A crazy Monday that’s also a holiday AND my parents are here…
But, I’m trying to take things one step at a time, do what I need to do, and live in recovery.
Yesterday I started working with a new sponsee, Daniel, from my SAL group. He’s a nice guy and seems to be really set on working the steps of recovery. I look forward to working with him.
Sean is about finished up with his revisions of Step 4, 8 and 9. He sent his final work to Mark, and we are both waiting for Mark’s feedback on what the next steps need to be.
On Saturday, after my meeting in the morning, I reached out to Grant, Spencer, Carlos, John, Adam and Sean just to say hello and see how they are doing. The hardest part about dropping a sponsee is that I can only imagine that it encourages a lot of self-pity or “Well, that didn’t work either…” type mind-set.
I did here back from Spencer, who said that he’s working with Mark on some things – probably similar to Adam with the Step 1 inventory.
I’d really like to do a couple things with my recovery:
- Finish my Step 1 Inventory
- Do the 90 Day Program again
- Read the Stepping Into Action books and take notes on them
- Compile my writing so that I can send it to my sponsees as part of my opening/introduction
If I were going to send information to my sponsees, it would look like this:
- The ABC’s of Addiction Recovery
- Debilitating Negative Emotions
- Sexually Acting Out
- Buying My Weapons of War
- See the talk “Personal Strength Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ”
- Is “One Day at a Time” Just a Recovery Cliche?
- Find the articles I’ve written about living one day at a time
- Why Sponsorship?
- Compile information about what I’ve learned about sponsorship, feedback from Mark, etc.
- ARPSupport.org – the kick-start to true recovery
- Find information I’ve written about this
- Compile information from Mark too
- It Works When I Work It!
- Find information for SAL and Stepping Into Action
- Multiple Meetings a Week
- The Pro’s of LDS ARP Meetings
- The Con’s of LDS ARP Meetings
- What is SAL? And Why Do I Need It?
- The Top Addiction Recovery Books to Read
- Love You, Hate the Porn
- What Can I Do About
- Addiction Recovery and the AEIOUY’s
- A: Abstinence/Awareness
- E: How did I exercise today?
- I: What did I do for me today?
- O: What did I do for others today?
- U: What unresolved feelings do I have today?
- Y: What are the YAY’s for today?
- Journal Writing: The Key to Connection with Self, God, Spouse, and Others
- The example of waking up after Tyson was born
- Why Sponsees?
- How working Step 12 is such a blessing in recovery
- No Advise, just own experience
Becky and I have talked about our book idea again; she told me this morning that she’s starting today.
I’m not sure if this outline matches what she has in mind, but I feel it will be a good experience to start working on this, even if nothing comes of it.
So, to start – The ABC’s of Addiction Recovery
- Debilitating Negative Emotions (A)
- Lust (B)
- Sexually Acting Out (C)
“Sitting in a Rowboat Throwing Marbles at a Battleship” talks about the ABC’s of Addiction Recovery as an equation:
Debilitating Negative Emotions (A) => Lust (B) => Sexually Acting Out (C)
A leads to B and then B leads to C.
Pornography and sexual addiction can be described by way of a simple relationship: a=>b, b=>c. We call this the Addiction Recovery Relationship…This relationship, properly understood, will allow priesthood leaders, parents, spouses and addicts to see what must always happen in order for an addict to find and stay in recovery.
Unfortunately, society’s take on pornography and sexual addiction is far too commonly rationalized as “Men will be men. That’s how we’re wired. Gotta satisfy the urges or it’ll make us ‘unhealthy.’” THIS. ISN’T. TRUE.
Yes, the “natural man is an enemy to God, and has been since the fall of Adam, and will be forever…” But not all men are caught in the chains of addiction to sex and lust and everything that comes with it.
