Emptiness & Heartache
By whitewolf
7/17/2008 8:46:50 AM
yeah - the day I honestly never ever thought would come into my life again -- has come. I just could never recover fully from my July 12 dream -- I never could really accept that it wasn't me during the dream -- I was hoping it would stop and go away, but I just felt like it was me and ever since that day I have been in a daize -- not doing anything bad, but not doing my dailies either -- and finally this morning it was was just an action that was totally mindless and emotionless and then it was over -- how do you recover, when you were doing so good - when you have been beyond days that you have never seen before? I know I just need to pick myself up and just keep moving on to even newer heights -- but you know, I gave it my all this time - It was so different this time -- I felt the change of heart, I felt the healing power of Jesus and yet I still fell after all of that -- I didn't want to write ever again, didn't want to let me know that I had failed again -- was just going to cover it up and move on as if nothing happened -- but I can't -- I have to let people know so that the Satan's hold on me can not be forever binding -- it needs to be broken -- I know I will recover and come back with greater resolve, determination and spirt -- but for now - it hurts so bad -- when I signed in today and changed my date and now am looking at a "Day 0" under my name -- I can't stop crying -- I literally gave it my all - and still it wasn't enough -- how does one find more to give? I know you all understand this pain --- I really haven't felt this pain before because all my other attempts to recover weren't truthful -- but this one was (and still is) and so it hurts ten times as much -- I love you all - I mean that because we are a brotherhood/sisterhood and share each others burdens -- it's a long road back that I pray I have the same drive and determination as when I started some 84 days ago!

Power in Purity! (yes, I still believe in that)


It happens to most everybody, that is why it is called compulsive, but it stinks anyway.    
"I have been where you are. I really hate the word relapse. I don't even like typing it! It makes me feel angry, annoyed, sad, hopeless. 84 days is a lot, but 1 day is a lot too. It is like every day is as difficult as the last. I find myself extremely motivated after I falter, that is when I feel the forgiveness it is extremely spiritual. I have often felt the love of God the strongest when I am in the middle of repentance. Right after that it is easy to be sober. It is keeping that intensity that is difficult.

You talked of giving it your all and then not recovering from the dream. The addiction (Satan) knows just how to get us. Sometimes we are doing things that are dangerous, like me looking at websites that I know will have tempting links. Sometimes the addiction just comes out of nowhere, like a dream that we can't get rid of. It's tough. For me reliance on God, the atonement, grace, that strength that is supposed to come from it is the only way. I keep having relapses after long periods of sobriety. I hate it. I need to give it up to God. I have to find his strength to move forward.

There are a lot of cliches in the 12 step programs. 1 day at a time. It works if you work it. Give it up to God. You can't change the past. They are all true. We move forward one day at a time relying on God. Telling others of our experiences helps. It helps us, it helps them. Whenever I say "we" or "us", I mean me. It helps me. I appreciate your honesty. It reminds me of how little it takes for me to lose sobriety.

