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A Physics Question
By Pip
7/30/2010 10:32:51 PM
Today, hitting my two weeks clean mark, I broke.
Looking back, I recognize that it all started from the dream I woke up from (I hate having dreams that give me a bad start to the day) and through the entire day I couldn't collect myself. It took all day to catch up to me, but I fell, and I realized that it was because I had the building temptations, that increasing pressure, that drove me to a state in which I could not change my thoughts, as I had no desire to. I had surrendered.

This is where I asked my question. "How can I relieve Satan's pressure before it can become dangerous?"

I now remember the "For Young Men Only" Pamphlet which spoke of having a place for thoughts to go, where, as the prophets have urged time and time again, it says to hum a hymn. I hope to use this in future cases to tide me over until I have the opportunity, and to build the will, to read the scriptures and pray for support.

I would appreciate, in response to my update, some other suggested methods to curb the natural man? Other ways to dig a ditch for unclean thoughts? I find the hardest step for me has been "A PERMANENT Change of Heart", as I would assume it is with just about everyone attacking these addictions.

Also, and I feel ignorant in asking, but I would rather be considered fool than an idiot ;), should I go to my bishop and confess my mistakes every time? or are the previous confessions and the upcoming confession of freedom enough? I recall a general authority (perhaps Holland?) stating that confession should be a one-time, complete thing, and should not have to be repeated, but I do not recall whether that is pertaining to seperate circumstances.
Also, and I know that it is an ethical debate, but at what point should I consider restarting my "Days Clean" meter; the point where I allow my thoughts to go forbidden directions, or the point at which I begin to do wrong? I ask because I have caught myself at both these points before and drawn myself back, but I was unsure as to whether I needed to restart my count, which mentally weakened me the next time I was tempted.

Thank you all for your support. I know I am not alone in this lugubrious struggle.

Comments:

Way to Go!    
"The way I read your "count," you are 13-1 after the last two weeks. That means with God you are WAY stronger than this enemy. Why start the count over? In my book, 0 is depressing, and it's not true. You are fighting, but you aren't losing. You don't start the fight over just because you lost today's match. The game doesn't restart when the opponent scores a touchdown. You don't have to have a perfect record in this life or a perfect game to win. That's what the atonement is for -- it takes care of the losses and the slip ups. It zeros out the opponent's score. We just need to keep going, keep getting back up, and keep progressing.

You WILL win, if you keep focusing on turning your life completely over to the Lord. How to curb the natural man? HE will rescue you, I promise. But you must recommit yourself to serve him in every way you can think of, which usually involves all the classic Sunday School answers, the 12-step program, and serving other people. Remember, the natural man must yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and become a Saint. Remember, weaknesses become strengths when you come unto Him, humble yourself before him, and have faith in him. Just do his will. You may not be able to quit this sin (without him)...but you can do a lot of other good things! Do them! And let him take care of this one as you lose yourself in his service.

So, my suggestion, which I borrowed from someone else on this site, is that you don't restart the count. You simply get back up, and move on, at 13-1. Tomorrow, you will be 14-1, then 15-1, then 100-1, or maybe 100-2. But then, soon you will be 1000-3, and then 10000-3. As long as you stay close to the Lord, your record will keep getting better. Keep going! Well done!"
posted at 01:19:55 on July 31, 2010 by BeClean
Your on the right track PIP!    
"Pip,

Good to see your name again. You are on the right track--you are recognizing you have a problem and trying to change. Good work! You ask some really good questions.

Here are three items that are helping me overcome temptation
1) seeking God through simple, regular prayer
2) Attending a 12 step program.
3) studying and applying the steps.

I am learning that I can't overcome addiction on my own. I need the help of God and of others who understand addiction and who are in recovery. I started going to a 12 step group about 7 months ago--it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But it is without question the best thing I have done in my efforts to overcome addiction. A few weeks ago I started coming to this website on a regular basis--It has also been a great resource. I understand so much more about addiction and overcoming addiction. First & foremost I must pray for God's help constantly during the day.

