It gets better
9/22/2009 4:58:45 PM
I’m in the middle of my third day of white knuckling since staying sober got about ten times harder on Sunday. I guess I really am going through withdrawals, but I just think it’s really weird that staying sober got easier and easier every day for the first 53 days, and then suddenly it started getting harder and harder.

ICAN was right in saying, “it will get worse before it gets better.” Today has been the most challenging day I’ve ever had staying sober since I became an addict ten years ago. I don’t feel an exclusively psychological pull to return to my old ways anymore, I can also feel a strong physical pull in that direction as well now.

To be perfectly honest, I’m glad things have gotten harder because I know I’m doing things now that would have been absolutely impossible just a few weeks ago. It’s rewarding for me to see that the Lord is sculpting me into a new creature, one day at a time.

Even though temptation has grown stronger than ever, I don't feel like my life is h~ll anymore, at least I don't feel that way today. The reason I feel so different today than I felt on Sunday is because I don't feel abandoned now. For whatever reason, the Lord has graced me with an extra portion of His Spirit to strengthen me. I know that without divine help, I would have fallen long ago because I'm so weak.

I’ve also gotten a lot of strength from the people on this site. Thanks for the encouragement.


"“Helaman 5:12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”
I was reading in my scriptures last night and this scripture stuck out to me. As I logged onto this site this morning and read your post it gave me much hope. Even though you are in the “mighty storm”, you are pressing forward and holding to what you know to be right. Thank you for sharing your progress…Reading your post was a wonderful way for me to start my day. Keep up the great attitude! You can do this!"
posted at 07:15:38 on September 23, 2009 by summer
Hang in, hang on    
"Ette, I know how you feel, because I've been there before. White knuckling as I've always understood it is 'clutching' onto something so tight that your knuckles are turning white. I used to think that recovery was something that was earned, but since I have learned that recovery is something that is gifted to me 'by the Grace of God'.

It is a phenomenon that around 2 months sober you are out of the honeymooning phase of getting sober, and onto the living life in sobriety phase. Sometimes dealing with life on life's terms is tough for addicts. It is in our nature for us to go back to our addictions. We need to use tools to guide us away from our old behaviours. Simply wishing that those old behaviors will go away does not suffice in many cases. It is by going to meetings, writing down step work, and helping others that provide the tools that we need to stay sober.

Keep up the good work. 59 days is a long time. If you do go back to your addictions, just remember that the door is always open for you to come back into recovery."
posted at 15:45:30 on September 24, 2009 by 24
Is recovery really a gift?    

I appreciate your comments and perspective. I have to admit that I've never looked at my recovery as being a gift, but maybe I should. I do know that the forgiveness I find through the atonement of Christ is certainly a gift, and there is absolutely no way I can ever earn my own salvation.

However, looking at sobriety, or abandoning my sins, as a gift 'through the grace of God' is somewhat difficult for me to do. When I think of a gift, I think of getting something for free or getting something I haven't done anything to deserve. My sobriety has been the most difficult and strenuous experience I've ever faced. There has been absolutely nothing free, painless, or effortless about it.

The Spirit has often offered me help in resisting temptation, but there have been times when it felt like the Spirit wasn't there to help and I was left to face temptation all alone. Even when the Spirit is with me, the choice to abstain from p~rnography and m~sturbation has never been easy. I guess what I'm trying to say is that when it comes right down to it, the choice to remain faithful or to return to my sins is mine alone.

I've given a lot of thought to your comment, and I'm still not sure if I agree or disagree with you. It's possible that I am trusting in myself too much and trusting in the Lord too little. I'll continue to contemplate and pray about it."
posted at 10:50:52 on September 25, 2009 by ETTE
"Thanks for the encouraging scripture passage. I really needed to read that because this has been such a hard week for me. It's amazing how much strength can be gained from likening the scriptures to our lives. I usually forget to do that when I read on my own, so it really helps to have someone liken a scripture for me.

I'm glad and somewhat surprised that my experiences would bring hope to your life. Hearing that gives me another positive reason to stay sober. I'll be sure to stay faithful and continue blogging my progress.

Thanks again!"
posted at 10:58:10 on September 25, 2009 by ETTE
Good job and wish me luck    
"I just noticed that I'm at 52 days right now and not sure I'm looking forward to 53 ette. Well, I have tools that I didn't have before and I believe I"ll be able to go through. Someone said it takes 90 days for your mind to break some of the strongest neurons, blah blah. Last week there were some challenging moments and I thought to myself, be healthy, be healthy. I talked a lot with my wife and tried to be healthy. Still trying to view women in a healthy light and not as objects... still so hard to break that, but at least I am consciously aware when I do it."
posted at 09:21:25 on September 27, 2009 by aug7change

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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