We are finally back from vacation and Scout Camp and traveling (at least for a couple weeks).
It’s nice to be home. It’s nice to try to get back into a routine. It’s nice to be by ourselves. But I can tell something is off with Becky starting last night and into today.
We had some good talks on our way back from Wisconsin. We talked about a variety of things. But I think one thing I said may have really bothered her.
We were talking about why addicts revert to their addiction – what need or feeling they/we are attempting to fulfill when we act out. She was saying she understood how it was about
one thing (I can’t remember what exactly) getting away from or changing the feelings one is feeling. It’s like numbing or coping with the stress or fears in life.
I agreed and added that it was also about a false connection – when feeling isolated or alone or whatever – the addict reverts to the porn for a feeling of acceptance or connection.
I could tell from her response that she didn’t get that at all and didn’t understand it and didn’t like it. I said that I had read that in a book and left it at that.
We talked about other things, and I didn’t notice anything at the time.
But I feel bad about what I said. I don’t know that that’s how it’s been for me for sure or not, but I remember, as I read the words, I believe in the White Book, that they helped me understand the nature of addiction.
Today I want to be in recovery.
Today I don’t want to hang out with the carnal Nate at all.
Today I want to be my best self and submit my will to God.
Today I want to connect with Him and connect with Becky and be happy.
As I looked in the White Book, I found the following section on page 35 that is talking about what both Becky and I shared yesterday:
At first, it’s a pleasurable way to cope with our inner conflict or stress or pain that seems intolerable.
This is what Becky was sharing I believe.
It goes on:
It works. Typically, sex with ourselves or others starts us off, and just as in other addictions, it dissolves tension, relieves depression, resolves conflicts or provides the means to cope with difficult life situations or take an action that seemed impossible before.
And this is what I was trying to share, that I feel I didn’t share clearly:
Whatever form our sexaholism takes, it has the apparent effect of reducing isolation; easing lack of emotion, loneliness, and tension; and of gaining power or providing escape.
This new-found “friend” not only seems to reduce our inner conflict, boredom, and negative emotions, but also offers us fusion, validation, and a false sense of aliveness. As a mater of fact, all of these effects are false or at best only temporary. What seems to promise life is really taking away our lives.
I agree with all of this. ALL of the effects are false. ALL are Satan’s way of masking the truth. And ALL of these things take away life and true happiness.
As I look at the sections of the talk “Why Marriage and Family Matter – Everywhere in the World” by Elder L. Tom Perry, the truth is so much different:
President Eyring bore powerful witness to the beauty of a committed marriage and to our belief in the promised blessing of eternal families.
Marriage and family is really the core objective of this life. If we are to prepare to meet God and to prepare to be like Him, having a committed marriage and family is essential.
What the restored gospel brings to the discussion on marriage and family is so large and so relevant that it cannot be overstated: we make the subject eternal! We take the commitment and the sanctity of marriage to a greater level because of our belief and understanding that families go back to before this earth was and that they can go forward into eternity.
The entire theology of our restored gospel centers on families and on the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.
It’s not “til death do us part;” it’s forever.
All the things we do in the gospel direct us to happiness in family relationships.
We also believe that strong traditional families are not only the basic units of a stable society, a stable economy, and a stable culture of values – but that they are also the basic units of eternity and of the kingdom and government of God.
The fact is that strong majorities worldwide still want to have children and to create strong families.
A New York Times columnist David Brooks said: “People are not better off when they are given maximum personal freedom to do what they want. They’re better off when they are enshrouded in commitments that transcend personal choice – commitments to family, God, craft and country.”
One problem is that much of the media and entertainment that the world shares does not reflect the priorities and values of the majority. For whatever reasons, too much of our television, movies, music, and Internet present a classic case of a minority masquerading as a majority. Immorality and amorality, ranging from graphic violence to recreational sex, is portrayed as the norm and can cause those who have mainstream values to feel like we are out of date or from a bygone era.
We want our voice to be heard against all of the counterfeit and alternative lifestyles that try to replace the family organization that God Himself established. We also want our voice to be heard in sustaining the joy and fulfillment that traditional families bring.
I’m grateful for Elder Perry’s words. What is ironic is that they were his last words in conference.
I’m grateful for my marriage. If I think back to where I’ve been and the things I was doing, it’s hard to even believe that was me. It makes me sick to my stomach.
But today, as I live one day at a time and surrender my will to God, I’m not that person. “Twas I, but ’tis not I.”
I am grateful for recovery.
I am grateful to be where I am today.
I’m grateful Becky and I got to go on a bike ride this morning.
I look forward to a continued day in recovery.