Wednesday check in on a Friday (because that’s how my life is right now)

Hi folks.

I’m having a minor episode of meltdown.

Everyone Shhhhhhhhh *puts finger over your mouth* It’s okay. This happens to me from time to time. Basically what is going on is that I’m totally overwhelmed by the workings of my life and I find myself unable to do important things. Like return any emails. To anyone. About anything. Including my little brother who is a missionary in Tennessee. Or Important People. Or really awesome readers who send me really awesome messages of support or who ask me totally legitimate questions. Or basically anybody. I also find myself unable to do things like: manage my schedule; not eat the universe and every dairy product in my fridge (esp. cheese and ice cream); take 15 minutes to sign up for my licensing exam (oh, that little thing? No big deal! Who needs to maintain credentials?); respond to people about really, really important stuff like blurbs for book covers or TV shows; get to work when I need to get to work; anything whatsoever that has to do with my church calling; etc.

The few things I have been able to keep in tact in order to survive are: I successfully see my clients; I eat (way too much) food; I sleep sometimes; Lolly and I watch a TV show every night together to reconnect; I eat dinner with the family every night.

I feel like a complete mess.

Anyhow, I think that’s a perfect reason to do a check in. Feel free to do one also. (I think I need a caveat stating that checking in on The Weed is not meant to replace or supplement therapy with a licensed professional. It’s just for fun y’all.)

Rules. You check in with how you are physically, emotionally and spiritually. You make a commitment and talk about last week’s commitment (if you had one). You are not allowed to say “good” or “fine” for any item.

Physically: I feel a little crappy. My blind eye hurts. It bugs me from time to time, with a weird headache behind it. I also feel blergh in general. Not sure how to describe it, but it’s not “good” so it counts. Also, I ran several times this week, but I really need to do some weight training.

Emotionally: I feel overwhelmed. Life feels like complete chaos to me right now. I just told someone that I feel like I’m atop a racehorse that’s on crack, just watching my life course past at high speed. As previously stated, I feel like I’m neglecting important things. And the craziness feels like it’s increasing rather than decreasing.

Spiritually: I feel like my spirituality is yet another casualty to the crazy. I feel connected when I connect, but I also feel inconsistent and like I could use some good prayer and meditation. I did end up enjoying conference a lot, and thought there were some very apropos messages that were very helpful (and strangely work in tandem, as often seems to magically happen.)

Commitment from last time was to write in the memoir for 15 hours. I achieved this.

Commitment for this week is to write for 10 hours. At least.

Side-note: one of the things I forgot to clarify about commitments is that they should be attainable. So if you haven’t exercised in a year, setting a goal for 6 workouts might not be a great idea. But one or two? Totally appropriate.

All right guys. It’s Friday night. You’re all having fun. I’m about to go have fun. And I’m about to eat pie. So life can’t be that out of control, right?

If it suits your fancy, hit me up with another check-in, and let me know how things went this week. Hope you are all doing well.

Not editing this sucker! *presses publish*


  1. physically – exhausted and wired. Not fun.
    Emotionally: oy. I've been doing a temp teaching job teaching English as a second language to classes of teenagers who seem to be either oppositionally defiant, apathetic, angry and/or all of the above. In my 13 years of teaching ESL, I have never had worse classes to teach than at this schol (not a publis school). Part of the reason is that the parents send these kids to Canada because they 'couldn't make it' in their own countries. one particularly brutal student had a freak out today and screamed at me. So he and I are meeting with the dean n charge of ESL on Monday Eeek. long term teachers seem resigned to the whole thing. There is little work in Vancouver right now so I don't feel that I can just quit but I honestly think it may give me a heart attack. I'm not good at being able to let go of the stress at the en of the day. After angry boy's meltdown, I cried in the washroom from all the accumulated stress. Quite good actually. Any teachers out there with advice?
    Spiritually: this is hard for me at the best of times, even more so when I'm anxious/stressed out. Anxiety is difficult and I've never found God to well, be particularly helpful with it, ot sure how to word that! It just popped into my head that I need to pray for this student – that oddly can sometimes work, praying for people who are 'against' me. And my wee church is closing or moving or some such and I'll miss it.
    Commitment – to pray or said student (initial H. so i hold myself accountable!) and to breathe deeply and consciously at least three times a hour. Baby steps.
    thanks, Josh, I super duper needed this.

    1. Karen,

      I've been a teacher for 21 years. I began praying for my students about 10 years ago and it makes such a difference. I don't wait for something to happen, though. I pray every day for every student. And I pray for myself, that I will see the potential in each of them. I ask for compassion and understanding and the knowledge I need to reach them. I also ask for courage and joy. I will add you and your students to my prayers.

    2. Thank you so much. It's funny how it just popped into my head that if I pray for H. and the rest of them and that I will see a difference.
      Thanks again. Very comforting.

  2. Physically: Bad. Really, really bad. Since it's not "good" that's acceptable, right? I live with several chronic illnesses and it has been months since I've had a day or even an hour without pain. It's been a number of weeks since I went a day without pain bad enough that it makes it difficult to walk, function, and even sleep.

    Emotionally: Completely overwhelmed. The physical pain is emotionally exhausting. The lack of sleep is exhausting. I feel like I have a bare toe-hold to sanity. I am involved in some online groups of people dealing with similar issues, and that has given me safe places to vent and get ideas for now things to try to improve my physical state.
    That said, there are a lot of great things in my life emotionally. A very supportive husband, compassionate children, etc.

    Spiritually: Spiritually I feel like I'm doing pretty well. I feel closer to my Heavenly Father as I turn to him in gratitude and desperation. I am not perfect at going through all the daily steps I ought to, such as daily scripture study and regular "formal" prayer. I am never far from a prayer in my heart and mind, but kneeling by my bed is not always as simple for me.

    Goal: I have ordered a new set of supplements. After lots of anecdotal evidence and in-depth research I have determined that worst case scenario, they do nothing. Best case scenario I will have an easier time sleeping and getting to the deeper levels of sleep that are so difficult to reach. Best case scenario my body will create the energy it needs more effectively so I am not always feeling ground in to the dirt. This week's step: supplements. Taken properly.

  3. Physically: my foot hurts. It has since May. No insurance, though (even though my husband I'd at teacher… Too expensive for me). And i'm really tired all the time. And in eating lounge crap, often too consume caffeine.. Ugh.

    Emotionally: Doing poorly, but that's why I started therapy a few Weeks ago (yay for free therapy at school). I'm in my final semester of college (undergrad), taking 16 hours, working 12ish hours a week at an unpaid internship, and raising a 2 year old and 7 month old. Constant feeling of being overwhelmed. And disconnected. And I have no free time it seems.

    Spiritually: I'm Jewish, and haven't been very observant in recent years. Recently started to miss it. Feeling like I need a better connection with Gd. I also believe in karma. Trying to do good things, add I almost got hit by a car in s parking lot today (I was not in a car)… Gotta work on Gd, and my karma.

    Goal: Try to find happiness in little things, drink far less soda aka caffeine, and read for fun a little but this week.

  4. Physically: Pretty good, I'm finally feeling happy about the process of exercising somewhat regularly is doing to my body. (what, all those doctors and gym teachers were right?!) Though, my female organs are failing in their ONE job. (see: Emotional)

    Emotionally: I'm riding a emotional roller coaster. The ups are associated with my new creative job and my family, the lows with wanting more children and that just. not. working. ARGH.

    Spiritually: I'm sure you know about the side-effects of being a primary teacher. yeah, you get re-connected with the basics of the gospel and small children really bring the spirit (even when kicking the back of your seat and singing the Snowman song backwards) but you start forgetting there's more to church than singing time and salt dough attention activities. Also, it's a major obstacle in making new friends in a new ward too.

    Goal: Have an adult conversation everyday for at LEAST 10 minutes that involves nothing about diaper contents, chores or bills. (preferably face-to-face but I'll take email or phone call)

  5. Physically: Doing pretty well. Can't quite figure out why my shins feel like I've been running for hours though. Been going on for several days. Son says it's because of running up and down the stairs but we've lived upstairs for 4 years now so my legs should be used to it by now. LOL

    Emotionally: Doing well. Was a little rocky early in the week since we had to have a conference yesterday with all 3 of son's core teachers since he brought home an F in one class. Turned out to be fine. They said he can have any grade he wants if he'll just remember to sign his name to his work, turn his work in and stop chatting with the pretty girl he sits next to. Apparently the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

    Spiritually: Pretty much the same as last week except I did send quite a few more prayers up with regard to the meeting mentioned above.

    Commitment: Failed miserably at keeping it last week. So I'm making the same commitment this week. Hopefully it will go better this time.

  6. I would say to you that I think we ALL get a little overwhelmed at times and then become unable to do anything. At least people that have "normal" lives. I know I do. As you know, body, mind and spirit are interconnected, so when one of these is out of whack, they ALL tend to get a little out of whack. I hope you'll be able to get back to your equilibrium soon!

  7. Growing up, my Mom would always tell me to make sure I have enough SPISE in my life:


    Your posts just made me think of that. πŸ™‚

  8. Physically: really really TIRED. All over. My eyes, my head, my arms, my heart, especially my feet. I'm constantly feeling ay least a little sleepy and 90% of my day is spent wishing I could take a nap. And cold too.

