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Meetings
By man4healing
10/5/2012 12:09:51 PM
I have decided to start attending meetings (SA) again. I had stopped for a while, having lost faith in the 12-Step Program, since I just can't seem to get sober (clean). Yes, I have a sponsor, pray, do journaling on the steps, was going to nearly a meeting a day, etc, etc. I wonder if I might be one of those people that it talks about in recover literature who it just doesn't work for; like I am constitutionally incapable or something. Even though I have no faith at all that I can be clean (aka STOP doing it) I figure I might as well partake of the fellowship.

Comments:

It takes time    
"And lots of practice. Don't give up!"
posted at 12:19:30 on October 5, 2012 by Anonymous
M4H    
"You said that you "do journaling on the steps". That might be a good start but I would suggest working them in order with a sponsor who has gone through the process, himself, and achieved a good amount of clean time. The 12 Steps are a process and it isn't something you can do by yourself with a journal. (if only it were that easy) It takes time spent on each step. You won't know if you are one of the "constitutionally incapable" ones until you've worked through the Steps properly. I would guess that before you get to Step 10 you will experience the miracle of "sobriety". Don't judge yourself or the program until you've given both a fair chance at recovery. It's great that you were once going to meetings daily. Do it again, without any preconceived notions about it working or not working. Just begin the process and see what happens.
You had a great start. Try it again. It can work for you."
posted at 12:21:51 on October 5, 2012 by Anonymous
So many failures    
"I have been in SA for nearly 2 years, but that doesn't count the fact that it has been since 1999 (yes, that long) that I have been "trying to stop." There are just so many failures. So many times I have said "never again," so many prayers, fasts, begging God to help me. Yet it is so hard to let go of it all. I hate this. I'll be good for a few days, but then a WAVE comes over me and it's about a 50/50 toss up of what happens. Either I can give it to God, or I hold on to it, let it stew, and it becomes more and more compulsive until I "have" to act out. Sometimes I wonder why God lets me--and all those who become enslaved to any addiction--get so trapped, feel so lost, so hopeless. Because that's how I feel. I have been "trying to stop" in one form or another for over 13 years. THIRTEEN. Maybe it's a punishment. "You made your bed, now lay in it," so to speak."
posted at 13:05:55 on October 5, 2012 by man4healing
Dude,    
"Wow, I don't really have anything to contribute. I just wanted to say I felt like I could be reading my own commentary. I probably have but I can't remember a time I related more exactly to a post. Even your time frames. I really started to try and stop consistently (to go on a mission) in '99 also. I got into the lds 12 steps in September 2004. I found SA September 2009 (3 years). I've never been sober very long. I hate it too. I have fasted also. I've never met anyone who has fasted more than me. I fasted a week once. Nothing but water. I tried to read to book of Mormon in a day during that week. Got about half way and finished the rest latter. I drank kale juice only (with some other assorted vegetable juices) for 40 days 3 different times. All the while begging God to change the physiological make up of my brain. Priesthood blessings [check]. Scriptures study, yup. 90 meetings in 90 days of course. Journaling my step work, most defiantly. Dailies. Sponsors. The works. I've went into the woods the wilderness and the deserts by myself for weeks at a time hundreds of miles from anyone just to meditate and pray and try to find revelation (I will admit revelation certainly has come in those times but it has yet to help keep me sober). And the only thing all this "religious sincerity" got me was excommunication and a less than admirable sobriety track record.

By the way I'm not trying to one up you on the failed effort front or try to steal your thunder. I just relate man. Sucks. How does God expect us to keep our faith? Honestly, for the most part I feel I have completely lost mine but like you I feel there is value in the fellowship and there is a Spirit about it so I choose to keep at it.

Perhaps we are "constitutionally incapable of being honest" but my current theory is that if we are in fact constitutionally incapable of anything it's impossible for me to believe in a God who would punish us for that. It's like punishing retards for failing to comprehend Shakespeare. Or punishing Rudy for not going to the NFL. I refuse to believe in such a God. More and more as I learn more concretely of the human condition I find myself aligning with Einstein when he said "I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty.". I have to believe that if even I can imagine this terrible human race eventually transcending the mentality of punishment for discordant moral behavior as we discover ever more that this behavior like all sickness is only a manifestation of things that are physical and not some weakness of Spirit or evil intent and seek rather to heal it - then so can an all mighty God. In this life of the next. I'm hoping for this life.

