similar we all are. Satan has proven methods that obviously work for him and we ALL have so much similar in our behavior, our hiding and lying and deception. We have all become SO susceptible to Satan's way of twisting the truth, of twisting the good desires we DO have as we are acting out to actually make us act out more so we "get it all out of our system". He is VERY adept at leading us carefully down to hell by twisting our thoughts into spiritual nonsense.

How grateful I am for a Savior. I love Heavenly Father's quote to Satan: "thou shalt have power to bruise his heal, but he shall have power to crush thy head". This reminds me that although Satan IS very powerful and has succeeded in bruising me, the Savior is more powerful and will ultimately vanquish Satan. We can let him do so now in our own lives. Let's all have another "first day", every day!"
posted at 08:53:33 on October 23, 2006 by derek
Thanks for the Memories    
"Ditto.

I also have felt this way so many times. This is one of the ways Satan deceives us. This is one of the ways he leads us along with the flaxen cord until we are bound with strong cords.

I have also said to myself, "If I act out all night it is still only one slip-up."

Funny how similar, yet different we all are. We have the same justifications, temptations, triggers... But we all have different issues that drive our addictions.
"
posted at 09:35:19 on October 23, 2006 by doanair


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"I have come to know that thoughts, like water, will stay on course if we make a place for them to go. Otherwise, our thoughts follow the course of least resistance, always seeking the lower levels. Probably the greatest challenge and the most difficult thing you will face in mortal life is to learn to control your thoughts. In the Bible it says, as a man ‘thinketh in his heart, so is he’ (Prov. 23:7). One who can control his thoughts has conquered himself. As you learn to control your thoughts, you can overcome habits, even degrading personal habits. You can gain courage, conquer fear, and have a happy life. "

— Boyd K. Packer

BYU, Speeches of the Year, 26 Sept. 1967