Finally, the conference as ended + check in

(“as” is supposed to be “has” in the title, but I thought the typo was so glaring and hilarious that I decided to leave it in)

All right, guys, I’m another step closer to becoming a world expert on sex.

Addiction. Sex addiction. Why do you guys keep forgetting that detail? GEEZ.

The good news?
I finished the horrendously long training that lasted from Wednesday through today this afternoon. The bad news? That was module two of four. So I have to do that two more times in the next year. And I’m paying thousands of dollars to do it. Basically, I’m a masochist. Or at least I’m learning how to treat masochists. You know, one of those two things.

Anyway, today we’re checkin in (sorry for the tardiness) and tomorrow I’m posting the FFAQ response, because it turns out that it’s surprisingly difficult to get all sentimental about my mission (which the question is about) when someone’s lecturing all about how repeatedly looking at porn and engaging in sex acts actually alters a person’s brain and then it takes years to get the brain back to normal after achieving sobriety, or how incredibly difficult it is for partners of addicts and how much pain and work they have to go through to heal, and other such things. (This paragraph was one sentence, and it was long. Cuz that’s how I roll.)

All right. Check in. Here are the rules:

When telling us how you are feeling you:

1. Can not say “good” or “fine”. 
2. Check in spiritually, physically and emotionally.
3. Make a realistic and achievable goal for yourself (which you can update us on next week.)
4. Can not cross talk. This means that while you might be moved by someone’s check-in, it is inappropriate to give feedback on what someone has shared (unless they specifically request it).
5. Remember, this is just for entertainment and is not  a supplement or replacement for therapy or other support from a mental health professional.

All right. Here goes:

Physically: I feel sore in my legs. From my work out on wednesday. I’m not kidding. It had been a very long time since I did squats and deadlifts apparently. Also, I feel rested because I took a very long nap today (during the Superbowl, shhhh don’t tell anyone). Overall, I’m feeling pleased with my physical situation.

Emotionally: I feel very relieved, and I feel great catharsis. I am very glad to have that training over with. Also, I was wrestling with some career decisions all week and I finally got some clarity on what I need to do today, so I feel like I can take a giant sigh of relief. I feel genuinely happy right now. Particularly happy, for some reason. While there are a lot of challenges in my life, there are also some incredible things going on. Also, I’m excited to spend the evening with Lolly and rest and connect and have fun and watch the final season of Downton. 

Spiritually: Very connected and very grateful. I fasted today about various things, as did Lolly. We both had some major insights as I said before and got some clear direction on what I’m supposed to be doing with a major part of my career. It’s always amazing to me when she and I fast and pray and come up with the exact same answers to questions about our life and future, often with the exact same random phrases having come to our minds. I also snuck into a sacrament meeting after the training ended and got to see someone be confirmed, which was really nice. And I had a really amazing conversation with my dad tonight about revelation versus cultural indoctrination.  

My goal was to write 10,000 words. I didn’t make it. That probably means I should have chosen a smaller goal.

This week, my goal is to study every day this week for my licensing exam on Thursday. I really, really want to pass. (Wouldn’t mind if you threw some positive thoughts and prayers my way on that one, actually. Thanks in advance.)

All right guys. Your turn. How are you feeling about things this fine Sunday evening? (Or this fine Monday, if you’re reading this tomorrow.)


  1. I feel your pain, to a small degree. I've had to write at least three papers on various topics related to sexual addiction in the past few years.

    Physically: Tired and sore. I've been getting not enough sleep lately (curse you, internet!!!) so today while I waited for a meeting at church I curled up in an armchair in the foyer. My neck did not appreciate it.

    Emotionally: a little stressed (roommates with loud friends, and homework) but I've been much worse.

    Spiritually: Sort of like I turned off the connection. I think it's the product of sleep deprivation.

    Goal: get more sleep, and go swimming at least 3x this week.

  2. Physically: Great!! stomach flu is gone, and I can eat normal food again, and run =)

    Emotionally: Kind of tired. I hate the super bowl, and the family rivalries it creates. I enjoyed having people over, but I am an introvert, so again, it was a bit draining.

    Spiritually: Amazing. Stake conference this weekend. Really great stake temple night, and a saturday night session where they talked about Same Sex Attraction and it was really cool to be apart of the stake president opening up dialog and understanding within my stake. It was a really powerful meeting.