    Emotionally: distraught. I thought that by this point I would be able to begin moving on from my grandfathers death, but it's still really raw and I'm still hurting. Somedays are better than others, and some times the days are filled with lots of wild emotions. Overall, I'm really happy; school is starting to not feel so overwhelming anymore, I've backed off at work and felt a lot less stressed and the day I move to be closer to the love of my life is getting closer and closer.

    Spiritually: This is a new one for me. I grew up going to church with my grandpa, so now that he's gone it feels both right and wrong to be there. I haven't prayed or talked to God much in the past month, something that I know needs to change, but I'm just not ready. I tried meditation a few days ago and that felt really revitalizing, but I haven't made that a priority just yet.

    Commitment this week: I have two. Get myself organized for the time before AND after midterms, and start going to the gym I keep paying for. At least twice this week.

    Thanks for letting me get that all out πŸ™‚

    1. Kaylee, so sorry for your loss.

      Please don't try to put a time limit on grieving, it takes as long as it takes. In my own struggles, I have drawn a lot of strength from The Stockdale Paradox. It's too long for me to do justice to in a comment, but you can google it.

    2. I was thinking the same as Anon here…having been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I can completely relate to the tiredtiredtired bit. If you're losing hair and putting on weight without doing anything to really cause it (e.g., not eating whole pizzas or dozens of cupcakes), those are additional signs. Just sayin'.

  9. This is nice. I like reading everyone else's. I'm just going to give unsolicited advice rather than check in :). I found out my Vitamin D levels are low and have been taking more of that…and woah, Betty! It helps lots of things! So that's my schpeal. There are a few books just out about this – I guess it's pretty common and a cause of lots of current health problems.

    Also, Josh, I noticed that you kind of sped over the accomplishments/goals you reached. You met your 15 hour writing goal. That's freaking amazing! I hope you know that. Do you realize what an almost magical talented writer you are? That you are reaching thousands of people and enhancing their lives? I hope so. God Bless you.

    1. I agree with Bobi. Take a minute to pat yourself on the back for completing 15 hours on the memoir. As a fellow writer, I know what a huge accomplishment that is. Way to go!

  10. Physically: Craptastic. Pulled a muscle in my neck rei months ago and am still in pain and I'm dealing with hot flashes from my hysterectomy and the weather changes.

    Emotionally: A wreck. The whole not having kids things and fostering to adopt is hard. Very hard. Talk about wanting to give up. Also, my Husband is looking for a new job because new management is making his life miserable. Did I mention I don't like change?!

    Spiritually: Not too shabby thanks to conference last weekend. I was having trouble figuring out why I would get certain promptings and nothing would happen (ya know the ones…like, we are going to get placed with a 2 month old and it doesn't happen), but I'm doing better with things. One day at a time.

    Commitment: To not flip out over the things I need to get done before church on Sunday, even if we do go to Magic Mountain tomorrow because my Husband has a real certified day off. Does that count?!

    P.S. I really like the idea of checking in. It's a way to stay grounded and focused and you can keep track of your progress.

  11. Physically: okay. Getting over a cold. Better than this morning.
    Emotionally: My dad hates me. I made the decision not to go to the place where I'm around my best friend to keep other people from getting mad at him because of me. Miss him.
    Spiritually, growing closer to God, more connected to His Will.

  12. Hope you are doing better Josh. I get where you are as I have been there many times myself.

    So, my check in:

    Physical: Doing a little better. Had some fertility testing yesterday and while not as bad as labour it was not fun. I did pass and so things are looking good to start fertility drugs. Very thankful that I am in Canada and do not have to pay for all the testing I have had done lately.
    Emotional: My 7 year old son is seeing a psychiatrist in a couple of weeks – suspected ADD. Little concerned about things with him, but things are going well with his therapist. He did IQ testing this week and tested "superior", will find out what that really means in a couple of weeks…
    Spiritual: Better then last week. During priesthood session of conference the local LDS bookstore has a Women's night. I went as a friend was having a book release party there and I wanted to pick up her book and get it signed. While there I bought an instrumental cd of hymns. It has given me a feeling of peace to listen to it. And as I can listen to it on my own my hubby (non-member) does not get upset about it.

    Goal: walking 3 times for 30 minutes.

  13. P: not great. Grief eating. Does anyone else do that? Logically I know it's a bad idea, that doesn't mean I stop.

    E: so sad. My friend lost her baby girl. It is profoundly sad. I've cried buckets of tears for her and her family. I hug my babies a little longer and much tighter these days.

    S: good. The only reason this isn't impossibly tragic is because of my belief in God and the atonement of Jesus Christ.

    C: 2 long walks this week.

    Thanks for doing this. It helps.

  14. Physically: I think I am getting a cold, which is a bummer on a grand scale because I won't be able to stop even if I'm running a fever. I have WAY too much to do and most of it has deadlines that can't be moved. I also haven't got to work out much or go swimming at all this week due to my schedule. At the same time I'm feeling rather perky which is surprising since I've slept a total of four or five hours a night this whole week.

    Emotionally: Doing alright. Haven't had a breakdown yet this week. Having some rather fond feelings for a particular gentleman in my play that has yet to exhibit his reciprocation. It's okay though. Submitted some of my poems and short stories to the collage writing publication they do every year at my school. Hopefully some of them get printed. Also submitting my play to the theater festival in hopes that I get to take it to Los Angeles to be judged. If it does well it will go to the Kennedy Center in DC and that would be a dream come true, so I have high hopes.

    Spiritually: Not good at all. At least by my standards. I liked General Conference though I still haven't had a chance to watch the Saturday sessions. My best friend and roommate and I have talked about setting aside time every night to read scriptures together. I always finish the Book of Mormon once before Christmas. I'm currently in Words of Mormon….so we're trying to help each other out but it's been slow going to school and the play and everything else. Hope things pick up soon. Have a meeting with my Relief Society presidency this weekend and maybe I can get back on track with my calling as well.

    Commitment from last week: Pretty epic fail. I smiled some but not as much intentionally as just a passing "Oh Hey" to people I knew.

    NEW Commitment: Read the Book of Mormon at least five times this week. Decorate for Halloween(for happiness boosting purposes πŸ™‚

  15. Physically:
    I am NOT coming down with a cold.. even though I have that funny (dunno how to describe it) sensation in the back of my throat that I always get when I'm coming down with something… even though I have been waking up for the last week with a stuffy nose and sneezing… NOOOOO!

    Doing awesome. Recently started dating this guy, and he seems to be the perfect combination of spiritual/testimony and not-up-tight. I'm digging it! There's a little anxiety with the car I bought out-of-state- need to do a bunch of stuff so it will pass safety inspection so I can register it.. and it all needs to be done before the temp registration expires.

    *guilt creeps in. I know there are things I *should* be doing- daily prayer, scripture study- but I'm going to church every Sunday, even though we have a freaking 8:30 block! (Seriously, who thought that was a good idea??!?)

    Continue to work on self control (specifically emotional)- Don't let the munchkins' attitude moments get to me, practice the pattern (D&C 121:43).. especially the "increase of love after" part, and especially patience w/customers at work (This is a tough one- I work in a call center, so my customers aren't always able to be rational (b/c they're often upset in some fashion) and participate in implementing the solution for the problems.)

  16. Physically- Even more pregnant than last week. Body has started the two weeks of prep work it always does before I actually go into labor, so I'm uncomfortable. But I'm sleeping better despite the awkwardness of hefting my ginormous belly around every time I roll over. I suspect the better sleep has something to do with emotional and spiritual stuff. πŸ˜‰

    Emotional- At peace. I've gotten a lot of my nesting projects done, have several freezer meals in our deep freezer, and have actually allowed myself to relax this week. I've read to my kids more, and I've played more with them. My hubby is a little more happy with school this week and that always makes life easier for everyone.

    Spiritually- The two sessions of Conference that I watched were a HUGE boost. While I finish the very last of my baby-prep I'll watch the rest. But I've been a little better about scripture reading, on my own, and I'm praying a bit more (so I'm praying in the shower, my ONLY alone time. Still counts!!), so I think that is also giving me a little extra umph.

    I just need this to all last a couple more weeks so the emotional craziness that is the final few weeks of pregnancy doesn't knock me down.

    Commitment: accomplished last week's but I'm going to make the same commiment – read my scriptures everyday. I'll add to it to go back and watch all of Conference again.

    1. I call the shower my "revelation chamber" because all my deepest prayers happen in the shower. A friend named it for me πŸ™‚

  17. Physically- Strong but I can tell my period is about to start.
    Emotional- I always get a wee bit sad when I realize I am not pregnant, it should not come as a shock because my doctor told be I would not be able to concieve again, but every month a bit of hope crawls in there and gets crushed.
    Spiritually- watched a most of the general conference and feeling content.
    Commitment- I am not going to have any sugar this week. My body needs quality food.