In regards to your Bishop (how often to confess). Your question is a good one to discuss with him next time you see him. When you do talk with him be entirely open. In my experience I have been tempted to minimize struggles when talking to my Bishop. One reason I have struggled with addiction for so long is that for several years I minimized and rationalized often--and that can be a real road block to recovery. Seek regular follow up with your bishop at this point if that has not already be arranged.

Best wishes to you PIP! There are many who have had these struggles and have overcome!"
posted at 22:58:14 on July 31, 2010 by Seekrecovery
Control the mind    
"Pip I can only share what has worked for me.
This may sound so counter intuitive at first but it works.

When an immoral thought enters your mind, take notice right away and first recognise it for what it is. That moment normalize the thought. I say by habit "IT IS NORMAL TO THINK THESE THINGS, EVERYONE THINKS THESE THINGS" At first I had to repeat it 5 times but as you repeat it, the brain tends to lose focus of that thought. The worst thing you can do is say something like this "ARRGGHH you #%%$?&& thought get thee hence. " You are just reinforcing the compulsion state and will tire yourself out, body becomes tense and eventually fall because you are further in that dreadful cycle. Just relax and normalize every thought that comes, you will find with practice and consistency that the thoughts will decrease in frequency and intensity.

It is possible but rebuking thoughts does not work when you are an addict fighting a cycle of compulsion. This is not my expertise, I paid my therapist to give me that counsel and I recon you give it a shot for a week or so.

The results for me have been miraculous. I have not had one fantasy in any shape or form since then, I can control my thoughts and have free agency back. I am clean and I attribute this inspired counsel to helping me stay that way."
posted at 19:48:56 on August 3, 2010 by ruggaexpat
Amen    
"Great comments! So true on the compulsion. Speaking of which, one way I "normalize" the thoughts, so to speak, is with good ol' fashioned humor. If a seductive mistress sneaks unto my mind, I have the thought fart, or fall down stairs, or get hit by a train...ok, that last one's a little morbid, but the point is that I am controlling the thoughts, not the other way around. I've also done similar mental processes to Rugga in the past where I stop, acknowledge the thought, recognize it's just a part of having mortal XY chromosomes, and from there choose to dwell on other things.

I think later in that talk, Elder Packer makes the point that having the same hymn creates an automatic place for your mind to go, somewhat second nature. I'm not there yet, but the humor trick helps me out for the particularly sticky ones."
posted at 16:52:25 on September 12, 2010 by Rusty
you are not alone    
"Been there, done that. I feel your pain PIP

the sleep/dream thing has tripped me up more than once... some really trippy stuff.
like this crazy trance... that was really, really hard to shake...

I love Ruggaexpat's idea... seems like the only ideas that work with this.. are ideas that actually work and have worked over a period of time... that have been learned on the field of battle from personal experience.

I was told once by a therapist that this battle has rythms and cycles... For me it's been ~3 days, ~2-3 weeks, ~3 months... now that I have failed at those points... I know that I will experience more challenge during those times....


I got a 24 hour gym membership once.. and that helped.. during one of my 2-3 week battle moments... I woke up at 3 am with some crazy dream... and coudlnt' shake it... I could go to the gym, turn on my headphones... lift heavy weights.. and tell satan to F - off.

I love D&C 111:11 Be Wise as a serpent and yet.. without sin."
posted at 21:12:38 on September 12, 2010 by gracefull
Pip, I think that Rusty is on to something.    
"Rusty, you put a smile on my face. In the past I have found, and still do, that hymns are very effective in channeling these testosteronic thoughts. I can remember a scene from one of the "Harry Potter" series where you confront a fear. With the wave of the magic wand you change it into something really ridiculous.

