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Tuesday, February 08, 2005 

All These Things That I Have Done

I pulled this post down earlier today. I got quite a few emails for pulling this post and quite a few comments on my post saying I was pulling it. I want to let you know I pulled it because I, once again, felt I had said too much, that I had shared so much of my very fragile self with you all that it began to pain me to know it was up there, that people were reading it, and in a 6 hour time period not one person had said anything about it. I am by no means a "comment whore", I don't mind a post with few comments, but when I do something as foolish as post what is essentially my "guts" on the internet, I do need the slightest validation. I know, it is just one more sign of my greivious and pleantiful weaknesses, but I am who I am - a very sensative writer who is easily wounded by words and the lack thereof. To those who emailed and commented, I am putting this back up for you. You have supported my writing greatly, and it is the least I can do to show you how appreciative I am of that. Thank you.

"A Mistake"
Fiona Apple
From the album “When the Pawn…”

I'm gonna make a mistake
I'm gonna do it on purpose
I'm gonna waste my time
'Cause I'm full as a tick
And I'm scratching at the surface
And what I find is mine
And when the day is done, and I look back
And the fact is I had fun, fumbling around
All the advice I shunned, and I ran
Where they told me not to run, but I sure
Had fun, so
I'm gonna f**k it up again
I'm gonna do another detour
Unpave my path
And if you wanna make sense
Whatcha looking at me for
I'm no good at math
And when I find my way back,
The fact is I just may stay, or I may not
I've acquired quite a taste
For a well made mistake
I wanna mistake why can't I make a mistake?
I'm always doing what I think I should
Almost always doing everybody good
Do I wanna do right, of course but
Do I really wanna feel I'm forced to
Answer you, hell no
I've acquired quite a taste
For a well made mistake, I wanna
Make a mistake, why can't I make a mistake
I'm always doing what I think I should
Almost always doing everybody good

If you’ve ever read my website you know I have a thing for song lyrics, and often post the song I’m listening to over and over again so, with any luck, my readers can better understand my frame of mind. I think there is something very universal about music, something that is able to link us to each other. The above song is the unofficial theme song of the last six months of my life.

On my blog, I’ve written quite a bit over the past half year regarding this feeling I’ve been carrying around, this addict like need for experiences I hadn’t had before, mistakes I hadn’t made. There have been moments my mistake making has been outright blatant. I have known the choice I was making was undoubtedly wrong and would lead to nothing good whatsoever, but I just went ahead and did it anyway. My attitude about a lot of things became much more lax than even my typically liberal self was used to. I justified my behavior left, right and center. In short, there was a lot of me not caring, there was a lot of “natural man” tendencies. To be honest, I’m still in the middle of some of them.

I’m not sure what brought my attitude shift on, though I have some ideas. All I know is one morning, shortly after my 26th birthday. I was fed up with the way things were going. I was tired of doing all the “right” things and not seeing anything beneficial happening because of it. I kept getting told how great I was, how deserving of blessings I was, what an amazing person I was and how I just seemed to affect everyone for good, but I felt so very alone, so small and extremely insignificant. Add to those feelings the fact that my body was rapidly changing thanks to gastric bypass surgery and I was a disaster waiting to happen. The lines from Fiona’s song, “I’m as full as a tick, and I’m scratching at the surface” fit me just perfectly. I was full – done with the way things were going, done with how stagnant my life felt. So, I started making mistakes, choosing the wrong instead of the things I knew were right.

In my heart of hearts I know that “wickedness never [is] happiness” but I am stubborn to a fault, and have this terrible tendency to learn things the hard way. So I have spent the better part of the last six months of my life doing a lot of things I never thought I would do, wanting to do things that had never crossed my mind before and, for the most part, just not feeling all that bad about it… but that is mostly because I wasn’t feeling anything at all. To be honest, I’m not feeling too much at the moment, just trying to muddle through enough to make it through the day. I am at the point where I am beginning to see the flaws in my plans, the mistakes are finally having the shine wear off and the brass show through.

I don’t know why, as human beings, we choose to do the wrong thing when we know perfectly well what the right thing to do is, but it is a part of this earthly experience. We all go through it in one way or another at one time or another. I think the biggest thing to do, is learn. I have this long uphill climb ahead of me, this I know for certain. But, ever so slowly, day by day, there is this little part of me that wants to climb it, a part of me that wants to be done with the mistakes. So every day I give one thing away, I give one bad thing away and try to make room for something good. I know I didn’t get to where I am over night, and I’m not going to be able to get back that quick. It’s just about keeping on, and about deciding what I want more than anything else and what things I will need to choose in order to get me where I want to be.