  18. Physically – Better lately. I've been getting enough sleep, been able to get enough food (yay for grants!). I need to exercise more, I don't think walking to and from classes is cutting it. I still feel generally lethargic and weak.
    Emotionally – Been having negative mood swings lately because sometimes being a woman sucks. Been failing in the β€œhappy thoughts” department lately. Been trying not to stress out about the future, what with graduation and feeling inadequate to enter the workforce :/ Just general stress over β€œshould's” and β€œhave to's” about working on my art more, building my portfolio, eating right etc. Also been feeling reclusive and β€œhermit-y.” Been doing really well in the homework department this week, so little stress there πŸ™‚
    Spiritually – I've also been feeling inconsistent in my connection with God. Luckily I've got awesome roommates who fill the apartment with a wonderful spiritual atmosphere when I can't do it myself. Still maintaining my nightly prayer and scripture reading.
    Commitment: Work out in the exercise room twice this coming week.

  19. Physical: Feeling strong, but my quads are killing me because I am on BYU Study Abroad in London, and there are 66 stairs up to my dorm in the BYU London Centre. Pretty tired though, but that's relatively normal because my meds make me drowsy.
    Emotional: My emotions have been sort of up and down lately. I think it's a combo of mild homesickness and lack of privacy (my dorm has 6 girls in it, and 6 more in the connecting room, and that's only a third of the girls who are here). My best moments are when I am out wandering the city.
    Spiritual: I am trying to come out of a spiritual low that hit this summer while I was preparing for this trip, and it has made a difference to be back among people who share my beliefs and always lift me up. It's a struggle though, again, because I don't have any personal space for prayer and meditation. General Conference had a great impact on me though and I am trying hard to listen for the Spirit. Excited for church tomorrow πŸ™‚
    Commitment: try something new every day this week, and don't be afraid to approach new people.

  20. Well Josh, hopefully your meltdown passes soon, or rather the stresses that have brought it about, man I suck at trying to offer comforting words, but I will say that I am impressed with how much you have managed to accomplish during this week. Well, I guess I'll do a check-in…

    Physically: I'm tired and fighting a cold, and tired of fighting a cold, but I will win! Though I guess my actions haven't been conducive to victory, walking the cold streets in sandals for hours, not getting enough sleep, and eating poorly… but at least my bowels and liver are behaving themselves and I don't think I have any other problems, so I will just get some sleep and eat more, and not spend hours wandering a flea market…

    Emotionally: A bit annoyed, since this is the second time I'm writing this… with the first part magically disappearing on me… I'm also back to being torn by internal conflicts and disappointed in myself (always seems to come back to that). I'm also feeling a bit numb, but that could be a combination of the cold, being tired, and it being cold here, though you will never here me admit to that in person! I could be worse, so I'll stop complaining now.

    Spiritually: … lacking might be a good word choice. I have been trying to do more, like attending Institute, but it still fills like I'm drifting off center. Doesn't help that I have been doing things that don't really help me feel the spirit (like spending hours reading webcomics that are not necessarily the cleanest…). I know what I need to do, but don't really want to. Oh well.

    Commitment of Last Week: I had committed to attending as many sessions of Conference as I could and did just that (though I don't think I got as much out of it as I could have since my Spanish is lacking in many areas and I am too stubborn to have watched it in English with the American Elders here) and I committed to being more sociable, which I have been trying to do, but I ended up wearing my black trench coat the same as usual (though I had meant that part in a figurative way, and it isn't warm here… sorry, now I'm just rambling).

    Commitment for this Week: I will defeat this cold! That way I can enjoy visiting Lake Titicaca… I think I'll keep it simple. Oh, and I intend on spending less time reading webcomics… they rot my mind!!!

    Well, I guess I can't say much else. Bye…

  21. Physically: over slept today, so I am needlessly tired. And sore- really sore- we had a drill at work and I had to walk down 14 flights of stairs then walk five blocks and back. My calves are screaming!! Plus I gained ten pounds this week, so I am feeling a little fat, and my clothes aren't fitting. but I also worked out very consistently this week, so I feel like if I eat normally and keep it up, its all going to be ok.

    Emotionally: I think last nights nightmare sums it up. I had a dream my parents got divorced and my mom died because I sent them a letter. It was a letter they obviously didn't take well in the dream. Feeling a bit sensitive at the moment.

    Spiritually: Normalina- Russian for normal. not super great, not bad. just normal. balanced.

    Last week I think my goal was to start working out consistently, and I did that. This week my goal is to practice music so I don't freak out for the farewell concert me and my band mate are putting on at the end of the month because she's moving to Portland.

  22. Physically: Good today. I've had better "fit" periods of time in my life, but I've been very blah about my workouts lately. My husband and I usually workout together, so its hard if I don't want to work out and neither does he (surprise you much that we don't go those days?). He had to go in for work today, so I managed to do a workout from youtube and then went running. I was proud of myself because I was looking for any reason not to work out today. My back was killing me this morning, but once I did yoga and then laid on my lacrosse ball, all is well now. Also, I think I might be pregnant.

    Emotionally: I suppose this is neutral right now. I keep wondering if I am pregnant, and so I'm going through the whole "am I pregnant? I hope I'm pregnant. No I don't. Yes I do. No. Yes. Yes. No… YES!" We have no kids, so this *is* something we want, but its very unfamiliar. I'm trying to emotionally prepare for the possible change, but then also prepare for disappointment. Rollercoaster may be the appropriate word, now that I'm done writing this section.

    Spiritually: I'm doing well. I've had a few moments where I had to think about perfectionism and ways that I display this behavior concerning my life and where I stand with God. Like last week I wrote about writing in my journal and studying my scriptures, and how I tried to do it everyday. I'm not a freak about making sure everything is perfect when I read. Some days I only write a short paragraph, write down my gratitude list, and then I read only instead of taking notes. My biggest thing is making it a priority so I can take the time necessary to make studying effective. I also don't freak out when I miss a day (or am about to), and frantically try to do a quick study before the clock strikes 12 (<–that to me is perfectionism, and doing that kind of thing defeats the purpose of having study everyday). ANYWAYS, so my point is, I read & study everyday because it helps me stay close to the Spirit so that I know when I'm straying. Because when I don't read/study, its so easy to ignore promptings or become "past feeling." I just want to stay close with God, and I do feel that I have that kind of relationship I want with Him. So… its good, right now.

    Commitment: Last week, I talked about hanging out with other people besides my husband. I failed. Miserably. Unless you count texting. Yah, yah… I know I failed. Thought I'd give it a try.

    This week, I'd still like to try for that. Really, the time just got away from me. And also, I'd like to have better workouts than the ones I have been having. Meaning–I can break a sweat, and feel good afterwards (and at least more than twice a week :P).

  23. Physically: I somehow managed to avoid a full-blown sickness that was threatening me last week, but I still feel a bit ill. As Bilbo Baggins said, β€œI feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.." It's one of those nagging, semi-sicknesses where I don't feel β€œwell,” yet I don't feel β€œsick.” This is often worse, in my opinion, than real sickness.

    Emotionally: I am collapsing inwardly. This is even worse than it was last week. I don't want to do anything. The more important a homework assignment is, the less I want to do it. I do not even want to do the things I would normally like to do, like read or watch Shakespeare's plays. I have never wanted to quit anything as much as I want to quit school right now. I'm almost halfway through my last semester, though. I can't quit now. I feel so trapped.

    Spiritually: I am absolutely suffering spiritually. The way that the numerous talks I have to read for my religion classes are presented is making me resent all things spiritual. I am tired of religion classes making me feel angry. I feel like things are sometimes being taken out of context both within the curriculum and during discussions, and it makes me want to quit all-together. I just keep trying to remind myself what one of my concerned teachers (not a religion teacher) told me, that some people are just imbeciles. They are what they have always been, and their biases blind them from seeing outside perspectives or even the whole picture. I need to stay strong and try to remember not to judge the church by those people. (That was, of course, a paraphrase in my own words, not a direct quote from the teacher.)

    Commitment from last time: Last time I felt like I needed to focus on getting more sleep. I succeeded most of the time, and I even took some naps when necessary, but I continued to feel worn out. I think the overwhelming amount of carbon monoxide in the air from all the construction is a serious factor to my general state of exhaustion.

    Commitment for this week: This week, I will attempt to finally catch up on homework, or I will come to terms with the fact that any incomplete homework or reading that is more than a week overdue is a lost cause.

    1. I really relate to what you said about religion making you angry and resentful toward all things spiritual. I spent three years at the end of my religious experience in the state you describe. I really did try. I hoped that through making large sacrifices for my religion that my resentment would subside but it didn't. So then I tried living more for myself but that didn't help either. I bounced back and forth between being a martyr or a failure. For me it was something that only got worse. I had to just let it go. I had to remove myself. No it wasn't done with ease or lightness. At one point I told myself: even if this is all true, it makes me a miserable unpleasant person to be around. I hate it! Later I would learn the science of why it wasn't true but before that happened, it was just the undeniable reality that true or not, I was ever so unhappy. When I expressed this to people within the community, they assured me that the problem was all me. They would do the same today. People are pretty predictable. I'm sure that people will all too readily do the same to you. Try not to listen to them. If your religious community is not a good fit or if you have outgrown it, that's okay. It happens to more people than you might think. What works well for one person might work dreadfully for another. What uplifts one person can slowly smother another person's spirit. It doesn't make you flawed. It doesn't always mean you need to try harder. It just might be that you are not the problem at all. Trust your instincts. Try taking a break from the things that make you so unhappy. See if it helps. If it doesn't help, you can always go back.