    Goal: make a non-government type resume in the next week.

  3. Here goes:
    Physically: pretty decent for having eaten a lot of things in the last 2 weeks that I haven't indulged in or had IN MY HOUSE for a long time. Really miss exercising outside. My 20 minute Windsor Pilates DVD is getting pretty stale and moving up to the 45-60 minutes workouts….takes up too much of my time. I have gained about 13-15 of the 30 pounds I lost 2 years ago and I really miss being a woman of solid steel. My blood sugar is feeling wacky too but other changes in my life have really eased the stress in my life and that feels great.
    Emotionally: reflective and surprisingly stable at the moment. Better connectivity with my honey made easier by having another grown woman in the house. That sounded a little weird. A relative has moved in with us and she is making me see the benefits of sister wives (lol). Really. Imagine having help with the dishes, mealtimes and the entertainment and chaefffeuring of children to and fro. My communication skills are being tried and tested but that is a good thing.
    Spiritually: never a dull moment around here. Feeling grounded even though I got an interesting message from an old friend somewhat explaining why he has set up 2 Facebook indentities: 1 for his current friends and 1 for all the rest who have any kind of LDS leanings where "never the twain shall meet". I'm concerned he's a Swinger or something. Why is he so paranoid about his LDS family/friends seeing posts from friends in his current circles??? Normally correspondence like this causes a melancholic funk to ensue for me but not this time. I am at peace with who I am and how I feel about many of my friends of different lifestyles and beliefs. I simply love them and wish them a deeply soul satisfying life!

  4. Oops- need a goal: not get carried away by the whims of others and keep my daily routine of workout, scripture study/meditation/journaling intact even with another assertive adult in the house.

  5. Physically: Pretty good. I'm no longer working 12 hour shifts at work, and that is really helpful. I also got a wonderful Sunday afternoon nap in today. 🙂

    Emotionally: Today was a rough day. I'm feeling very overwhelmed with all the people it seems I'm supposed to be taking care of, including a grandma with Alzheimer's, a severely depressed father, an overburdened and overwhelmed mother, difficult situations at work, etc. Today I really wanted to cut, something I've managed to avoid for almost two years. I'm feeling more depressed and anxious and like I'm losing control of life right now.

    Spiritually: Pretty disconnected. I did get up and go to Sacrament meeting today (two actually), but not the rest of my meetings. It's hard for me to feel spiritually uplifted when I get depressed.

    Goal: Do not do anything related to work on my vacation this weekend!

    1. Take care! I hope that whatever is causing the hurt, is diminished and resolved.
      Stay strong, like we all know you are 🙂

    2. Thanks Ahalya. I don't mind you saying that. Though sometimes even people who appear strong- when hit in just the right place- can really buckle. I will continue to try not to because I simply don't have the luxury right now.

      Josh I hope you learn lots of fun stuff at your conferences. 🙂

  6. Truly glorious Monday here, even though you posted this just a couple of hours ago, because of the time change. Neat.

    Not cross-talking but truly inspired and grounded by other check-ins. Thank you.

    Physically: Not too bad. Grateful to not be in pain, must think of positive wording of this. Feel OK, I guess. Grateful for that.

    Emotionally: Many positive things happening in my life emotionally after a very long and battered time. Feeling proud of myself and my emotional priorities over the past several years. I've been doing some good reading about forgiveness, letting go, and ways of reaching for the divine and now I'm implementing many of these ideas slowly but steadily.

    Spiritually: Uncertain but comfortable. Feeling blessed. My "way" right now seems to be hanging around the fringes of my community(ies). Feeling better about this than I have in the past.

    About to post without a goal. Hmm. Must come up with small goal. Last one was to unclutter work area and I did the IMMEDIATE area, but noticed just how much else needs to be done. But not this week. Small goal. Hmmm. OK. I will find time to sit with my novel this week, even if I don't work on it.

    Also – thank you Josh – these check-ins (this is only my second one!!) are a very big help and I'm grateful.

  7. Physically – Good! The pulled muscle in my lower back has healed, and I can now walk without a gnawing feeling near my tailbone every time I move my left leg.
    Still going for morning walks, that I'm just loving more and more.

    Emotionally – Much better. Not roller-coaster-y like the previous week. *touchwood*.
    There are days when I can't stand being alone all day, and have to meet up with friends, and days when I'm perfectly content spending the day in. (I have the liberty to choose, because for the next month we're all on study leave for finals.) I find that this last week I've enjoyed being alone, just reading, studying, writing, and watching Sherlock. I'm at peace.