It will get better. It takes a long time, but it does get better. I wish that it would just go away too."
posted at 09:17:07 on July 17, 2008 by panshrdze
Step One    
"Realizing, really understanding that we are POWERLESS over our addiction is to work a Step One. WW, despite all our willpower and good intentions we fall back to our addictions unless there is a Divine intervention. Don't beat yourself up for being human. It's Heavenly Fathers way of teaching us powerlessness.We must learn to rely on Him for our sobriety. It takes no-less-than a miracle to keep us clean. The notion that we can somehow manage or control this addiction must be smashed. When we ARE granted some clean time it is a gift from God. For our part, we must become willing to go to any length to stay clean. When looking back on a relapse we ask ourselves what did we fail to do? Meetings, sponsor? Relapse is often a stepping stone to true recovery."
posted at 14:08:17 on July 17, 2008 by Anonymous
I'm Sorry    
"Whitewolf, I'm so sorry. If I could, I would come sit with you and cry. I know that heartache all too well and it's horrible. To willfully rebel against God brings pain that I never want anyone to ever feel but unfortunately some of us will. I almost wish I was addicted to something more tangible then something that can be entirely in my head. I think that if I was, all I'd have to do to stay clean is just never get my hands on the substance again. I guess it's true for this type of addiction as well except that I don't always need something in front of me to be a trigger, sometimes it’s just a thought. You'll be okay WW, I promise but only if you keep trying your best. I really am sorry you had to experience this and you'll be in my prayers."
posted at 15:06:04 on July 17, 2008 by Matrix
congrats on 84 days    
"I totally agree with Panshrdze, 84 days is a lot, but so is 1 day. The most important thing to do is to NOT GIVE UP. You know what? You know that the program is working because of the 84 days. That is some of your personal proof. How did you feel during that time? What made you the happiest? Concentrate on the good that came of it. How long has it been since you had such a stretch of sobriety?
The hardest thing for me in such circumstances is: I had a change of heart and I lost it. How can I just 'make myself' get it back? Think of all of the things that drove you to that first change of heart. Just sit and meditate a bit about how it happened in the first place and why you chose to repent. When I slip like this it is very difficult for me to get my drive and determination back. I just can't unless I really take time to meditate and write in my journal. Don't let one slip get you out of good habits.
Good luck"
posted at 02:06:09 on July 19, 2008 by roast_rump
From a relapse poster child    
"This can be a good thing. Relapses can be used to learn and avoid the next one. We can never minimize or justify a relapse, but we shouldn’t beat ourselves up too long either. I’ve found that guilt is good if it turns me around and gets me headed in the right direction. But once I have acknowledged my wrong to God and man it is worse than useless. At that point it turns into shame and becomes Satan’s beating stick. Before I got into the 12 step program I used to hold God at arms length for a while after falling because I wasn’t worthy to feel the Spirit yet. WORTHINESS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT! Humility and sincerity have everything to do with! Alma testified that he had been given knowledge from God and “been born of God…not of any worthiness of myself”. (Alma 36) Reading that chapter I find a man who didn’t deserve anything, but the instant that he cried out to the Savior for mercy, peace and joy flooded into his soul. How many days of sobriety did he have? None. What had he physically done to change his ways? Nothing. Ether 12:27 works. I’ve been given the strength to pull away and not feel lustful after looking at porn for hours, not of any worthiness of myself, but because I sincerely asked for it. I’ve felt His love, peace and strength the day after a full blown relapse, because I humbled myself before God and admitted my stupidity. Yesterday is done. There is no way to go back and change it. Do what you need to do to take care of your mistake and then accept His full embrace and “drop [your] burden at his feet and bear a song away.” (Hymn 125 “How Gentle God’s Commands” also see Matt 11: 28-30) The other day was ugly and painful, but to today can be one of the sweetest days of your recovery.

Your statement “not doing my dailies” stood out to me. I’ve been in recovery over 7 ½ years now, and I’ve gotten so strong I can probably make it about half a week on my own without getting into trouble. Not that I would relapse the next day, but I am on dangerous ground. The real danger is that I probably won’t get on my knees to start out the next day or the day after and there is only one way that a streak like that will end – in the pit of despair. I remember one day getting on the freeway before I realized that I hadn’t got on my knees in prayer before I left. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of panic. I had just walked into a battlefield naked; no defense, no weapon. I quickly had a prayer, but I wish I could always have that degree of concern about starting each day with His protection. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pretended to plug something in under my desk at work as an excuse to get on my knees for a quick prayer. I have found real power in the daily things like getting rest, getting on my knees to plead for God’s strength and protection, reading the scriptures (particularly the BofM), working on my current step and even taking my vitamins & minerals that I have found helpful to avoid depression. Prayer has probably been the biggest one. I have only relapsed a couple of times when I prayed for help that day, and those were times that followed a few days of relapse, but instead of really turningmyself over to God I entertained the wrong thoughts too long. I have never relapsed if I have been praying even fairly consistently.