I told Sarah that maybe all of "us" are not sure what to say...that we're composing comments in our heads but not sure how to type them out.

Sarah...You have been one of my MOST dearest and best good friends for the past 20 years. I think it's safe to say that I know you well. But I've had the pleasure of getting to know you even better the past year. I didn't think it was possibly, but I have.

This post...you laid it all out. You spoke as honestly as you could. You did something that not many could do. You sell yourself short constantly. Give a little credit where credit is due...to Sarah Marinara...The Pretty, Pretty Princess.

She deserves it.

Beautiful post, Sarah. Beautiful. 

Posted by JP

Very interesting to post and then remove and then repost on the week our topic is making right choices. Really adds to the meaning of it all.

You made the right choice Sarah. 

Posted by Rebecca

"Wickedness never [is] happiness."

But what if trying new things makes you happy? Obviously, you find some delight in it, even if it doesn't ultimately make you happy.

I think that if you live in the moment too much sometimes you get caught up in the immediate and choose to ignore the consequences that might be far off. The problem is that "far off" always catches up with you.

I think that you are brave for sharing your true self here... because sharing your true feelings, when they aren't what you've been told you're supposed to feel, and being different, is always a hard thing to do.

You are an amazing person.  

Posted by Kaycee

I read and re-read your post, and I am sorry I didn't comment. It is hard to know what to say when you want to take away someone else's pain and there is no earthly way to do it. I echo what has been already said: I admire your courage, and I know you're going to make it through this. My prayers continue to be with you.

Just a thought: I think "Wickedness never was happiness" means that even if you feel happy making a choice in "the moment" (this could also be called "pleasure", the end result, what happens as a consequence, and the chain-effect that occurs after we make decisions won't lead to *lasting* happiness. Does anyone else think there is a difference between "pleasure" and "happiness"?  

Posted by Suzie Petunia

If you agree with that idea, then maybe you would agree that "pleasure" is more important to some people and "happiness" is more important to others.  

Posted by Suzie Petunia

...and that is what governs our choices.

Sorry I couldn't come up with my entire thought in one comment! 

Posted by Suzie Petunia

You know Suzie, there is a great song by Rufus Wainright called "Instant Pleasure" it says: I don't want somebody to love me, just give me sex whenever I want it, cause all I ask for is instant pleasure. . ."

There is a huge difference between happiness and pleasure. I find it amazing though, the things we are willing to give up for pleasure instead of happiness. I have a good friend who has a pretty nasty porn problem and who is so lonely he calls me and cries about it. He wants so badly to be married in the temple, have a wife, be a dad, but he can't part with the instant pleasure of masterbating. He is willing, right now, to give up a lifetime of happiness for an orgasam or two.

I think the real question is what are you willing to give up to get what you really want? And, are you giving up what you want the most for what you want right now?


Posted by Sarah Marinara

OK Suzie, we need to line you up to blog on time.
I think oyu hit it right on the head. If we are all in it for pleasure, we are all in for a huge let down. Pleasure is fleeting, thats one important theme of the gospel of Jesus Christ, true hapiness. I have done my fair share of pleasure hunting in my life, but it does not stay with you. It leaves you searching for the next round of pleasure. However true happiness will always be with you, like the kind I get from my family. The kind I get from real friends. The kind I get when I come home from work and my 5 year old niece has left me a message telling me that she loves me more then I love her ( a little game her and I play). The kind I get when I see someone struggling in life, and yet they still press forward. Pleasures are earthly, happiness will carry on into the next life.
Happiness is Eternal

PS American Idol... I am so glad that Richard Molfetti (SP?)Is done, I was getting sick of him and his twin brother. 

Posted by Cameron

There are those of us (or perhaps just I) that are appreciative of posts like this even though we choose to stay in the shadows and comment only to ourselves, whatever our (or just my) reasons may be. Anything said in truth is worth saying. (fyi, your thoughts made me think; and I did make mention of your post on my own blog.) 

Posted by Pris

Sarah, I think that this post was just what I needed to hear, thanks for putting it back up. 

Posted by Mike

Sarah I'm SO glad you re-posted your blog on this topic. Thank you. I hope you know that by being this honest you bring a ray of hope/needed sympathy for all of us who feel/have felt like you have described here. The awful cycle...the self loathing that wrong choices bring...I'm talking about the choices we make that we KNOW are wrong, not the ones we make accidentally.

