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Where I am at
By lawrence
3/2/2011 2:58:50 PM
Glad to be here! I feel the love coming from all of you who post back and forth to me. Thanks

How I am being pro-active: Every day I study the scriptures with my family, and on my own. I pray on my own twice (at least), with my wife twice, with the whole family twice, and often one-on-one with each of my 3 kids at home. On Sundays I attend the LDS 12 step meeting, and the missionary is a psychotherapist with almost 50 years experience in addiction recovery. On Mondays, I go to a noon 12 step meeting. On Tuesdays, I have group therapy with LifeStar for an hour and a half. On Wednesdays, I have individual psychotherapy. Thursday, Friday and Saturday I am often at a meeting, or working through the various workbooks or assignments from therapy. My wife and I are doing daily emotional and spiritual intimacy building exercises with each other. I have a prayer in my heart at all times. Many mornings I participate in online meetings from heart-t-heart, founded by the authors of He Did Deliver Me From Bondage, Clean Hands, Pure Heart: Overcoming Addiction to Pornography Through the Redeeming Power of Jesus Christ, and From Heartache to Healing: Finding Power in Christ to Deal with a Loved One's Sexual Addiction. I have personally corresponded with Phil and Colleen Harrison, those authors. I counsel with my Bishop every two weeks, and text him on a daily basis when needed. I report daily via text to my sponsor. I used to keep a lot of journaling online, but now I have done a lot in my private journal, both hand-written and on the computer. I meditate most days on deep spiritual concepts that are very sacred to me.

My goals: My goal is no longer to avoid p/mb. My goal is to grow into the man God wants me to be: filled with integrity, transparency, love, self-sacrifice.That man will never use porn or mb. I am now becoming the man God wants me to be. I am striving to be one with the Christ, as He is one with the Father. I am being transparent. Although the following may not seem a victory, it is to me. In the last couple of months, true I have slipped, but I have always told people about it, including my wife, my sponsor, my bishop, and my group members. Before I didn't. Even on the recovery path, I would hide myself. Even though I still struggle, I am beginning to rely upon God to be able to recover quickly back to the mindset of full sobriety from ANY stage of faultering, including stage 1 of just having thoughts, stage 2 dealing with destructive emotions, stage 3 beginning of ritualization, stage 4 of acting out, stage 5 of full relapse, and stage 6 of giving up, although I have never returned to stage 6 since my recovery began in February 2010 when my Savior rescued me literally from the jaws of Hell.

What positive steps am I doing today? I am writing this, the dailies (scripture and prayer, etc), meditation, calling upon the Spirit to dwell with me, giving service to anyone and everyone around me, giving my whole soul, my mind, my body, my spirit, my sexuality, my desires, my life and my will to Him, and trusting Him to be in charge of me. I am seeking to know my Higher Power's will and asking for the courage and strength to carry it out. I am accepting everything, every situation and every person exactly as they are, living the Right Now with everything exactly as if I had chosen it, because that is God's will, and working hard to change those things that I do indeed have power to change. I am fully expecting temptation to come to me. If it doesn't, I am probably in denial in some way or another. I put on the whole armor of God like it explains in Ephesians 6, and is inscribed on the medallion I wear around my neck, and the challenge coin that I carry in my pocket. http://cart.symbolarts.com/catalog/product/gallery/id/73/image/43/ and http://cart.symbolarts.com/catalog/product/gallery/image/42/id/73/

I have my emergency kit ready at all times. It includes:

Electronic First Aid Kit
On iPhone:
Family pictures
New Era Cards
Pictures of Christ
Recording of letter to self
Recording of encouraging letter from my wife
General Conference Audio
Mormon Messages Videos
Text numbers for my 12 step brothers
12 step Manual mp3 and PDF
Scriptures Audio and text
Meeting Schedule PDFs
Larry, Moe, Curley videos (laughter deters when all else fails)


Carry With my person:
Strength of Youth mini pamplet
Chaplain Coin
Medallion around neck
Family picture
Temple recommend holder with picture of Christ

In Back Pack:
Journals
Notes from meetings
ARP manual
Toolbox Pamphlet

How I get there from here? I am already there. How do I stay here? I don't. I come here every morning. I literally take it one day at a time.

Why do I ever fall? I don't know. Because I am an addict, and that's what addicts do.

Will I reach a time when I never p/mb? Yes!

Will I reach a time when I never have small slips? God willing, but remember I am nothing compared to Him. I am mortal and imperfect, so I will probably look, or think, or take longer than 3 seconds to get back on track sometime. But I will know the pathway back to God and take it after the tiniest of slips. With enough faith, these will be rare, and I will never go secretive.