    Spiritually – Hmm. I don't really know, but right now I'm okay with that. I haven't been thinking about it much, but I'm content at the moment. It isn't bothering me.

    Goal (that I forgot to set last time) – finish 1/4th of my finals portion by next week.


    Congrats on finishing Installment #2 🙂 It'll all be worth it one day!
    Your connection with Lolly is truly beautiful <3
    Thanks for having Check-Ins for all of us. Takes a while to notice, but it really does help stay on track.

  8. Physically – getting stronger, learning to deal with my Celiac much better, and cooking more then I ever have. Its safer to eat at home since I know what is going into everything, and I'm sure its healthier for me and my family not to get so much take out. I still need to start a fitness routine, but I'm procrastinating, and blaming my healing gut issues for not demanding more of myself physically. Not sure how much longer I can keep that up, but I'll play that card as long as I can 🙂

    Emotionally – this has been a much better week, my husband and I seem to be connecting on a deeper level, which is good. He is still job hunting and its so tough, not much out there! But we are getting better at not letting the stress come between us and I feel like I don't have my guard up all the time, afraid that letting it down and i'll collapse!

    Spiritually – much better. After a few years away, I finally convinced my boss that I'm a better worker when I'm being fed regularly with relationships with other christian women, and am in a regular bible study, so I got Thursday mornings off (well I start work earlier and then skip my lunch) but I love being back in women's bible study, it keeps me accountable and in the fellowship of lovely christian women.

    Will be praying for you for your exam and for you and Lolly on decisions about your future. I also appreciate prayers for my family, and my husbands job hunt!

    Peace out 🙂

  9. Physically- Not so great. I caught my daughter's cold on Friday evening and am not over it yet. Also my calves are still sore from a jog on Friday.
    Emotionally- Doing well (I didn't say good!) I'm happy with my job and everything is just going pretty swimmingly. I am a little bit anxious about what we are going to do about a house for my mother in law to live in near us since it turns out we can't turn our garage into an apartment, but I am feeling very confident that it will all turn out.
    Spiritually- I vacillate between great and feeling like God's not talking to me anymore. In general, I am feeling more in touch with my religion and God than ever before, but I'm a little bummed because I prayed for a specific answer I got nothing but silence. I know that's an answer too, but it's frustrating.

    Goal- I met my goal for last week to stay on my calorie limit 6 of 7 days. Woohoo! It also meant that I finally got over this plateau. For this week, my goal is modest since I'm going to a conference. I am going to only have one indulgence (whether alcohol or junk food) per day.

  10. Hooray for you, end of session two!!

    Physically: Decent. Have kept up daily exercise for an hour, leg soreness the next day is diminishing.

    Emotionally: Happy even though I have a huge reason to be dying of stress. I *think* that means my antidepressants are working and I'm learning and growing, but it also makes me think of the saying "he who keeps his head when everyone else is losing theirs obviously doesn't understand the situation." 😀 Or however that goes.

    Spiritually: The same, even though I willfully *stopped* my scripture-reading habit this week and let myself be angry and swear. Really dunno about this.

    Goal: Totally didn't touch my resume, which was last week's goal. Technically I don't *have* to do it before next check-in (if it happens on time :>), 'cause the deadline for the job opening is Feb. 14. But I'll keep it as my goal anyway. Yes, I am a deadline-pusher.

  11. ____ Late Morning,

    Physically- my bowels are not having fun with the fibrous foods I have been consuming, that or something less fun, but I'll be an optimist and just assume bad diet. My neck is feel a little stiff, but at least I have my own room now and don't have to sleep on a couch… though the floor is going to get old real fast. Still always tired, but today it is nothing concerning, just the normal old tired that I've come to accept.