...geez it's so weird. Sometimes I think to write like 2 or 3 lines and in 5 minutes I've practically written a book. Sorry. Anyway, good luck man. Maybe you and I will never get sober but I still think we can enjoy life and pause ever once in awhile to catch ourselves in the rapture of something universally greater then us. It speaks. In that religious feeling hinges the remainder of all my hopes."
posted at 14:17:02 on October 5, 2012 by they_speak
Dude,    
"Wow, I don't really have anything to contribute. I just wanted to say I felt like I could be reading my own commentary. I probably have but I can't remember a time I related more exactly to a post. Even your time frames. I really started to try and stop consistently (to go on a mission) in '99 also. I got into the lds 12 steps in September 2004. I found SA September 2009 (3 years). I've never been sober very long. I hate it too. I have fasted also. I've never met anyone who has fasted more than me. I fasted a week once. Nothing but water. I tried to read to book of Mormon in a day during that week. Got about half way and finished the rest latter. I drank kale juice only (with some other assorted vegetable juices) for 40 days 3 different times. All the while begging God to change the physiological make up of my brain. Priesthood blessings [?]. Scriptures study, yup. 90 meetings in 90 days of course. Journaling my step work, most defiantly. Dailies. Sponsors. The works. I've went into the woods the wilderness and the deserts by myself for weeks at a time hundreds of miles from anyone just to meditate and pray and try to find revelation (I will admit revelation certainly has come in those times but it has yet to help keep me sober). And the only thing all this "religious sincerity" got me was excommunication and less than admirable sobriety track record.

By the way I'm not trying to one up you on the failed effort front or try to steal your thunder. I just relate man. Sucks. How does God expect us to keep our faith? Honestly, for the most part I feel I have completely lost mine but like you I feel there is value in the fellowship and there is a Spirit about it so I choose to keep at it.

Perhaps we are "constitutionally incapable of being honest" but my current theory is that if we are in fact constitutionally incapable of anything it's impossible for me to believe in a God who would punish us for that. It's like punishing retards for failing to comprehend Shakespeare. Or punishing Rudy for not going to the NFL. I refuse to believe in such a God. More and more as I learn more concretely of the human condition I find myself aligning with Einstein when he said "I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty.". I have to believe that if even I can imagine this terrible human race eventually transcending the mentality of punishment for discordant moral behavior as we discover ever more that this behavior like all sickness is only a manifestation of things that are physical and not some weakness of Spirit or evil intent and seek rather to heal it - then so can an all mighty God. In this life of the next. I'm hoping for this life.

...geez it's so weird. Sometimes I think to write like 2 or 3 lines and in 5 minutes I've practically written a book. Sorry. Anyway, good luck man. Maybe you and I will never get sober but I still think we can enjoy life and pause ever once in awhile to catch ourselves in the rapture of something universally greater then us. It speaks. In that religious feeling hinges the remainder of all my hopes."
posted at 14:18:53 on October 5, 2012 by they_speak
They Speak,    
"On the contrary, I think it is YOU who is writing MY story. Priesthood blessings? I can't count how many--from bishops, stake presidents, you name it. I too used to fast once a week. And...I thought I was the only one who spent hours in the wilderness trying to "find God" or hear God speak something to me that would heal me (or whatever it was that I was looking for!) I've tried working out, running daily (which I HATED but did it anyway because my bishop thought it would be good for me), tons of scripture study, and I can't even tell you how many prayers I have offered, sobbing my eyes out begging God for help. Has to be tens of thousands of them. Yet the same compulsion/obsession/addiction remains with me, just as strong as ever.

Somehow, in my brain (or spirit, or whatever?) I am so attached to sexual sin. Porn, MB, and the eventual acting out in person. I'm sorry man that you were excommunicated. I could have been, if not for the kindness of the bishop I had at the time who did not call for a council.

I don't know what else to do to get free--in the brain, or the soul, or whatever part of me it is that is so STUCK and holding on to this monster for dear life--the monster which brings so much pain. I see men in my SA groups who have found what I have been trying to find for so long, I wonder how in heaven's name they ever found it. Blessings to you too, I hope something can happen for guys like us."
posted at 14:37:33 on October 5, 2012 by man4healing
Hmmmnnn...    
"I don't know how to say this but I wonder if there is another thorn that may need to be addressed. Some of us have "other" diagnoses. Do you see where I am going? I had/have depression and this made getting clean extremely difficult. Medications can really help those of us in this boat. If this doesn't apply, please disregard. But if you suspect something else may be affecting your ability to recover, you are in good company. For anyone out there that suspects they may have a mental sickness, it can be worth it to get help. I am not saying meds would make everything rosy but for some of us it makes life a little more livable."
posted at 16:36:23 on October 5, 2012 by Anonymous
Do not give up hope    
"I struggled for 11 years with masturbation. I think what really helped me is I could not look at pictures of women without clothes or pornography movies because it just felt so evil. I went six years without masturbation and then messed up about 80 days ago. I was so disappointed in myself. I made a resolve to not read information on sex because it makes me too weak.

I beg everyone to please never give up. You will only experience misery if you do. Lust has nothing to offer you but pain. Make someone put a password on your computer that you do not know. Get rid of the Internet and all pornographic materials. But most of all just never give up!"
posted at 01:37:35 on October 6, 2012 by Anonymous


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"In a decaying environment, the mind is the last redoubt of righteousness, and it must be preserved even amid bombardment by evil stimuli. Christ is competent to see us through, “for in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” As promised, He will make either “a way to escape” or a way “to bear it”."

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987