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Previous Blog: Honesty
By josh
8/16/2006 12:00:00 AM
(Copied over from a previous blog on another site)

While I hesitate to fill this blog from entries every day, I also feel that is important that I log each day. Looking forward to adding another day to my counter is a good deterrent, and forcing me to think about it (in a good way) is also helpful.

Making the determination to “come clean” and be completely honest can bring about some strange situations. Right now, I sit on a bus crowded full of people as I write this on a laptop. I have dimmed the screen and chosen a small font (which I’ll increase later) to maintain some form of privacy. Of course, the ability to email posts to this blog is great, as it appears as I am just writing an email. But it strange to still have situations where you have to be secretive, although I believe that it is still appropriate. It’s not like you want to broadcast to the world that you are a recovering pornography addict. But somehow being secretive makes me feel like I am doing something wrong. Publishing a blog to the world, yet maintaining anonymity is also a bit strange to me. I keep having to remind myself that I am not writing to publish information to other people, but to only worry about what I would write in my own journal, regardless of who may read this.

I have also pledged to be completely honest with my spouse, which I believe is extremely important. You just can’t be 100% dedicated to overcoming an addiction like this and still choose to hold things back. It’s not like I was completely dishonest with her before, but I have at times in the past avoided conversations that might lead her to inquire about how I was doing. Besides the obvious anger and hurt that my addiction has caused her, I think being completely honest puts her in some weird situations as well. She looks at my browser history (and she has every right to), and I know she does, and she knows that I know she does. Yet I think she still feels like she is being covert, or “spying on me.” Further making the situation awkward, or at least strange, is that of course I have told her about this blog, and I know she will be reading it, and here I am talking about her. I actually keep meaning to talk to her about this concept, but there are just so few times in two people’s busy lives when you can have a conversation like this. I think sometimes we don’t talk about it for a number of reasons: one, it still hurts to talk about it, although we both know it is important to talk about it; two, sometimes you just don’t want to start a conversation you know will probably last awhile, and you’ve both either got things to do or want to go to bed; three, there are few opportunities to sit and have a good talk, and there are so many other things (planning, daily life, etc.) that still need to be talked about.

I’ve convinced myself in the past that I won’t talk to my wife until I feel I’ve overcome the problem. Then it won’t be so painful to talk about it. This is the typical thought of someone who just isn’t quite ready to do WHATEVER it takes to overcome the addiction. I’ve always wanted to overcome it – there’s never been a point in my life where I just decided that I will just live with it forever, that it’s just who I am. But sometimes you get depressed and want to feel that way. However, deep down, I’ve never been able to justify my addiction to myself – I’ve always known it is wrong, and I’ve always wanted to overcome it, I just have not always been able to sacrifice whatever needed to be sacrificed to take advantage of EVERY tool available to overcome.

The irony is that some things you have to sacrifice are things that you should eliminate in your life anyway. The number one thing I’ve had to sacrifice is my pride. I’ve had to admit, honestly and openly, that I have a problem. I’ve had to admit that I can’t beat it by myself – my willpower and faith just isn’t enough. I’ve had to confess everything to my spouse and others, knowing that it could very well lower their opinion of me. But when I consider the prospect of being free from this addiction, none of that matters. I don’t mean to say that it doesn’t matter that telling all to my wife may hurt her deeply, could possibly cause mistrust between us, and forever make her wonder what I am doing each day. But it is MORE important that she knows. It’s now all out on the table – now how do you deal with that information? It can tear you apart, or it can bring you closer together than you’ve ever been. Fortunately for me, my wife is an absolutely amazing woman, who understands what is truly important in life. She has had to sacrifice too. It’s not easy for her to ask “How did you do today?” It’s not easy to be burdened with the knowledge of my addiction. And it is certainly not easy to forgive. But like me, she is willing to do whatever it takes to help me overcome this addiction. There is no way I could do it without her – her support and her love for me. If talking about brings about hurt but causes progression towards full recovery, she is willing to do that. I am completely confident that this process of honesty and support will bring us closer together. It already has. I’ve often told my wife that I love here today more than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow. It continually amazes me how I can ponder on how strong our love for each other is at the present, then look back at when I’ve felt the same way in the past, and now that it is even stronger now. Sometimes you feel like it just couldn’t get any stronger. But it does. With each passing day it grows, becomes more profound, takes on new dimensions, becomes more meaningful, more powerful.

Well, there was a lot of traffic, so this was a long entry. Time to get off the bus and go to work.

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"Man has a dual nature; one, related to the earthly or animal life; the other, akin to the divine. Whether a man remains satisfied within what we designate the animal world, satisfied with what the animal world will give him, yielding without effort to the whim of his appetites and passions and slipping farther and farther into the realm of indulgence, or whether, through self-mastery, he rises toward intellectual, moral, and spiritual enjoyments depends upon the kind of choice he makes every day, nay, every hour of his life"

— David O. McKay