How severe?????
By ruggaexpat
2/11/2011 1:31:06 PM
I'm on lunch break now so just wanted to share some of my thoughts.

Kaybee wrote a day or 2 ago about a slip VS relapse event.

I just have been thinking since and wanted to know what you think about how hard we should be on ourselves when we "slip". I am referring to those who have say 1 year sobriety ie have not seen any nudity or had any fantansies in any immoral way. For the purpose of this post I am not counting the "normal" bombardment of immoral thoughts that come our way. When I say fantasy it is a decision that you take to let the movie or images play in your mind for pleasure.

Ok so in my opinion, I am severe on myself. I will give you an example. A couple months ago the only real slip I had was when my wife and I visited her friend who was house sitting for the weekend. I was alone watching TV while they were away shopping for the day. I took that opportunity to catch up on all the sport I missed. During half time, I flicked through channels and came across the show Beauty and the GEEK. Kind of reality show where nerds get paired up with so called beautiful ladies for the show.

I was watching an episode when they walked in and I thought at the time it was not so bad and if it was to me at that instant I would have done what I did all the time and switch channel and move on. I did not and it was a real set back for a while. I was "not looking for" sexy ladies, I was looking for something to take up the half time (sound familiar yet?) Oh how dumb.

It was the subject of a therapy visit and was so unnecessary in the first place.

I personally know that I was playing with fire, I should have known better than that and was so insensitive to others feelings. My wife and I have a boundary in the home, no TV full stop. After this experience, that boundary was transferred to outside the home when I am alone in anyone's home or commercial space.

That is my slip experience. No justifications, I was playing with fire and could have got burned big time and long story short could have lost my family there and then.

OK so here is what I want to know:

How severe should we be with these sorts of experiences?
What does it take to learn from them?

I believe and as I said to Kaybee this is my opinion, we need to be a bit hard on ourselves and take responsibility. What does that mean though? I rubbish the idea that we need to give ourselves some credit in such a situation. You know the argument that we cannot be too hard on ourselves because it will lead to a bigger fall or depression. That is crap shoot stuff. Not true, that minimizes the goal in the first place - 100% sobriety.

Obviously we cannot push it under the rug and move on, we need to address it to ensure the same thing never happens again. Is not this part of forsaking the sins? Sobriety is a tough thing, it is not easy for us addicts but it sure feels good.

I also learned that Satan will sit and wait however long he wants to to get us in position for a fall. Oh yes people I know he is biding his time with every one of us. I was thinking about his careful planning and positioning stratagems. I know a bit about marketing and brand positioning and how that science works. I know it takes time to correctly position a product. Is that not an accurate reflection of how Satan manipulates our environment so that we buy into his products. Think about it, how strong is the Coca Cola Brand? When you think of coke how many mental associations can you think of? That is the power of this science. Now how much more powerful is "sex" or "porn" case closed Satan is the master brand manager for these 2 names and there are literally millions of associations connected to them.

My question again:

HOW SEVERE should we be with a slip?

Your thoughts.


case by case basis...    
"In my opinion, that was not a slip. You had poor judgment that you learned from. You didn't slip and if I sponsored you I would not suggest you start your time over. Sometimes those lapses in judgment lead to relapse, sometimes they lead to BETTER judgement in the future."
posted at 14:53:37 on February 11, 2011 by Anonymous
two thumbs up    
"Agreed. Don't be a wimp. Be hard on yourself. Satan doesn't go gentle on you."
posted at 16:02:19 on February 11, 2011 by katie
Some thoughts...    
"This may be a bit of rambling because I'm not exactly sure what my own feelings are on the subject. But! Chapter 6 of the spouse's manual has a paragraph that describes change, a change of habit or a change of heart, as a process. I know you already know that Rugga.

The example in the book states that at first we may not even be aware that we have a certain behavior. But then one day we start to recognize either the behavior itself or the consequences of that behavior. We start to "bump into" the behavior more frequently and we start to realize that we do not want to act that way any more. We begin to feel pain, helplessness, and hopelessness at our own ability to change. And then, AT THAT MOMENT, we realize we ARE CHANGING.

