As I mentioned last night, not knowing what’s going on with Becky was really tough. Thankfully, last night, she shared in her journal with me about her feelings of inadequacy, of comparing, and of pain.
What she shared wasn’t easy to read, but it was so comforting to hear the truth and know that there are things I can do to help regain the trust that I’ve lost.
I love Becky so much and wish what had happened would have never have happened. I can’t believe that was me. It makes me sick to my stomach to think that I would be willing to do that to my best friend and my kids.
I’m so grateful she’s trying to forgive me. I understand that it will be hard and that there are all kinds of triggers that can easily remind her of where I’ve been and what the carnal me is capable of.
Today is a new day, though.
I don’t have a lot of time right now, but I wanted to make an effort to write a letter – both to my parents and also to my Bishop – helping them understand that none of my choices were about what Becky did or didn’t do.
Here’s my attempt:
Mom and Dad,
First off, thank you so much for our last trip to Idaho. It is a fun tradition to go do the flowers, especially with the kids who knew Grandma and who are trying to understand the plan of happiness. We all had a great time and felt like everything went very well.
I also wanted to thank you for the talk we had after giving Mom the book about addiction recovery and healing. Obviously, this talk isn’t really easy for any of us, but it’s a dialogue that needs to continue indefinitely as I try to rid my life of addictions.
Mom ask a few times about the cause of my addiction and honestly, there are many causes probably. As I’ve taken Step 4, doing a thorough and written inventory of my life, I’ve learned to recognize feelings and emotions that I would hide in an effort to be seen as something different than what I was. For me, the addiction has been about coping with feelings in a superficial and fake way.
I also wanted to make clear that none of my actions were directly tied to Becky. Unfortunately, she was a victim of my bad choices and the ways I selected to deal with the stresses and challenges of every day life. But I didn’t act out or do the terrible things I did because she was or wasn’t doing something. These were my choices and I feel sick about the paths I chose to go down.
I’m so grateful for Becky’s efforts to try to understand addiction. I know it has been so traumatic on her. She feels like she’s not enough; she feels betrayed; she feels stupid for not knowing sooner. All of these feelings are valid and make me feel so terrible just writing. My efforts today are to try to regain the trust and confidence in her that I’ve lost due to my actions. My efforts today are to work on my recovery through writing, study, and prayer and surrendering my will to God’s. It’s a day to day, moment to moment process and it’s never ending. But I’m grateful for the chance I have to practice submitting my will to God’s today and live in recovery.
I’m so grateful that Becky’s still with me and that we are working on recovery together one day at a time. I’m also so grateful that there are tools available, both for me and for Becky, to help us recover from the plague of pornography addiction.
I’ve been in and out of my addiction for quite some time, not really realizing it was an addiction until 2007 right after Madi was born. In the past, I would think it was only a bad habit that I was trying to get over, or that once I got married, the habit would go away, or that it was normal for boys to do these things. How wrong I’ve been.
There are a few things I hope you can do to help me in my recovery process. These things are triggers that I’ve come to recognize through my recovery. If you have questions about them, lets talk:
- Video games on the computer and cell phones are never helpful for me. Not only are they a waste of time, but often times there are ads that pop up or communication with other people who I may or may not know. I’ve buried these weapons of war and am trying to help the kids understand how dangerous these things are too. If you could please help me by not encouraging them to play games on the phone, but instead play games together where we can all connect and be together.
- Shame and blame are another emotional trigger for me, both doing the shaming and blaming and feeling shamed and blamed. This is a harder one than gaming since it is not always easy to recognize. One book I’ve read that has helped some is called “Daring Greatly” by Brenee Brown. She talks about the effects of shame and blame on ourselves and others.
I love you both and want you to know that this isn’t your fault either. Again, these were my choices. I’m grateful to be learning every day about recovery and about what I can do to submit my will to God and live moment to moment in recovery from these addictions.
Thanks again for your love and support.
This is a draft. I may go back through it and add or take things out, but it’s a start and it’s how I feel right now.
I love recovery. I love the gospel. I’m grateful for the desires to live in recovery and gain back the trust of Becky and the kids. I’m not perfect. In fact, I’m far from perfect. I’m grateful to be made more aware of my weaknesses, which can help me be humble and prayerful and full of gratitude for the Atonement in my life. Without it, I am nothing.