Comments:

Congratulations    
"Your plan to achieve success is looking great--thanks for posting such an elaborate post to help the rest of us generate ideas for ourselves. You could say that we fall as addicts because we often forget who we really are and focus on the degrading form of thinking that begins with comparing ourselves to mindless creatures. Also, we lose motivation and sometimes begin to be too prideful from recent abstinence that our efforts of recovery begin to dwindle into laziness and complacency. Ultimately your story is filled with hope and I appreciate your willingness to be open and detailed with your progress."
posted at 22:17:34 on March 2, 2011 by aurelius89
WooHoo!    
"I think you deserve a WooHoo. You are definitely working hard and making progress. I love your attitude. You will make it, just keep trying! Thanks for sharing all the things you are doing and have in your first aid kits. I agree that it's nice to see what other people are doing."
posted at 00:13:55 on March 3, 2011 by dstanley
still hangin in there.    
"How is everyone doing? Not much activity on the site lately. I fought a lot of struggles yesterday, and He has helped me understand that I need to make a new bottom line. It is amazing how complex this issue is. If I were an alcoholic, I would say don't ingest any alcohol, that's it. I have perhaps over-analyzed the issue. This is not the place for it, because it involves graphic details. I don't know how else to put it. If you don't understand what I am saying, never mind."
posted at 09:32:50 on March 4, 2011 by lawrence
I loved this line    
"My goals: My goal is no longer to avoid p/mb. My goal is to grow into the man God wants me to be: filled with integrity, transparency, love, self-sacrifice.

I totally, totally agree on this point...

A community of men.. who are also striving for this has been my heart's wish for 10+ years.
http://www.awarriorheart.com/ is something I stumbled onto a few years back (it came out of the lifestar community) and the book Wild at Heart.

like anything in life... take the good, leave the stuff that doesn't work.
but just another tool in your toolbox. I'd pay for you to go.. that's how much value I got out of it."
posted at 23:17:42 on March 4, 2011 by gracefull
Peace today    
"I feel good. I am experiencing some sadness from my good friend being released from the high council, and so won't be a regular anymore at my Sunday night meetings. I am surprised how much I am feeling about this. Good thing I am sober, even though it makes the difficult emotions stand out. I think it is healthy because now I can deal with my current feelings and not bury them or cover them up. I have found it is possible to have joy at the same time as sadness. By my own discovery, I think that joy has no opposite, it just is. It is always with us, deep down in our soul. If we are still, quiet and meditative, we can observe and relish in it. It is not something we need to seek or pursue, it is just there. Happiness is not the same. It has built in to it its own opposite: unhappiness. I am usually happy about a situation in my life or about a person or thing that I have. All of those things will pass and unhappiness will come from either the situation changing, or the person or thing leaving or being lost. Joy has no built-in opposite. It is a gift from God the same as Love is. Love will always be. Light will always be. Joy will always be. Have I just written a new verse to "If You Could Hie to Kolob?"

Whoa that was profound. At least to me, as I read it. All emotions must have their own built-in opposites then, except pure Love of God, Peace and Joy. Are there more? Satan can imitate all emotion except Peace. He can even give a burning in the bosom or appear as an angel of light, but as Moses said, there is no glory therein."
posted at 09:49:30 on March 15, 2011 by lawrence
sober    
"Working on day 3 now. "This time it is different." No, really."
posted at 12:14:33 on March 21, 2011 by lawrence
Me too!    
"I'm on day 3 and I have that same thought. I wonder when it really will be different. I struggle to believe that it will be different some day. I want this to be the last day 3, but I don't totally trust it will be. I guess all we can do is try and make it different."
posted at 14:12:13 on March 21, 2011 by dstanley
re:    
"Things are going well. I have had a lot of painful dealings with past experiences that have become some of the core issues. We are uprooting this tree, God and I. Unfortunately, sometimes dealing with these issues is troubling and triggering. Sometimes I get past the triggers, other times not. But all in all I am making progress, thanks to His grace. 11 days sober from p, 49 from mb."
posted at 10:37:03 on March 28, 2011 by lawrence
sober    
"13 days from porn, 51 from MB

Miracles are happening. God is there."
posted at 18:13:49 on March 30, 2011 by lawrence
still going    
"Just keep swimming; just keep swimming. Swimming swimming swimming.

I am 19 days free of porn and 57 free from MB.