QUOTE - Sometimes I get so sick of a certain behavior that I think I’m going to explode if I do it one more time. Then I usually engage in it one more time, and often several more. That’s how we become ready. We get pelleted, sometimes bombed, by awareness. That’s how life gets our attention. Awareness. Acceptance. And change. I’ve noticed that the closer I come to being healed of a certain defect or issue, the harder it becomes to live with myself and that issue. - ENDQUOTE

The closer you are to being completely healed, the more the slips are going to hurt. They will feel more like total relapses.

That being said, a slip certainly does not mean you have not progressed and not changed. Recognizing the slip for what it really is, a weakness in character or a sliver of pride, and then regrouping and focusing on changing is what its all about.

We also have to remember that rationalizing repeated slips is not change. That is setting a new comfort zone in your sins. You cannot be forgiven or saved in your sins. You have to really be trying. But that is something only you and Lord know. So be honest with yourself. Be honest with the Lord. If it was a slip, then pick yourself back up, recognize your mistake and move on. You will feel bad, because you have found a weakness in yourself, but you can take heart and feel good because you are trying to change and the Lord is on your side.

EDIT: I want to add that I am definitely a member of the... no half-way camp. These sins, this addiction, can most certainly be left behind in a single day. It may take months or years to heal from the effects of carrying this addiction, but once you've decided its done, that is it. Turn it over to the Lord and never look back. Don't rationalize, don't flirt with danger, and leave your sins in the past. But a slip, in the face of HONEST effort, is just a slip. Move on. With Christ's grace you don't ever have to slip again."
posted at 16:02:34 on February 11, 2011 by paul
Be severe!    
"I too am a member of the go all the way-cold turkey camp! Be severe on the slightest slip even! Do not give Satan room to squeeze in! Heck, like Rugga said, there is enough "product placement" by Satan that you don't need to make it worse by looking for it or anything like it! We will see enough without having to drift towards it. I maintain what I call a "strict no lust policy!" I think we need to keep away from the edge. I feel like enough of a total loser and absolutely devastated if I do something boneheaded like be a jerk when talking to Katie...who needs to slip. Aak! The very thought!"
posted at 19:44:23 on February 11, 2011 by hubster
I don't differentiate    
"Slip, relapse, it's all the same to me. If I do something I've defined as an inner circle behavior means resetting my sobriety date. Something that is a middle circle behavior is pushing my luck and a sign that I need to review my recovery plan and my commitment to it, but isn't something I reset my date for. For example, for me, masturbating would be a slip/relapse and watching a show like Grey's Anatomy would be a bad decision and cause to evaluate where I'm at in my recovery, but would not be a slip/relapse. There are some things that are clearly inner circle for everyone, but there are lots of things that each person has to decide for themselves what circle it goes in. My borderline behavior could be someone else's inner circle behavior. I totally agree that lust is an inner circle behavior for all sex addicts, and we should all do all that we can to stay away from those things that will cause us to lust.

As far as being severe with a slip. I think there is a difference between justifying slipping, being appropriate about a slip, and beating yourself up over a slip. Clearly justifying slipping and making excuses for it is not good for recovery. I believe that beating yourself up over a slip is just as bad for recovery. Telling yourself you're the world's biggest loser, that you're worthless, or any of those other things that addicts are known for saying doesn't help. It creates shame which is more likely to cause more acting out than repentance and forward progress. Satan is the one who wants us to believe those lies so that we won't try to do better. I agree with Paul. The best thing to do when you slip is to recognize and learn what you can from it, then repent and move on. Don't treat it lightly, but don't beat yourself up over it either. Being easier on myself is what got me out of being stuck in a relapse rut. I didn't give myself permission to act out, but I didn't beat myself up over my last slip. I made a mistake. I handled it and then got back on the recovery path.

