Day 12 – Step Work
Some people recognize the need to be free from addiction but are not yet willing to begin. If you are in that situation, perhaps you can begin by acknowledging your unwillingness and considering the costs of your addiction. You can list what is important to you. Look at your family and social relationships, your relationship to God, your spiritual strength, your ability to help and bless others, your health. Then look for contradictions between what you believe in and hope for and your behavior. Consider how your actions undermine what you value. You can pray that the Lord will help you see yourself and your life as He sees it— with all your divine potential—and what you risk by continuing in your addiction.
IF YOU ARE NOT YET WILLING TO ABSTAIN IT IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THIS! (Note: “Not willing to abstain” means not being ready or willing to stop and stay stopped, one day at a time and is manifested by not stopping and staying stopped, regardless of any rationalizations to the contrary.) Does this apply to you?
Luckily, today, I don’t feel this applies to me at all. I am willing to abstain; I am willing to submit my will to God; I am willing to live in recovery one day at a time. I realize this desire can change at any time, but what I WANT MOST is to stay in recovery today. Today I have been in recovery for 301 days where I have abstained, submitted my will to God, and done my best to “put off the natural man.”
I am well aware that submitting my will to God is really the only decision I can make. Once I submit my will to Him, I have to trust that He will help me and I have to put myself in the best places to succeed.
If so, will you begin to pray daily, to become ready and willing…until you have received an assurance through the Spirit that you ARE truly ready?
It doesn’t apply to me today, but yes, I’m willing to continue to pray daily, I’m willing to continue to be ready and willing, and I feel I have received an assurance through the Spirit that I am ready to be a different person.
One of the things I feel strongly about today is the need I have to feed myself a bit more spiritually. I’ve been working on the step work consistently and doing my gratitude journal, but I feel I’ve kind of let additional study of the doctrine slip by. I want to study about topics that will cause me to think about my situation and where I’m at today. I want to study the scriptures and the words of the prophets. I want to study for ME without thinking about how a scripture or talk could apply to someone else (like my little sister in law who has left the church due to her ex-boyfriend).
I want to rid myself of resentment or anger. I want to rid myself of pride and be more humble and submissive. This is where I feel like I am today.
What do you risk by continuing in your addiction?
My whole life, my wife, my family, our new home, my career, my membership in the Church – everything that is most important to me.
I don’t want to be the person I was. I want to put off the “carnal Nate” and surrender my life and my will over to God.
A recognition of what you lose by indulging in your addiction can help you find the desire to stop. If you can find even the smallest desire, you will have room to begin step 1. And as you progress through the steps of this program and see the changes that come into your life, your desire will grow.
Re-read the Introduction page of the manual and list some of the blessings mentioned.
I like what this says:
We who once lived with daily depression, anxiety, fear, and debilitating anger now experience joy and peace. We have witnessed miracles in our own lives and in the lives of others who were ensnared in addiction.
This is me too. Daily depression, anxiety, fear, anger, resentment – these were all symptoms of my addiction. I feel the joy and peace now and want to continue to feel that each day of my life.
This is what I want too:
Having had a spiritual awakening, we strive every day to improve our relationship with Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
I feel I can develop this more by making a concerted effort to study topically and say personal prayers throughout the day, not just prayers for help in my addiction or temptation, but prayers of thanks, communication, and recognition that He is there.
The blessings listed include freedom from addiction, joy, peace, healing through the Atonement of Christ, glorious spiritual victories because of the Savior’s grace, witnessing of miracles, having a spiritual awakening, freedom from bondage.
Describe the quality of your desire for the promised blessings of the Addiction Recovery Program.
I feel better today about recovery and where I’m at than I’ve ever felt in my life. I feel like I’m learning each day how to submit my will to Him. I’m not perfect, but I feel like I understand a bit more what the scripture means that says,
…come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
Christ can make me into something I can’t make myself on my own. The Atonement can free me from the natural man and can lift me out of the pit I’ve been in.
I’m grateful for this understanding. I want to understand more. I want to be able to help others who have been in my situation or who are in my situation now.
I’m hopeful that I can live today in recovery, avoid anger and resentment, and be completely honest with myself, with God, and with others.
What has helped this desire become stronger?
Honestly, I think hitting rock bottom and realizing what I had the potential to lose has been one wake-up call. I think seeing the true pain I caused my wife and my kids is another. I think the pain of the problem has become stronger than the pain of the solution, although both areas have been really painful.
I also think, on a positive note, that feeling the Spirit again has been helpful. I think that feeling that my entire countenance and attitude and demeanor has changed has been influential. I think being willing to do things different this time, like burying my weapons of war such as blocking social media, setting up a computer filter, and doing AEIOU’s with Becky each night have definitely helped.
Ultimately, I think that be willing to try my best to completely submit my will to God today, each day, has been the biggest factor in increasing my desire to work the steps and get out of this addiction.
I know it’s never over. I know submitting my will to God will be a life long pursuit. But I’m willing to go there.
This was a good start to my day. Now I’d like to take a bit of time to study about humility in recovery.
When I went to look on LDS.org, I found this definition of humility that I thought was really fitting:
To be humble is to recognize gratefully our dependence on the Lord—to understand that we have constant need for His support. Humility is an acknowledgment that our talents and abilities are gifts from God. It is not a sign of weakness, timidity, or fear; it is an indication that we know where our true strength lies. We can be both humble and fearless. We can be both humble and courageous.
Recognizing my dependence on the Lord. Understanding that “I need thee every hour.” Acknowledging that all the blessings I have – my home, my life, my family, my career, the deals I close, my persistence in sales – all of these things are gifts from God.
This scripture shows me who the best example of humility is/was:
“I can of mine own self do nothing. . . . I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30).
I like what this scripture says too about how to gain strength through Christ:
“God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. . . . Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:6, 10).
I feel this. I feel that as I humble myself and try to ask God for help in tempting times, He is there to lift me up, to give me strength that I couldn’t have on my own. I recognize this because I’ve tried to abstain from lust and all that comes with it in the past, but I wasn’t willing to give my will over to Him and practice submitting.
Today, I want to submit. I want to have His power and strength in my life. I want to live in recovery. And most of all, I want to be humble and recognize that I could do none of this without Christ and the Atonement.
There are two talks that I plan to study tomorrow and Sunday:
I’m so grateful for a sponsor, for a system of working the steps, and most importantly for the desire to do these things. I’m grateful to be living in recovery. I want to be a sponsor and help others find peace and assurance through submitting to Him.
I’m grateful for my wife and my kids.
I’m grateful for my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know it’s true. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and was written for our day.
I look forward to a great day in recovery.