What is this strage compulsion to "punish" ourselves and then beat ourselves over and over after the fact? I have such a problem with letting the Atonement take effect. I am such a do-it-yourself-er. I figure that I'm the one who made the mistake so I should pay for it. BUT I KNOW BETTER! It's just really hard to let go...

I wish there was a formula to making the right decisions. A recipie. I don't know why we have to feel so bad sometimes...oh wait, yeah I do. How can I know the happiness without going through the hell? I CHOSE this plan. (We just read "The Giver" in book club. Very timely.) I'm so glad that in my worst times I know, even if I can't immediately feel, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks again, friend. 

Posted by Carrie Ann

The enticings of the world are, in large part, all about instant pleasure rather than lasting happiness, or true joy.

Our indulgence in pleasure will, by necessity, be more than offset by a greater amount of sorrow, or pain, required in order to (re-)attain lasting joy.

A simple analogy: I see ads on TV all the time about, "Buy now, pay later!" Perhaps what we've bought is no longer useful, but we still have to make the payments on it, and usually with interest.

That's essentially what we're doing when we make choices that offer "pleasure". We're left needing to make the payments over time to obtain true joy.

Keep at it, don't give up. You're not alone, every one of us, in some way or another, is involved in the same process.  

Posted by EastCoastEddie

Sarah, it sounds like you like to sin, and let everyone know about it. Then you go and sob about how hard it is to make right choices. Sorry for this, *I'm just sayin' what everyone is thinking.* I read all the comments about how you're " so strong" and such an amazing person. Frankly, if you want a better life, then stop making stupid choices and whining about it. IT IS NEVER OK TO SIN WHEN YOU KNOW IT'S WRONG. God does not look at that lightly. God will not be mocked. 

Posted by eastcoastteddie

Sarah, in light of your honesty, I'm going to write an honest response to your comments.
You're selfish. You're committing "spiritual suicide" for no better reason than to break up the monotony of your own life. You're mad at God for trying to help you become better by making life hard so you're "getting back at him" by resigning yourself to depression, misery, and loneliness. That'll show him, Sarah! You go girl! 

Posted by I'mNotSubtle

You know, "I'mnotsubtle" and "eastcoasteddie", you suck. You have a right to your own opinion, and so do I.

Sarah has had issues and experiences in life that the two of you could never imagine living through. YOU do not know her....YOU have no right to judge her!


Posted by Sandy

And another thing....There are things going on in Sarah's life that have NOTHING to do with her making wrong or right choices. Sarah had no say or choice in the matter. She writes from the heart....and I love her for it.  

Posted by sandy

I'm sorry, i just won't validate Sarah's need for constant attention for her "mistakes in life" I'm a long time reader, first time commenter. So don't tell me i don't know anything about her.  

Posted by eastcoastteddie

Judgement, nothing. Let's talk about realism. Any good therapeutic atmosphere contains an equal balance of both validation AND confrontation on disclosed issues. So far, the comments on this site seem to contain nothing more than self-indulgent "ego-pats." Are you trying to help Sarah heal with your comments or just make her "feel better?" There IS a difference--healing's not easy, but it's lasting; nursing someone's ego to make them feel better about misery they've chosen seems hollow even in the moment. I've read Sarah's blogs, I've followed her story. Life IS hard, and life DOES hurt, but there is ALWAYS a choice involved in what we do with that life. Sarah has admitted that she makes wrong choices on purpose. I can't validate her for trying to destroy herself.  

Posted by I'mNotSubtle

The thing that I'mNotSubtle and eastcoasteddie seem to have missed is that Sarah realizes what she was doing is wrong. She know her decisions and choices have lead her to more unhappiness. She is now trying to fix those mistakes. It's not "ego-pats" to let her know that she will get throught this and be better for it. Yes, it isn't the smartest thing to intentionally make wrong choices. But everyone has done it, intentionally or not, and everyone has to climb up that hill. It never hurts anyone to let them know that they are loved and supported in their decision to make things right. Feeling alone and miserable is the worst thing. Sarah was very brave in admitting these things in front of so many people, and owning them. She does deserve "ego-pats" for that. She does have a hard road ahead of her, but she also has the support and understanding of those who have gone on that road ahead of her, myself included. We know her strength and her convictions. We know that she'll come out of this better than she was.

P.S. Just because you're a longtime reader doesn't mean you know her. I've know Sarah, even lived with her for a time, for over 15 years, and I still feel like I'm getting to know her.  

Posted by Jody

Some people have made some very judgemental comments here and I'm frustrated by it.

