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Progress Report
By ETTE
12/18/2009 6:31:49 PM
I'm done with all my classes and exams and all my roommates have already left Utah and gone back east. There's not much for me to do right now, so I feel extremely tempted to act out, but I think I'll blog a little instead. I'm also going back east tomorrow morning, so this might be my last chance to write something this year, since I don't want my parents to stumble onto this website if they check the history on the computer back home.

I just realized that in the past 140 days, I've had 138 beautiful days of sobriety (although I'm only on my 40th consecutive day of sobriety). That is progress! During the previous ten years of my life, I would say that I spent an average of two hours each day acting out. I used to think that I would never be free of this, and I would carry this with me to the grave. I'm still far from being perfect, but I feel like recovery is actually possible because I have experienced a taste of the freedom of sobriety.

I also recently realized that I rarely have flashbacks while I'm awake anymore, even though my nightmares are still laced with the abundant filth I have crammed in my mind. I find it somewhat interesting that I have forgotten almost all of the actual pornographic images I've looked at, but as much as I would like to forget, I still remember nearly every word of the dirty literature I've read. My bad dreams are almost always about the dirty stories I've read and fantasized about. My roommates think there's something wrong with me since I often awake screaming and yelling in the middle of the night, but I'm sure they would really think I'm crazy if they knew what my nightmares were about (since most guys would probably enjoy "nightmares" like mine). It may take a few years, but I hope I'll be able to leave my past behind me some day.

After a lot of discussion with my therapist, sponsor, and a couple facilitators at my PASG meetings, I've decided to have a talk with my parents this coming Sunday and let them know that I have misled and deceived them, and I will ask for their forgiveness. I won't go into the details of my addictions, but I will tell them about my general problems. Please pray for me. I'm much more afraid and anxious about talking with my parents than talking with anyone else about my problems.

Thanks for being so responsive and compassionate. I owe a fair portion of my recovery to the wonderful people on this site. I hope everyone continues to recover, and I'll keep all of you in my prayers.

Comments:

Good luck to you, Ette!    
"Keep up the good work."
posted at 19:53:50 on December 18, 2009 by Anonymous
Return and Report    
"We hope to hear from you soon, Ette. Tell us what you say to your parents and what they say to you. We'll pray for you. Have a Merry and clean Christmas!"
posted at 19:42:01 on December 19, 2009 by BeClean
Way to go!    
"Ette - it won't be easy to tell your parents about your addiction, but having confessed to both my parents and my spouse I can promise you won't regret it. I gained a lot of strength in my recovery process by telling others who were then able to help me maintain my focus and commitment. Just knowing that someone else knows makes me want to be better, and surprisingly my relationships have improved. I think that's the power of honesty. Stay strong and have a wonderful Christmas!"
posted at 20:37:24 on December 23, 2009 by finallyfree
Ette-    
"I read this post far sooner than I am replying to it…the holiday season has been really busy this year for us. I read your post prior to your Sunday talk with your parents. I have continued to have you in my everyday prayers…but as this is a big step, I have fallen to my knees in prayer specifically for you several times. Life has been crazy and I haven’t had to opportunity to type out a response…but I wanted you to know I was not too busy to keep you in my prayers and say some extra prayers for you and your situation.

WOW!!! I have to say how impressed I am with your decision to talk to your parents. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to come forward and discuss with your parents the addiction that plagues your life. I’m sure it was a difficult conversation to have, but well worth having. I believe honesty will help you so much in your recovery. The fact that you are making the decision to come clean with your parents on your own terms instead of the alternative (of being caught)…is so great! As a mother having a one of my children come to me with a problem is very commendable…I would be so proud of any of my children for working as hard as you are.

I am so thankful to you as you continue to show me that people can change…and that good people do have horrible trials. You desire recovery so badly and do all that you can to achieve it…I know you can do this! You have made amazing progress…I am so happy you see the beauty in your days of sobriety, every clean day is beautiful. You are doing so wonderfully. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. "
posted at 09:47:45 on January 1, 2010 by summer
56 Days and Counting!!    
"Telling my parents was so much easier than I had anticipated. It was just like sharing in group. I told my parents I was dishonest with them in the past and that I'm addicted to pornography, lust, and masturbation, and then I explained to them everything I'm doing to recover from my addiction.

They both said how proud they were of me for my efforts to recover, and they also said that they forgive me for being dishonest. I feel like our relationship has grown so much stronger, because I chose to be honest with them.