I wouldn't have considered what Rugga did as a slip, but I'm not Rugga and don't know where his lines are. I don't think playing with fire is a slip. Stopping doing the things I do to stay sober such as ARP meetings, scripture study, prayer, etc. is playing with fire, but not a slip.

Anyways, that's my opinion on the topic."
posted at 22:41:24 on February 11, 2011 by dstanley
"To answer Rugga's question about being severe on slips, I just have to say that making excuses and justifying addictive behavior will not get anybody anywhere. We addicts have to take responsibility when we do something wrong, but we need to be sure we've made a mistake before we start the repenting process. This is why a sponsor is so necessary to recovering addicts. A sponsor can help us realize when we've made a mistake and when we're just being unreasonable with ourselves.

I think that Rugga's enthusiasm and willingness to repent is admirable, but I'm not sure I agree with his definition of a slip. Rugga's wife was uncomfortable with the program he was watching, but that doesn't make it inherently wrong. We're told to be in the world, but not of the world. As long as Rugga was not lusting, then he did not slip. Beautiful women are part of life, and Rugga and his wife need to accept that. Burying our heads in the sand will not do us any good. The prophets have never asked us to live an amish lifestyle. It's ok to watch TV, go to the theatre, go to sporting events, go to swimming pools, and go to the beach, even though we may see immodest people at all of these places. In fact, the apostles and prophets often attend Jazz games and BYU sporting events.

As for slips, I believe that getting ready to look at pornography (like what Kaybee did) or getting ready to masturbate, but then changing one's course of action and abandoning the act would constitute a slip. But from this perspective, a slip can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. It's wonderful that Kaybee didn't look at porn and masturbate, but it's not so great that he looked it up to begin with. I honestly think it comes down to a case by base basis (just like Anon said). This is why having a sponsor is so crucial to recovery. Sometimes Bishops just don't know enough about the addiction to be able to offer the help that addicts need, especially when somebody's struggling with the addiction, but they haven't broken the commandments to the point that a confession would be necessary.

As far as being 100% lust free, I agree with HUBSTER, that's what we're all aiming for. But it takes a lot of time and recovery to get there. I had a therapist tell me that if an addict passed by a beautiful woman tanning on the lawn, the addict might turn his head the other way and try not to look or think about it, but his thoughts would be racing and he would begin to think about her in a sexual way because he was trying so hard to repress her from his attention. A healthy man who comes across the same woman would acknowledge that the woman is beautiful and then he would move on with his life. I'm just curious, Hubster and Rugga, what would you do if you see a gorgeous woman tanning on her lawn?

I like these questions, keep 'em coming Rugga."
posted at 19:24:05 on February 12, 2011 by ETTE
Ette good question and the honest answer is:    
"Go into my recent found auto-pilot mind set of:

Its normal to see these things, its normal to see these things, everyone sees these things and so why the big deal? I can now look at the person and say that is a daughter of God and she is my sister. I have a billion others like her so whats the big deal?

I honestly even if I am not lustings have retrained my brain to take that circuit route, it is the easiest for me to do because I know it is safe and keeps me happy.

Thanks for asking that Ette. Just normalize it even if you are not yet normal. I am no where near normal with this addiction so I have to work harder than the average joe but thats OK. I am greatful I have to work harder it makes me appreciate my new life so much more now.

Hubster - That is the coolest name by far man you should feel honored. Katie you must love him so much to have provided such a name. Thanks buddy for your feedback

Paul - Hey man hows the lady doing? Hope things are sailing smoothly still. Thanks for the read - Allways enjoy it.

Anon - Oh so true

Katie - If Hubster did not arrive with his shining armour I would have gusessed you were my wife. Thanks for the feedback

D - Once again thanks for your opinion - Few on here seems to challenge your never give up attitude. Interesting take on the 3 diffferences.

I like the answer case by case but I also like the no half way club.

Kaybee case by case but take responsibility is how I think you can deal with it.