    2. I highly recommend a book called "The End of Religion" by Bruxy Cavey. It puts a lot of things in perspective (and despite the title, is written by someone who loves Jesus a lot)!

  24. Physically – skipped both yoga and zumba this week. But I do have planned menus for the next six days.
    Emotionally – At peace – trying hard to be a relaxed calm woman – not having to be constantly up.
    Spiritually – Listened to the Relief Society meeting this week. Strong spirit.
    My Commitments this week: I will attend yoga and one class of Zumba – listen to the Saturday morning session of conference – and remind myself that I am a comfortable, relaxed, connected woman.

    I totally enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing!

  25. Physically- I am sore which is due to my new work out so I can handle that. I'm not sure if my lower back is hurting again or if it is just sore form my new work out. Now that I upped one of my medications I am feeling a lot less anxiety and way more peace and calm. Which is amazing. Although I have been waking up pretty tired, I think it is because I am sleeping more soundly due to the medication increase so my body is just trying to catch up.

    Emotionally- I am doing MUCH better than last time. I am not a constant emotionally wreck and I have been feeling really well actually. It's nice! Thank you drugs! Also I got a job so that helps.

    Spiritually- I feel like I have been able to tap into my spirituality thanks to upping my medication. It is almost impossible for me to feel and recognize the Holy Ghost when I am riddled with anxiety. So I have been feeling it so much more now that I have taken care of that. I love it. I still need to start reading my scriptures again but I am praying more often and when I do it is enjoyable instead of just something I need to do. It is great.

    I did pretty well on my goals. I completed them all except for the cooking one.

    Next weeks goals;
    1. Saying morning and night prayers every day.
    2. Continue to exercise, eat well, sleep, go to counseling, take medications.
    3. Do not eat out at all this week.

  26. Physically: I was pretty tired all day but I'm feeling a little more perky now.

    Emotionally: A little anxious but I'm trying really hard not to think about the things that are making me anxious because there isn't much I can do about them. It's a daily battle.

    Spiritually: I listened to some conference talks, one of which really bummed me out. This whole one foot in, one foot out thing is really hard on me but I don't know what else to do. Having other people dictate what my relationship with God should be is not something that works for me but I can't bring myself to let go entirely because I feel like I'll lose my family, and a big part of my identity. I swear I didn't mean for that sentence to rhyme so much.

    Commitment: Last weekend I was supposed to find time to write but I ended up working 21 hours. It's not like I was saving lives either, I just do photoshopping and print work for an auction house. I told you my job is kind of ridiculous. The company I work for is basically run by Mr. Scrooge. Anywho, my commitment is to write tonight and maybe one more time during the week.

    1. The guilt mongering you describe has been going on since the advent of organized religion but it's just as troubling. The demands of complete and unconditional compliance are their rules; not yours. I would like to say that your fears of alienating or even losing your family are unfounded. But I know too many people who know this kind of thing too well. This painful truth should be a source of great embarrassment for any church that places such a heavy emphasis on the family. But it doesn't seem to be. The LDS church doesn't tell families to fall apart when a member leaves, but they sure do set the stage.
      Only you can guess what would be the risks and rewards of living a more authentic life. Do what you need to for yourself and your family, but do it on your own terms. In the end, the church will take you for what you can give instead of turning you away for what you can't. Be kind to yourself and forgiving of your inability to be perfect to all.
      (I thought that one sentence made you sound kind of like a bada$$ rappa.)

    2. I remember one day on the mission I was having the worst day ever. And I felt so guilty because I didn't want to waste time and there was so much I wanted to be and do and etc etc etc. but I just didn't have it in me. The most I could do was just get out and smile. That was my honest best effort. So I did it and I had one of the best spiritual experiences of my life. I was filled with peace knowing that Heavenly Father understood and accepted whatever it was I could give. Your best effort is diff for everyone. And Heavenly Father will bless you for it. Even if it's just a smile πŸ™‚

    3. Thanks Bjorge Queen and anonymous. It's good to know there are people out there who are more accepting. I wish my parents and siblings were among them. It would make this spiritual journey a lot easier. I love the church, I think it's a great organization and I agree with a lot of its teachings. But there are some things about it that I don't agree with and it's gotten to the point where it's almost unbearable for me to go to meetings. I usually end up quietly crying in the bathroom because I just don't feel the way I'm told I'm supposed to feel about these key principles. So I feel like it's better if I don't go to church and just privately focus on the principles I do believe in, but my family will never understand. They'll either treat me like a lost lamb that they have to save or they'll push me away. Either way, I wouldn't be able to stand it so I have to continue hiding and lying. Unfortunately it's the only way I can stay sane.

    4. I used to attend LDSBC. One day there was an announcement read in class regarding dress code. This evolved into a rather lengthy discussion that ate up the rest of the class time wherein one girl volunteered that it ought to be every student's "duty" to approach violators and tell them how these violations personally affected our experience, made us uncomfortable, etc. I, in contrast, suggested that we ought to leave it to admin to police these issues (if they really felt that they must) or, better yet, leave it to honor like the name suggested. I was very publicly scorned for my view. Class ended and I drove to work and sat in the parking garage and cried for a good long time. There was a lot of other stuff going in my life. Really major stuff. I was suffering greatly because of a tremendously painful sacrifice I had made for love of the church and desire to prove my strength and dedication. I would like to say that it got better after that but it really didn't. I had to leave it behind in order to maintain sanity, though that didn't happen for another few years.
      I hope it gets better for you though. I hope you can find a balance that works in your life. If not, know that there are large communities of people who are willing to support you where your family won't.

    5. Kathryn, I'm sorry for your struggle. Same anonymous here πŸ™‚ I think you should talk to someone about this. It's to the point where it is causing you real turmoil. My honest and best suggestion is to talk to the bishop and don't hold back at all. Tell him every bit! Then I would sit down and think about all the things you embrace and love about the church. And then the things that bother you. Decide if it's worth it to you to stay or leave. Realizing what you would be gaining and losing both ways. Pray about your decision. But I would start with the Bishop. You may be surprised how much it helps πŸ™‚

    6. I think it would be a good idea to speak to a therapist. Unless your bishop is one of those and able to take off the bishops hat for a session.
      His job it going to be to view kathryn's issues as threats that need to be fixed.
      Most bishops are well meaning but not equipped to deal with this type of complex emotional issue. Not their fault. Not an insult to them. A bishop will not be able to approach this putting her good above the good of the church. Let me save her the time: Fast more. Pray more. Try harder. Endure to the end. What unresolved sin is making you feel this way? Try harder! Are you paying your tithing? That usually helps.

    7. Bjorge Queen, I'm so sorry for the hard experience you had at the LDSBC. I STRONGLY disagree with the idea that it is our "duty" to police each other and I am sad to hear that you felt so ganged up on.

      But I disagree that it is a Bishop's job to see other's struggles as threats. Rather it is part of his job to see others as the sons and daughters of God that they are and to try to help them with their struggles.

      Kathryn, I am so sorry for the struggle you are having. You are a daughter of God and He loves you. Please talk with your Bishop. Having questions is normal and he can help walk you through them. But don't do it because you are afraid of your family's reaction if you don't. Do it because of all those things you love about the Gospel; do it because Heavenly Father loves you. I'll be praying for you.

    8. I've had great experiences with bishops. They aren't trained in mental therapy but they are not only trained but set apart as spiritual stewards. It's a listening ear in your direct line of authority. If that doesn't help I would go on from there but getting a blessing and taking to your bishop are two great first steps and you'll feel a huge relief πŸ™‚ God bless you dear

    9. I guess it depends on what you believe. You're approaching it from the standpoint of a believer. I fully admit that I don't believe there's much inspiration that goes on there. I think that people in high leadership positions are generally chosen based on their leadership skills, willingness and ableness to do the job, connections, and clout. I have known many great bishops so this is not meant as an insult to them. But I have also heard stories of bishops who have done horrible things like molest children in the ward, imbezzle money, etc. One of my childhood bishops left the church while serving as bishop. I've known of at least two bishops who have left while serving. I have to believe that if there is a higher power whispering in people's ears, he could bat at a much higher averate. I'm sorry if that offends people.
      A bishop might have good intentions and a willingness to serve, which is admirable. But that doesn't give him the theraputic training necessary to help all people in all situations. This woman feels trapped in the church because of her family and a more neutral therapist could be very helpful. A bishop is not going to be neutral. He can't be neutral. His job is to retain membership and strengthen testimonies. I find it sad that many people in this situation are told to stay far away from "secular" therapists. This is something my own bishop once told me. They don't understand us. Alarms should go off when you hear this type of thing. It reeks of cult mentality. (I'm not calling the church a cult. I'm saying that this particular line of logic gets a little too close to cult mentality.)
      During my way too many years of struggle, I received blessings. Sometimes I felt better for a while but they did not give me peace or relief long term. You really need to be careful because when somebody is going through this kind of turmoil and you promise them quick fixes like "talk to your bishop" or "have more faith" or "get a blessing" or whatever, and it ends up not working, it can compound the guilt and inadequacy they feel. LDS are taught to believe that loss of a testimony results from personal failure.
      I have known many people who leveled with their bishop about their spiritual problems and it became much much worse afterward. It resulted in long term follow ups and hounding when privacy was desired. Once you divulge certain things you can't take it back. You become the person with a testimony "problem". You become a project. Most people going through this type of thing don't want that.
      Of course people can choose for themselves.
      This is my experience as somebody who has gone through this kind of spiritual turmoil and as somebody who has had numerous conversations with others who have gone through this type of spiritual turmoil.
      Sometimes the turmoil is a sign that something is wrong and we need to step away but it's difficult because we've been taught from day one that this idea comes from Satan so if we ever feel it, we know immediately that something is wrong and we need to try harder to maintain the testimony. It's a very slick preemptive strike. and are two good resources for people needing support. If you're happy in your religion, no reason to visit these sites. They are for people who need an understanding ear.

