Neat Breakthrough
By needhelp38
12/6/2009 1:37:24 AM
I had a neat incident yesterday. I am on this site mostly because I have been struggling a lot with immoral thoughts about "Potiphar's wife" and for healing and moving on from my ex-boyfriend who is a p~rn addict and who I found out had sex with a prostitute about six months ago.

I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately. I've realized that part of this is because I don't like laying in bed unless I know I am going to fall asleep because this is when the thoughts come. So I end up not sleeping when I should to fight off the immoral thoughts, and when I'm really tired is when I am more weak and thus the vicious cycle starts. Sometimes I opt to choose what in my mind at the moment is the lesser of two evils by thinking about the physical affection shared between me and my ex-boyfriend which was more appropriate physically. I realize as I type this that although we kept our physical affection PG that obsessing about him is just as damaging to my soul given the circumstances.

So for the past couple of days I have been sick which as many of you would agree is not good because you're just laying in bed without things to occupy you. I start really struggling with fantasizing about what happened with Potiphar's wife and what's worse, I started fantasizing about possible future encounters. I think the latter is more dangerous because it is thoughts that lead us to action. I started to get so scared; scared that I would act out on these thoughts because he is at the house where I live on average of a couple of times a week and so the opportunity is there.

Usually the thoughts only stop because I get out of bed or fall asleep or something else. This time, however, something inside me snapped. I was in my room with the door closed & I knew I was home alone. So in the moment I said to myself, out loud, "Mary, (I feel comfortable at this point sharing my first name on the site), you need to stop these thoughts right now. They may bring you pleasure in the moment but they do not bring you happiness. They certainly do not bring lasting happiness. If you need to occupy your mind with something, occupy it with everything that Heavenly Father has blessed you with."

And then I proceeded to think about everything that I was grateful for. I listed this site as one of the many things I am thankful for. I hope this doesn't sound like I am bragging by sharing this little story, because I certainly have my bad days, but I think it's important for all of us to call attention to our successes more than our failures and that we will have more success as we do so. Thank you everyone for listening!


What a heartfelt post!    
"Sorry you've been sick lately. Being physically weak certainly doesn't help us in our struggles, but you just proved that we can overcome temptation despite illness.

I'm glad you had the courage to share the part about talking to yourself out loud. Although those words may have been coming out of your mouth, I don't think they were your own. I've had very similar experiences while giving blessings: it felt like some of the words were coming from my ideas, but the majority of what I said was given to me from somewhere else.

I'm working on being more careful with giving advice, so I'll just share with you a few principles I've learned from my own experiences.

1. If I lay in bed on my back while I try to go to sleep, I find that my thoughts are much more spiritual because it feels like God can see my face. I still face a lot of temptation right before I fall asleep, but it's much easier for me to deal with bad thoughts if I remember that God can see me.

2. If I record spiritual promptings, then I have spiritual promptings more often (Elder Scott agrees with me on this principle). When I'm struggling the very hardest is often when I'm given the strongest spiritual help. I strongly believe we are entitled to personal revelation if we are doing our very best to fight off temptations.

Thanks again for sharing this experience, I feel like you described a lot of what I am going through as I struggle to master my thoughts. Good luck, and get well soon!"
posted at 11:33:12 on December 6, 2009 by ETTE
Success helps!    
"You are not bragging, Mary, by sharing your successes. We all need to hear them, and we are full of joy for you when we do. Hurrah for your success! When you share, you give us ideas and help us succeed, too.

When I struggled the worst, several years ago, I felt too often that I didn't know anyone who had overcome my problems. I thought my problems were impossible to overcome, my drug was too strong.

There are probably others out there who think that no one can beat their addiction; they feel they are doomed to failure. Hearing success stories removes that fear.

We CAN be free, sober, and clean from immoral thoughts and actions--one day at a time, for the rest of our lives. I KNOW this is true.

PS My favorite thing to do when I'm struggling to fall asleep is simply to talk to God (in prayer). How often have you struggled to stay awake while praying? I seem to do it all the time, unfortunately. In this case, if I can't sleep, I use prayer to my advantage. I say, "Dear Father, send me that peace you always send when I'm speaking to you...the peace that puts me to sleep during prayer, and sometimes during Church and at the temple." Then, I let him know that I PLAN on falling asleep while talking to him, and then I start a grateful conversation with him.

I hope that's not wrong."
posted at 14:44:48 on December 6, 2009 by BeClean
"I often just have trouble falling asleep period. My mind is usually churning over some subject. Reading seems to help get my mind off of whatever it is. I find religious books work well. Louis Lamour gets me caught up in the story quickly and then I loose hours of sleep rather than the other way around. You might try "Believing Christ", "Jesus the Christ", "The Miracle of Forgiveness" or "The Continuous Atonement". I haven't read that one yet, but it has been mentioned by others and is on my future reading list. There is also a list of books here on the site.

It might help kill two birds with one stone. Hopefully you can get your mind off the bad thoughts, on to good ones, and get to sleep earlier rather than pushing until you’re exhausted."
posted at 13:32:01 on December 9, 2009 by Anonymous
With One Stone    
"Kill THREE birds, anonymous. The two you mentioned, AND you get to read some good books."
posted at 23:07:48 on December 9, 2009 by BeClean
Thank you, all true    
"ETTE: I think that picturing that God can see us helps us in ALL situations, not just when we're trying to fall asleep! :-) And I LOVE Elder Scott...I definitely know the importance of writing promptings down & I am slowly but surely putting that knowledge to application.

BECLEAN: Yes, yes, yes. I was telling my friend that has been helping me in my recovery that I need to simplify my life & that is with this: I need to do my best, and hand the rest over to the Lord. I can't do it on my own, but no one expects me to, and prayer is one of the ways that I can turn things over to the Lord.

ANONYMOUS: I have done that lately too"
posted at 01:58:44 on December 12, 2009 by needhelp38
I also just posted two new blogs    
posted at 01:59:06 on December 12, 2009 by needhelp38

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"In recent years, as I have sung the hymns of the Atonement, it has been with an especially full heart—and also with full voice, when I can continue to sing—lines such as “How great thou art,” “I scarce can take it in,” “To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,” “I stand all amazed,” and “Oh, it is wonderful!”"

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987