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One day at a time
By ruggaexpat
3/10/2010 7:58:41 PM
Hi everyone,

This is my very first time I have ever taken the time to write on a blog. I confessed to my beautiful wife of 7 years that I have a pornography addiction. I have been battling the damn thing (pun intended) for 20 years. Somehow I mustered up the courage to go for broke and break my dear wifes heart via confession. That lead to the Bishop (4th in my life to hear my confessions). What makes this a sad case is that I served a mission, served in various leadership positions including bishop and I have just recently entered my 30 year marker. You all know what this addiction is about so I will save the long details as I see many of you have followed a similar trail. I am in the process of trying to give my heart to the savior. It is tough to do, I have stored so much pride and selfishness within my soul over the years and those 2 enemies will not give up the fight without a fierce battle. I am faithfully doing the 12 steps with a group, on my own and with my therapist of 1 month. I am fasting every week for the humility and faith to replace pride and selfishness.I am seriously studying the scriptures daily, praying often, serving when I can, etc. You all know the drill of recovery. I know one thing and one thing only:

I CANNOT DO THIS ALONE, I NEED THE SAVIOR, HIS LOVE, GRACE, MERCY AND FORGIVENESS.

How do we surrender our whole selves to the Lord and really mean it wholeheartedly?

This is the question I am seeking an answer for.

Anyway God bless you all and thanks for your courage and examples.

Comments:

Welcome    
"Dear Ruggaexpat,

Welcome to our "team." It's excellent you have taken the first step towards battling this problem: Honesty. I'm convinced it's the first step for a reason. You cannot even begin to win the battle until you are completely honest with yourself, your spouse, your bishop, God, and a few other people. Keep going, keep working, and keep coming back.

I know it happens, but I have to ask: how does someone with a 20-year porn addiction serve as bishop? Do you keep the problem hidden, or do you not have the problem in the years you serve?

What does "30 year marker" refer to? Is that your age...or am I missing something?

I will pray for you, too."
posted at 17:01:44 on March 11, 2010 by BeClean
Finding Peace    
"RUGGAEXPAT, welcome and congratulations on taking the first steps to recovery. I too recently realized the extent of my addiction and began working the 12-step program. Confessing to my wife was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but it's been an essential part of my recovery.

You asked a great question, "How do we surrender our whole selves to the Lord and really mean it wholeheartedly?" Everyone is different, and there are many paths to surrender. My biggest problem has been the strength of my own will. God hasn't wrestled for supremacy in my life--he's let me choose to come to Him, or to leave Him. I make my worst decisions when I'm trying to "go it on my own," a mindset that can only be ascribed to pride. So for me, the process of surrender has been a process of humility.

Several years ago I had a powerful experience that helped me let go of some of my pride. Late one night I was writing in my journal. My wife, who had gone to bed an hour or two before, came downstairs in a sleepwalking state and said, "I just had a dream that you died in a car accident!" Then she went back to bed. Her words cut straight to my heart, and as I sat at the kitchen table I was as lonely and afraid as I had ever been in my life. What if she was right and I was going to die soon? What would I have to show for my existence? At that time, no one else knew about my secret double life as a pornography addict. While I pondered my own fragile mortality (which was very real, whatever the timing), I felt woefully inadequate and completely unprepared to meet God. The next morning my wife didn't remember anything about her dream or what she had said, and I didn't mention it to her for several months. But I began the process of surrender by confessing to her and to my bishop.

Unfortunately, surrendering isn't a one-time event, and I've had setbacks along the way. I want to learn how to surrender every day, in every way. That's why I'm working the 12 steps of the LDS addiction recovery program, and the support I've received has strengthened my understanding and my faith. I've developed a greater hope in God's power to heal my many wounds and provide a way for me to come back home. My life and my heart are beginning to change, and the transformation has been nothing short of miraculous."
posted at 20:35:39 on March 11, 2010 by finallyfree
Great post, Finallyfree.    
"Thanks"
posted at 01:34:08 on March 12, 2010 by Anonymous
Thanks    
"Thanks for the kind words guys, it means a lot.

OK to respond to BECLEAN, I first became addicted as a child, but the real problems kicked in at age 11. I have no idea why I was ever called as a Bishop. I have served in various positions but I can testify that whom the Lord calls he qualifies. I was working hard with my Bishop at the time (I was his first counselor). So he knew my challenges and problems. In fact I would say that he had no idea as did I of the magnitude of the addiction, but I did see some small progress with him. Then I started getting a feeling that I could be called as the new Bishop, that eventually materialized and I recall sitting in front of the Stake President as a 26 year old next to my wife and receiving the call to serve as Bishop. When the president said that the First Presidency had approved the call via revelation, I nearly fell of my seat knowing how miserable I had lived to that point. I just cannot to this day understand the workings of the Lord, but suffice to say that I served as a Bishop for 1 year before moving wards. In that year I was clean but after the mantle left I was alone and back tot he stuff and you can imagine how bad I was then feeling. Here a recent Bishop back on porn.
If you served a mission, it is the same thing, clean for 2 years but lose the mantle and boom back on the smutt.
I tell you Satan played with my mind and created the most real lies that were so believable. I constantly thought that I would be excommunicated and stand in front of the high council. I thought my wife would walk out on me and I would be an embarrassment. Well none of those have happened. My wife is destroyed right now, considering her options, I was given a 4 month probation from a kind and loving Bishop through the savior and while I feel terrible and have been through hell, it is not nearly as bad as the adversary and I myself said it would be.

Finally Free thanks for your post, I can relate to your feelings at the time. It is just so unfair for the wife to experience that unnecessary burden though there is a huge lesson for both individuals. I never had my wife scare me like yours but I sure do recall recent feelings that I would lose my wife if I was to die in an accident while driving home sometimes. One night my wife was listening to Elder Scott on Mormon radio and she said that she will have a choice to continue remaining sealed to me after see dies. I was so filthy at the time and felt so rotten inside and recall many such experiences where I was made to feel the need to confess to her. I just could not do it but spent numerous times in the last few months praying for the courage to confess to her. I recall saying something like Father I do not want to confess to her but if it is necessary then please give me the courage. Then on Confession D-DAY I have no idea where I got that strength but I layed it out and since have not looked back.

The atonement is real, it requires the hardest emotional, spiritual, physical and intellectual work to see it work in our lives. Honestly I still feel like Jospeh Smith and this week asked the same question, Father where art thou? No answer but I know he is there, listening and providing the comfort HE KNOWS I NEED and not the other way round. This is a tough process to endure but there is absolutely no other solution out there for me and I am so greatful there is no other solution.
For now I want to learn how to wait on the Lord and build my faith in the process."
posted at 09:30:18 on March 12, 2010 by ruggaexpat


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"Develop discipline of self so that, more and more, you do not have to decide and redecide what you will do when you are confronted with the same temptation time and time again. You need only to decide some things once. How great a blessing it is to be free of agonizing over and over again regarding a temptation. "

— Spencer W. Kimball