I am in strong recovery but still have the usual temptations that are in my brain and on billboards and in radio and tv ads, etc. I am going to try that good old fashioned humor approach. Wether it be a sexy dream, a flash back from my rock n roll band days or just something that came about by a neuron that misfired, I am going to humor it. Fantasize getting a flirtatious smile from a beautiful woman who suddenly turns into Andre the Giant!

I hope to be able to report back how it goes in a few days.
Thanks Guys."
posted at 21:26:49 on September 12, 2010 by migail3
That wouldn't work for me...    
"because most of my fantasies revolve around Andre the Giant. :-)"
posted at 03:46:54 on September 13, 2010 by Anonymous
wholly s.hip h.igh i.n t.ransit!    
"Rugg! I say that same thing verbatim. And when I have (rarely...but I'm going to more now) its been one of the few effective things. Now I'm gonna do that and when I've calmed down hit that harlot with a train or a base ball hit by David Ortiz...but I'm not going to try to hard. I think a key, for me, is not fighting. Surrender. Oddly (and I've never put it together, as far as fighting vs surrender goes, till now) the only other thing that has felt similar and effective as "this is normal" and moving on is filing myself with trust in the Lord and proving I trust Him to fight it by moving on with confidence. Hmm. Great stuff fellas! Something to think about.

ps. 2 weeks! Well done thou good and faithful pip."
posted at 11:20:50 on September 13, 2010 by They Speak
Speak    
"It works mate to the point that I do not struggle with my thoughts at all.
I am so happy within myself and buddy you are going forward. So pleased for you man.
2 weeks is good stuff and may seem like small talk but it the way you are doing it.
I will swear by my life that normalizing is the way to go to get out of the cycle.
I recall a few weeks into recovery I was in the car alone and had this thought come and just would not leave. I tried the normalize thing and it did not work as usual. When I experienced this harsh resistance, my body started to tense up and I started getting really concerned.

I then just kept at it saying the verbatim stuff and added in a real plea for eternal help. I just remembered to stay calm and relax. Before I knew it I was over the anxiety and thinking on a complete different mind track. That was the one time I had to directly turn for immediate help.

This addiction and any of its cycles are beatable if we really want it. 2 weeks will turn into 3 and then 1 month ....

We just got to be humble to learn from the experience and position ourselves for all the heavenly help we can get."
posted at 14:16:36 on September 13, 2010 by ruggaexpat
I really really like this thread    
"Each post would have to meet the following:

1) Advice that really works (like at least 30 days of sobriety), backed up with specific examples
2) Advice we paid $$$$ money for
3) Advice we got from God that we paid nothing for

I love hearing how people withstand those 'fiery darts' -- some of them are nasty little buggers."
posted at 01:21:18 on September 16, 2010 by gracefull
another thing    
"I paid $500 for a few therapy visits... once..

and no joke.. the lady... after analyzing me for a few sessions.. said
"We'll maybe you're just a normal hot blooded man" (another therapist a BYU, that tithepayers paid for said the same thing)

I think 97% of 'LDS Men addicts' are just normal human beings....
I really believe that.
No excuse whatsoever for pr/mb

but I think it's important to step back... put the knife down... and realize what's really going on.
A lady walks by in something that would have been in a 1960's prn magazine... and I'm supposed to pretend nothing happened?

We live in a pornographic world.
I'm normal.
Game on."
posted at 01:27:37 on September 16, 2010 by gracefull


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"Lucifer will do all in his power to keep you captive. You are familiar with his strategy. He whispers: “No one will ever know.” “Just one more time.” “You can’t change; you have tried before and failed.” “It’s too late; you’ve gone too far.” Don’t let him discourage you. When you take the path that climbs, that harder path of the Savior, there are rewards along the way. When you do something right, when you resist temptation, when you meet a goal, you will feel very good about it. It is a very different kind of feeling than you have when you violate commandments—an altogether different feeling. It brings a measure of peace and comfort and provides encouragement to press on. "

— Richard G. Scott

General Conference May 1990