Even if you've known some of the things Sarah has been through, you don't know her whole story... only she does.

Her post here is not an invitation for you to judge, admonish and condemn her. NO ONE HAS THAT RIGHT. She is sharing her personal life experiences.

Do you honestly think that you can help someone heal by calling them names and throwing sarcasm their way?

Sarah talked openly and honestly about this period in her life, which is very difficult for her. She is talking about it because she wants to change and I worry that your comments will only serve to send her deeper into depression.

I hope that your judgement provides you with some satisfaction because I'll bet it's provided Sarah with pain and anger and tears.

I won't validate you for destroying her.

Posted by Kaycee

Thank you Jody and Kaycee....for saying what I felt much better than I have the ability to do myself. 

Posted by sandy

i may not know I'mnotsubtle, but i would go on a date with her. If it is a her, and if not, then no, i'm not gay. Even if i do live in Fort Lauderdale.
anyway, anyone who thinks i'm judging sarah obviously doen't understand objective comments based on what was written in her bolg. No judgement intended or implied. she knows what she needs to do to make her life right. She just has to cowboy-up. 

Posted by eastcoastteddie

eastcoasteddie... She said as much in her post.

But, ever so slowly, day by day, there is this little part of me that wants to climb it, a part of me that wants to be done with the mistakes. So every day I give one thing away, I give one bad thing away and try to make room for something good.She knows that already. And she's not whining. She's trying to make better decisions, but being honest about her experience.

By saying that she likes to sin, tell and then sob you certainly were judging her. That is NOT objective!

Posted by Kaycee

The thing that cracks me up about this whole thing is I am in no way looking for validation or "ego-pats" or what have you. I just write what I feel. I share the things that rumble around my brain because I know that I am not the only one who has ever felt the way I feel right now. I write what I feel so maybe someone else can figure out they aren't alone in this thing.

I find it interesting that you pointed out that I "love my sins". I agree. There is not one person, not even Eddie and Subtle, who doesn't have a pet sin of one kind or another. There is something you just haven't been able to let go of, something you love more than doing what you KNOW is right. EVERYONE has that because NO ONE is perfect. The beauty of the atonement is that we can overcome those pet sins ONCE WE ARE READY.

Spiritual suicide is a good way to put it. I would pretty much agree that is exactly what I have been attempting over the past six months. It just all got to be way too much. Sadly, my depression makes me feel like all of my nerves (enotional and physical) are on the outside of my body. I feel EVERYTHING 100 times more than I should. So, it just became too much to deal with. So, spiritual suicide it was.

As I said in my post, things are changing. I am beginning to want to do better. It won't be tomorrow that I'm choosing the right in more aspects of my life than not, but it will be someday. Until then, thanks for your comments. 

Posted by Sarah Marinara

Now, this time I'm not taking anything out of context, am I?? Its not like last week when I missed CA's point entirely, right?

What I find interesting, Eastcoasteddie, is that you were right there giving positive feedback:
"Keep at it, don't give up. You're not alone, every one of us, in some way or another, is involved in the same process"

But then you head right into:
"Frankly, if you want a better life, then stop making stupid choices and whining about it. IT IS NEVER OK TO SIN WHEN YOU KNOW IT'S WRONG. God does not look at that lightly. God will not be mocked."

"I'm sorry, i just won't validate Sarah's need for constant attention for her 'mistakes in life'"

Interesting. So...you've done EVERYTHING God has asked of you and have NEVER had a hard time? And you've suffered depression and just bounced right back without a hitch?

Hats of to you, then...I'm sorry we can't all be like you. I'm sure you'll be headed STRAIGHT to heaven while us sinners stay behind... 

Posted by JP

I to have found myself in a similar place as you, strangely compelled to do things "you know to be mistakes." While not growing up in a particularlly religious family my parents did lay out in black and white the "good" choices and the "mistakes" (much like any church) and I being the obediant son i was dutifully followed their advise right up until my early 20's. When new things came up I dutifully asked my self WWM&DD (what would Mom and Dad do) and than acted accordingly. However at a certain point I became somewhat depressed with the state of my life. I hated that when I did the "right" thing it wasn't because i knew it was the right thing but because somebody had told me it was. Were those "bad" things so bad, were the mistakes really mistakes? In some cases it turns out Mom and Dad were right in others they were wrong This realization has saved my life. I have my own identity now, I'm not simply a clone of my parents, I make decisions based on what I think, what I want, what i know. I make lots of mistakes but when the opportunity to make them a second time occurs I know why I'm declining.

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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