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Icy Roads
By bestself
11/29/2009 1:29:06 AM
I am new here. I don't really know what to say, but i need to talk to someone who understands me right now--so I'll just start at the beginning and see if I can figure out what I am thinking by the end.

I am in my mid twenties and I have a wife and a few kids. I have struggled with masturbation and pornography since I was a little kid. I don't know when it started exactly, but I can't remember a time when it wasn't a part of my life. I have sworn it off more times than I can count, but I have always fallen again.
I heard somewhere that "success" is just trying to quit one more time than you fall. That's a nice idea.

I went for about a month recently--an AMAZING run for me. Then I somehow slowly eased right back up to the old frequency. It almost makes me feel worse that I went back to how I was because now I really know how good it feels to be clean for so long. Satan's really digging in with the "I told you you couldn't do it forever" rhetoric.

I have been on a little bit of a binge for a few days, and I have tried to catch myself to not lose all the ground I gained in my month of sobriety, but...

It feels like I'm driving on icy roads. With icy roads, you know it's dangerous down there, but sometimes you can actually have pretty good control. Then you hit a little bump or take a little turn and all of a sudden you're sliding. You tense up a little bit and that could cause the little slide to turn into a serious loss of control. The harder you slam on the breaks the more you lose control. Eventually, the skidding turns into a real crash. And then, finally, mercifully, the car is stopped.

The driver is often hurt when this happens.

That feeling of losing control on the icy road is about the same as the fear, loss of control, and inevitability of a crash that you feel on a binge after a good run of sobriety.

I wonder if, at some level we crash the car on purpose. I mean, I know we CHOOSE to act out because we want the rush and in that sense our actions are "on purpose", but I mean something different. Do we ever choose to crash because we actually, purposely want the CRASH--because we dont want to progress?

Sometimes sobriety can stress you out. You feel like every day you go on conquering will make it that much WORSE when you fail, which (you feel at some level, or you are told by Satan) is inevitable. Its like, at some subconscious level, its actually LESS stressful to be acting out because if you are doing well you start to see your real potential and it is so amazing that you just couldn't bear to watch it shatter when you get closer to it. So even though you desparately want to get to that future that you can see feel and almost touch--that future that is becoming more real every day--even though that is where you want to be, and you're on your way and you're picking up speed, you also have this nagging feeling that you're gonna fail, its only a matter of time. You're not gonna make it, because you always fail. every time. thousands of times. And this one will be no different. And you think, in some dark corner of your mind, I'd rather fail now than later. Because at least right now I haven't been going very long--it would REALLY hurt to crash when I have picked up some real speed.

So you crash the car. To stop the car.

I don't know if that's what we do or if I'm just babbling. What I do know is that I was doing really well, then I slipped a little bit, and told myself "hey, that's allright, don't let that get to you. Get back on the horse." and then I slipped again, and I said the same thing, with less energy. Then I really started to slide. And eventually I crashed.

That's where I am right now.
Limping out of the car.
Again.
Watching traffic race by.
Again.
And wondering if I will ever reach my potential.
Again.

Comments:

Stop driving the car!    
"I've painfully learned that as long as I'm the one running the show and calling the shots, then I always end up returning to my addictions, and then I feel worse than ever. I've heard that some people have been able to stop acting out on their own, but I'm definitely not one of those people. Since you said that you can't remember a time when your addiction wasn't part of your life, I would guess that you probably cannot stop on your own either.

I'm also going to assume - because of the general feel I got from your post - that you haven't done much work in the 12 step program yet. If you haven't started doing that yet, then get started immediately. Here's a link to the LDS Family Services recovery manual:

http://www.providentliving.org/content/list/0,11664,4177-1,00.html

(It's on the right side of the page, just click on the download link)

I was pretty skeptical of this manual at the beginning, but it has done so much to change my life and help me turn everything over to the Lord.

Here's a warning about the 12 step program, if you start working the steps, they will ruin your addiction. Acting out will become much less appealing, and even when you do act out it won't satisfy you the way it used to. If you want to stop, then you should start working the program, but if you enjoy getting in "car accidents," then stay away from the 12 steps.