    Emotionally- it has been a party, emotions all over the place, but generally things have been moving in a productive direction. Over the last week I've been fixating a little too much on my life expectancy, but I need to get out of it and start focusing on the near future. I have also been feeling more resolved and peaceful. Still a bit in a dither about how to come out, at least to some… and maybe a little nervous about talking to the bishop… oh well. I wonder if that isn't influencing my intestinal upset…

    Spiritually- finally getting back into the grove of things, having meaningful prayer, and by that I mean that I am getting into conversations with Heavenly Father and trying to figure things out. In a way I feel my mind awakening after a long slumber, just wish it was applied to school as well. I had made plans to go to the temple, but realized that I have way too much to resolve… I can't keep up the lies anymore, the mask is falling and I no longer care to keep it up… I will think on this for a while…

    Last Week's Goals- still working at finding someone with whom I can come out to, but got some ideas, completely failed to study for the test (and probably failed the mid-term as I will fail the one on Tuesday), but my scripture study is going well.

    This Week's Goals- not sure I want to make any, but if I must, I must. Clean the bathroom, kitchen and other shared spaces this week… simple enough, not feeling like anything overly challenging.

    Well, this took me enough time that it is no longer morning… so ____ Afternoon!

  12. Long…. Sorry.

    Physically – Decent. I've been eating pretty well this week and exercising. My pants feel slightly looser. I hope to continue patting myself on the back for the small stuff no one else would notice until it starts to add up. I have tended toward all or nothing for about three year, but I think I'm almost done swinging.

    Emotionally – I'm thrilled that nearly three years of schooling is almost over. I have four weeks until I'll have earned the paper to prove I'm full of BS. Oh, wait, that's not what that means? I've done my schooling online and, frankly, I'm sick of the computer and all the great ways I've learned to avoid homework. (Except today I actually turned my paper in before wasting time….) Mostly, my emotional state knowing I'll be sitting at the computer has been a negative thing for me physically. I feel weighed down emotionally, therefore act weighed down physically. I'm so excited to have the end so near. This excitement has made me feel and act physically lighter already, even though I'm not quite done. I'd lost a lot of weight before my last baby, but between moving, the baby, and starting school when she was four months old, I have plenty to work on again. I'm eager to be myself again. (I know that sounded like a whole lot of physically, but trust me, it fits better in my emotional check-in)

    Spiritually – Overflowing. There was a lot of empty time in F & T meeting yesterday, which normally I would try to fill. Yesterday, though, I was grateful for it. As much as I love to hear and rejoice in others' testimonies, I was feeling full of the spirit, but jumbled yesterday. It was wonderful to have some quiet time to sort out the gratitude in my head. This was particularly wonderful because my four children (10 and younger) didn't distract me from my thoughts, either. So grateful, but wishing I had more opportunity to share it out loud because it helps me refine and strengthen my thoughts.

  13. PHYSICALLY: (insert Tom Hanks voice here) I have made dairy free butter chicken!!!! (War cries!). Which is important for 2 reasons: 1) I''m allergic to dairy. 2) I've been trying to make -normal- butter chicken for 5 years. Before this oh-so-lovely rebellion of my stomach my husband and I schlepped (sometimes hours depending on where we were living) to this amaaaaaazing northern Indian restaurant every Friday. The owner was going to teach me to make this 24 hour curry as a Christmas present to my husband (he was retiring come January). Well the poor dear old man had a heart attack in November. 5 YEARS I've been trying to duplicate this recipe. And…. I got it!!!! Coconut milk. Rabidly non-traditional coconut milk was its secret!!! Not a drop of dairy. Oh yeah!!!

    Ahem. This is in the physical realm for a couple reasons
    – food I can eat
    – wild & amazing dancing
    – joygasm / paroxysms of delight

    All physical things. Right?

    EMOTIONALLY : I'm divorcing my emotions for the time being. Or giving them up for lent. A delayed NYRes. Or something. Emotions are highly overrated. Emotions are going to have me in deep trouble here soon if I'm not careful. Excom level trouble. Which, you know, would be bad. Also, oddly enough, surrounding career choices.

    SPIRITUALLY: I'm currently doing a bit of a tango with the spirit. He's surprisingly game. Not really sure what that means.


  14. Physical: Awesome! Started a couch-to-5k program TODAY, and I actually feel really good. (Attempt #1 last week to start running was a fail and is detailed in my latest blog post.) I will reward myself with a brownie… made from zucchinis and applesauce.

    Emotionally: Anxious about husband potentially getting hired at a new job that would be graveyard shift on weekends. Not sure if I want him to get it- it would mean more stability financially, but well, the schedule sucks! And happy that I have zucchini brownies in the fridge.

    Spiritually: Missed church on Sunday because of sick child and was bummed… which is unusual for me. I guess that's a good thing.

