Now that I've taken the time to remember my password and log in to say hi, let's talk about the Smiths in 2015.
Life is fantastic! We are still going strong in recovery. Mr. Smith is over 3 years sober from pornography, has had great success working on that progressive victory over lust, and has basically become a completely different man. I am so deeply, completely in love with him.
My recovery is also going awesome. My journey has taken a big turn over the past 2 months. I was sick for several months at the beginning of this year and to pass the time spent laying on the couch, I had been spending quite a bit of time online on various websites and support groups trying to educate myself more about addiction, recovery, lust, raising emotionally healthy children, etc. and to support other wives and mothers going through this battle.
This fall I realized that the time I was spending looking through instagram, facebook and those groups, or thinking about all the different amazing women and their stories, was getting in the way of being the present mother I want to be, and had turned into my own compulsive habit, maybe even addiction. I started thinking about the famous "Good, Better, Best" talk by Dallin H Oaks and feeling the need to reorganize my life and priorities. Some of the messages in this October General Conference confirmed what I felt. Then in our Regional Conference, the talks urged us to simplify every part of our lives in order to make time to grow closer to God and strengthen our families.
That was the push I needed, so I stepped away. Deactivated facebook, cut my instagram following to only family and the people I learn most from, deleted most apps from my phone, avoided any screen time that wasn't helping me towards my goals.
It has been wonderful! Sometimes betrayal trauma or recovery can consume your life and sometimes it needs to take up a good chunk of your time. It was interesting to realize that season of my life is over and its time to move forward in another direction. There are times you need to step away to make room mentally and physically for other important things. I hope we'll always take time to support others and spread our message about the harms of pornography, sex and lust addictions, but that GOOD is not going to get in the way of the BEST things in my life.
There have been several little miracles along the way, and some big ones as well. One of the hardest parts of my life as a wopa was the feeling that I wouldn't be able to have as many children as I wanted. The times I realized another layer of how deep Mr. Smiths addiction was always lined up with being right after I found out I was pregnant. 3 pregnancies clouded by disappointment and fear. The last time I caught Mr. Smith lying about his recovery, we had just decided to have baby #3, and I realized with a heavy heart that it would be my last, because I would not keep bringing children into a broken marriage.
Last year I realized I trusted Mr Smith enough and believed in Recovery enough to have another child. I decided to put our future in God's hands and follow the promptings to grow our family. I knew I was taking a big risk of being thrown back into triggers and Betrayal Trauma and adding more stress to our lives. I went forward with as much faith as I could find. I kept waiting to be triggered and thrust back into the feelings of fear and it just... never happened! The pregnancy was quite difficult physically, I felt sick the whole 9 months, which brought me guilt about not being the best mom to my children as I needed constant rest. But I never doubted Mr. Smith. He took such tender care of me and the kids and I felt safer than I ever have. We welcomed baby #4 this fall. It is certainly one of the most beautiful miracles I've ever experienced.
This year Mr. Smith opened up to many of our people about his addiction. He surprised me by speaking about it beautifully in a Sacrament Meeting talk, and then he just kept telling people. He teaches teenage young men in our church and speaks to them often about his experiences. He has so much empathy and love for them, I love to see him take what once was such a shameful secret, and bring it out into the light to use for good. If people get nothing else out of it, I hope they know that Mr. Smith has a testimony of Christ and the Atonement, and that recovery is possible.
It has been an amazing year.