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In recovery forever, am I getting anywhere?
By billd
3/26/2012 11:52:29 AM
I'm new to this site. Here is my history: I have struggled with m and porn for 30+ years. Longest stretch of sobriety that I can ever remember is 2 months (and that was "iffy sobriety"). I've been attending LDS addiction recovery meetings for 5 years. 3 years ago I went through the STAR program and worked with a counselor. I've confessed everything to my wife. I've worked the 12 steps. I am even one of the facilitators for our local LDS AR meetings. I am sponsoring 2 men. I have turned off my cable. I have a myriad of blocks and disablers on my computer. I have read multiple recovery books. I feel like I am doing all that I can. I am not holding anything back. And yet, in terms of true sobriety, I slip at least every 3 weeks. While this is better than the 3-5x/week before I started in recovery, I am not where I want to be, and I am not seeing progress.

What am I missing? I know the 12 steps. I'm certainly not a recovery rookie. I know the drill: surrender, change of heart, don't focus on sobriety, look at the progress you've made, be humble, turn it over to the Lord, etc etc. I feel lost.

Comments:

just curious    
"You didn't mention your daily scripture study, your prayers, your fasting, and your media / music intake. How does your spirituality compare now to 30 years ago? How does your spirituality compare to five years ago? Do you feel close to god? Do you feel the spirit often? What can you do to increase your spirituality?

I don't have the link right now, but I suggest you google a recent byu-idaho devotional given by a religion professor. The devotional is called "what lack i yet?" Can someone please find a link to that for me?"
posted at 16:29:33 on March 26, 2012 by beclean
why do you slip?    
"I guess the question I would ask if I were your sponsor is what are you doing the minutes and hours before you slip?

We all have rituals. If we can detect the behavior before the ritual, we can skip the ritual. Once the ritual starts, its too late and you almost cant stop it until you have done your deed.
For me, it was feelings of boredom, feelings of anger and a host of other feelings. when I detect those, I have to instantly do something new -- call someone, do house project whatever. "
posted at 17:46:31 on March 26, 2012 by Hurtallover
What Lack I Yet?    
posted at 18:51:27 on March 26, 2012 by beclean
Thanks for the comments    
"@Just curious - I read my scriptures daily, I pray every day, I fast every Sunday. I get up early every morning to read some kind of recovery material. In a lot of ways, my spirituality is better now than it was 5 or 30 yrs ago, but oftentimes I feel disconnected. Especially if there has been a recent slip

@Why do you slip - What am I doing before the rituals start? I have identified some emotions/feelings that I have preceeding my acting out, and I have tried callling someone or more than one, and even checking in with my wife beforehand, but I don't know that it has helped much. Sometimes it seems to come on without warning."
posted at 18:53:19 on March 26, 2012 by billd
I agree    
"Pray for a desire to seek out the truth, my friend. Beclean struck home run with his points, that I suggest you ponder on continually. Think of it this way, your a guy who struggles with lust, which grow and mature and shoot forth branches, which in turn bring forth the fruit of porn, masturbation, adultery, fornication, homosexuality and even beastiality. Not saying that those apply but... I'm pretty sure those last two struck in you feelings of hatred & disgust. The thing is my friend, is that 'lust' is the root of that tree, and lust is when we as males view women as objects, and not as human beings. The sin of lust has a very addictive nature, which confuses %99 of us males as being something more than what it really is (or... something that we'll always be recovering from once we get it). I'm not saying that you're not addicted, more or less, but what I am saying is that you might be just struggling to overcome a battle that every man goes through, and let me just make it clear, it's totally up for you to decide whether that's the case or not. In my case, It was an addiction, which wasn't really an addiction, I just called it an addiction because I was like you, falling every couple weeks to the same sin. What I realized was that my eyes were where the lusts began; I would recieve sexual gratification as a young boy from 'looking' at women, which as I grew older progressed to pornography & masturbation.
See, those AR meetings, they are right on track when it comes to the 12 steps, they're awesome! ...But. Yes, there's a but. There is only 1 God. I repeat, one God who can free you from the chains & snares of bondage, one God who can liberate you into his loving arms and peace of mind, and that God is Jesus Christ. Not the AR Meetings, not the bishop, not no person, object, place or thing, but Jesus Christ. The reason why you fall is because those meetings cannot offer you what God can, which is unlimited and unrestricted access to him, at any time and at any place, which is prayer. His all powerful Word which he created the Heavens with, and is the ultimate truth.
You must put you're thoughts, your words, your deeds on and upon the foundation of Christ. (1 Cor. 3: 11 & 12) and all those things shall last. You will prevail my friend. I showed unto God my devotion and willingness to be free by praying unceasingly, reading, studying and pondering the Word, and fasting. By rooting in me those things I learned that our minds and our hearts think about and process what our eyes look at, I learned that I must rebuke the opressor with the word of God, I learned that I must make no provision for the flesh, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and equipt myself with the full armour of God. That's how I became liberated. I hope this helps, my friend."
posted at 19:01:06 on March 26, 2012 by Regal777
Better advice    
"You know what, forget about what I said (except the praying, fasting & studying scriptures part) just read the book, "Every Man's Battle", and listen to Paul Tsika's "Strongholds" sermon. It will help."
posted at 19:09:09 on March 26, 2012 by Regal777
Intimacy Anoroxia    
"Intimacy Anorexia is common when it comes to men with a sex / porn addiction. In fact, I would bet it is common in many men.