I love my 12 step groups! I love my wife! I love all of you! I love "my Jesus" (2 Ne 33:6) I am focusing in putting on the whole armor of God. My loins girt with truth (step 1, loins = PA/SA, no lies, loins protected, giving my whole body as a living sacrifice), having on the breastplate of righteousness (breastplate protecting my heart, where lie my desires. With this protection, I can not desire sin, only love from my Heavenly Father), taking on the shield of faith wherewith I man quench all the fiery darts of the sniveling jerk Lucy. With this shield of faith in my Savior Jesus the Christ, those darts of temptation and torment have no effect on me, for with God nothing is impossible. I wear the helmet of salvation, protecting my mind from evil thought, and allowing me to focus on salvation that is given to me through Christ's grace right now, this very moment. I forgive myself. He forgives me. I take on the Sword of the Spirit, which He pours out upon me, and His word which He reveals unto me, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever I ask of Him, and be faithful until He comes again, and I shall be caught up, that where He is I also shall be. My feet are shod with the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace, which He sent His holy angels to commit unto me. I truly have His peace and love in my heart. With this armor on me, I am protected in body, spirit, heart, and mind. I surrender my entire soul to The Holy One, and he purifies me (cleanses me from sin) and will very soon grant unto me sanctification, which to me is the removal of all desire to sin from my heart.

Again, I love you all. You do good work. Keep it up.

Loren

:-)"
posted at 09:38:05 on April 5, 2011 by lawrence
WooHoo    
"Way to go! Glad things are going well. Keep the good work going."
posted at 23:05:22 on April 5, 2011 by dstanley
denial    
"It is has been hard for me to admit. I have struggled for an entire week. Last night in group therapy I dragged it out. A week ago, I was about 60 days clean of mb and 3 weeks of P***. Because I lied to myself of even what I was doing, (this may make no sense to anyone) I lost that sobriety. I was careful to renew myself and turn to the Lord. I talked a bit with my bishop, and even then I minimized it. I never talked to my wife. Last night in group the facilitator asked how my wife felt when I told her. For 4 months or more now I have been fully transparent, but that relapse last week I kept hidden even from myself. Today I was a man and although I know it hurt her, I confessed to my wife. I hope she follows through with putting my name on the prayer roll of the temple, this time with a star by it.

I'm Loren and I am six days sober from any lust whatsoever."
posted at 09:49:11 on April 13, 2011 by lawrence
Thanks Loren    
"Thanks for being real. We're only as sick as our secrets I've heard.

I often think about Adam & Even.... when they realized they were ashamed and hid themselves.
(by the way...a great sex book has been written by a Relief Society President - "And they were not ashamed" )

So glad that this website provides a small way to be unashamed and to stop hiding.

We then can find christ & put him front and center, make our sacrifices and covenants, and tell SATAN TO F-off whenever he shows up.

He seeks to kill & he doesn't fight fair & he really goes after good men like you the bastard!!

I realized (step 1) that I can't fight him... one on one.
but only through the priesthood & the grace/mercy of JESUS CHRIST!

"I have sufficient for my LOVE needs" I have GOD."
posted at 01:37:32 on April 14, 2011 by gracefull
not sober    
"MB yesterday afternoon, and this morning.

What a crock this is: as long as I'm not sober right now, let's get another one in.

RESET!

deep breath. ok. now i am here. i am fully present.

dear voices in my head,

i know what you are going to say. shut. up.

no guilt. no shame. move on.

each slip is less severe and with more sober time in between. i am beginning to see the light.

i spend less time p/mb in a few months than i used to do DAILY.

thanks, god for the miracles. keep 'em coming please."
posted at 12:15:37 on April 15, 2011 by lawrence
Whew. Now I Am Sober    
"New permanent, lifetime sobriety date: April 15, 2011.

:-)"
posted at 12:22:05 on April 15, 2011 by lawrence
I keep doing the same thing    
"I keep doing the same thing, thinking that the outcome will be different. Well now, through deep meditation and constant prayer, I have the Spirit finally back with me. I am 5 days sober, but this time, when I felt that anxiousness today, I withdrew for a moment of silent prayer and meditation. That isn't what I used to do. I give in and surrender to this. No more fighting. God is driving this ship, every step of the way. It will be hard, but it will be worth it. I am much more open with my wife now. It used to drive her crazy, and I still have to be careful with that. I need to know when to shut up. Be still my soul. The Lord is on thy side."
posted at 16:12:58 on April 19, 2011 by lawrence
Glad    
"I'm glad that you are doing better again. It's hard to slip, but hopefully April 15th will be your lifetime sobriety date. :) Hang in there!"
posted at 23:51:43 on April 19, 2011 by dstanley
book quote    
"From AA’s big book, ch 6:
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experiences can benefit others.

