Heres my first step, please leave advice!
By projectgiraffe
11/29/2006 9:48:52 PM
Step 1 - Key Principle — Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.
I have come to a decision to seek some aid with my addiction. Like the first step suggests, I am powerless to overcome my addiction and my life has become unmanageable. I have struggled with this addiction since a young age of 14. At first it was just an occassional glance at the computer at a friends house and now, almost ten years laters, has its occasional bumps and bruises. I feel like when I do give into temptation the experience itself always ends up as a spiritual experience and for me makes me want to do better. I am completely open with my wife about it and anytime I slip up she immediately is notified. I never want to make it habit of not telling her. In the two and half years of my marraige, I feel like I have come a long way with my addicition. And it seems as though each time I slip up there is longer break in time until I slip up again then when compared to the previous slip up. I have progressed somewhat on my own and I feel now that I need to take the next step to work towards overcoming my addiction. I have learned as long as I cease to be idle from the ways of the world my thoughts are pretty good, and temptation decreases. However, when I become lazy and waste my time to power of temptation creeps in and infests my thoughts. This feels good to get this off my chest to a crowd, and I hope that I can find someone on here that can help me toward my recovery. Thanks so much!


Welcome PG    
"I'm glad to see you're taking action now before the problem gets even worse. It sounds like you've already overcome one of the biggest hurdles and that is being totally honest with your spouse. That's been the biggest challenge for me after years of lying to EVERYONE. I hope you can receive help here. Please continue to share your thoughts and insights with us so we can also receive help from you.

As far as your comments, one thing stood out to me:

"I feel like when I do give into temptation the experience itself always ends up as a spiritual experience and for me makes me want to do better."

The reason this stood out to me is that I think Satan WANTS us to feel this way. I had the EXACT same thoughts so many times over 20 years of struggling. I found myself often LONGING for the spiritual experience that repentance is and the ONLY way I knew how to have that was by acting out again. I wrote a blog about this a while back that explains my thoughts on this a lot more ( ). The problem with this approach is that it isn't truly repentance because it is ME-centered and not CHRIST-centered. Christ can help us have that spiritual experience WITHOUT giving in to temptation. Anyway, I don't know if that's what you're feeling or not when you say that. I just had an epiphany about myself one day as I read about asking for a new heart, and thought that realization may be of help to you, also."
posted at 08:08:04 on November 30, 2006 by derek
Thanks Derek!    
"I can see where you are coming from. However, I do not believe that I need to purposely make the decision to fall to reignite my faith. For me it as at the moment of dispair that I feel the Saviors love the most and it propels me to do better. Like I said I have made little progress on my own. The time from fall to fall increases, where as I am progressing to some extent, however I dont want that anymore, I want to drop the temptation all together and get over it now. I hope this is taken as a rightheous desire and not a self absorbed one. I wish to not only progress myslef but even more importantly to strengthen the relationship I have with my wife. Thanks though Derek, your advice is a definitely good worth noting."
posted at 13:31:00 on November 30, 2006 by projectgiraffe
"I too have experienced the paradox of having more spiritual experiences after a failure. The important thing, I think, is not to associate the spiritual experience with the failure or the sin, but with the repentance. It is repentance and a recommittment that brings us the spiritual experiences, not the sin. From your posts it seems you feel the same way, and there has been much discussion on this paradox on this site. Repentance is a beautiful thing, but that doesn't mean we should sin to experience it. Nothing justifies the sin. I think that repentance is at the very heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ. All of us need it - all the time. But that doesn't mean we should use that to justify our sins or slacken our resolve to overcome them. I firmly believe we can still have those wonderful repentant experiences without giving in to the sin. If not, what would be the hope in overcoming?

In another post you mentioned humility, and how you obtain and keep it. Repentance (and having a need to repent) brings me to humility like nothing else. Like I said, the goal, for me anyway, is to have that repentant spirit without the sin (obviously none of us are perfect - we all sin in one way or another and are never removed from the need to repent). It is easier said than done. It's like Alma talked about in Alma 32, speaking to the Zoramites about being humble vs. being compelled to humble. If you've sinned and feel humbled by it and your feeling of needing to repent increases, and you are blessed with the spirit then in the end that is a good thing (at least the humbling and repenting part). But how much better is it to have that same repentant spirit without being compelled to be humble! Too often I have these spiritual undulations where I am on a high for awhile, then I gradually become lazy, as you said. It's not that I outright start sinning, I just forget and slowly become apathetic. It's Satan slowly and quietly casting his flaxen cords about me so I don't notice anything. Before I know it, my prayers and scripture study have become infrequent and impersonal, and my general sensitivity to the spirit decreases.

I feel like I'm describing more the symptoms than the solution, but I don't think the solution really isn't found in a one-liner or some profound axiom. For me it is the combination of many various tools, coupled with the willingness to use all of those tools, and to submit to all things the Lord sees fit to inflict upon me, putting His will above my own regardless of the consequences to me personally. My toolkit includes many things: the scriptures and words of the prophets; the 12 steps; the meetings; honesty with my wife; accountability to my wife, my self, my Heavenly Father, the others in the group meetings, and even readers of this site; and most importantly, the power of the atonement. Journaling on this site has also been a huge boon to me to help me gather my thoughts, get inspiration from others, and feel a sense of community and optimism towards recovery. I'm glad to see your comments here and look forward to more in the future."
posted at 16:13:16 on November 30, 2006 by josh
Thanks Josh    
"Again I couldnt agree more with you! As I read your reply I couldnt help but notice myslef in your situation. I like you find myself backsliding after I start the repentance process. I believe its my inability to remember the Savior and His atoning sacrifice througout the day. I start off on the right track but soon find myself decreasing my scripture study time to the point I havent done it in a week. It's saddening to me that I allow myself to get to this point. I believe I have stated this before, but I tend to find joy in being idle. I know this is a personal weakness that Satan has and will feast upon unless I take the time to occupy my time with rightheous, uplifiting activities.
For me home teaching has always been an issue, I told myself on my mission that I would never miss a month and wouldnt you know it 3 years later I havent even went once! It's no wonder that Satan has so much power over many parts of my life, I have fallen short in my service of the Lord, therefore Satan has found a way to fill that very void that I cant fill myself. However, I know I can become more productive, I have a number of other things in my life that can keep me that way, but ultimately it is my decision to make the right choices. Which of all things should be topic of my prayers! Isn't weird that I just figured that out during my rant! Odd?"
posted at 09:52:48 on December 1, 2006 by projectgiraffe
The power of journaling    
"Actually, I don't think it's weird at all that you figured that out during your "rant." That is the power of journaling. That's why I love this site. I have those "figure it out while writing" moments all the time. Often others' comments help me "figure it out" too."
posted at 10:04:04 on December 1, 2006 by josh

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"If it were possible to make your road very easy, you wouldn’t grow in strength. If you were always forgiven for every mistake without effort on your part, you would never receive the blessings of repentance. If everything were done for you, you wouldn’t learn how to work, or gain self-confidence, or acquire the power to change. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990