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The Beginning
By riseabove
11/23/2011 2:53:23 AM
I hope I don't sound presumptuous by giving my username as riseabove. I read a book by Elder Erying a few years ago and in there he mentions that we need to rise above to experience live where we have mastered our natural man. (Sorry for the the poor synopsis... but hopefully you get the idea.) I just came across this site this evening and since I have recently started the 12step program, last week, I thought his would be a great way to express my thoughts. I'll keep them short tonight since it's about 12:30.

In a nut shell, I've been living with an on again off again addiction to pornography. Off when I needed to go to the serve a mission, go to the temple, or act like I was living a good trustworthy life. I truly love to give service to other and have always tried to make them feel happy or appreciated. However, in the process... I was occasionally indulging in pornography. My best bit of logic, for what it's worth, is that there were times when I would get frustrated with life that viewing pornography seemed to help me escape my frustrations. How ironic since once you view, or 1 minute or 60 minutes, you feel a heck of a lot worse than your apparent anger did before. Well, I think I was about 5 when I experienced my first look at pornography, with a friend of mine as we snuck into his father's farm workers trailer. At the time I didn't even really know what I was looking at but it's obvious to me that our memories never forget.... darn it.

I've been on this proverbial roller-coaster for about 30 years since.. and I can honestly tell you that I've fooled every single person I know to where they think that I am such a stalwart, upstanding and honest person. Well, I've reached the end of my ride.... (I hope). I was not caught in the act of looking, nor was I told that there might be something wrong with me and I better go get it taken care of. I simply had such an impression that my Father in Heaven needs me to "get to work" as an honest and trustworthy disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ... so I went in to tell my Bishop. He was so understanding and compassionate.... However, when he told me that I needed to tell my wife (since she is the one that I have been offending and she's the one that I need to go to for restitution).... AND, that I needed to go to the Addiction Recovery program with the church. I was quite upset with him saying that this would likely end my marriage of 13 years and 4 kids later.. Plus I didn't know it I could swallow my pride and actually attend an addiction meeting. "I can do it my self"... I said, or so I thought.

Well.... I told my wife last Sunday, which was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life because she is the first person to ever hear that I had an addiction. (I truly have kept it secret for 30 years or so.) I think it would have been easier to tell her that one of our children was killed. Needless to say, it was a very long night. But I'm here to tell you that never in my life-time and especially in the 13 years we've been married have I had such an honest and open communication relationship with anyone. After my wife gained composure and talked to our Bishop she came home and first gave me the biggest and longest hug of our marriage. And then she asked me the most difficult questions, mainly because I had never even told her that I've looked at pornography let alone explain when, how often, why, etc. But I am determined to be honest and forthright in all things, especially with my wife. She has asked me some tough questions over the past week and we've shared gallons of tears together. But she always looks me deep in my eyes to my very soul and tells me that she loves me and that we will get through this.

I will not even have the audacity to say that "All is well in Zion".... I have such a long road ahead of me (my lifetime to be exact), where I will be combatting this temptation each day. But since I've told my wife and have started the recovery class, I can testify to you that my Father in Heaven loves me. Although, I've lived my entire life telling people what they want to hear and acting "good" to keep them unaware of my "skeleton in my closet".... I know that the Atonement is real and if I would just put my trust if God and give myself to Him I will be able to endure this life well. My ultimate goal is to look my Savior in his eyes and tell him I did my best to overcome such a heinous sin.

Lastly.... for those who are suffering with the idea of telling your spouse or any other loved one about your addiction, I will testify with every once of energy in my soul.... you NEED to do it. I was never more scared at ANY time in my life than I was telling my wife... and it was (and still is) very hard for her. But as hard as it may seem to believe, our level of communication has grown exponentially in this past week. I have never felt such an ability to tell my wife just how I feel and I simply do not "shirk" around any question she has for me. The Atonement works for only for the repentant person, but also for the person who needs to understand how to show forth Christlike love to those who need it. Do not deny your loved ones the ability to truly experience and feel the power of the Atonement. I believe there are many people who have a firm testimony of the Atonement of our Savior, but I also wholeheartedly believe that the level of truly understanding how the Atonement can change and strengthen you can be found in those who were brave enough to do the right thing and truly repent, making restitution to all those to whom they wronged or harmed.

Again.... I know I have a long and difficult road ahead of me.... but for the first time in my life I feel that I have been honest and upfront with those who need to know and the influence of the Holy Ghost and the love of my Savior and Heavenly Father have truly entered into my heart. The love of Christ is real and the steps of repentance are crucial and necessary for us to even be in His presence again. I pray that my thoughts were not offensive to any one who read this and hopefully, they have influenced some to go make restitution. Remember, and believe me .... just at the time when I really thought my wife was going to slap me or hit me, or just yell at me for what I've done was when I was amazingly (and thankfully) surprised with the best hug of my life. Be sincere and honest on your path to repentance and I promise in the name of my savior that you will find peace in your life.

Thank you for letting me unload this discourse on you all this evening. Remember... "Rise Above".


Your friend....


(Please forgive any typos or grammatical errors...... I'll blame it on it being 1:30 AM.)

Comments:

welcome!!    
"wow, you made a huge move. Congrats. I won't say more than that. This is going to be your challenge of mortality but it has to be done. I am glad you realize that confessing and beginning the recovery process is the best thing. it is the only thing. You will be an addict forever until you wholeheartedly approach it and overcome it. I have been going to meetings, getting therapy, doing "recovery" for three years and I am more an addict now than before. I have never put in the full effort.

Stay determined. It gets really hard. Not telling you that to cause you fear but to cause you to cling to the hope you have now. Stay VERY close to God and to truth. Satan DOES NOT want you to have any hope or happiness. He is not happy with you. He wants to destroy you. RISE ABOVE!! YOU CAN DO THIS. Be humble and learn from those who know the steps. Accept the difficult things they may ask you to do. "
posted at 09:27:55 on November 23, 2011 by warrior
Thank you.    
"How true, and accepted your comments are, my friend. Let's both hope and pray that we will just give ourselves to God and that he will give us the strength when we need it the most. Thanks for the kind and encouraging words. Good luck in your efforts! Have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!"
posted at 13:05:45 on November 23, 2011 by riseabove
About your wife    
"As a spouse....let me first say that this would have been totally different if my husband had come to me and told me the truth. That all by itself makes a WORLD of difference. I don't even know you and I am proud of you.

Now having said that...she is going to need a lot of things from you. Learn as much as you can about how to support her. Hero recommends Dr Weiss stuff and I haven't personally used it, but I plan to get some and I trust her recommendation.

For me, there was a time where I was really on board with making the relationship better and there were times where I became deeply introverted and even into a state of shock for a while. Then I would come out of it and start coping again. It can be such a roller coaster. I hope she can always stay supportive, but if she has some crazy days...and even if they turn into weeks or even months...don't take it personally and just hold to the Savior and love and support her.

I have a feeling you'll love ARP meetings. They are incredible for me and my husband to go to together now. Don't let anything hold you back. These meetings can change everything if you let them. Make sure can go to meetings too if you have them in your area. If not then download the Spouses Manual here on this site and give it to her.

She needs to start her OWN recovery process. Not just help you in yours.

My .02"
posted at 15:14:34 on November 23, 2011 by maddy


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"Brothers and sisters, let's sell that summer cottage in Babylon. Let us be not "almost" but "altogether" Latter-day Saints. "

— Larry W. Gibbons

General Conference October 2006