Surprisingly, my temptations to act out have virtually disappeared since I told my parents. I think my addiction lost a lot of its power over my life because I have gotten rid of the guilt I had about lying. I also finally feel comfortable going back to the temple now, and I plan on attending on a regular basis. "
posted at 17:07:35 on January 3, 2010 by ETTE
Keep it up    
"Sounds like the chains are starting to break. Don't stop until you're free! Nice work, Ette."
posted at 12:55:55 on January 4, 2010 by finallyfree
WAHOO!    
"I am so excited for you Ette. I am glad it went well with your parents. It seems like eons since I have been on the site, but when I saw that you had posted a “Progress Report” I just had to see what you had to say. You are right, coming clean and being able to get rid of the guilt and shame feels like taking off a 2 ton pack. It is interesting how Satan can fill us with so much fear about an encounter like that and then we finally do and find it was the absolute best thing in the long run. I am happy for you that you feel you can return to the temple again. I know it is life support for me.

You make me feel like doing back flips. Age and wisdom prevent me from doing so though. :)

I also noticed that you didn't say anything about your mother interrogating you regarding your love life. Was it because of her new understanding about where you are at or did your disclosure totally derail her usual interest?

Either way, congrats."
posted at 17:13:38 on January 4, 2010 by justjohn
Thanks for the encouragement, John    
"So many of the things you say sound exactly like what my sponsor says that I can't help but wonder if my sponsor's sponsor and your sponsor is the same person. Oh well, I guess it doesn't really matter so much, I just find it interesting.

I wasn't planning on sharing this, since I didn't think anyone would care, but I will since you asked about it. My mom has left me alone about my love life because I've started dating an amazing girl. Aside from the benefits of not being alone, it's been really nice that my Mom has finally given me a little peace.

Having a girlfriend presents some interesting new challenges for me. Showing physical affection without getting carried away can be sort of difficult, but I think it's infinitely easier than staying away from porn. It's also helped me a lot to be able to talk with my sponsor and anonymously tell him exactly what I've been up to with my girlfriend."
posted at 13:53:52 on January 7, 2010 by ETTE
Hi Ette,    
"Glad to hear you're doing well. I'm happy for you finding a nice girl, as well!"
posted at 14:32:39 on January 7, 2010 by Anonymous
Way to go!!    
"I'm so happy things went well with your parents. The amount of dedication you have for recovery is something any parent would be proud of. Have you had the opportunity to get back to the temple? How wonderful a feeling that must be to be returning to the house of the Lord. I gotta tell you I'm so impressed you talked with your parents, you could have pleased them by having a girlfriend...it takes character for going the whole distance even when you could just squeak by. Thank you for sharing that with us. By the way congrats on the girlfriend! You are doing so great...Satan has got to be so frustrated with you!"
posted at 14:52:23 on January 9, 2010 by summer
Well done!    
"We're all VERY happy for you, Ette. Keep up the good work...with honesty, and with your girlfriend. I'm glad things are going well for you."
posted at 22:41:10 on January 9, 2010 by BeClean
Way to go!    
"Congrats on your progress! and the girl! When do you plan on telling your girlfriend about your issues? I've been wondering about that myself."
posted at 08:33:06 on January 12, 2010 by Anonymous
Staying on the straight and narrow.    
"Talking to your sponsor about you behavior may be enough to keep it good. If you feel like you need a little more help I know a couple that set a 3 kiss limit rule when their relationship got serious. I wish I had done that. When my wife and I started getting serious, the kissing got a little out of control. After we got engaged, we started having companion prayer at the end of our dates. Knowing I would be talking with Him in a few minutes is about the only thing that saved me. I didn't tell my fiance/future wife about my problems until right after we were engaged. I don't think I would bother bringing it up until you are pretty sure it is heading towards marriage.

Just one guy's opinion.

Congratulations on it all."
posted at 09:06:59 on January 14, 2010 by Anonymous


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"Man has a dual nature; one, related to the earthly or animal life; the other, akin to the divine. Whether a man remains satisfied within what we designate the animal world, satisfied with what the animal world will give him, yielding without effort to the whim of his appetites and passions and slipping farther and farther into the realm of indulgence, or whether, through self-mastery, he rises toward intellectual, moral, and spiritual enjoyments depends upon the kind of choice he makes every day, nay, every hour of his life"

— David O. McKay