Thanks guys and hey thanks KAYBEE for getting me to do some work on myself.

posted at 20:03:58 on February 12, 2011 by ruggaexpat
"I like that, Rugga. I'll have to try that next time. Right now i'm just glad that it's so cold outside. That definitely helps with sobriety."
posted at 20:30:41 on February 12, 2011 by ETTE
"Thats hilarious Ette.

Hey man on the positive side all that cold time is time to rack up a good deal of sobriety.
Hope all is going well with the Bishop and all.
Hope you feeling better these days."
posted at 21:18:47 on February 12, 2011 by ruggaexpat
"Brilliant. Agreed. Also liked anons and D's

As far as defining a "slip" etc I look at it like ice skating. There's things that unbalance me but I just end up throwing my arms out, lowering my center of gravity, and going "waa woowa wo oh...oh...okay I'm cool" and maybe looking a little silly. Maybe I wouldn't exactly find myself snacking on on lays and twizzlers with the Buddha or Jesus while watching Beauty and the Geek but I'd probably just call that unbalance. Then there's slipping and falling on my money maker but hopping back up. And then there's slipping but rolling over and throwing a gd temper tantrum cause my eh hurts. Where am I on the ice?"
posted at 11:17:29 on February 13, 2011 by They Speak
Beautiful women are a part of life...    
"May I presume to speak for Mrs. Expat (what is Ruggaexpat, btw?)?

I am sure the Mrs. accepts that the word is full of beautiful women. I always knew there were many beautiful women. I always gladly accepted this truth. What the Mrs. may have been uncomfortable with was her addict husband (I say that with love, Rugster) choosing to gawk at an hour long tv show in which the very premise of the show is based on sexy women being with geeks? The very point of the show revolves around the sex appeal of the women. The women are no doubt dressed in immodest clothing that accentuates this point. "
posted at 15:24:44 on February 15, 2011 by katie
"Rugga, thanks for the plug on the name!

Ette, two things. The first was addressed by Katie, who is one of those beautiful women in the world. This is the idea that beautiful women fill the world. Of course God made beautiful daughters; but we needn't allow ourselves to seek out situations that will present them being objectified. Katie looked up the show Beauty and the Geek. She found that the promos for the show on the show's website portray the women in bikinis or other revealing clothing. Then men were dressed normally. This sounds like a show by men-for men. If the women were ugly then few men would sit about watching a strange geeky man try to build a relationship with said women. The point and purpose of the show is to provide men with women to lust over. We and our wives should not accept such use of God's daughters in this way. We are trying to heal from such practices. Period.

2nd. Everyday we will encounter beautiful women, they don't need to be tanning for the temptation to lust to be present. I guess I do sort of what Rugga does. I guess he calls it normalization. I have trained myself to look all people in the eye. I would smile and tell myself that I have put in place my "strict no lust policy." I no longer have to tell that to myself-no lust comes naturally. There is no racing brain-no panic. I work at a prison and have had to confiscate pornography. I just cover it immediately and turn it over to a higher authority-there is no temptation, no racing mind, no sneaked glance. God has truly blessed me with no desire to lust. He has cleaned the pathways of my mind that lead there. I do not know why I have been so blessed. I just know that the Atonement can heal instantly what therapists have to work to heal over time. I don't know if that answers your question or not. I hope what I said makes sense."
posted at 17:01:03 on February 15, 2011 by hubster
I 2nd the hubster    
"I to have turned it over to a higher authority...and confirm that God can totally take the desire away...

I could have written this about my life

"He has cleaned the pathways of my mind that lead there. I do not know why I have been so blessed. I just know that the Atonement can heal instantly what therapists have to work to heal over time.

I still make stupid moves... but I know when I'm on the right path.. because the only, ONLY time I have experienced recovery is when God has taken over... I just try to get out his way.. and be humble enough to do what he says.

I got rid of my TV... you'll save $80 bucks a month..."
posted at 22:37:13 on February 15, 2011 by gracefull
I was wrong    
"Sorry to anyone who was offended. I'm glad Katie looked up Beauty and the Geek and was able to shed some light on the issue. Honestly, I gave Rugga the benefit of the doubt because I didn't know anything about the show, and the name sounds innocent like "Beauty and the Beast." After reading what Katie wrote, it's clear to me that the show is inappropriate. On the other hand, I also think it's possible that Rugga didn't know how bad the show was either, but I can't really speak for him.

