*Sorry for missing my Sunday post. I have been unavailable, and have been playing catch up with my study of the last principle. I also didn’t realize how much I would have to write about this last principle, but I feel like I am using it to wrap up my study of this book. In lieu of a summary post, here is both the last principle and my thoughts of where I am since beginning the study. I also realize this ties in a lot with my most recent post, It is a struggle every day, every day, every day.
Well here we are. A few months down the road, and we find ourselves at the end of a 12 week (more because of holidays and such) path of study and group discussions. My wife and I have enjoyed the opportunity to study in a different way, and approach a program with different concerns and questions. Each of us came to Heart To Heart with different goals in mind. Mine was the evaluation of the role that diapers play in my life. The question of whether they are an addiction rolled over and over in my mind throughout the past few months. Even now, as I prepare my thoughts for the final principle I wonder how I will put it into words. Let’s dive in, shall we?
The principle opens that when we have felt a “mighty change of heart” that we will be “willing to become instruments in carrying this message to others” and that this change must come “from the inside out.” During my decades of introspection and searching about my affinity or desire to diapers I have struggled within. In the past year, I began down a similar path as before, but with my wife along side. I had begun sharing with her in more detail about this part of myself. This brought me to begin typing my thoughts as I was not able to have all of these conversations all the time with her. Those thoughts began forming into themes which became the first posts of the blog that you are reading now.
At first, my intentions were somewhat selfish in nature. I was writing to figure myself out. Every post, every interaction with others like me, and each day and diaper that passes I have turned my focus more on wanting to help others. If my words and experiences can help anyone else not have to stumble around in the dark for days, weeks, years, or decades then I feel it worth it. I look at myself and diapers in a different light now.
It is emotion like that which makes me feel like diapers are not an addiction. The emotion where I have felt shame leave me as a primary emotion behind my desire to wear diapers. “It was only when I stopped trying to fix myself and admitted my need for the Savior that I began to experience such love and kindness, such empowerment and redemption from Him, that changes (heart-deep changes) began to happen.” I believe when I finally gave some of my burden away that I was able to really begin to see growth in myself. When I was able to first give it to my wife, and then also to the Savior, that I stopped trying to beat myself up and “fix myself.” It has since become a desire to understand, integrate, and incorporate it as part of who I am. That stance is ever evolving, and part of me still worries if it is the correct approach (*sarcasm* because binge/purge has worked out so well for me in the past /*sarcasm*).
Through repentance and change we come to realize “that there is no other name, way or means (power) that can take us all the way” except Christ. This concept then reels me back in to where I must consider what diapers are to me, and what they do for me. Am I allowing them to take more of my life than I should. Should they have any place in my life? I have found that this course of study has caused me to pose many, many questions (some of which I did not have the answer to when composing the notes/posts). I now must begin to answer these questions instead of punting them by asking the question and moving on with study. I have never known life without wanting diapers in my life. Perhaps that is why I have struggled with classifying it as an addiction. It has always been part of who I am. Even this week, I’ve looked at myself in the mirror wearing a diaper and asked myself the question, “why?” If I don’t feel it an addiction, then what? I must be willing to take ownership and responsibility of it, and find its place in my life. I must not allow it to control me.
The principles and steps of change help shift us from “being carnally-minded to being spiritually-minded.” Diapers, if we allow them, can become very carnal in nature. Our need and urge for them can be very selfish, and we can begin to turn to them for needs where we should be looking for human connection and the Savior for help. That struggle is something I often refer to as “the balance” I work to maintain in my life with diapers.
Here lays the repentance that I think we most often exercise. In between minimal repentance (reacting to being caught where we may be forced to stop, temporarily, our action/s) and full-on, mighty change repentance where are hearts are turned we find the level of repentance that all-too-often we live in. The book makes the statement, “I’ll stop doing this, but I don’t want to get rid of the possibility entirely.” We are too afraid or weak to completely turn away from the sin. I feel this way about diapers. In my initial notes after reading this section I wrote, “Should they go away, yes. Can I do it now, or am I at a place now where they can be gone, no.”
I have tried in various forms for decades to remove diapers from my life. The Binge/Purge cycle has hit me a number of times. Presently, I have felt more balance and overall success with diapers since opening up completely with my wife. I went through a time of “binge” where I wanted to wear more, but the novelty of a more accepted atmosphere wore off and I have returned to more or less where I was, even less perhaps. I have not worn much in the last few months. Even during a trip recently, where I typically have more opportunity to wear, I decided against wearing the majority of the trip.