    10. Part of me wants to make light of everything, but I fear that would be insulting to everyone who frequents this blog… but I would have to agree with Bjorge Queen in the idea of visiting a therapist who is neutral ground (though I would probably suggest that for everyone… always a good idea to talk to a professional) and that Bishops are often inexperienced, though usually well intentioned (they are human after all)… but I'd also say talk to your Bishop as well. Maybe it will help, maybe it will make you want to leave the Church, but try it…he is one of the most likely to be able to help with the spiritual side (though that could just be the mad cultist in me speaking).
      By the way Kathryn, how sure are you that your family members are not so accepting or wouldn't understand? Whatever the case, all the best and good luck to you. Oh, for Mr. Scrooge, you should gather your coworkers and take turns playing ghosts for your boss, with luck your boss will have a change of heart (depending on your respective skills as actors, this could be an emotional one or physical… though giving your boss a heart attack might look bad on a resume…). Good luck with the writing.

    11. You are right that it depends on where the reader is coming from and I suggest respecting that rather than this turning into a battle of pride on who is right. Sounds like she is believing AND struggling. is pretty toxic. If you ate trying to benefit her, give advice that would be meaningful to her, not yourself. If she is looking for spiritual guidance she should talk to a spiritual leader. I have been amazed at the incredible insight they have as they use their sport to guide and give help. Obviously bq doesn't believe in this. Aren't you atheist? But for someone who does, it is wonderful to have someone who you believe is inspired to help you specifically. Think of the person you are advising, not your own interests

    12. is not toxic. Nor is These sites have helped innumerable people deal with the consequences that Kathryn fears. She has stated that she wishes to stop attending but that she hasn't made that choice for her family's sake. There are people in both support groups who are in that same position. There are people who identify as exmormon or struggling while still keeping up appearances so that they can keep their families, which, again, is quite a sad commentary on a church that purports to be about family.
      It is up to her to decide. I am sharing my personal experiences and nothing more. If she decides to continue to spend several more years trying to trudge through as I did, well, that's sometimes necessary. People have to make these decisions on their own and sometimes it takes years.
      But I maintain my position that a "spiritual leader's" first obligation is to the church he/she represents. Or at least as far as the LDS religion goes, that is the case.
      Yes, anon. I'm atheist. I can't identify past things you've said because you are anon. I have integrity and I put a name to my post every time. I am an atheist. And before that, I was a true believing member of the LDS church. And I am familiar with the struggles that a person who wants to leave faces. Are you familiar with those struggles? Are you? Have you experienced a severe crisis of faith that helps you to relate to Kathryn?
      My interests are to try to help people who are going through what I went through understand that it is not their fault.
      Don't pretend to know my interests more than you do.

    13. It's so sad when people's pride and self interest get ahead of their ability to really try to help other people. I wish more of these posts were uplifting and less were attacking. And I wish you luck Kathryn. Sometimes the best thing we can do is find a quiet place and reconnect with ourselves and our maker.

    14. Fewer. Not less.
      Everything you're accusing me of, just one of many in a sea of anonymous posters, I could turn right back at you. Pride. Self interest.
      Maybe some people find platitudes helpful. Somebody should invent a magic 8 ball for lds skeptics who do. "Ask again later". "Put that on the shelf". "He was speaking as a man" "Our ways are not God's ways" "Pray with real intent" "Not everything that's true is useful" "It's still a good place to raise kids". "The adversary is working hard on you" (my personal fave). Maybe I'll market the thing. Patent pending, folks. Patent pending. It will free your bishop up for golf. Just shake and get your answer.
      But I suspect Kathryn has already heard all this so I am offering her some insight based on my experience. Take it or leave it. This and $1.29 will buy you a double cheeseburger.
      That is all.

    15. First I want to say that I really appreciate everyone's input and words of encouragement. This is an extremely difficult situation that I've been struggling with for several years, the last two have been particularly hard, and I've been all alone. It's hard for me to open up and be vulnerable but Josh is so brave that it makes me want to try harder to be my more authentic self. I think this was an important first step.

      To Esel, I'm completely certain of my family's reactions because I've seen them do these things with my sibling who had a minor rebellious phase. Although I suspect in my case it would be worse. A crisis of faith seems a little more dangerous than casually dating a Methodist. And I love your idea of ghosting my boss. Just fantasizing about it fills me with glee.

      To those who suggest I talk to my bishop, I think this is great advice for a lot of people. I sought council early on but it was only minorly helpful. My issues are deeply complex and personal and the usual answers really didn't cut it. This led to a lot of fasting and prayer and endless nights reading scriptures and conference talks which inevitably ended with me crying myself to sleep because I felt so frustrated with the lack of answers and peace that I was seeking.

      At this point I think a therapist is probably a good idea. I haven't seen one in a long time so this is a good shove to get me out the door and on the couch so to speak.

      BQ, thank you for your perspective. I don't know anyone who has gone through what I'm going through so it's remarkable to hear from someone who understands this so succinctly. Most everything you mentioned are things that I've experienced as well. It's nice to feel less alone.

      Tammy your reply was extremely wise and very much in line with the way I've been thinking over the last couple of months. Again, it's incredibly comforting to feel so well understood after feeling so alone for so long.

    16. Kathryn good luck with this. Hopefully you find peace very soon. Life is too short not to have it. Bjorge Queen, I can see the argument from both ends and you ARE easy to track since you use a username so it's hard to say the same for others but your comments are typically pretty snarky. Maybe if you were less sarcastic people would internalize them. Just a thought.

    17. Kathryn, I would approach your parents on a non confrontational way. Schedule time to sit down with them and talk it out. Tell them your struggles. There will probably be a lot of tears on both ends but you might be surprised at how helpful they are. I have a friend who did this about a year ago. The parents talked about their sadness but tried to help. After about a year "off" from the church he married a non member and she is now taking the discussions and they are blessing their baby next month. Turns out he needed the break to really see and identify his testimony. And being authentic to his parents allowed him the clarity of mind and conscious to be able to find himself.

    18. Snarky? Was it my apologist 8 ball idea? (That's what I'm going to call it.)
      She already said her parents freaked when a sibling casually dated a Methodist. My parents gave me their blessing on marrying a non member which is why I (kind of) knew they wouldn't freak out too much knowing that I was leaving. It's not that it made them happy. But my parents are the kind of people who acknowledge that adult children make their own choices in life.
      For many people in Kathryn's position, once they come out, they will be treated as "broken". By the bishop. By the family. By friends. I'm not saying don't come out. I strongly believe people should for their own mental health. BUT WHEN they're strong enough to stand up to the people they love. Arm yourself with facts. Arm yourself with history. Then, once people start with you, you can calmly defend yourself with strength and dignity. If you're still in the crying yourself to sleep phase(and trust me I did that for a long time) that is not a place of strength and it is not a good time to come out. Kathryn, get strong. You can do it. Exmormon is definitely a more volitile environment. Postmormon is better. People are opinionated, but if you ask them to go "easy" on you, they will. There are a lot of people who have been through or are currently going through what you are going through. They want to help. My heart goes out to you. You can get through this.

    19. "I do not believe God puts tests of our faith upon us to see how much we love him, that's a jealous human emotion and below Gods ability. We need to stop applying human emotions/responses to an "all knowing", 'all powerful' being. I think that does both God and us a major disservice. "

      Tammy, I forgot to say so before, but I LOVE this. I'm going to remember it for future reference.

    20. But why pit herself against something she has repeatedly said she loves? That isn't healthy. For heaven sakes she doesn't need to arm herself to fight people! She needs to be authentic with herself and her family. Coming out fighting is a terrible way to approach your family and the people you love. There is no reason to have a disdain for religion like you do, that is what you are setting her up for by directing her to anti mormon websites and telling to to be prepared for battle. Goodness sakes. It is possible to have a healthy respect for religion and be a non believer (which I don't think she even is).

    21. Seriously. Alas I can't spend any more time on here πŸ™‚ but knowing bq uses anti mormon groups to arm herself makes a lot of sense now. Less anger people, less anger. I'm out. Good luck Kathryn. God won't leave you comfortless. Give your family a chance. They are your number one! Not a bunch of griping ex Mormons πŸ™‚ bye all.