The term and identity come from Dr. Douglas Weiss. Healing from addiction is different than healing from intimacy issues. Dr. W has some exercises that help tremendously in my marriage.

My husband is healing from addiction and our marriage is healing from the lack of intimacy for so many years. I feel so connected to him, and he feels connected to me. It is very cool.

Warning: Dr. Weiss. is not LDS. He is a Christian Minister who also happens to be a 25 year sober and recovering addict for 25 years! I cannot say enough about what his teachings have done for my husband, myself, and our family... He is located in Colorado, but he has many great books and does phone counseling too.

I believe is web address is www.sexaddict.com, but you can google his name as well.

You and everyone on this site are always in my prayers...

Angel"
posted at 19:44:34 on March 26, 2012 by angelmom
Im not a veteran    
"So I guess you can't take my advice serious. But, I'll throw in a suggestion. try something different. Your probably doing the same thing and that's probably why your getting the same results. I say, go out of town, meet some new people, experience life, and come back with a new vision.

Best of luck."
posted at 21:37:59 on March 26, 2012 by moroni
do you take care of your self?    
"What I have learned about recovery is loving my self and I have to do some action in that side as well, do you have an action plan for emotional and sexual trigger?

I learned that when the temptation and urges are too strong praying is not sufficient, it's require direct action and connection. At least it what I found useful for myself.

Your friend from europe"
posted at 02:32:00 on March 27, 2012 by mike81
BeClean's Post    
"I LOVE that talk. It is so true for all of us. What lack I yet? We've got to go to the Lord to get our personalized prescription. We all have an illness but it isn't cured with the same medicine. Some of us need different things. I highly recommend reading that. It's my favorite."
posted at 02:44:04 on March 27, 2012 by iamstrong
I felt your pain    
"It was like deja vu reading your post. My history is close with a little number manipulation: 45 years of sexual issues and at least 39 as an addict. 9 months is the longest length of sobriety I can claim. I've been attending LDS ARP meetings for 11 ½ years and the specific pornography meetings (some call them PASG) since they began 10 years ago. I have attended AA and SA meetings as well. I never did the STAR program, but a counselor did declare me “cured” a few years ago. My wife has known about my problem since before our marriage and I have been completely open since getting into recovery. I've worked through the Steps and was part way through again. I was a missionary once and have been a facilitator a few times. I was sponsoring one man. Didn't have cable, and the computer filters are in place. I even gave up running my own Linux boxes because they were too prone to causing me problems. I have a fairly good recovery library. I have had some great improvement in recovery, but couldn't seem to put together long-term sobriety. I was averaging about every 4 weeks.

I found myself asking the same question about six months ago, “What am I missing?” At the time I was doing my dailies almost every day, facilitating an LDS PASG meeting and attending a general ARP meeting and an open AA meeting every week, attending the temple and working off and on on a Step 4 inventory.

I felt a need to just be an addict and feel free to announce my sobriety for the sake of accountability, but I felt a certain amount of pressure to be an example of recovery in each of my meetings. When I announced my short sobriety in one of the meetings and heard a gasp it didn't help. I decided to shake things up. I was about to quit going to all my meetings, but in the end only dropped the AA meeting; it wasn't giving me much of a recovery boost. I took a short break from facilitating and attending the PASG meeting, and went to another one. Then I found an SA meeting that I liked and started attending it every week. A couple of good things came out of that. I picked up a new sponsor. My last one left on a mission a while ago. It also had a couple of attendees with 11 and 10 years of sobriety. I have felt like I am taking too long and in the same meeting I found that the one with 11 attended his first recovery meeting in 1974. The other one has been attending for 18 years. It helped me feel a bit better about my time table.

I had prayed off and on about what I needed to do to improve my recovery, but at some point during this I got more serious about it. I knew that God knew what I needed. He let me know that I needed to get outside myself a bit more and so I having been praying for and reaching out more to others between meetings. I also happened to get two more sponsees.

I was also given a custom made blessing from the Lord that came in the disguise of a medical condition that I developed. At first glance it looked like the worst thing that could happen to someone who already has sexual issues, but has turned into probably the greatest blessing He has given me in the last twelve years and that is saying something. It has touched on so many things that I am not sure I can remember them all, but it has helped to divorce my sexuality from my sense of self worth, helped me overcome some resentment I was holding towards my wife, brought us closer together as a team, galvanized that I don't want anything to threaten my sobriety and helped me commit at a higher level to whatever the Lord wants. I was talking with my wife today and she volunteered that even with all the progress she has seen in the last 12 years, that she feels the biggest change has been since a very significant night I had in the temple recently that was a direct result of this condition.

I don't necessarily think you needed what I did, but my point is I was feeling the same way and asking the same question just a short while ago and when I fervently and sincerely ask the Lord for what I needed He let me have it.

I believe He will just as freely give to anyone else who asks with a sincere heart. After all I am nobody special. I am just John, a brother in recovery.

I think the same message must come out in the devotional talk. Thanks for posting that BeClean"
posted at 22:57:21 on March 27, 2012 by justjohn


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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