Diapers will continue to be something that I work on in the foreseeable future. I am farther down the path than I ever have been, but I haven’t been able to go far enough, deep enough yet. Part of what makes this so hard is that I have not known life without wanting diapers. That is the biggest reason why I struggle with the concept of diapers being an addiction. Should anything be between me and my relationship with the Savior? No, but we all have our “things” or vices that keep us from perfection in this mortal existence. Diapers aren’t better or worse, they are just different. It is my burden to bear, and a burden that I have never known life without.
How many times have you heard that word? How many times have we said that word in relation to repentance and being forgiven for sin? I know the answer for me to both of those questions is a lot of times. Never, until reading it in this principle did I tie it with someone dealing with cancer. When I hear the word remission in relation to cancer I think about the happy news someone is receiving. The word remission relating to cancer deals with the current suppression of cancer in the body, or a temporary relief from the pain they had been experiencing. The remission, forgiveness, pardoning, or absolution from a sin provides us relief a pain of sin that can also be spiritually and emotionally cancerous to our lives.
Remission, when talking about cancer, is not necessarily a clean bill of health. There is the chance that the cancer will return, just as we can allow sin back into our lives (half-measure repentance). Our diligence and desire for healthy living will help keep both types of cancer out of our lives.
“Men are, that they might have joy.” – 2 Nephi 2:25
This scripture is mentioned at the end of the section talking about a remission of sins. So many of us search for the “why” behind our desire, affinity, or pull to diapers. We are searching for joy, or peace. Diapers, for so many of us, provide a space for peace. This brings back the conversation of something artificial replacing the eternal happiness that can only be found through the Gospel. My personal stance, as I am today, is that diapers help me weather the storms in my life. I do not put them on to replace any thing or person in my life. They calm me, center me, and help me get back on track. I strive hard to never allow a decision involving diapers to take priority over a family member or activity in my life that would take me away from my responsibilities as a husband, father, or Priesthood holder.
This was a concern voiced by my wife early on, and I know it is a major concern of other spouses out there that have a companion that wants to wear diapers. This has been something that I have had to prove or show to my wife over time. I have told her many times that they do not take her place, but I believe the action of showing her over the last months has been much more powerful.
The Desire To Share
“The desire to carry the message to others who still suffer, those who still do not know the Savior’s reality, is essential to those who have been redeemed.” I automatically thought of the saying, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” The longer that I write, and grow in the last year with my deeper personal understanding of my relationship with diapers, the deeper my desire to reach out and help other people. I hope and pray that I might help anyone suffer a little less than I did. My goal is to find those that are stumbling around in the dark, like I was, for far too long and help them find meaning and understanding with their own relationship with diapers. I fought a pushed for so long, and now I feel much differently about them. I thrive in the small community of fellow littles, adult babies, and diaper lovers that I associate with. They strengthen me, and I hope that I am able to help them in some small measure as well.
The book continues with talking about the importance of sharing the message, and posing the following question. “Do we believe it enough to share it?” I feel for myself, I have found that I believe in myself and where I stand with diapers that I can share with others now. I am building a foundation where I understand myself a little better, and want to help others get to that point as well in their own lives and in their relationships with their loved ones. That is what now motivates me.
“No part of me can be destroyed”
The author talks about her emotions being part of who she is, and that being tempted itself is not sin. She will continue to have feelings and emotions relating to her trail and addiction. It is the desire of our hearts, and where we turn that matters. In what or who do we place our faith? I strive and pray for continual balance in my life with diapers. They will not take the place of what matters most in my life, and I know that I will have the support and help of my wife should that ever begin to occur. I work hard to stay “sober” and of sound mind. The author had the realization that those negative feelings and emotions can be taken to the Savior. We can ask for help at that point, when we are sitting on the fence.
I am me, I am a work-in-progress, but I am enough. With all of my faults, with all of my short-comings, I am still enough. You are too, and don’t let that internal dialogue tell you any difference. We like diapers. It took me decades to be able to say that. I like diapers, and I am still a good person. I will fall short, I will fail at times, but I am still me. I am both the good and the bad that makes up my whole self. The Savior accepts all of me. My wife accepts all of me. I must accept it as well.
You are you, and you are enough. Please learn to love and accept yourself. Learn to love the version of you that likes diapers, or whatever other quirk that makes you part of who you are. Find yourself, and find the way to love yourself. Things change drastically when you are able to think about all of who you are, and love yourself.