2 weeks again...
By j89
3/24/2010 7:50:24 PM
Why is it difficult to pass over the 2 week mark? How do I pass it? I've been having difficult day after difficult day and today was the most difficult of all those and I failed again. I keep feeling the torture until I can't take it anymore and then I fail, I prayed that I could pass this day and I still failed. My days have been easy until I start getting close to the 2 week mark and it gets difficult quick and I can't stand the torture in my head and I give in and it stops. What do I need to do? Is there something I'm missing? What has helped you guys pass the 2 week mark? What should I do every day to help me get back on the right path?


normalize your thoughts    
"You are setting yourself up for failure. You cannot tell your brain what to do, your brain has gone into autopilot. The second you get a thought, normalize it, say to yourself it is normal to think these things, everyone thinks these things. Keep saying it until the brain calms down. Do heavy breathing too. You must calm yourself down. Once you enter that stage, it is too late, you will not stop. You must act by taking control and normalizing the thoughts. Overcome the compulsion to act early. Don’t freak out when you get the thought and if it does not go away. Just normalize it and stay relaxed. You are in a cycle and your anxiety towards that thought just makes the craving even heavier.
I promise this works."
posted at 20:21:19 on March 24, 2010 by Anonymous
Forget about 2 weeks maybe?    
"I may be wrong, but I wonder if you are suffering from “4 minute mile” syndrome. You have mentioned the 2 week barrier a few times now if I remember correctly. For years people believed that a human being couldn’t run a mile in less than 4 minutes without severe consequences and the record of 4:01.5 stood for 9 years. John Landy had run the mile in 4:02 three times and reportedly said “It’s like a wall,” referring to 4 minutes. Roger Bannister broke the barrier first, running 3:59.4, but the one I find really interesting is Landy. 56 days after the mental barrier was broken, he ran the mile in 3:57.9, trimming a whole 4.1 seconds off his previous best. Had he done anything drastically different in his training? Probably not. Now he had cold hard evidence that it could be done. Now he believed!

Even though many of us have gone well beyond your “2 week barrier” that may not be enough for you to believe it is possible. Satan has a tendency to convince many of us that we are THE special case. Maybe taking your focus off two weeks will get you past it. I used to not believe that I could get by without sex. As a married man I used to look at single, separated and divorced men in the meetings and wondered how they could make it. I thought God wouldn’t put me in that situation because He knew I couldn’t do it. My wife told me about another couple that tried celibacy for a while. I WAS NOT ready at that point. I thought, “kick me while I’m down will ya!” Later on I was ready and felt like there was too much lust involved in my relationship with my wife. Fortunately she had just had a baby and didn’t mind just being friends. I didn’t set any time limit, but I just decided to see how long I could be celibate. I made it six months and my wife was actually the one that suggested we bring it to an end. Now I knew it wasn’t life support. From the day that I had been married until I got into recovery (14 years) I had never made it that long without looking at porn. Now I had gone without that and any legitimate avenues for release. Now I knew I could just say no and be OK. When I decided to stop eating sweets on Dec. 7th I had 2-2 ½ weeks that were really tough. Sugar is a close second on my list of addictions. I had told myself that I was going to try it for 6 months, because my son mentioned that the first six months were the hardest when he gave up sugar. At about 2 ½ weeks I looked to see how long it had been and was surprised at how short it was. It felt more like a month and six months looked like forever. I decided like when I tried celibacy that I would not worry about making for a certain period and just see how long I could go. Right now I couldn’t tell you how long it has been without looking, but it got a lot easier because I was just taking it one encounter at a time.

There is real power in the AA philosophy of “One day at a time.” Even though I have a long period of sobriety going I carry a 24 hour chip in my pocket because that is all that matters. If I make it between getting up and going to bed I have one more day to add to my sobriety. I used to think of “I Need Thee Every Hour” as the addict’s theme song. Then I decided there were times that that was too long. My suggestion is to write down your last relapse date and then put it away somewhere for a while. Get rid of anything that will automatically tell you how long it has been. Then take each day one at a time. Start by starting each day right. If something gets in the way that morning, start things off right as soon as you can whether that is 9:00am or noon. Make sure you ask for Heavenly Father to take away your addiction for that day. It really works. As temptations come follow another AA slogan, “Let go and let God.” Hey, if they have worked for millions of people maybe there is something to them. Like Anonymous was saying, you can’t stay fixated on the temptation. God won’t use a crowbar to loosen your grip. That is why the “Let go” comes first. If you ask Him to take the desires away and let go of them, He really will take them away. Once I had been looking at porn for a couple of hours and then in a moment of clarity realized that I didn’t want to keep going in that direction. I sincerely asked Heavenly Father to take away the desires and He did. I moved on with my day and didn’t have any more problems. The next day was a good day as well. Just because the last little while has been rough that doesn’t mean it has to continue or you have to relapse. Just because yesterday was rough, today doesn’t have to be worse. Focus on what you want to hit, not what you want to miss. God is still a God of miracles, but it takes faith in Him to make it happen. (Moroni 7)

I know you can make it with His help. You need to believe He can work His miracle in you. “The condition for a miracle is difficulty, but for a great miracle its impossibility.” – Faith Like Potatoes

I hope this helps. It has worked for me.

Love, your brother,
posted at 18:12:49 on March 25, 2010 by justjohn
I agree with John,    
"Two weeks might be overwhelming for you right now, but what about 24 hours? The key to one day at a time is that you start each day off by promising yourself (and God) that you'll stay clean for that one day, and then at the end of the day you gain a little more confidence because you realize you kept your commitment. This has worked very well for me (and millions of other people as John mentioned), so I think it might work for you too."
posted at 16:10:07 on March 26, 2010 by ETTE

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"Each one who resolves to climb that steep road to recovery must gird up for the fight of a lifetime. But a lifetime is a prize well worth the price. This challenge uniquely involves the will, and the will can prevail. Healing doesn’t come after the first dose of any medicine. So the prescription must be followed firmly, bearing in mind that it often takes as long to recover as it did to become ill. But if made consistently and persistently, correct choices can cure. "

— Russell M. Nelson

General Conference, October 1988