    22. She says she loves PARTS of it. Probably the parts that are not exclusive to mormonism. Values like charity, honesty (Mitt I'm talking to you) etc.
      Dudes, I don't use antimormon groups to arm myself. I use fact. Postmormon is not about anger. It is about support. And often vindication. Is anger one emotion people feel upon learning they were duped? Yep. Not the fault of these boards. Nope.
      Go on FAIR and see what those guys are willing to concede to in the process of apologetics.
      When people spend any extended amount of time trying to embrace that which they don't authenticly believe to be true, it can cause a dissonance that can be very painful and even crazy making. I have seen this sort of thing and I have lived it.
      If you two anonymouses are happy, stay.
      Kathryn is not happy.

    23. Dear Kathryn, I wish you the very, very best. I, too, struggle with A LOT of anxiety and I've found that that gets in the way of my feeling the Spirit at times. But I have prayed and asked Heavenly Father if the Gospel is true and when I have been able to see around my anxiety I have felt the love, peace, and joy that are fruits of the Spirit. I believe that when I get help for my anxiety disorder (which I am working on finding right now) that I will be able to feel the Spirit even more. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me and they love you. They are the only ones who can tell us what is true. They want us to be happy. I pray that you will find true and lasting happiness. If you want a friend, feel free to e-mail me at I'm here for you no matter what you decide.

    24. Interesting convo. As a believer I can say for myself I believe that truth is absolute and universal. Which seems obvious I guess. Something is either true or it isn't. But I also believe that everyone in life is responsible for living truth as they know it and understand it. And that is what they will be measured against. As they are able to live and accept truth, they will receive more. There is no end to the amount of truth one can receive as they search. That is my belief. Not really up for argument, just how I view things.

    25. So true. Everyone thinks they have the truth and to some extent, I think they do. I believe there is truth everywhere and in every system. And I believe as we live what we believe we are blessed with more truth – until we are either satisfied with what we have or until we die in our continual quest for truth. Those who spend their lives in an honest search for it, wil find it. Some will get further than others. But we will all be judged according to how we lived what we knew. As far as how to know what "truth" actually is, it's a personal journey. Some say the spirit guides them, some say sixth sense, some say intellect or reason. At the end of the day we will all find out what the compete truth is! But it doesn't mean people lived a false life. Just that they were at different stages in the search.

    26. Anon, you're right. Joseph Smith either did start the one and only true church directed by God or he did not.
      If you believe that he did not, there are several places you could go with that. You could believe that he was sincere but mistaken, perhaps mentally ill. Or you could believe that he was a fraud who knew he was a fraud. Or you could believe some combination of the two. Or maybe something totally different I haven't thought of.
      The church is either God's true church or it isn't. But methods for discerning truth vary greatly. Speculation regarding how angry a god would be with a person who guesses incorrectly vary greatly. I, for one, feel that a reasonable God would not be angry with somebody for guessing incorrectly if they were making their best effort. I believe that the same methods for discerning truth in a court of law or a science lab should be applied in churches. And I believe that if I were to assume that there is a God who wants us to think in ways that are counter intuative, there are just too many places we could run with that. Some of them very dangerous. So to be safe from ourselves and others, we should go with our best guess based on that which is logical or reasonable. It's not a guarantee, but it's our best bet.
      All anyone can do is make their best guess. Especially in matters unseen and unprovable.
      I don't get stressing out about guessing incorrectly or spending years upon years second guessing one's ability to make a judgment call. The religious teachings of my childhood, at this point in my 30s, seem absolutely man made to me. I don't feel the need to speculate beyond that. Lies. Mistakes. Fraud. Sincerity. It is of little consequence. I dismiss most of it (with the exception of common sense morality) without apology or fear. I am more than comfortable with the conclusions I have drawn. The are, without a doubt, my best guess. If I get scientific information in the future that is worth looking at, that's fine. I won't kneel by my bedside with tears streaming down my face begging God in a state of mental exhaustion to confirm to me what I've been taught should be confirmed to me. That he loves me; that I have access to special answers; that Mormons happen to be the lucky 1% (or whatever) in the world who got it right.
      I'm so past that point in my life and it is exhilirating. Sometimes not having something grand to believe in kind of sucks. But most of the time I'm just really at peace with my (lack of) spiritual path in life.

    27. Not sure why you directed those last comments at me but thanks for sharing! And glad you are happy with your current state of truth πŸ™‚ that's the grand quest in life.

    28. Kathryn,

      I have been were you are at. I struggled for many years to know if the church was true and would go to church just because it was expected of me. It wasn't until I had a few absolutely PROFOUND experience, biblical in proportion that I realized I needed to carry on through my "wishy washy" stage and find my way again. It took me up until 3 years ago to really know for sure. I thought I had known when I saw miracles happen in my family that can only be explained as having been given to me by God himself. I went years hanging onto that miracle, and it worked for a while, but after a while I found myself in the same boat. Questioning, wondering, and looking out at the non mormon population wishing I could do the things they were ok doing. It wasn't until I almost lost everything through actions of my own and saw my life flash before me that my whole perspective changed. I saw a flash of my path and what it would be like if I stayed the course, and I didn't like it one bit. It was a path of sadness, strife, and no boundaries (which I absolutely needed for my personalilty). Because I had that experience, my life and my whole perspective has 100% changed to the point. I look back and regret, but don't regret in the same sentence because I needed those experience to really solidify my faith in the church, myself, and God.

      I also think it might be best to talk to the bishop. But thinking about it have you every thought of talking to a women in the church, like the Relief Society President. Yes the bishop might hold the mantle of the church, but he is a man known the less. The Relief society president is also a great resource and will have different insight to how you feel. I would personally talk to her first. To me the bishop is there to talk to about serious disciplinary actions not stuff of the heart like you are talking about. Women are more in tune with the spiritual side of things and could help you more I feel.

      Counseling is great, but I will admit I am so not the therapy type. I think sometimes they feed you a bunch of bull^%$^%$ in which you will get overly confused. There there to make money first and foremost, hence why I am not a firm believer in Counseling (sorry josh).

      Good luck to you.

  27. And don't sweat your lack of ability to meet all the demands being placed on you right now. I think those of us with mental/emotional illnesses need to be more proactiv in giving ourselves breaks. Sometimes you just have to say this is all I have to offer right now and that's going to have to be enough. Often what I'll do is make lists of every single thing I feel like I have to do and then I cross out everything that isn't absolutely essential. Usually I can get my list down to a handful of things and it makes me feel so much better.

    1. One of the nicest moments of my life was when I realized that the concept behind the story of the The Widow's Mite didn't just apply to money. It applies to time, energy, and everything else, even attitude. I give what I have, but I don't expect myself to give what I don't have. Sweet!

    2. Amen and Amen:)
      K- what is the purpose of saying Amen again like that? Is it just a more aesthetically pleasing way to end a choral number? Some languages, like Pilipino (that I'm familiar with) will double words for emphasis like "ganda ganda" doesn't just mean 'beautiful' but rather VERY beautiful.

  28. Physically: HOT! Hubby decided the return of the rain to Oregon meant time to fire up the woodstove. The outside temp last time I checked (about an hour ago) was 54 F. The inside temp at the same check was 80.6 F. I'm in a tank top and shorts, walking around barefoot with windows open in the middle of October.

    Emotionally: Disappointed that Friday's weigh-in showed me down only 1/2 lb. I lost 5 lbs between the 5th and the 9th. Not sure why only 8 oz over the next 3 days. Trying to remind myself that it's still a loss–and every little loss counts toward the 125 lb goal. But it's still disappointing, especially as I followed my food plan and didn't cheat even though I was tempted many times. Proud of myself for that bit–the not giving in to temptation.

    Spiritually: At peace for the time being. I've been struggling with wanting God to quit testing us financially–and to have things realign in that part of our lives so we're in a good place. It's really hard to let go and trust on this one.

    Commitment: Keep on the path weight-loss wise. I'm traveling for a conference Mon-Wed, so this is going to be a big test. Hotel food during the day, all kinds of temptations after the meetings. I can do it though. 118.5 lbs to go…and going back the other way on the scale is just NOT an option.

  29. Physically: eyes feel pretty tired and dry with faint burning feelings, mild headache/sinus ache. Bit of back pain from sitting at funny angles

    Emotionally: nervous, afraid, apathetic – have an appointment with the bishop and I'm planning on doing something scary before teaching my lesson in elder's quorum today

    Spiritually: Feeling oddly disconnected, but trying out fasting today to see if I can get some added heavenly help for having the courage to take care of myself.

    Commitment: Go to the appointment with the bishop, and do the scary thing.

    Scary thing is this. I heard in conference that priesthood quorums should be an 'anchor of strength'. After feeling bitter and disappointed, I finally realized that I needed to step up if I wanted it to change. I felt impressed that I should share with my quorum that I am a good listener and willing to listen to them. I'm totally not sure where it will go. I've thought of all sorts of crazy scenarios in my head of what would happen.

    1. Sharing my expertise (not sure if that's the right word) seemed to go alright. I felt like some of the people were listening. I more encouraged them to speak to someone if they felt like they needed to. The lesson itself felt a bit hobbled together and really short (time flew).

