I’m sitting in the Detroit airport. I have a 3 hour layover. And I’m reading about pornography and sex addiction from the author of new site I found of a recovering addict who’s LDS.
I feel pretty good about where I am today.
B and I had a great talk yesterday and it was close to a perfect day.
I did go to a public (well, private club) pool, which I think both B and I were worried about some, but in all honesty I feel it went well.
Did I notice people and all that? Yes, some I guess.
But I really feel I didn’t focus on people around me or allow thoughts to linger in my mind. Instead, I “lost myself” with interaction with the kids: playing catch with Caleb and Madi, flipping Chloe in the water, and holding J.
B and I then really connected with a great talk while relaxing in the sun at her house.
Some of my keys to success with the pool scene was to stay active and to keep a continual prayer in my heart that God would help me. And He did.
Is a pool a place I want to go to very often? No! (nor a beach, a water park, or anywhere where women may be wearing clothing that is…whatever), but I feel as long as I’m aware and not casual, God will help me know how to handle the situation – whether that means fleeing or whatever is best.
So, here I am.
I am headed home for about 12 days to work and make some money for the family in July. B and the kids will stay in Wisconsin during that time so she can work on her own recovery and have a bit of space to rely on God and not me.
Both she and I feel this is one of the first tests of my recovery: I’ll be alone, I can do whatever I want whenever I want, and could potentially hide it from the world for a time.
But I know the truth. The truth is that I can hide nothing, not from God, not from myself, and definitely not from my family.
Addictive actions can be hid for a time, but the addictive behaviors that precede or follow them are not possible to hide, no matter how hard I’ve tried in the past. And sincerely I’m happy about this. I don’t want to hide. I don’t want to be chained down. I don’t want to fight this fight alone any more.
Instead, I want to rely on God and submit my will to him in all things.
Here are some of the things I talked to B about that I feel will help me submit during this 12 day test:
- Playing basketball with the guys Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of this coming week
- Going to the temple Tuesday and Thursday morning to either do a session or initiatories (or both)
- Going to a 12-step meeting on Tuesday (BYU), Thursday (Springville), and Friday (Salem) evening
- Talking with other potential sponsors and finding a sponsor that can help me work the steps of the program and hold me accountable (Alan)
- Writing out a detailed schedule for each day of this test – being as specific as possible and creating a checklist to monitor my progress
- Doing things with friends like Tyson, Ray and Amy, Adam, and others that will keep me away from idleness
- Making time to write, study, read, and pray each morning and possibly night
- Going to bed by no later than 11:00 p.m. each night and waking up early to get to the events I have planned
One of the things I’m going to be reading is the ebook titled “Sitting in a Rowboat”.
Here are some of the quotes I like:
…if lustful thoughts are permitted “to remain in our heads without dealing with [them] immediately, we begin physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and neurological changes within us.”
Sexual sobriety has a specific meaning to me: no form of sex with self or any other person other than spouse. Period. It also means progressive victory over lust.
I really like this – “How has this time been different than all the other times you tried to stop your addiction?”
I finally came to understand that I had lost the war, and so I surrendered — not to my addiction, but to God. I gave up and turned it all over to Him. After the last disclosure to my wife, as I was suffering in desperate misery and unsure whether our family would remain together, I was struck by the clear impression that I needed to call a friend in another state to tell him what I had done and enlist his help. I followed the impression and made the call. The friend listened to me patiently and then he told me some things that changed my life.
This is so true:
One of sex addiction’s biggest hooks to control the addict is secrecy.
It takes an addict to help an addict.
And this is the best part I’ve read so far, the part that is causing me to get teary right here in the airport, the part I look forward to sharing with B:
Your husband’s addiction is not rooted in his dissatisfaction with you. You might think it is. He might think it is and even say so. You are both wrong. If you dropped thirty pounds, he would still be an addict. If you got an augmentation and liposuction and collagen injections so you looked like a porn star, he would still be an addict. If you did things in the bedroom that you really didn’t want to do, thinking that maybe this way you can keep him from looking elsewhere, he would still be an addict. If you think that viewing internet pornography together or watching raunchy movies together will “enhance” your marriage or at least make him less likely to indulge in pornography on his own, you need to know that he is still an addict. Nothing you do will cure him.
One other thing. If anyone tries to tell you that your husband looks at pornography because you’re not giving him what he needs, look that guy right in the eye and ask, “Won’t he still be an addict no matter how much sex I give him?”
Addiction is a disease. It has no cure. You may have been told otherwise. I am asking you right now to change your thinking. I am a sex addict. I know what I’m talking about. I know this in a way that others without my addiction apparently can’t know. For the rest of my life, I will always have the disease of sex addiction. So will your husband. This does not mean, however, that the disease cannot be managed and controlled. This does not mean that we cannot find peace, happiness and complete freedom from acting out. Gratefully, there is a solution.
I like this a lot too:
…consider what else you now understand:your husband has an addiction; the addiction ebbs and flows; there is no cure; it is bigger and more powerful and more cunning than he is. What this allows you to accept is that your husband truly does love you, but his addiction prevents him from fully manifesting that love to you through complete fidelity to you. He does care about the family, but his addiction stops him from being the father he should be. His temple covenants are, in fact, important to him, but his addiction makes it impossible for him to keep those covenants. He wants to be worthy of the priesthood he bears, but his addiction literally puts worthiness out of reach. Where, you ask, is the hope? The hope comes in recognizing that he truly loves you and wants you at the center of his universe. The addiction is the enemy here, not your husband!
When I finally disclosed to my wife the nature and extent of my sexually acting out, she was devastated. She wanted to die. She was fortunate, however, to have a close friend who survived similar circumstances a few years before and had found recovery through S-Anon. In tears of despair, my wife cried that she just wanted someone to tell her that there was some hope. With quiet confidence, her friend told her that there most definitely was hope, that we could both recover together, and that our marriage and love for each other could achieve a strength, confidence and unity beyond anything we had known before. I lack words to express how right she was. Please don’t give up hope.
I’m home now and it’s time to go to bed. I feel good about tonight: I went with Tyson and Adam to watch the RSL game at a restaurant. We had a good time, talked, and watch RSL tie 1-1 late.
I’ve made a to-do list and bucket-list for this week and will stick to it.