Well, today has been another trying day at work. We had a meeting with Dane I. and Dave G. and it was very interesting how they presented their case. It was basically a “You ‘buy in’ to what we are doing, or you find somewhere else to work…”
I maintained my composure pretty well I feel, although the tension was really there.
Raul has been emailing me and recently sent this information from a book he’s reading:
The Relapse Chain: (or the 12 Steps to Relapse)
- A Build-up of Stress, work pressures, marital arguments, financial problems, etc.
- Emotional Overreaction, overwhelming thinking for sometimes trivial things
- Denial Sets In, putting a front of being O.K. when not.
- Failure to Get Support, silence on recovery communication, absence in meetings, lack of prayer
- “Little” Lies, making up excuses to get into high risk situations. “I am just going to check my email; that’s it.”
- Isolation, guilt starts to kick in, but denial is the day’s special, so one pretends to be O.K. and isolates from other people.
- Problems Grow Worse, the work pressure or financial problems grows because it wasn’t faced yet.
- Hopelessness Returns, longing the “good times” on the drug kicks in. The idea of using grows more appealing.
- Self-Sabotage, one “finds himself” being hunted, or finds triggers everywhere
- Use, irresistible cravings and urges lead to obtain access to the drug and use it
- Defeatist Reaction, feelings of shame, despair, and frustration lead to want to use more. “I’ve already blown it, I might as well keep going.”
- Full-Blown Relapse–the cycle ends. The addict binges for days between steps 10 and 11, thus taking step 12.
He noted that he feels he’s in Step 8 of this cycle right now and wanted suggestions on what to do.
I responded like this:
Thanks for the great email!
I like the break down of the cycle of addiction.
I agree that recognizing you’re in that cycle is an important part of getting out of the cycle. One question that comes to mind as I think about “suggestions”:
Instead of what AREN’T you doing, what ARE you doing to get away from your addictions?
One thing that’s helped me a lot to get back in my routine is the consistent work in the journal writing. I’ve started with the small steps and then tried to grow back in to the more aggressive work of answering questions, reviewing my Step 4 inventory, etc.
There have been a few times recently that I’ve written in my journal a few times in one day to try to discern what was going on, why I was feeling a certain way, and what I was doing to get the ball rolling.
Taking a step back has helped me realize that, with some in-depth looking in to my own “soul”, I’ve been able to see triggers and tendencies that I have tended to look over in the past.
I will continue to think about your questions and encourage you to keep sending emails, keep writing in your journal, keep working the steps of the program, keep doing the things that will keep you away from the addiction.
My last suggestion is that you work hard to really believe that you don’t have to do this on your own – that God is there to help if you’re willing to ask. I think this is my biggest problem with my addiction – I THINK I’m submitting my will to God, when in actuality I’m “white-knuckling” my way through the day to day temptations and not really submitting my will to God at all.
I’m not sure what other “suggestions” I can give right now.
I’m still battling too.
I don’t know the best answers necessarily.
What I do know is that as I write things out, as I pray and ask for help, as I go to meetings, as I strive to stay away from the edge by losing myself in other activities, the addictions seem to not be there as strong. Yes, they are still there, but my desires have changed.
Instead of wanting to take out my frustrations by looking at pornography, I want to write about how I feel, I want to talk to others to get their perspective, I want to be free from the temptation.
My biggest temptations lately have been wasting time looking at pictures of other people on Facebook. I know, to some, this may not be a big deal, but to me its the fuel before the fire. This tendency is an indicator of lustful desires that then seem to lead to looking at inappropriate things. I seem to get as close to the line as possible, almost hoping I’ll slip and fall and that it won’t be “my fault”.
Anyway, I’m grateful for the Atonement. I’m grateful that I feel better about my progress by getting back to doing the little things that make all the difference.
I know I’m not perfect. I know there are many character weaknesses I have that I want to get rid of. I know I can’t get rid of those things on my own though.
I know I can be better and personal, fervent prayer where I let Heavenly Father know the true desires of my heart. I know, according to my patriarchal blessing, that he will be there when I need Him most.