Personally, I agree with Gracefull. TV is a waste of time, especially cable. I really only use sports channels if I'm going to watch TV at all, but even sporting events can be crammed full of beer commercials with trashy women. Does anybody know a way around that? Should I just give up on cable altogether? Is there a better way to watch college football and the NBA?"
posted at 09:39:34 on February 16, 2011 by ETTE
Right allow me to experience the all too familiar...    
"addict-justification-syndrome (AJS)

Katie my wife and I discussed the episode before you did a bit of digging and she literally showed me some of the promo's.

Now I did not see half naked ladies in the portion I watched but yes sure the messages are subtle and I was playing with fire by watching that crap.

Hey it was a learning experience for me, as I said we discussed this in an hr long therapy session and it was there I realized the real pain I inficted on my wife. Kind of like opening up the wounds that were trying to heal.

About the TV, we keep the screen and enjoy DVD's as a treat but scrapped the Cable and bunny aerial so we have no TV at all. Best move possible.
Ette I am the biggest sport fan, I love it and always have but since my C-DAY, I have seen nothing but a few soccer world cup matches last year.
I thought I would never be able to live without it but I am still alive and kicking.
There is no way around the skimpy clad ads and cheerleaders so for me I have given up sport for now.

My wife and her peace is more important than any game.
Sport was another addiction for me so it was a no brainer to give it up for the welfare of my soul.

Hunkster there again the porn positioning. It is so slyly managed, so carefully positioned and hidden through numerous messages (like beauty) but that is not real beauty. That is lust, that is immorality, immodesty, 100% world appetites in a contest all carefully hidden. That is not just this show, it is hidden in all these reality shows, sitcoms etc. Like I said he is the master and will catch us if we are not on guard.

Love you guys man seriosuly, there is such great learning through your posts.

Rugster - I love it, kind of rugged mob flavor to it.

I was just planning on changing my username to Ruggamuffin or Runkster

Cannot give the name meaning away, it will give me away to some here I am sure."
posted at 23:02:53 on February 16, 2011 by ruggaexpat
Glad you see the danger    
"I don't know how you have always been with your addiction and what not but I just wanted to say that I think its great you can see when you are "slipping" and you take action. Being aware is such a huge portion of the battle you are fighting.

My husband isn't that way and its so hard to be the responsible one."
posted at 03:50:40 on March 30, 2011 by faith21
Slipping Up    
"If we are truly honest with ourselves and we have to ask ourselves whether we "slipped up" then there is a 100% chance that it WAS a slip up. I think that the most important thing is that we have the courage to recognize it, and not just resolve not to do it again but to lay out a strategy to make sure it does not happen again.

I think this is one of the things that the seemingly endless "war" chapters in the Book of Mormon is trying to teach us. We are at war with Satan and it takes all sorts of stratagem to overcome his stratagem."
posted at 11:04:35 on March 30, 2011 by matt78
"blank statements like this are almost never true...if you have to think about if it was a slip up...then it was a slip up? That doesn't make any sense. We are always going to have temptations pop in our head, the important think is to dismiss w/o hesitation. OK, some people don't recognize their sins, but there are a lot of people that are very hard on themselves."
posted at 12:00:12 on March 30, 2011 by Anonymous
Response to Thoughts    
"I think if people don't recognize their sins then then wouldn't be asking whether they "slipped up" so I guess it does not apply to them.

Temptations pop in our head. Its what we do with it is where we become responsible.

I think we agree on the same issue I guess I did not explain it very well."
posted at 12:35:09 on March 30, 2011 by matt78

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"Strength comes from uplifting music, good books, and feasting from the scriptures. Since the Book of Mormon was to come forth “when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth” (Morm. 8:31), study of that book in particular will fortify us."

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