That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted we will recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically.

We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality safe and protected. We have not even sworn off.

Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.
It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.

Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. "How can I best serve Thee Thy will (not mine) be done." These are the thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.

Much has already been said about receiving strength, inspiration, and direction from Him who has all knowledge and power. If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us. To some extent we have become God conscious. We have begun to develop this vital sixth sense. But we must go further and that means more action."
posted at 10:26:09 on April 20, 2011 by lawrence
Goals!    
""My goals: My goal is no longer to avoid p/mb. My goal is to grow into the man God wants me to be: filled with integrity, transparency, love, self-sacrifice.

YES! YES! YES!"
posted at 16:52:02 on April 20, 2011 by Anonymous
sober    
"I am 7 strong days sober. I have a sponsor now and I'm calling him every day and going over my writings with him. Thank you Lord for the wonderful blessing you have given me.

I pray for all of you. All. Please know that there are many angels cheering for you and working against the forces of darkness in your behalf.

I love you all.

Take care."
posted at 14:53:43 on April 21, 2011 by lawrence
I have the Spirit of God    
"14 months of recovery, what a miracle! I have relapsed a couple dozen times, but look at me now. Jesus is carrying me piggy-back! Look mom no hands! I can't do it myself. Why did I ever think I had to? I have no lust. None. Nadda. Zip. Zero. Sure, the thoughts come into my mind, but since I am right here with the Savior, I hand them off directly to Him. He has lots of time and love for me, so He doesn't mind being with me 24/7. It is as if I am the only one He needs to be concerned with. But He is infinite and can do this same thing with everyone, and He will.

Thanks, Jesus for carrying me. What a miracle! It is more different than ever before. I am very glad I had all of those experiences, but I am also glad I am done with this. Done. I am sober. Clean and sober! 4/15/2011 is a permanent sobriety date. I don't know how many days that is. It is forever infinite days because I am done forever with that crap. Jesus has me in His arms."
posted at 15:25:57 on April 25, 2011 by lawrence
The sneeky one    
"I go days, weeks, then a month with no desire at all. Then one day the temptation sneaks up on me while I am proudly on the net looking at emails or some innocent site, reading some book, watching some movie, see some woman walk by, listening to some song, or a hundred other random things. I find myself as weak as I was when immersed in my addiction. It only happens when I think I am strong again. I never am, I never was, I don’t think I ever will be. It was the strength heavenly father gave me in the past. It is his strength he is lending me right now. It is his strength I will have to rely on from now on. I can’t do it on my own. I have tried for 30 years. Every time I do I fall as easily as any time in my life. He sends people to walk with me, scriptures to help me have his spirit, books to encourage me, plans and resources to guide me to his spirit. He has given me everything for success, and helps me up every time I stumble and fall. At times he carries me when I cannot walk at all. He is there as long as I let him in and trust him. I only fail when I walk alone, when I proudly believe it is my strength not his. He never fails me!"
posted at 23:45:24 on April 26, 2011 by 30years
15 days    
"Still doing well. Still getting strong urges. I've learned how to give them to the Savior, and then they simply dissolve into light. Just wanted to keep you posted, in case there are any left who follow my roller coaster of ups and downs. I don't feel so up today, but it is probably because my wife is out of town, but I am staying true. I have on the whole armor of God."
posted at 11:15:23 on April 29, 2011 by lawrence
Just sos ya knows...    
"I still follow your roller coaster. ;) And I still keep you and your wife along with Crushed, Summer, Rugga, Hero, TheySpeak, etc. in my prayers.

This week my wife has also been out of town. I still find myself feeling guilty for the pain I've caused and for the light I chased out of what we once had and are striving to get back. It helps when I can get home to her and our boys and give them all a hug and tell them how much I love them. Unfortunately, that is much harder to do when they are not around.

Faithfulness brings peace. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.""
posted at 12:57:02 on April 29, 2011 by paul
Lawrence    
"What a strong set of blog posts! You are definitely putting on the armor of God by doing all those things. Walls of truth and righteousness for sure. Thank you for this light showing post, I needed it tonight.

