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Blessed
By ETTE
4/17/2011 5:55:01 PM
This post will be very similar to a blog I posted about a month ago. I just wanted to post that I am still doing well and staying completely clean. It’s been somewhere between two and three months now, but I don’t know for sure because I haven’t been keeping track of the exact number of days.

Here’s a short list of what I’m doing to find success:

1. Sincere change of heart - I have decided for myself that acting out is wrong, and I honestly have no desire to do it any more. The urges still come, but it’s different now because the desire is gone.

2. Heartfelt prayer - I am praying a lot more now than I have in a while. I feel a deeper connection with the Spirit, and I rely on prayer to help me get through the hard times.

3. Weekly appointments with my Bishop - this step has been a great benefit to me. I find that meeting with my Bishop encourages me to continue down the right path. I also find it helpful that my Bishop is optimistic, and he has helped me set some goals pertaining to becoming worthy again.

4. Daily study - reading the scriptures and The Miracle of Forgiveness and For the Strength of Youth has helped me feel more connected to the Spirit.


It’s also important to note that I have not been to any recovery meetings during this period of sobriety, and honestly, I think staying away from meetings has helped me. I have also stayed away from the twelve steps, but I might take a look at the LDS Family Services recovery manual once I’m done with my second reading of The Miracle of Forgiveness.

I still read a lot on this site, but I don’t comment much because I feel like commenting too much in the past lead to contention. I thank everyone for sharing their stories on here though, I gain a lot from your dedication to recover.

If anybody else would like to post a short list of what they've been doing to stay sober, I would be interested in reading it.

Comments:

my list    
"Even though I dont always last very long in my abstinence, and had trouble last week, I am able to stay sober by doing the following:

1. heartfelt, kneeling prayer ALOUD my myself every morning and every evening
2. kneeling prayer with my wife every morning and evening
3. kneeling prayer with my whole family every morning and evening
4. two to three minute daily devotional, rotating through the family every morning with song and prayer
5. every meal that is humanly possible to all sit together at the table and pray together and have a family discussion, usually breakfast and dinner
6. spontaneously share my testimony one on one with my children or wife from time to time
7. Attend Sunday night, Monday noon, and Tuesday evening ARP. Staying away from these, in my case hurts me terribly. I may need these my whole life.
8. Group therapy on Tuesdays
9. Individual therapy on Wednesdays
10. Meetings with bishop every 2-3 weeks
11. Daily "intimacy" exercises with my wife: look each other in the eye, tell a feeling we each had that day (that has nothing to do with the other person), and liken it to a time in childhood. Do two of those feelings sharings, then give two statements of praise to the other person (genuine and sincere, not "loaded" like "I'm sure glad you weren't such a jerk today as usual") where the response from the other person about that praise can only be, "thank you" and any discussions must follow only after 72 hours (for the feelings too). These are powerful and we got them from a book.
12. Try to "capture" daily. Please see Colleen Harrison's books about this. It is a written reverse-prayer in a journal. I write a prayer or a conversation basically to the Savior, and then write what I believe He would say to me if He were there. This one is amazing. He actually IS there and DOES communicate what to write. Often this is the most powerful sacred personal scripture and revelation to me.
13. Meditation, guided imagery, or NLP (look it up, this is getting long) or self-hypnosis, relaxation type recordings
14. Use affirmations with high consciousness type ambient music
15. write in journal in my own handwriting, sometimes to save, but sometimes I write a page without lifting the pen, just continuously write and if it ends up too much personal stuff or anything just shred it after. This is very powerful and increases dopamine.
16. Read the scriptures, one chapter of the Book of Mormon, aloud with the whole family, taking turns reading verses.
17. personal scripture study
18. work DAILY out of the LDS addiction recovery manual. write write write
19. I sit all day at work. I set a timer to take a break and completely disengage every hour. I walk around for two minutes, get a drink, go to the bathroom, etc.
20. I write on this site or on my blog.
21. I text or call any number of my 12-step brothers to encourage them, share an affirmation, or even reach out for help.
22. often, not always daily, but at least a few times a week, I kneel with my wife and one of our children at a time and pray for that child, letting them be in charge of calling on the person to pray.
23. when desperate, I do turn to a less-spiritually-detrimental addiction (this isn't good, I know, but at least I don't masturbate on these occasions) such as candy.
24. Take a time out. Just breathe. Count my breaths. Focus only on breathing. Get centered again. Feel God's peace and joy come back into my heart.
25. EXERCISE. This is big. When I neglect it, I know I'm headed for disaster.
26. Scratch out #23 and eat right. Raw fruits and vegetables for snacks, less fat-filled and sugar-filled processed twinky-like foods.
27. Do Yoga sometimes
28. Use "Rational Thinking" technique. This is a systematic approach to learning how to recognize and change upsetting thoughts and beliefs that give rise to negative feelings like anxiety, anger, depression, fear and guilt.
29. Use time management skills to reduce stress. Plan my week. Plan my day. Set goals. Don't be hard on myself for imperfections.
30. Get enough sleep.
31. Be completely honest. If I screw up, tell my wife immediately. Also bishop, group members, etc.
32. Know about BLAHST triggers (bored, lonely, angry, hungry, stressed, tired). Treat these triggers directly, rather than thinking it is an urge to resort to an addictive behavior. This is along the lines of dieters recognizing hunger, treating it as if it is thirst (drink a tall glass of water) then wait patiently 20-30 minutes, and if it really is hunger, eat something healthy. I believe the primordial part of our brain is like an infant who cannot communicate, so she just cries. She might be poopy, might be hungry, might need sleep, might just need cuddling. We program this brain center to get satisfied every time with the same action. Proof of this is often after masturbation, back when it was a regular no-shame no-guilt habit, regular part of living, I was completely famished. The truth was I was hungry, but I couldn't properly interpret what my body needed so I gave it something it always liked, which felt good, but didn't solve the original problem. In doing this trigger awareness, I am reprogramming my brain to get the right solution for whatever need arises.
33. Stop focusing on the problem. Just put it behind me and don't look back. Embrace my new life of abstinence. Accept and be at peace with the newly realized fact: I will not die (and in fact will be quite well off) without sex.

