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What, so far, hasn't worked
By John Anon
2/8/2009 5:58:48 AM
There is a page in the big book that gives a list of things that haven't worked. The "Half-Measures" that availed me nothing. Here is mine:

1. Solemn Vows
2. Never using computers alone
3. Never watching TV alone
4. Never using computers at work
5. Never using computers at home
6. Promises
7. Thinking about my wife and kids
8. Thinking about losing my wife and kids
9. Think about how this will hurt my wife and kids
10. An upcoming interview
11. An upcoming priesthood interview
12. Going to "gray" areas to take the edge off
13. Just deciding to not do it
14. Deciding to not do it and praying about it once
15. Using a filter
16. Not using a filter
17. Only using computers that require a log in
18. Only using internet service that requires a login
19. Never using someone else's wireless
20. Setting up a temple attendance schedule
21. Exercise
22. Scripture study rituals
23. Scripture study schedule
24. Vowing to not take the sacrament
25. Actually not taking the sacrament
26. Taking the sacrament
27. Self-Mastery
28. Hymn rituals
29. Rituals in general
30. Deal making
31. Deal breaking
32. Suicidal Thoughts
33. Job Loss
34. Threat of Job Loss
35. Threat of Job Insecurity
36. Thread of Ecclesiastical Punishment
37. Ecclesiastical Punishment
38. Threat of loss of Family
39. Knowledge of pain caused to family
40. Being cheerful
41. Being whiny
42. Hating myself
43. Indulging myself

I'll add more as I think of them, but I wanted to get this out there because I need to be able to recognize them. Thank you and I'll take 24.

Comments:

like the list    
"I love the helpful things most bishops say
don't do that no more
Read, study, pray, attend your meetings, and think of a hymm

Maybe for some addicts but I have done the above my whole life, but to no avail

There is a hynn that I think of when I am tempted, but when I hear the song at church I think of porn? How sick is that? just wanted to let you know I like your list.
harveyf"
posted at 06:34:26 on February 8, 2009 by harveyf
Gray areas    
"Wow. This is exactly what I needed to read. I've been white-knuckling it today, and yeah, going to gray areas to take the edge off...deep down I know this is not going to work. I tried that, and I can tell that I've set myself up for a tough day.

Thanks for posting this list of half-measures. It's reminded me that the only thing that can truly help me is the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
posted at 12:27:22 on February 8, 2009 by dude
Fight with Body and Spirit!    
"It can be frustrating to just use the usual stuff taught by ecclesiastical leaders. I learned to use both direct control over my brain chemistry and spiritual weapons more accurately from the Sons of Helaman program. I strongly recommend you check it out! www.sonsofhelaman.org"
posted at 23:09:40 on February 9, 2009 by Anonymous
Good List    
"That is a good list of half measures. I think that most of us feel that these things we have tried will not work for us.
I personlly cannot speak from my own sobriety, but I know that when I get resentful, andry, tired or lonely, it does not matter what situation I am in, I would want to act out - despite all the warnings, promises or scripture or prayers I have done.
I do know one thing, I have kept a journal of when these attacks do happen, and I recognize the triggers and methods I used to get myself in that spot. I do this so that next time, I can read it and then change what I am about to do. I dont know if that helps or not.
just my 2 cents"
posted at 15:19:08 on February 11, 2009 by spiritgiant
?    
"What does work then? And why don't any of the ones on the list work...some are ones I've been using to help myself. I just found this site...been going to ARP meetings for a month, but there is so much I don't know."
posted at 16:31:21 on August 7, 2009 by Eliza
dittio...    
"Yeah, don't mean to ruin it all. But what does work then? I am courious too, it almost makes me feel hopeless, but there must be a way. What does everybody else think?"
posted at 23:31:07 on August 7, 2009 by Anonymous
Eliza,    
"It sounds like you've already made a good start. The things that work are going to meetings, getting a sponsor, working the 12 Steps with that sponsor, and then helping others. These are the things that have kept me clean for seven years. Good luck!"
posted at 02:30:49 on August 8, 2009 by Anonymous
What really does work    
"I think the key in this list is that John Anon mentions that these are "half-measures". I worked for many years trying to control my addiction by changing outward behaviors. As long as the focus was on superficial things that I was doing or not doing, I made no progress. I can tell you that the 12 steps DOES WORK! It works because it doesn't focus on meaningless half-measures, it doesn't give trite answers or fixes that only kind of work some of the time. It forces you to really think about your addiction, its causes, its consequences, and the void that it is creating and trying to fill in your life. The 12 steps work because they take you through the steps of true repentance. The measures listed above have little to do with repentance, only with ending a habit. True repentance can only come by and through the Lord, and true recovery takes time and cannot be "solved" by a few simple gestures toward change. So, I would like to give you my list of things that have worked--I am not sure that any one of these things works alone, but all of them together have been what has broken my cycle of addiction:
1. Working through the 12 steps in the ARP guide
2. Meeting with my branch president every week and reporting
3. Fasting and praying every Sunday
4. Setting a goal for temple worthiness, including a certain length of time "clean"
5. Identifying places that I am especially tempted and avoiding them
6. Identifying thought patterns that lead to my acting out, and avoiding them
7. Identifying emotional patterns that lead to my acting out, and avoiding them
8. Truly believing that I can overcome this problem
9. True prayer
10. Getting as involved in church as I possibly can (really paying attention, attending all meetings, going to institute, going to activities etc.)
11. Reading scriptures daily
12. Listening to the scriptures on audio book on my way to work
13. Finding something productive to do at the very first hint of temptation,
14. Turning off movies, TV or internet if that is the trigger
15. Learning to love myself and see myself as God sees me
16. Counting the number of days "clean"
17. Keeping positive images around me--pictures of Christ and the Temple on my walls, the background on my computer, a little booklet of pictures and power scriptures next to my bed
18. Not getting too down on myself when I slip up, but getting right back up and starting over again--all is not lost if you slip up, as long as you don't give up
19. Keeping faith that Christ can and wants to redeem you
20. Always keeping hope that you can and will change