There is hope. It's obvious from what you've written that you want to change. Just coming here and posting is a huge step in the right direction."
posted at 11:55:17 on November 29, 2009 by ETTE
I'll try the 12 steps    
"Bestself, I'm in the same boat as you. I think i'll try those twelve steps though.
Thank you for your post, it really helps to know that I am not the only one fighting something that seems to have always been present from the time I was very, very young."
posted at 02:48:15 on November 30, 2009 by Anonymous
You can make it!    
"BestSelf,

We can all relate to what you are saying. The craziness in your head is typical of addiction, and it doesn’t really matter what your “drug of choice” is. My primary addiction is the same as yours.

Amen to what has been said about the 12 Steps. They have saved my life, given me hope, helped me turn off Satan’s dialog in my head, helped me develop a relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Savior, helped me recognize that I am of great worth and helped me achieve the only real recovery of my life. I had 9 months clean at the start of my mission and 6 months at the beginning of my marriage. I think the 9 months were really good, but I didn’t have the tools to deal with hard times. The 6 months was probably just white knuckling it. After trying to quit constantly from my early teens, I walked into my first 12 Step meeting at 39 years old and found more hope of success in one evening than I had found in my whole life. The 12 Steps are simply a detailed method for applying the Atonement to ANY problem you are facing. Particularly if follow an LDS oriented text like the church’s manual. Even if you read AA’s Big Book or other writings by Bill W., the founder of AA it is obvious that his focus was on a Christian view of God rather than some watered down Higher Power. I always wondered what I was missing in the repentance process, why I could never forsake. My patriarchal blessing mentioned that I would learn a formula whereby I would be able to exercise laws and principles that would dispel discouragement, be able to walk in the light, have an assurance of the truthfulness of the gospel and know that if I applied the principles and obeyed the laws and commandments I could “always command that sweet spirit, that contented felling of doing the right and of being in service to your Heavenly Father.” I don’t think I am there yet, but I was stunned when I realized that I had found the “formula” in the 12 Steps.

I testify that those doubts, fears and nagging feelings you referred to are coming from Satan. One of the best things that has happened for me in recovery is recognizing that those negative thoughts running around inside my head were really Satan’s lies and supporting reasoning. I wasn’t really coming up with them on my own. It made it a lot easier to combat once I realized their source was external rather than internal.

If there is one thing I've experienced a lot of it is relapses. Even after I got into recovery and finally knew what to do to stay clean, I had more relapses than you could shake a stick at. Beating yourself up after a relapse is one of the best ways to stay in relapse mode. I’ve found that there is no place for shame in God’s plan and once a person has turned around and is doing the right things there isn’t any purpose for guilt either. Its purpose is to get us to turn around and after that it just gets in the way. I used to hold God at arms length for an undetermined period of time after I had screwed up because I wasn’t “worthy”. I’ve found in recovery that being worthy has nothing to do with having a relationship with my Father. Being able to feel the promptings of the Spirit is different, but I’ve found that as soon as I humble myself and am sincere God is ready to start helping me. This has happened many times way earlier than I would have expected and I finally decided to just start asking for the help right away and let Him help me as soon He was willing to. Try it you’ll like it.

I’m praying for you. It does get better."
posted at 16:14:26 on December 2, 2009 by justjohn
Thanks    
"To all of you who commented. These comments and your support have really helped me a lot more than I ever expected. I am feeling a lot more hopeful now than I was when I posted. Going on 5 days. God is good.

Thanks again."
posted at 22:49:23 on December 2, 2009 by bestself


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"Just as the landfill requires dedicated work and attention, laboriously applying layer after layer of fill to reclaim the low-lying ground, our lives also require the same vigilance, continually applying layer after layer of the healing gift of repentance.…Our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, feel sorrow when we choose to remain in sin, when the gift of repentance made possible through the Atonement can clean, reclaim, and sanctify our lives. When we gratefully accept and use this precious gift, we can enjoy the beauty and usefulness of our lives... "

— Shayne M. Bowen

General Conference October 2006