  15. Physically: like garbage. As in trash. As in not so hot or a hot mess. Or opposite of awesome… Basically I am about to tell you that I just ate my kids chocolate covered rice Krispy treat and it didn't help.
    Emotionally: really horrible. As in its a good thing I meet with my counselor in two days, but not sure if I can wait that long.
    Spiritually? Well yesterday was fab until about ten o' clock pm and its all been pretty bad since that time. As in I question whether my problems stem from church activity or not.

    Goal? Live another day. Sounds pathetic but if I set my goal low… It's a win win

  16. Physically:
    Not sick, but not fit. I don't exercise at all since my motivation buddy moved away, and I don't cook for myself now that I'm just cooking for one and my roommates leave our tiny kitchen dirty every day. Canker sores are beginning to crop up, a sure sign that I'm going to get all-out sick soon if I don't shape up.
    Goals: work on getting a new exercise buddy. Eat something with vegetables in it.

    Currently stable, but it's been a rollercoaster lately. Most days I feel hopeless, like the big meaningful parts of life will never happen for me, like I'll never be able to kick my bad habits, and like I'll go from now till the grave in a fog. I wouldn't accept that kind of groundless self-pity from a friend, though, and I know that logically, the thing that's holding me back is my attitude. Since life is good but I feel bad, and I match up with some of the symptoms I read about online, I think I've got clinical depression.
    Goal: to trust my brain instead of my heart for a while, and research getting professional help.

    Undecided. I skipped church, part because I got next to no sleep the night before, part because I felt unworthy due to some slip-ups earlier in the week. Most of the week was better, though, since I put some concerted effort into scripture reading and praying for the first time in too long. It made a huge difference in my happiness and my motivation for those days. I don't know why it isn't easier to keep it up, when the results are so dramatic, but I've already faltered.
    Goal: Don't give up when I fall. Do at least 3 days of reading and praying this week.


  17. I'm a little late to the party this time, but…

    Physically: I have found myself back at my mother's farm the past two weeks, which means my morning runs have gone out the window – though to be honest they'd pretty much fizzled since Christmas anyway… whoops! But on the other hand it does mean that I'm outside doing things a lot more – like weeding the garden, grubbing thistles, working with the sheep etc. Being at Mom's also means that I get to eat lots home grown veges and fruit from the garden, instead of the fake stuff I normally live on when I'm in the city. I have been a bit tired though, but its hard to determine whether its really a physical thing or more just a mental thing.

    Emotionally: A couple of weeks ago I actually got excited about something, for what seems like the first time in ages! I was presented with an opportunity, that I would have previously written off and paid no attention to, but this time it excited me (Surprisingly!). New doors finally seem to have opened, since I finished my MSc about 11 months ago. My MSc taught me a lot of things – about monkeys, seed dispersal and forest regeneration, but probably more importantly it taught me an awful lot about myself. One thing I learned, was that while I am a bit of nature nerd, science is not where I am meant to be. While I don't know if this particular opportunity will work out (I have mixed feelings about it so far), it has at least helped me come a step closer towards an answer to a large question left by my MSc – If science is not where I am meant to be, then where am I meant to be? so I'm glad to finally have some direction for my life.

    Spiritually: Earlier in January I'd felt that I needed to get a blessing. I don't like asking for them though, so decided just to wait, and get my home teacher to give me one when he came to visit later in the month. Then I came across the opportunity mentioned above, which required me to leave town for a few weeks, so that sort of messed up the home teaching plans – but I remembered that I had wanted a blessing and I decided I needed it before I left, and we were able to organise that. Mostly it contained things I already knew, but they were things that I needed to hear – things I needed reminding of. Heavenly Father knew what I needed to hear. That combined with the opportunity mentioned above, has given a lot of things to consider, but has opened a world of possibilities too, all of which I'm excited about. While staying at my mom's means I am unable to go to church and therefore haven't been for a couple of weeks, I nevertheless feel like God is watching over me and giving me the strength required to overcome my fears and insecurities and give this opportunity the best that I can. Perhaps because here I have the trees, the grass, the birds, the sheep, the wide open sky etc. and it is in the beauty offered by such things that I find it easiest to see the hand of God in life.

    Goal for this week: Be upfront with my potential new boss (there are a few issues that need sorting out), be confident in my abilities and now I've checked out this opportunity, come to a decision about whether I take it up or not.

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