I don’t think it’s coincidental that in the ARP Support Step 4 Inventory, the order of the spreadsheet is as follows: Negative Emotions, Fears, Sexual Harms, Other Harms. Why would negative emotions be BEFORE sexual harms? Isn’t the sexual harms what I’m supposed to be working on? Isn’t that my “drug of choice?” What do negative emotions have to do with any of this?
Unfortunately, for me and probably for many other addicts who are trying to recover, Negative Emotions and Lust have never really been focused on that much, if at all. I have focused, since I was about 13 or 14, to talk to my Bishop about one main issue – sexually acting out – the C in the equation.
Why have I always focused on fixing the acting out part of my addiction – the pornography in all its forms and the masturbation, the sex with self, and the sex with others (either my wife as addict sex and a way to fulfill my carnal appetites) or through fantasy with other women in my mind and heart?
What about the negative emotions?
What about lust?
Are these two factors hidden in the dark caves of addiction so deeply that they never want to come to the surface?
In her book titled “What Can I Do About
Him Me?” Rhyll Crowshaw talks about the addictive behaviors (or negative emotions) all addicts manifest prior to the acting out part of the addictive cycle.
I’ve learned from SAL and from other reading about addiction and recovery that LUST is the main addiction I’m battling. Looking at other women to lust after them is committing adultery already in my mind. This is scripture! Do members of the Church really believe this?
What is lust? How is it defined and classified? Is it just looking at a person in the face or does it require more than that to be considered lust? One definition I’ve heard is when we wrongly and selfishly use ourselves, other people or things in an attempt to satisfy our own appetites regardless of consequences to ourselves or others. Another definition is “an attitude demanding that a natural instinct serve unnatural desires.”
In Step 1 of Sexaholics Anonymous, we say that “we are powerless over lust and our lives have become unmanageable.” Why lust and not sex?
When we try to use food or sex to reduce isolation, loneliness, insecurity, fear, tension, or to cover our emotions, make us feel alive, help us escape, or satisfy our God hunger, we create an unnatural appetite that misuses and abuses the natural instinct.
All these underlined words – what are they – negative emotions!
When we use sex and lust to cope with negative emotions, we are manifesting our addictive behaviors and actions.
And the hard thing is, as we come off the lust to sexual things, other forms of lust can manifest themselves. For me, the lust of anger and impatience, especially with my kids, has come forth like a ravenous wolf. If I feel anxious, stressed, tired, or frustrated, I tend to take out all those negative emotions on my oldest boy – for it must be his fault that things aren’t going according to plan.
Lust is mental, spiritual and emotional noise that distorts and perverts sex.
Lust is not sex. It turns reality into fantasy; whether it’s sex with self or sex with my spouse. It’s selfish. It’s self-indulging. It’s self-gratifying – not caring about the thoughts or feelings of anyone but me.
I can’t have true union with my wife while lust is active because she as a person really doesn’t matter; she’s even in the way she’s merely the sexual instrument.
Lust Is ….
- Not being able to say no
- Constantly being in dangerous sexual situations
- Turning my head as if sex-starved all the time
- Attraction only to beautiful people
- Erotic fantasies
- Use of erotic media
- Being addicted to the partner as I would be to a drug
- Losing my identity in the partner
- Obsession with the romantic-going for the “chemistry”
- The desire to make the other person lust
Lust is the most important thing in my life; it takes priority over me.
Captive to lust, I cannot be myself.
Lust makes me its slave; it kills my freedom; it kills me.
Lust always wants more; lust creates more lust.
Lust is jealous; it wants to possess me.
Lust makes me self-obsessed; it drives me into myself.
Lust makes sex impossible without lust.
Lust destroys the ability to love; it kills love.
Lust destroys the ability to receive love; it kills me
Lust creates guilt-unavoidably; and guilt has to be expiated.
Lust makes part of me want to die because I can’t bear what I’m doing to myself and my powerlessness over it. Increasingly, I direct this guilt and self-hatred inward and outward.
Lust is destructive to me and those around me.
Lust kills the spirit; my spirit is me.
Lust kills me!
I think that’s all for now.
More to come!