Wow. I really needed this list. I will turn back to this often. I am going to print it out or make it a list on my smart phone. I am currently using a list of 18 that I try to do every day. Thanks for your post. I hope my list will be helpful to somebody.

I am Loren and I am 4 days sober from lust."
posted at 10:42:00 on April 18, 2011 by lawrence
oops    
"Sorry Ette, I didn't see the word "short" list. Oh well. Enjoy your day."
posted at 10:47:20 on April 18, 2011 by lawrence
Don't worry about it    
"I didn't have time to read your whole list, but it looks really good. It's nice to see that there are people like me who are trying to beat this."
posted at 14:36:00 on April 18, 2011 by ETTE
Awesome    
"I'm happy for you. Keep up the good work. Here are some things that have really benefited me.

1. Start the day with prayer, then pray continually throughout the day; pray again on my knees mid-day, then again on my knees before going to bed. I can definitely feel the difference between the days when I'm close to the Lord in prayer and the days when I'm distant because I've forgotten to pray continually.

2. Seek the Lord first. This goes with number one, but there's more to it. In other words, making the Lord the top priority of my day, week, etc. Which means prayer, then scripture study (which I do until I feel the Spirit). On Sundays, the first day of the week, I devote my day to Him, studying scripture, watching church-produced movies or General Conference clips, reading the Ensign, listening to gospel-related music (like EFY kind of music). And when I'm feeling weak, I go first to the Lord for strength. It's hard to always put the Lord first, but I've seen the blessings in my life from as much as I've been able to do this.

3. Reading uplifting material. This includes the scriptures, but there are a plethora of other books out there devoted to teaching us more about the gospel and many that are directly made for the benefit of those who are suffering from addictions. The positive affirmations from reading those books has really changed my attitude about myself, and that has made a huge difference.

4. Journaling. This is huge for me. It's in my journal that I can release anything and everything that I'm feeling. Just the act of writing things down makes me feel better, whether I'm angry or depressed or whatever. I would highly recommend doing this for anyone who hasn't already started a journal. It's extremely therapeutic.

5. Seeking out support groups; This website and others have been good for me, to see that there are others out there struggling, trying to do their best, fighting the good fight alongside me. I know I'm not alone. I pray for all of you and hope you will pray for me as well. This is the worst evil in the world today, of that I am certain. But I believe we can beat it if we seek the Lord."
posted at 18:54:19 on April 18, 2011 by jjdanomaly
Congrats    
"Congratulations on your sobriety. Here's a few of the things I'm doing.

1. Praying as much as I can. I'm not great at kneeling prayers twice a day, but I'm working on it, and I'm working on praying here and there during the day. Also making my prayers very honest, and not getting caught up in doing it "right" and praying for everything and everyone.

2. Working hard. I'm working hard to manage my emotions and not stuff them or try to numb them with my addiction. When I have urges I'm working hard to manage them by praying and doing other techniques I've learned instead of giving in to them.

3. Support. I go to ARP every week (except when my son's baseball games conflict or my babysitter has a conflict). I see an addiction counselor (and do LifeStar with him also) weekly. I also have another counselor that I meet with to continue to work on dealing with my emotions and depression. I also try to come to this site as often as possible.

4. Believing. I believe that I can do this. I believe that God will help me through this. This has been a big one for me. When I am confident and have faith I do better. When I panic I do worse.

That's probably good for a short list. :)"
posted at 23:29:49 on April 19, 2011 by dstanley


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"Are you battling a demon of addiction—tobacco or drugs, or the pernicious contemporary plague of ography? Whatever other steps you may need to take to resolve these concerns, come first to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Trust in heaven’s promises. In that regard Alma's testimony is my testimony: "I do know," he says, "that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions."

— Jeffrey R. Holland

General Conference, April 2006