Celebrating Recovery

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Get in the trunk

This is what my sponsor told me tonight, which is the first time my mind has bent around the idea of "turning over my life."

Right now, and for years, I've been in the driver's seat of my life. God has been in the passenger seat, or following behind. I need to stop the car, get out, pop the trunk and hop in and let God drive the car. What would He have me do in every situation....He's driving. That makes sense. In each situation I enter, I can ask that question and decide based on the promting of God's spirit in me.

I guess that humility goes deeper than I thought. I don't know many people that truly live like this. So many people go into church (and go to the service that allows them to make their tee time or the Bronco game), and fit God into their schedule. The reality is that we should be fitting our schedule into God's plan for our lives.

I'm praying that I'll have the wisdom to get in the trunk of my life. That will be the beginning of recovery, and the beginning of a genuine walk and Father/Son relationship with God.
:: posted by recovering, 10:04 PM | link |

Friday, April 21, 2006

the road

Well, I did get through my 30 days. Actually made it 36 days, and then relapsed. I went through about a week where I was in the gutter. Now I'm back on the tracks, moving forward. Ironically, I feel further along, even though I fell.

Everyone in recovery says take it one day at a time. I need to heed this advice. I met two guys tonight that are two years clean from sexual addiction. It was encouraging to see them still, in humility, going before the Lord admitting their issues, and sharing their experiences with others. I know too many guys that are too prideful, and will not go to something like this consistently, because it places them in a category. The enemy and the addiction use pride against us. We should err most definitively on the side of humility, the direct antithesis of pride. We should be willing to lay down whatever "rights" we have, in order to submit to God's will for our lives.

I am on Step 4, which is taking an honest moral inventory of myself. Basically, writing down everything about my life that has led to this point, good and bad, and in detail. That will take a while, but I know it will be healthy. I have things that I've done that wake me up at night, because of the guilt and shame that weighs so heavily.

In the past, I have always known all the answers. I learned that quickly when I became a Christian. I learned how to "give a good word." Jesus calls us to action. That's where my faking it no longer works. That's where I've continued to withhold my surrender. That's why the addiction has continued to perpetuate itself. I want to do things to make it look like I'm pursuing God and healing, but I don't want to really do what it takes.

This is why the 12 step program is great for me. The structure guides me through the things I need most. I have a sponsor that challenges me. I have accountability partners that see all the websites I visit. This structure allows me the "room" to breathe, but I still have to pursue the Lord. Devotional times, prayer times, every single day. Intentionally. Keeping up with this blog, and my thoughts, and where God has brought me. Being real and open and accountable to other men in my life. All these things are things I've neglected or faked. I can sense that God wants me to get past this, so that I can help pull others out of this pit.
:: posted by recovering, 10:38 PM | link |

Thursday, March 30, 2006

30 day chip

Tomorrow night, assuming I make it, I will receive my 30 day sobriety chip. I have not looked at pornography for 1 full month. I can't remember the last time that happened. I have been immersed in it ever since I was young. I have this voice in the back of my head that says, "Just wait, you may last a few days, but eventually you'll cave in." I don't know what to do about this voice, because I really believe that's true. I don't want it to be true, I just can't see how it won't happen eventually. It's all I've known for so long. That's why the humility of step one continues to be critical. I can never assume that I'm ok. That's why I always need to call my support group, call my accountability brothers, flee from bad situations, and go to meetings. Everytime I go to a meeting, I feel refreshed. Everytime I don't call, or don't have significant conversations, I feel like my life is in the shadows, and I begin to slip. This thing is really an amazing undertaking. I can't do it on my own, I need Jesus so badly right now to give me grace and His strength to get through.