      After the lesson, most of the guys scattered to the wind, probably to pick up children from primary. No one really approached me, but I hope my one statement had some sort of impact that I can't see.

    2. Wanna share this area with us in case one of us could benefit from your knowledge?

      There is comfort (even on the web) in knowing that someone else "gets it"

  30. Physically: very sick. I'm not a complainer, but I'm being honest here. I have a number of different disabilities, one in particular is rare, and it causes me to fully or partially dislocate many many joints a day. And all the other ones make it worse.

    Emotionally: a bit of a mess. I'm in my second year of college, and I'm already burning out. I just don't know how I'm supposed to keep going without failing something or going nuts. Even if I wasn't distracted by having to constantly shove my joints back into place, my ADHD is enough to make anyone go mad.

    Spiritually: struggling. I've been raised as a Christian my whole life, but I'm losing my faith, and I don't know how to get back to it because it doesn't seem real anymore. I'm a very real person, and I won't pretend that I believe something if I don't (unless I have to for some RARE, good reason).

    Commitment: Get the homework done that needs doing before I'm sitting in class… I should probably finish editing the pictures for my last clients, too. Oops.

  31. Physically: CRAPPY! I am down with the worlds nastiest cold. Rivers of snot non-stop, and no amount of medication will still it. Also I did something weird to my shoulder last night and it is causing searing pain to most of my upper-left back. I cannot figure out why, nor how to fix it. πŸ™
    Emotionally: I actually feel awesome. I had an amazing night out with friends last night (Dressed up as Witches and went to a very classy restaurant for dinner. haha.) I am feeling good about stuff in general right now.
    Spiritually: Conference really renewed my spiritual fire! There were so many talks that really "spoke to me". My Commitment from last week was to listen to ALL sessions of conference, and I NAILED IT!! I actually am 100% sure that I got the most out of this year of conference than any conference before simply because I listened to it instead of sitting and watching for 8 hours. Having it on in the house while I did other things actually helped me to focus more on the words than just sitting and letting my mind wander. It was awesome! I feel like I want to be a much more spiritually minded person now. πŸ™‚

  32. Physically – Ok, not getting enough sleep because I'm in the middle of exams.

    Emotionally – Horrible. Yesterday someone I knew of died in a bike accident. He was only 16 years old. I don't want to begin to try and understand what his parents must be going through. And his girlfriend. And his friends who were with him when it happened. I don't understand death, and I don't see how I ever will. Especially when it's with one so young who had a full life to live ahead.

    Spiritually- I'm not religious, but I've been feeling more at peace with the world, and less judges by the heavens. Because I've always believed in something resembling karma. And because of that I'm constantly on edge. But I'm trying to tell myself to let go a little, let myself live a little more. And that it won't happen if I'm constantly trying to analyze everything I do, or if I'm being a good enough person. I need to have faith that I am, and that I'm at a point where I always will be.

    Josh, so sorry to hear about everything that's going on. I think we all feel like that at some time. It sucks, and it only gets better with time. Let your emotions work themselves out. Don't pressure yourself too much. Take a day off.
    And also, keep in mind how much good you're constantly doing, and how many of us you help simply by being who you are, and blogging about it. It's nice to know you're also human, and have your own struggles. If you didn't, that'd just be weird. You get what I'm saying? πŸ˜› πŸ™‚
    Take care. This blog is a testament to how much you help people and how much they appreciate you for it. Including me.
    Hugs your way,

  33. I'm late to the check in because of work and generally feeling like death warmed over.

    Physically: Had a doctor visit this week for a physical. Did the pap, two shots, one for flu, one TDAP due to the epidemic of whooping cough in Washington state. And since it was one shot in each arm, both my arms were sore for DAYS. To top it off, doctor said it was time to start high blood pressure medication so I'm now on one more medication and this one is making me feel fatigued. Apparently that's one of the side effects.

    Emotionally: Numb. Why, I don't know. I think it may just be a combination of the meds i am on.

    Spiritually: Terrible. Because of trying to adapt to the blood pressure medication, I was so exhausted and missed yet another Sunday of church. Maybe if we had afternoon church, I would have been able to make it, but all I wanted to do was sleep Sunday morning, which I did.

    Commitment: Make it to church next Sunday, at least for Sacrament Meeting.

  34. I just wanted to say how much I like the weekly check-ins. Thanks for this Josh.

    Physically- Not good. I slipped on my icy front steps last weekend and got banged up, so that was annoying and kept me from the gym (my goal from the week before). Then my foot started randomly really hurting. Again, no gym for a few days. I'm finally feeling better now though. I did finally go check out a martial arts school today, and was really bummed that I didn't like it (plus it's crazy expensive).

    Emotionally- It's been a hard week emotionally. My new anxiety meds seem to be helping a lot, but I'm having trouble focusing at work, and that makes me feel down on myself. I'm also missing friends from my old cities a lot right now. Just feeling kind of lonely.

    Spiritually- Very good. I have been listening to a lot of Christian radio, which has helped me keep my thoughts on God and pray more. I took a risk last week because I heard God calling me to do it, and it made me feel really good. This morning I heard a song about forgiveness and it really made me feel better about a dumb twitter situation, and led me to apologize to someone. That felt good.

    Commitment- last week's commitment to work out was a complete bust. My goal this week is to go the gym once.

  35. Love the check in!
    Physically: feeling great because I recommitted to my weight loss program – I WILL SUCCEED!
    Emotionally: Worry, worry, worry. Just trying to keep my head above the worry.
    Spiritually: trying really hard to hear the Lord in my life. Reading a chapter of the Book of Mormon a night and trying to make my prayers personal.
    Committment: Work enough hours in the early part of this week to be able to take Friday off – I'm already off to a good start.

  36. Physically-in pain.
    Emotionally-Overwhelmed by my daughters temper tantrums at 2 1/2!
    Spiritually-I'm inactive in church but feel that I have a good relationship with HF. I am teaching my daughter how to pray and loving every minute of that.
    Commitment-Try to remain calm when Lanie starts her temper tantrums! And no, I DO NOT pray for patience!

  37. Hi Josh and Lolly,

    I found you today through a friend. Warning- this post is going to be off topic from your post but I'm not sure how to contact you in another way. Anyway a friend sent me your brave post about coming out of the closet. Wow, that was powerful and so good to hear… you see, my husband of 15 years came out that he was gay about 2 and a half years ago. However, he felt he had to live the gay lifestyle and seek out a partner. I know that he loves me very much- but I think it got to be too much and I think Satan played a big role in him making the decisions he has.. Now, 2.5 years later, our 2 children are doing pretty well, I decided early on to not cause conflict, to try to still love him regardless of the decisions he has made. Its been a very tough road and continues to be- but we are on terrific terms and I even happen to like his partner ( what kind of twilight zone do I live in? I ask myself this all the time). I try to difuse this with humor. I'm trying to be charitable and know that for some reason this has been placed in my path as well and I have had to grown and learn in directions I never thought imaginable. Anyway, it was sooo healing to hear a different perspective = one that involved choice- because while someone can't choose how they feel they certainly can choose what they will do with those feelings. Unfortunately, this has brought divorce, 2 moves and lots of grief. But, we are trying to make the best of it and I continue to think that somewhere in time I will understand this more and understand how this came to be. I still love my husband dearly- but for now, he has chosen to pursue this other path and I have had to learn that the true measure of charity is to continue to love someone even when they are making choices that we dont' agree with.

    Early on I decided that I wanted my children to look back and see that their mother " always tried to do the right thing" in terms of my relationship with them and their father. In time I think they will see the incredible sacrifices and what that has brought- it has brought peace and peace cannot be underestimated…

    So for now, I make jokes and try to grin and bear it. After all isn't it "normal" for an 11 year old to come to the first day of school with her mother and then 2 guys – and then all the school moms are trying to figure out if I have a new boyfriend or him πŸ™‚ Its surreal.

    Anyway, thank you. You give me a glimpse of what could have been if both parties were willing but Satan had convinced him along the way that is was all or nothing and he has cut all strings with the idea of a hetero relationship and activity in the church. He definitely is still 'Mormon" at heart- he is very respectful of church things and attends all activities for the kids- but I think he felt there was no other way but to choose and for now… that feels comfortable..

    – Meredith~ Early on I posted my story on The Mormon Women Project with a pseudonym… I'll continue that here.

    1. Hi Meredith,
      I greatly enjoyed reading your story, and about how you are tackling life from one day to the next. I can see how going to your children's school with your ex and his partner could be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and even angering.

      I personally am pro-gay rights, but I fail to understand here why your ex would feel the need to bring his partner to your children's school. Especially coming from a Mormon background, I think he needs to be more empathetic to your feelings, and the possible awkwardness, even for your children. And just to be clear- I would also apply this sentiment to a situation in which a couple divorced and one remarried and came to school with their new opp-sex partner. I just don't see how that person plays SUCH a huge role in your children's lives that they need to come to school, when the kids already have BOTH their parents with them.

      Your strength in dealing with the whole situation is just overwhelming for me to read – as I'm sure it is for you too! I will echo what Tammy said though; you may personally believe that your husband has chosen the life he has because he is "influenced by Satan", but you have to keep in mind always that he IS father of your children and that they love him, so to hear you (someone they love as or even more dearly) say something like that, could be VERY confusing for them, and harm their relationship with him tremendously.