All of the little things in John Anon's list can be helpful, you just can't expect that little changes in behavior will change a powerful addiction. You have to get below the surface of the addiction. Addictions are usually an attempt to either fill a need that is not being met, or to deaden the pain of things that have not adequately been dealt with. When you focus on the causes of the addiction, and allow Christ to heal you from your pains, you gain a hope and desire that is strong enough to conquer the addiction. While you may employ some of these superficial techniques, true desire and hope in Christ are the power that moves you to real, lasting change. There has to be a change in the way you think about things. I hope this is helpful. This is what has worked for me."
posted at 10:39:50 on August 8, 2009 by ican
Knowledge    
"After struggling for years on this, I learned that I am fighting the wrong battle on this. It is so refreshing to attack this problem understanding the real opponent in this battle isn't the porn but it is me and my brain. Porn is a drug that I've used to self medicate without even knowing. Now I can learn methods to retrain my brain. To know that I objectify women and don't truly value them for who they are but rather how well pu together their collection of body parts. I am an infant in my thinking in so many ways, but also a sponge as I try to retrain my thinking. I recommend Mark Kastleman's book "Porn the Drug of the new Millenium""
posted at 22:42:33 on August 13, 2009 by aug7change
Pride, this is the problem    
"We are all mortals, and we suffer from some form of pride. This 'list' is what you are doing to save yourself...when are you going to let Christ save you? You can't and never ever will save yourself or do enough to save yourself....its impossible alone. And as long as we are alive apart of our flesh will always be enticed to the evil things of life, the goal, is to over come that of course.

In my opinion, I don't think the total saving will happen in this life. For some people the miracle will indeed happen, but for most of us...it won't. Its like back pain, migrane headaches, or other life long illness. They are always there. We will all wrestle with the flesh until the day we die.

So what I say is, STOP HATING YOURSELF and ALLOW JESUS TO LOVE YOU. LET SOMEONE ELSE LOVE YOU.

Do you really think the God of the universe is going to keep you out because of some unconquerd habit? The truth is, that you probably hate yourself so much, so how can God help you if you hate yourself? Learn to forgive yourself and move on. Direction is better then speed...."
posted at 03:04:31 on August 14, 2009 by Anonymous
bumping this old post    
"Hi I'm bumping this post. It is powerful. The two lists are still things that won't work.

What will not work:

1. Solemn Vows
2. Never using computers alone
3. Never watching TV alone
4. Never using computers at work
5. Never using computers at home
6. Promises
7. Thinking about my wife and kids
8. Thinking about losing my wife and kids
9. Think about how this will hurt my wife and kids
10. An upcoming interview
11. An upcoming priesthood interview
12. Going to "gray" areas to take the edge off
13. Just deciding to not do it
14. Deciding to not do it and praying about it once
15. Using a filter
16. Not using a filter
17. Only using computers that require a log in
18. Only using internet service that requires a login
19. Never using someone else's wireless
20. Setting up a temple attendance schedule
21. Exercise
22. Scripture study rituals
23. Scripture study schedule
24. Vowing to not take the sacrament
25. Actually not taking the sacrament
26. Taking the sacrament
27. Self-Mastery
28. Hymn rituals
29. Rituals in general
30. Deal making
31. Deal breaking
32. Suicidal Thoughts
33. Job Loss
34. Threat of Job Loss
35. Threat of Job Insecurity
36. Thread of Ecclesiastical Punishment
37. Ecclesiastical Punishment
38. Threat of loss of Family
39. Knowledge of pain caused to family
40. Being cheerful
41. Being whiny
42. Hating myself
43. Indulging myself
1. Working through the 12 steps in the ARP guide
2. Meeting with my branch president every week and reporting
3. Fasting and praying every Sunday
4. Setting a goal for temple worthiness, including a certain length of time "clean"
5. Identifying places that I am especially tempted and avoiding them
6. Identifying thought patterns that lead to my acting out, and avoiding them
7. Identifying emotional patterns that lead to my acting out, and avoiding them
8. Truly believing that I can overcome this problem
9. True prayer
10. Getting as involved in church as I possibly can (really paying attention, attending all meetings, going to institute, going to activities etc.)
11. Reading scriptures daily
12. Listening to the scriptures on audio book on my way to work
13. Finding something productive to do at the very first hint of temptation,
14. Turning off movies, TV or internet if that is the trigger
15. Learning to love myself and see myself as God sees me
16. Counting the number of days "clean"
17. Keeping positive images around me--pictures of Christ and the Temple on my walls, the background on my computer, a little booklet of pictures and power scriptures next to my bed
18. Not getting too down on myself when I slip up, but getting right back up and starting over again--all is not lost if you slip up, as long as you don't give up
19. Keeping faith that Christ can and wants to redeem you
20. Always keeping hope that you can and will change

The only thing that will work:

Give my entire soul to God. (Omni 1:26)

http://lds.org/scriptures/bofm/omni/1.26?lang=eng#25 />

:-)"
Good reminder    
"Gosh!, why is it that every time I try to get back in the saddle I forget this ^ ? Good stuff. I always want to take control and make lists and tasks and earn my grace. I think things on the list for me should only serve as part of the recognition of my powerlessness. If/when I begin to do "the list" as the end in itself as an effort to save myself rather than a part of genuine surrender, recognizing I need grace from the starting line, that's when I'm in big trouble. I still feel like the things on the list are good in practical terms. I wont stay sober if all I've done is "what, so far, hasn't worked". But on the same token I also am probably not the best person to be sitting in front of an unfiltered computer no matter how much I've surrendered etc.. I look at recovery/success like a recipe to a cake that only God has and only God can put together and I am not smart enough to even try.

Here's my addition to the list to remind myself what, so far, hasn't worked:

1. Everything...almost.

Everything I've ever tried to date has fallen flat on it's face...accept a few times, a few times, I witnessed prayer work. I saw it work first hand. It was a curious thing. And they were always prayers at zero (step 1). Recognizing I'm screwed. Surrender. And that's why I'm still here...holding out.

( http://ldsar.org/ViewBlog.aspx?EntryId=4433 )

Sorry I'm writing so much. Back in school. Always at a computer. Always ADD. Always bored."
posted at 19:25:08 on January 10, 2013 by they_speak
I think ICAN has a point    
"I don't know how many people on this site has been to an SA meeting or SAA meeting. It is a little different from ARP the church has developed. While ARP is.a good program it is in it's early stages. To Lawrence who said "give my entire soul to God" is the only thing that works. I agree but I wish you would tell us all struggling how to do that. It's not like we haven't tried that before. Our soul isn't like a piece of chicken we can just hand over and say "here you go buddy I'm done with this" handing over your soul or "turning your will over to the care of God" is a process and not a step. We see miraculous examples in the scriptures but that's what they are miracles. Not saying they don't happen but they aren't common. True recovery is living one day at a time, submitting your will one decision at a time. Make a mistake, recognize it as a learning opportunity and keep trying. The twelve steps is a step by step guide on how to give your soul to Him. No one can make it into heaven following their own will. We all must consider ourselves fools before him basically saying our lives are unmanageable because of our sins. Addict or not in one way or another you are working the steps when you go through repentance. You make amends and try not to do it any more and when you are promptly admit it "repent" again. The steps work because it activates the enabling power of Christ."
posted at 23:02:00 on January 10, 2013 by Down not out
Get tired enough    
"And surrender everything to the Lord. Let him take your burden and He will give you rest."
posted at 23:21:37 on January 10, 2013 by Anonymous


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