It's also scary the creative ways that I've come up with to make up for not having porn. When we begin to be convicted at the heart level, on the attitudes of our heart, that's when we know we are growing. Even if we are several steps from the sin, yet we still confess the attitude of our heart was to pursue that path. THAT's the standard Jesus called us to. He said if you even look at a woman lustfully, you've already committed adultery with her in your heart. Amazing.
:: posted by recovering, 9:51 PM | link |

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

PORN LINKS

It has come to my attention that my blog is being linked by some pornographic websites and blogs out there. If you are here because of one of these blogs, it's not by accident. Please read my thoughts on this blog as I journal through my recovery from this drug that almost ruined my life. I pray for you that you will find help and you will believe any conviction that you have in your heart to be the very voice of God, who is calling you to a better life.
:: posted by recovering, 10:02 PM | link |

Step 1

After a brief relapse, I am now 21 days clean. I have had my share of temptations and struggles. Unlike being an alcoholic, all a sexual addict has to do is walk out of the house, or turn on the TV, or use their imagination, to get drunk on their wine. This makes full sobriety a little difficult, so I have decided to start with just pornography and activities associated with it. I have been faithful to attend Tuesday night and Friday night meetings, and many times I go against my will.

Tonight one of the other men in the group who is struggling with the same addiction I am, told me that he and his wife just had their first baby. The only problem is she won't let him see her. I am assuming it's because of damage done by his choices. Also tonight, there was a girl that is recovering from an eating disorder. She is celebrating 60 days of not acting out in her addiction. I was encouraged by both of these stories, one of celebration, one of mourning.

I believe there is a God, and I have real hope that He can change my heart, and my 17 years of behavior patterns that spring from deep emotional needs that were unmet.

STEP 1 is all about humility. I keep on admitting I'm powerless to control my life and my addictive behaviors, and that my life has become unmanageable. This is so hard for men to do, especially in our society now where men go to "The Man Show" for their definition of what a man is and should be. Most men probably think there is nothing wrong or abnormal about men looking at porn. I cannot listen to my pride which says, "You don't need to be in a screwed up group of people, you can control this, you just need to stop." Fact is, I've said that for 17 years, and I can't. I can't stop. I am powerless to control my addictive behaviors. This humility is the basis for God to work to rebuild the heart. More later......
:: posted by recovering, 9:51 PM | link |

Saturday, February 25, 2006

I can have what I want... day 15

"I can have what I want, only when I want what I have." This is a principle that was brought out in last night's meeting.

Part of my problem, which I think is a human problem, is that I'm not satisfied with what I have. Part of my recovery is to learn to thank God for the blessings I have, not wish and pray constantly for what I don't have. It doesn't even have to do with sex or sexual gratification, it's an attitude of my life that needs to be changed. If I have a genuine heart of thankfulness, gladness, and joy, then I'll be much less likely to feel like I need something more. Many of these things happen in the subconscious, and patterns develop over time that we don't even notice. These can be patterns of bitterness, anger, hurt, sadness, and general discontentment. How many times have you heard of the adulterous relationship that happened "out of the blue." Then upon closer examination, we find that there were warning signs all along the way.

The reality is that there will always be an ache, and only Christ can provide the real satisfaction. This is because we will always wrestle in this life with our flesh. Our flesh refuses to be satisfied, and pits us "naturally" against what is best for us. (Notice how hard it is to get in shape, but how easy it is to get out of shape...or how good the bad for you food tastes) 1 Cor. 9:25-27

I need to learn to be thankful, it's not something that comes naturally. Part of a Christian's motivation not to commit sin is a thankful heart that is not only thankful for earthly blessings, but thankful for Christ himself, and His redemption that allows me to fellowship with the Living God.
:: posted by recovering, 4:34 PM | link |

Thursday, February 23, 2006

day 13

I'm feeling dry, but the clouds are gone from my head. Even when I'm tempted, there's almost more clarity to it. However, in some ways the temptations have been stronger. I stood in front of a magazine rack today, where I had compromised a thousand times before, but today, I resisted.

The temptations flood like a dam with holes in it. Each time I stop the water from one or two openings, the other ones become stronger. Things I hadn't thought about doing before, now become temptations.

The grace of God is what I need in this time, along with his strength, to protect me. I need to make wise steps in where my feet run, and what I allow to stay in my mind. The first real step will be 30 days.
:: posted by recovering, 6:34 PM | link |

Sunday, February 12, 2006

day 1

yesterday was the first day in my recovery from an addiction that has chained me for 17 years. I know that it won't be easy, but I know with my Lord's help, I can do all things.

I want this for my wife, my kids, and our future in this life. I'm tired of being two men. I'm tired of going back to the same source everytime, and never being satisfied.

I created this blog to allow me a place to journal my thoughts as I go through Celebrate Recovery at my church.
:: posted by recovering, 8:35 AM | link |

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