*I know this is an older post. How is your roller coaster today?"
posted at 01:04:26 on July 1, 2011 by ConfidenceIn
I am so grateful    
"It has been a while since I posted. I've been on a roller coaster, but the ups have outweighed the downs. I'm not asking for advice, although often this is a good place to get it. I have group and personal counseling (sometimes 3 hour sessions because I'm the last one of the night), and visits with my bishop, and things are going well with me and my wife. I effed up and she made me sleep on the couch, but I deserved it AND it was a marvelous catalyst to propel me forward into this new-found abstinence.

There are so many things out there to help us addicts, and so many to help the loved ones, but only one of them works 100% of the time:

Jesus.

I love you all.

Loren"
posted at 13:47:35 on July 13, 2011 by lawrence
Just a suggestion    
"You are hard core in all of this, perhaps even to the extreme. Just a thought as to what has helped me. Sometimes we need to learn to just quiet the mind and calm the heart. Is the regimine you have creating undue stress in your life? I'm not saying it is, but just reading the list of what you're doing makes me anxious. I do many of those things, but focusing on staying calm, at peace and emotionally balanced has made a huge difference for me. Addicts tend to do things to the extreme so be careful (I know because I am one).

I suggest taking 20-30 minutes each day to meditate on nothing more than the breath and perhaps Yoga. Just feel the breath, don't think about it. This exercise for me also helps me to be more mindful of everything throughout the day. It allows me to observe my mind, nonjudgmentally, and respond rather than react. Thoughts are just temporary and when we see them as such, it's easier not to get caught up in them. I only offer this suggestion because nothing has helped me more with handling lust than mindfulness meditation (obviously in addition to the atonement and the Savior's help). Try Jon Kabat-Zinn's book "Full Catastrophe Living.""
posted at 14:19:01 on July 13, 2011 by Anonymous
I am extreme    
"And that is why recently the Lord has helped me understand that all that stuff can help some, but the only two things I focus on daily are: heartfelt prayer in the morning and evening, and studying the scriptures. All of my lists are still there, and they are good to be able to draw ideas from to distract myself from temptation, but only those two core things matter. They help me with my relationship with Jesus. He is my Friend, and I love Him.

Oh and I love meditation. It is very helpful. Thank you for your input!

Get an account with a user name on here so you can help more people. It is being accountable, and we can associate your words with your past posts as well. However, I do understand the need to be anonymous at times. It is just that that is exactly how my addiction thrives, when I throw in the anonymity.

Loren"
posted at 14:22:46 on July 13, 2011 by lawrence
Anon Post - Protection not addiction    
"I remember reading about a sister and her family who had their information breached and was harrassed on this site. I don't want that to happen to me, so I remain an anon and choose not to have a user name. I am glad this site has this function.

Also, I think if you add daily service to your list, you will be doing another action to show your Savior that you love him. I have found service helps me so much to get out of the poor me addiction kind of thinking. It is something I can do for others without expectation of anything in return.

Hope it helps"
posted at 15:16:22 on July 13, 2011 by Anonymous
27 days    
"Hello. I haven't checked in for a while. I am writing more in a personal journal than online. I am still in therapy, and still doing LifeStar, and still going to 2-4 meetings per week. So much has happened. I have had many sacred experiences. Just know that God loves you. He loves you like any of us have ever loved our newborn infant sons and daughters, even though they only eat and sleep and pee and poop. We still love them with all our hearts, and it is the same with our Father in Heaven. I have come to know that Jesus is my personal Friend and Savior. I can always turn to Him. All of the other resources are good and necessary, but He is the only One who has never and will never fail me. That is what I am focusing my recovery on, my Savior. I recommend all of you do the same, wives and husbands, friends and relatives. Jesus is the One. I love Him with all my heart and my relationship improves every day with Him. I may slip or relapse or have temptations, but if I drop the toxic shame and come unto Him, He is there every time. May you all have the love of the Savior with you at all times. Satan's influence cannot be there when you have our Savior's love with you.

Loren
29 days sober"
posted at 14:17:15 on September 23, 2011 by lawrence
Glad you doing well    
"Keep going, those days are becoming longer as time goes on - PROGRESS."
posted at 14:46:32 on September 26, 2011 by ruggaexpat


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"Freedom from your transgression will come through sincere faith, true repentance, willing obedience, and the giving of self. Why the giving of self? Because selfishness is at the root of your problem. Where selfishness and transgression flourish, the Spirit of the Lord can’t enter your life to bless you. To succeed, you must conquer your selfishness. When your beacon is focused on self, it does little more than blind your vision. When turned outward through acts of kindness and love, it will light your path to happiness and peace. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990