      From personal experience I will say this – children sometimes NEED to see their parents struggle. Putting up a perfect screen all the time and laughing things off won't help in the long run. I'm not condemning your choices in any way here; I don't know you and can't pretend to, but it has been proved time and again that for children to see their parents experience difficulties, and subsequently DEAL with those difficulties helps them do the same when they are older. Hiding everything from them only gives them a false sense of reality, and a hushed coping mechanism.

      Maybe the idea of letting them see you so vulnerable is scary because 1- that's the only way you know how to deal with it, and 2- because you feel like the steadiness of the home may be compromised. I assure you that as long as you let them know that you will always be there for them and let them see that through your difficulties you love and take care of them unconditionally, they will never doubt the safety and security of the home and family you provide for them.

      Lastly, I have to say for my own conscience – you mention that he is very respectful and understanding of all Church activities even though he isn't active anymore. You also mention that he attends school events with you for your kids. From what you say, he sounds like a great father, and individual. He respects your beliefs. Perhaps you should respect his choices in return. Do you really believe that someone so grounded and present, could be "led by Satan"?
      Think it out for yourself, that's all I'm saying.

      I hope you find all the peace you are looking for AND providing. But never forget the saying "When Mama's happy, everyone's happy". Don't neglect your own fears, feelings, emotions, frustrations, for too long. It'll only come back in bucket-loads later on.

      Take care, and much love. πŸ™‚

    2. Satan? Look, I'm seriously sorry this crap happened to you and your kids. I can't stress that enough. But this happened to you and your kids because religion told your husband he needed to change. Religion told your husband that he could change. Fear told him he better not level with you. That was a crappy thing to do that resulted in you becoming a single parent. But let's place blame where it belongs. The problem is not that your husband couldn't last longer in a hetero marriage; the problem is that he was taught and believed that he could. His religion needs to own a very very large chunk of this.
      I don't expect you to have any charitable feelings because if my husband did this to me, I would really struggle not to hate his guts. But please be aware that your views on satan and your ex are going to do damage to your children if they pick up on any of this. Seriously you need to knock that off. I hope he is paying all of you plenty of support. Take it from an adult child of a gay man.

    3. She never said anything about telling her children their father is being led by Satan. Did I miss something? Sounds to me like she is an absolute saint. Good for you for being so Christ like in such an extremely hurtful and difficult situation. And I agree with the the other comment that he should prob be a little more sensitive to you considering how wonderful you are being to him. If both parents are available to support their children at these activities there is really no reason why one parent needs to be bringing their current love interest. A bit much.

    4. Seems a little cruel to attack a woman during a difficult period in her life… Simply because she is holding on to her faith πŸ™

    5. Thank you for sharing meredith. I can totally understand and resonate well with u. Keep your head up and your faith strong. Your post made my day….not because you are going through a rough time, but because of the love strength and care you are taking to help you and your family make it through this in a positive way. Have a great day πŸ™‚

    6. I absolutely agree with you Anon. 6:46… why attack this women. She's been through a horrible experience through no fault of her own. And Yes I see its as her husband terrible choice. He married her that he was would be faithful. Where is the responsibility in all this for that choice. Regardless of if he decided to live a gay lifestyle or not he still was beguiled by Satan to leave his family in the first place (even if it was for another women). Would you feel differently if she had said he left her for another women? Would you have thought it was Satan who let him be selfish enough to cheat? Regardless of if he left her for another women or man he still left. He put is his own needs before that of his family which is exactly what Satan would want him to do. I see no different. He made a choice. Him being gay might not have been a choice but him choosing what he did with it was a BIG choice.

      I am sorry this happened to you. πŸ™ It makes me sad that marriage and family has become less important then individual desire.

    7. Tammy, There is NO difference. If you make the commitment to be married it doesn't matter if you feel you are attracted to a man or women. You made those covenants to that person and no amount of rationalization makes it right. Rationalization includes saying "this is who I am"…A person who cheats on their spouse with another women could easily say "this is who I am". Regardless. Leaving your family for your own personal selfish wants or what you think is "who I am" is absolutely wrong and a person will be held accountable for it in the end. You claim that if you have same sex attractions and do not live the gay lifestyle you are not living your "authentic self". Well I am here to challenge that notion. Your authentic self has nothing to do with who or what you desire. It's how you treat others, its how you forgive or are merciful to others, it's how you treat the people around you and your family. A person that leaves their family because they "can't deal with the choice they made" is not living there authentic self. They are living a farce and what the world has told them as what they "should do" instead of "what is most important".

      There is no difference between a person leaving a spouse for the same sex or opposite. It still is a selfish act. I hate that people think its ok 1 way but not the other. Isn't that hypocritical to say?

  38. physically: i'm feeling healthier this week. my body doesn't ache as much.
    spiritually: i feel like i kicked this one in the butt to get going this last week. it tends to be intermixed with my emotional being as well, strongly in fact.
    emotionally: fantastic! i went on a much needed date with my husband. only the second one in like two years (w/o) kids. i am a homemaker and i used to work so it was nice to get out and do something fun and enjoyable that was not in anyway tied to my kids. i love them but i needed to feel like "me", if that makes sense.
    my commitment from last week: to do something different. and i did! i started a new way to study my scriptures. i was just reading straight through them before and now i am reading a chapter and then the following day reading/ responding to the chapter in a journal based on questions from the seminary/ institute manuals for the BOM. its done a lot for me!
    this week: to add an additional work out in somewhere. i have been trying to work out two-three days a week and so i want to do three-four. nothing major, just simple.

  39. Josh, I love that you seem able to crawl into my mind, chill out there for a bit, then come back out and post something that I need to read at the precise moment in time I'm going through my own moments of insanity. I needed a check in. I called my mom to have one and ended up being criticized. I guess that's a part of being Italian.

    Physically: I'm running a Disney princess half marathon at the end of february, so I need to be running every day to get ready. I didn't run once. I've finally caught up on sleep though, so that's good!

    Emotionally: DISTRAUGHT!!!! I was diagnosed as bi-polar 4 years ago, and now a different doctor is proposing I'm actually ADD. As much as I would like to know exactly what's "wrong with me" and get my life under control, my prior diagnosis became a part of who I am, and I feel stripped of what stability I had found. I'm living in a foreign country with few friends, and I broke up with the man I was seeing bc he was consistently making me feel inferior, that the greatest compliment he could give me was allowing me in his presence. While I'm proud to confront my fear of confrontation and leave that, it also leaves me feeling lonely. All of this leads to…

    Spiritually: Oh my… I admitted to my mom today that I can't pray. My aunt passed from cancer a few months ago, and ever since it's just difficult for me. I'm at that point that I'm afraid to pray bc it seems selfish, or that I'm not good enough to deserve to have my prayers answered. I felt like a failure in my church calling so I asked to be released, which can be good so I can finally return to Sunday School and Relief Society for that uplifting that I need.

    Anyway, it's long, and it may go unnoticed. It seems silly, but now that you've gone viral, I'm a little jealous. I always got excited when you'd respond to comments.

    My goals this week: run 3 days. I can't run as Ariel unless I get the LITTLE part down of the little mermaid. Emotionally…How do you set an emotional goal? to keep standing up for myself? Spiritually… pray. I called the missionaries to help them out tomorrow, so hopefully that will give me the boost I need too. πŸ™‚

  40. Update: physically: I'm tired it's 3 am and I don't want to go to sleep. I'm having a lot of late nights. I need to sleep but I can't go. Emotionally: I'm disgusted with myself. My divorce is finally ending after 3 years, my ex stated he wanted to see if things could possibly work out, I got my hopes up then he rejected me. I can't stop stuffing myself, everything edible is being consumed by me. I can't see why anyone would want to be with me. I have 3 little sweethearts I am in charge of, I work 2 jobs and I'm barely keeping up with the bills. Physically: I only went to the gym once last week, because Of my schedule I have to go to the 5:30 am class and since I've been staying up so late I haven't been able to go. I don't want to shoot for goals I'm too numb to pray, too numb to talk to anyone. Thanks for letting me rant.

  41. I love your analogy about standing on top of a horse on crack. I can relate.

    Physically: I have two months left to go of this pregnancy. I feel very uncomfortable, heavy, exhausted, and huge. My back is sore most of the time and I get charly horses in my legs. But I am also excited to be pregnant and looking forward to meeting our little guy.

    Emotionally: Drained. My job is draining. It sucks pretty much everything out of me. Also, Oliver is going through a difficult phase and is being very defiant, is having trouble sleeping, and is grumpy a lot. So that takes an emotional toll too.

    Spiritually: Could be much better but could be much worse too. I feel the need to focus more on this area. A lot more.

    Commitment for this week: Read from the scriptures on my lunch break (first force myself to take a lunch break, which I usually don't) three times this week. Make this a priority.

    Good idea to check in. Posting this to my blog too.

  42. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it. This website has got some really useful info on it! I was looking for this. It was excellent and very informative. As a first time visitor to your blog I am very impressed and I found a lot of informative stuff in your article. Thanks for posting. PLEASE keep it up!

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