Well, today or tomorrow may be day one of my 90 day challenge to work with a sponsor. I submitted my application at ARPSupport.org and get an email back last night. It was very straight forward. This is what it said:
We are glad to get your request for a Support Person (Sponsor) and are anxious to see you get started. Here is the outline of the work of our 90 Day Program. Each of these points are essential and non-negotiable, and you will need internet access first thing and last thing each day for the next 90 days, uninterrupted, to be able to complete the assignments. If you feel you are ready and willing to commit to each of these things, please let us know right away, and someone will be assigned to contact you to get started working the program. This isn’t for everyone, but those who are ready and willing to go to any lengths to overcome addiction typically do very well. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
It should go without saying that recovery begins with an honest desire to stop acting out and a willingness to abstain from our addiction, or anything like unto it. Here’s what the SA White Book says:
We stop practicing our compulsion in all its forms. We can’t be “sober” in one area while acting out in another. There can be no relief from the obsession of lust while still practicing the acts of lust in any form.
“I can be masturbating to the image of a blank wall, and I’m still resorting to my drug.”
We stop feeding lust. We get rid of all the materials and other triggers under our control. We stop feeding lust through the eyes, the fantasy, and the memory. We stop relishing the language of lust, resentment, and rage. We stop living only and always inside our own heads. One of the fringe benefits of going to a lot of meetings is that it gets us out of ourselves.
As we become aware of other addictions that are part of our lives, we pray for willingness to surrender each one.
There can be no true recovery from addiction if we allow it to persist in any area, whether in our thinking or in our acting out.
What we are really saying when we start meeting with others is, “I have to stop; please help me.”
But we need some demonstration of trust, and hearing the stories of other members, we begin to let our guard down. Before we know it, we’ve crossed that line of doubt, mistrust, and fear, and have put down our drug.
The program doesn’t tell us how to stop-we had done that a thousand and one times-it shows us how to keep from starting again. We had it backwards; before, we always wanted the therapist, spouse, or God to do the stopping for us-to fix us. Now, we stop; and then, in our surrender, the power of God becomes effective in us.
I emailed Mark back last night and then followed up again today: I’m ready to get started, I’m ready to make working the steps of the program a daily habit. I’m ready to surrender one day at a time. I’m excited to continue living in recovery.
Today I went to Costco with the kids. It was CRAZY! There were people everywhere and the kids were a bit crazy too. Happily, I kept my chin up the whole time and said a few prayers to just be aware of my surroundings.
Days like today have been tough in the past: Becky is gone, I miss her, the kids were not always cooperative this morning (or at least that’s my perception because I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed), I lash out at them – sometimes for dumb little things, etc. In the past, I would probably have let my eyes wander and just checked people out – “people watching” is what I’d have called it to justify my lustful behaviors.
Today I was aware of where I was and what was happening.
Today I worked hard to submit my will to God.
I don’t want to white-knuckle it.
I don’t want to put my trust in myself, feel that I can do this alone.
I went to LDS.org on Google and was directed to the Mormon News Room. There was a really interesting list of articles that talks about a lot of the questions that came up with Luke Frank and I back in the day.
Here are a few links I read:
Some of the things I got out of these readings:
- The Church is aware of the content out on the internet about its history. By talking about topics that are at times controversial or complicated, the Church is answering lots of the questions members and non-members have. Considering the sources of history is an essential part of coming to know the real truth about history, especially the history of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In fact, here’s what it says exactly:
The Church recognizes the wide interest in many of these topics. Recent research like the Joseph Smith Papers Project, has gathered more information than ever before about early Church doctrine and practice. The Gospel Topics pages are meant as a personal resource for members as they study and teach about the history and doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We live in a world where there is so much information available on every topic. And particularly in the age of the Internet, there are both good and bad sources of information. As a Church, it’s important for us to research and provide official, reputable, historically accurate information about our history and doctrine.
I have only read one of the essays and then followed a footnote to read another, but here is the list of the 13 essays the Church has shared via the Gospel library:
- Are Mormons Christian? November 20, 2013
- First Vision Accounts November 20, 2013
- Race and the Priesthood December 6, 2013
- Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah December 16, 2013
- Book of Mormon Translation December 30, 2013
- Book of Mormon and DNA Studies January 31, 2014
- Becoming Like God February 24, 2014
- Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints May 13, 2014
- Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham July 8, 2014
- Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo October 22, 2014
- The Manifesto and the End of Plural Marriage October 22, 2014
To finish my study today, I’m going to try to complete the Control vs. Non-Control Assignment from yesterday’s study.
Spiritually Can’t Control
Spiritually Can Control
Sexually Can’t Control
Sexually Can Control
This is it for now.