4 years!
3/26/2016 9:50:50 PM
I can't believe it has been four years since entering recovery! Time flies! As I said in my 3 year update, it is one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. Addiction is a chronic condition that has to be constantly kept in check, adjusted and accounted for. It is a night and day difference of how I used to live under the guise of duplicity and how I live now. Life can be happy again, I promise. The addiction can be managed. I am happy that I found this site those 4 years and change ago. I am grateful for the Lifestar group that I was in, my great counselor, an understanding Bishop, an unbelievably loyal wife and a merciful God to assist in getting all of that lined up for me. I have my own website that I post on from time to time.

I wish there was a way to be of more help to others in need! Feel free to message if you need any encouragement!


thank you for sharing    
"I am so very excited to hear your success. To know that it is possible t. o overcome with the Lord's help is such good news. I am excited to hear that you are succeeding. i am at a point in my life right now where I can stretch a few weeks together on my own...I am working on the step 3. For me, for some reason trusting and turning my life over to God, really turning my life over to him is so very hard, and i believe this is a major obstacle in my progress. I would be interetsed to know iwth your success, do you have any specific strategies that worked for you to turn your life over to God? thanks for sharing if you can"
posted at 18:01:17 on March 27, 2016 by sjanderson1
"All I can say is what has worked for me, each individual is different. For me, absolute honesty was and is crucial. So is accountability. I told my wife 2 days or so after I dropped my ENTIRE inventory in my bishops lap. It wasn't short, but I wanted my bishop to understand my addiction in it's entirety so that I wouldn't get the usual speech of "I think you are being too hard on yourself, the Lord has forgiven you" or something like unto it.
I wanted him to know how in depth it was, that it wasn't some recent development or lapse in my judgement, but a fundamental flaw in the spiritual, mental and physiological development of me as a human being.

After I dropped that shameful pile in his lap, I did the same to my poor, unsuspecting wife. I wanted to die. I am sure she felt the same.

It was four years ago, right before general conference. I did that deliberately. For my sake and for hers. She got a blessing from the bishop and we watched conference together. She was merciful but firm. I thought she was going to leave me. She decided to try.

Based on the recommendation from my green, but humble bishop, we entered the Lifestar program. It was a lengthy, expensive program. Without the churches help, I could not have afforded it. It was a difficult program. It is in phases. Phase one was as couples. Basic education on addiction, shame, cycles and so forth. It was a good thing for us. Phase 2 and 3 are in male and female groups. My wife was in a group of mostly wives of addicts and my group was of recovering addicts.
By the time I entered counseling I had already clocked 6 or so months of sobriety. Largely by coming to this website each day(it was my "new" secret website that my wife didn't know about at the time) I would come here when I felt tempted, because I wanted to clock in a bit of sobriety before I told my wife and I made up my mind I was telling her and I wasn't changing my mind(Now I don't think that waiting for sobriety before you tell is a good idea though, just in case you chicken out later). I had a soundtrack too that I listened to everyday. The one I played the most was the old school Andy Williams song, "Born Free" but I would sing it "Porn Free"...Great song:)

Anyways, the counseling was absolutely crucial. I had group counseling through Lifestar, and individual counseling. I also met with my Bishop monthly and even though he sometimes thought it was overkill and that I "seemed to be doing fine" I insisted.

I didn't have my first "slip" until 16 months later. Holy crap was that a learning experience! I have had a number of slips since then 3, 4, 6 months apart, but each has come with it's struggles and learning curves. I have not been sober for 4 years and shamelessly admit it. I have been in recovery for over 4 years because each time I have slipped, no matter how awkward or painful, I own up to it.

In counseling we learned how to report it. Things to write if we do. Things to do before we slip. And tools to help my spouse feel safe. I have come to recognize the cycles much more and my wife can see them as plain as day when they happen as well. Midterms and finals are extremely dangerous times for me. But I have gotten better. So has she.

We are happier, more educated and more prepared to teach our kids how to avoid the crap and how to get out if it when they fall in it.

I still meet with my Bishop regularly. I set the appt, not him. I still call and talk to guys from my group. (It is a chronic condition that persists. It can be mitigated and managed, just like someone that quits smoking.) I am honest when I slip and I know my mind and soul are healthier.
Funny, while I was an active addict it took me over 5 years to finish my bachelors degree. In two years, I will have another bachelors, a masters and a doctorate. It is amazing what your mind can do when it is set free!!

I have a number of posts on my little website. Check out Lifestar if you can!! Well worth it! When I am done with school I hope to offer a yearly scholarship or something to that affect to put someone through the Lifestar program. Between God lining that program up for me, my bishop and my spouse, my life was literally saved. I probably would have ended it and that's no lie.

Let me know if I can help in any way!"
posted at 00:04:12 on March 30, 2016 by WHATTODO2
"I love what you said about shamelessly admitted to slip ups. Slips and relapses are a part of recovery. They just are. I am not saying its ok to mess up, but I think that it is so important to not get hung up on the relapses and just keep going. It's a messy, but beautiful process."
posted at 00:59:15 on April 3, 2016 by Maddy

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"The excuse is given that it is hard to avoid, that it is right at our fingertips and there is no escape. Suppose a storm is raging and the winds howl and the snow swirls about you. You find yourself unable to stop it. But you can dress properly and seek shelter, and the storm will have no effect upon you. Likewise, even though the Internet is saturated with material, you do not have to watch it. You can retreat to the shelter of the gospel and its teaching of cleanliness and virtue and purity of life. "

— Gordon B. Hinckley

General Conference, October 2004