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Post Mortem
By rmww
6/8/2014 10:31:36 PM
Well, it happened. After 1 year and 2 months of being completely porn free, I slipped up a few times in May.

I wanted to sort out a few thoughts I've had as I figure out where I went wrong, and as I determine what actions I will take as I point myself in the right direction again.

First of all, by way of background, I experienced a "mighty change of heart" last year that marked the start of something wonderful in my life. I had been compulsively using porn on-and-off for about 17 years, and I was awesome at keeping it a secret. Nobody had a clue, including my wife. I finally got so fed up with the pain, grossness, and self-loathing I felt inside, and was ready to do whatever it took to get better, no matter the cost. I confessed everything to my wife and my bishop, and implemented a plan that focused heavily on taking things one day at a time. I put my trust in the Savior, and did my best to turn my life over to Him. These actions led to a sense of peace at a level that I hadn't felt for a long, long time.

So then what went wrong?

I keep asking myself the same thing. I think it comes down to the following.

1. I allowed the fervency of my prayers to slowly decrease over time. Early in my "mighty change of heart" phase, prayer was an incredibly powerful force that I grew to love. Rather than just saying prayers, I actually communed with an almighty, loving Father that I somehow knew was actually listening to me. It was awesome. Yet somehow I got lax about doing this. While I still continued to pray every day, lately it has lacked the faith and effort on my part to make this a powerful daily spiritual experience.

2. I let my scripture study become checkbox-based, rather than having it be a meaningful part of each day. Early in my "mighty change of heart" phase, I decided that daily scripture study was something I would absolutely do no matter what. For a while it was awesome, but somehow I got casual about it, to the point where I'd only read a verse or two each day for the sole purpose of being able to say that I read something.

3. I got comfortable with my sobriety. After a few months of turning to the Lord and focusing on daily improvements, much of my cravings for porn actually went away. Sure, temptation would pop up here and there, but I had learned some really good habits, and had some great momentum going. After about a year of sobriety, I think I somehow let myself think that the daily efforts didn't matter as much, and that my months of momentum would carry me during times when I just didn't feel like focusing on day-by-day actions.

What have I learned?

In the gospel, we learn things line upon line, precept on precept. Satan has a similar methodology, where he leads us away lie upon lie, decept on decept. It happens subtly. If we keep up our defenses, and truly trust in the Lord, we can find great joy in recovery. If we aren't careful, a slip up is always right around the corner.

What are my plans?

For starters, I've been honest with my wife, and told her about my slip-ups. Next stop is the Bishop's office. Aside from this, I am recommitting to daily effort. For me, this is:

a. Fervent, kneeling prayers, at least twice per day. Spend time on my knees "establishing a connection" first, and don't start praying until I have a confirmation from the Spirit that Father is really on the other end actively listening.

b. Read the scriptures every day until I feel the Spirit. Read for at least 15 minutes. (I need to find a fixed time of day to read, but that's a different story).

c. Only use my computer when I have a specific purpose in mind. No using the computer to kill boredom, to be entertained, etc. Avoid using computer after 6PM, and/or when tired.

d. Read recovery material every day. I love going through old posts on LDSAR, and reading the struggles and successes that others have had. It really helps me get my head in the game.

e. Daily inventory of my triggers. Am I bored? Tired? Curious? Hurt by something my wife said? Feeling lonely? If so, I need to be extra careful. I need to find a wholesome project to engage in, or perhaps do some act of service for someone else.

I know I can do it with the Lord's help. I could use some prayers from others since I know I am more vulnerable now than I've been in a long time, but I'm sick of Day 1's, and I'm anxious to get back to the peace that I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ provides.

Comments:

thanks    
"RMWW,
thank you for sharing . I am at about 13 days right now for myself this after a relalpse about three weeks ago after 100+ days of sobriety. I had slipped into complacency as well. I am a little fearful for my future because i know myself that i wlll fall into boredom and there is the potential to relapse. One particular challenge for me right now is my wife. She is beating me up saying I am the reason we are in the situation we are in right now. While that is true, there have been choices that she has made that affect our lives. It is hard for me to seperate out the responsiblity or things that I can control from things I can't. I tend to be an all or nothing making it difficult at times. Thanks for sharign your experience"
posted at 04:35:34 on June 9, 2014 by sjanderson
group therapy    
"Meetings are very helpful also, remember you cant get a hug from the computer after you reveal struggles. And, the checking in reminds us of things going on under the radar. I don't like to go: I'd rather spend the time with my family, or keep myself out of the woods as far as the ward knowing I have a problem . . . . the interaction is good for me though . . . I had a major slip Saturday night so I'm seeing the importance of meetings. Hopefully I will be consistent this time; Complacency is my killer also."
posted at 09:06:30 on June 9, 2014 by R_Matt


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"The Savior teaches that we will have tribulation in the world, but we should "be of good cheer" because He has "overcome the world". His Atonement reaches and is powerful enough not only to pay the price for sin but also to heal every mortal affliction… He knows of our anguish, and He is there for us. Like the good Samaritan in His parable, when He finds us wounded at the wayside, He binds up our wounds and cares for us. Brothers and sisters, the healing power of His Atonement is for you, for us, for all. "

— Dallin H. Oaks

General Conference October 2006