When I first started in the program I had nine months clean followed by a few weeks of relapse. I felt like I was right back where I’d been before. Finally I found one improvement. I now knew what to do to turn it around. I also had a 9 month streak which had only happened once before in over 25 years of addiction. Unfortunately that wasn’t my only relapse, but I could see progress along the way – shorter, shallower relapses. Soon they were experiences that I wouldn’t have even considered a relapse before I started in recovery. About 3 years into the program I was feeling discouraged so I wrote done all the relapses I had had over the last 3 years from memory. I would have never been able to do that in the midst of my addiction. I probably couldn’t have done it for 6 months. I did it again after about 6 years. Please look at the progress and you can keep making more. To borrow from a statement that someone made to one of my friends who had relapsed after 3 years of sobriety. You can look at this as 85 days of sobriety minus 1 day. Most true recovery charts are jagged lines that keep getting higher. I’ve seen a lot of addicts since I got into the program and the first relapse once people start to recover is critical. If you can make it passed this you have a good chance of really recovering. Don’t throw away everything you’ve found because you weren’t able to follow it perfectly. That is why we are here. We screw up.

This is from AA’s Big Book right after they list the 12 steps:
“Many of us exclaimed, ‘What an order! I can’t go through with it.’ Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.” (pg 60)

We love you and are pulling for you."
posted at 17:36:38 on July 19, 2008 by justjohn
Hang in there!    

I feel you man! I have been where you are and know exactly how you feel. The next week will be soooo important to make a huge push to bring the spirit back into your life. Do all of the dailies and believe and have faith in Our Savior that he will, through the atonement, renew you to where you were on day 84. Don't give up. This week you have to surge forward and not let Satan get into your head. I love you buddy! I really believe in you! Christ really is our only hope. We all need Him. HANG IN THERE!!!!!!"
posted at 01:52:38 on July 23, 2008 by Anonymous
Me too!!    
"I feel for you! I just got over a relapse.. I was right ahead of you for a little while and then I slipped. Don't get too down on yourself. Just pick yourself back up.

I want to let you know that your comments have meant a great deal to me. Thanks for your blogs and your comments on my blogs.

Awesome job with day 1!

You are in our prayers!"
posted at 21:44:14 on July 23, 2008 by toes_23
Here's a suggestion    
"You wrote, "I literally gave it my all - and still it wasn't enough -- how does one find more to give? "

I want you to know that there is a prescribed solution for addiction. You say you gave it your all, I think you're talking about will power. I have no doubt that you did give it every ounce of will power you had. Will power is not enough to conquer addiction, WW. If you're an addict, were you going to 12 Step meetings? Were you working the Steps? Did you have someone to call in your time of temptation? A support person, perhaps? If you were doing all these things then you were giving it your all.

It takes most of us a long time of trying to control this addiction and failing before we can admit that we are indeed powerless and our life has become unmanageable as a result of the addiction. When we can work this first Step properly then we are able to open ourselves to the miraculous Grace that accompanies the next Steps. As we work the Steps we are gradually given more power (on loan from Heavenly Father) to abstain. Some experience the miracle as soon as they complete the first 3 Steps. Still others must complete Steps 4 and 5 before the unrighteous obssession is removed. For every single person I have met that has worked these Steps the miracle happens by Step 9 at the latest. This goes for those who have worked them with another person as a sponsor to help them do it right.

I love your enthusiasm when you write "power in purity" but I've found this to not be true of addiction. "Worthiness" won't keep an addict from looking at porn or whatever our addiction is, for very long. I wish it did. What DOES work is surrendering to the one thing that is extremely hard for an addict...The 12 Step program. Nobody aspires to join a 12 Step group. We do it as a last resort when everything else has failed. The smarter ones among us surrender early because they can admit to themselves that the addiction is bigger than themselves. The hard-headed cases try with all their might time after time, unwilling to admit that they are powerless over their addiction until something terrible happens like divorce or being arrested.

If you embrace the 12 Step program with the enthusiasm I've observed in you, I am certain you will experience the miracle of having the desire for unclean things removed for as long as you stay vigilant in working the solution.

I'm not saying you're an addict or not. That's for you to decide. I just want you to be aware of what the solution is just in case you are. Good luck WW."
posted at 02:26:44 on July 24, 2008 by Anonymous

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"[The Savior] is saying to us, "Trust me, learn of me, do what I do. Then, when you walk where I am going," He says, "we can talk about where you are going, and the problems you face and the troubles you have. If you will follow me, I will lead you out of darkness," He promises. "I will give you answers to your prayers. I will give you rest to your souls.""

— Jeffrey R. Holland

General Conference, April 2006