Monday, July 2, 2012

I needed to feel empowered, so I listened to techno for 20 minutes

I have been doing so well lately. Better than in such a long time. I've been avoiding pornography, thanks in large part to the prayers that I know people are offering for me and I've been able to keep my thoughts pretty free and clear of even the desire to look at porn or check out other guys and stuff.  It's such a good feeling.

But today, I just woke up feeling weak. I don't know how else to describe it, I just was so tired. I mean, I was literally tired, but over and above that, I just felt spent up. It wasn't a hopeless exhaustion or one that made me want to give up and give in, but it wasn't a pleasant feeling.

A few years ago, when I was really in the thick of my pornography addiction and before I'd really started to ask for help and let people in on my life, I had these intense, debilitating feelings of worthlessness and depression. I started, then stopped, then started taking anti-depressants and seeing a therapist and when nothing really seemed to help with the depression, this idea came to me that my feelings were a necessary consequence of my poor decisions. I was carrying the guilt and shame with me everywhere and the only way to overcome it was to overcome my addictions.

For the last several years, my happiness and contentment was contingent on one thing: becoming worthy again. I assumed that as soon as I regained my worthiness, everything would become good again. I'd be happy, life would be easier and things would get better.

This morning, I had to face a reality where I'm not happy, even though I'm not making mistakes. To be sure, I'm very proud of myself for overcoming some of my demons insofar as I have and I also know that I'm much more at peace with myself now than I have been in a long time, but I can't say I'm appreciably happier. I don't want to give up, but I'm a little disappointed nonetheless.

A few months ago, my roommate introduced me to a piece of music. I was skeptical, because his taste tends to lean towards techno/dance/dubstep, while I tend to prefer music that's good (just kidding), but one song he showed me somehow got to me. It's called "Language," by Porter Robinson. The first time I heard it, its lyric-free melodies spoke something to me about my amazing ability to be more. Since there were no lyrics to get distracted by, I felt like I was listening to pure inspiration and the music spoke a deeply personal message to me, one that other people don't understand when they hear the song.

Today, that song came across my shuffle again and I looped it for about 20 minutes. I felt those old feelings come back. I saw my empowerment return. I saw those worries I'd woken up with in a new light. They still existed, but they were overshadowed by this ideal vision of myself, "a stoic badass whose emotions are mostly comprised of rock music and not being afraid of things." I saw this guy who still had feelings, but also had this uncanny ability to rise above them and refuse to let them define him. I still feel kinda sad, but I also feel bigger than the loneliness. Plus, it gave me a chance to evaluate my priorities and what's important to me, like my education, going to the temple when I get home, and serving a mission before the end of the year, all of which are much bigger than me.

Porter knows I'm worth more than the right now in which I find myself.

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