Struggling with new guy in ARP
By dstanley
11/18/2010 12:36:31 AM
So I went to ARP tonight, and it was great as usual. Only one problem. There was a new guy. He kind of fits in a fantasy I used to struggle with, works for a good company, and is about to be divorced. I've been struggling to not think about him ever since. I'm trying really hard to tell myself he's just another guy, and that he's a person, not an object. But I'm having a really hard time, and it's totally making me want to act out. This is headed the wrong direction. It scares me a little bit. I don't really want to go to bed, but I can't stay up all night. aaarrrggg


Normalize the thought    
"First of all, Hurrah for running to this site and telling us while you were being tempted. You are a good person, a true daughter of God struggling to overcome, and God will bless you and strengthen you as you continue in this path. You are doing well. Hurrah!

Next, please realize that those thoughts you are having are natural and normal for you. Of course you would have thoughts like that about this guy, considering your past and your fantasy. It's OK for you to be tempted. You don't have to fight the temptation or tell yourself, "Don't think about it, don't think about it, don't think about it, AAAAARRRGG!"

Just because the temptation and the thought pops into your head does not mean you are going to act out on it. Just because you FEEL like acting out does not mean you are going to. Just because that bird flies over your head doesn't mean it's going to land there and build a nest. Feeling like acting out is like a bird flying over your head; you can't prevent it, and you are still a good person if it happens--you have not slipped, and you can still keep the bird from landing.

I recommend that you not be afraid of this temptation. Don't let it scare you that you are having these thoughts and desires. Just because they pop into your head doesn't mean you are going to choose to act on them.

Instead, you can choose to say, "That's a normal thought. That's one thing I COULD do. Considering my past, I should expect to be tempted like that. But that doesn't mean I have to do what I'm feeling tempted to do, and I don't think I will. Instead, I think I'll say a little prayer and go read a good book..." or whatever else it is you have to do.

I'm praying for you, too, and if it doesn't work this time (or didn't work because I'm too late), give it a shot next time. You are a good person, and God will bless you!"
posted at 07:55:54 on November 18, 2010 by beclean
It didn't go well    
"I tried to distract myself. I tried to normalize it. I tried realizing that the fantasy would never happen. It didn't work though. Once I went to bed I knew that there was no way I was going to make it. I tried to put it off, but it didn't work. I felt that short of staying up all night there was nothing I could do, and then I just got to the point where I gave in to mb. I cried right after. I'm so frustrated with myself. I don't know how I could do so well and then struggle so much. I'm still not doing most of the stuff I have done in the past, but I don't get why I'm having such a hard time now. It totally frustrates me. I hate this, and I hate that my thought is to go do it some more. The whole I already screwed it up thing. Today would have been Day 21. I'm never going to get to the temple or get my patriarchal blessing at this rate. Why did that guy have to be at ARP? Why did he have to fit a fantasy? Dang it."
posted at 11:03:10 on November 18, 2010 by dstanley
No problem    
"It happens. Don't go do it some more. That's Lucifer's minions talking, hoping to enslave you. You can say, "Thanks, but no thanks."

If you are turning to God right after this, it is evidence that you are a good person. You are stronger than this temptation. The temptation you are having right now is normal--don't be afraid of the temptation. It means nothing. It doesn't mean you are bad. It doesn't mean you are going to go sin again. It simply means you are normal and good, and satan desires to have you.

So you are 20-1. No big deal. Nobody is perfect. Don't stop counting; you aren't 0-1. No sense in throwing it all away. It makes absolutely no sense to think that all the good you are doing has been wasted. It has not. Tomorrow you will be 21-1, and your record will get even better.

PS In a crazy twist of events, I had 2 nasty dreams last night that tempted me to act out this morning. That's normal too, and I guess you might say I'm "enjoying it." Don't read that wrong. That simply means I'm remembering what this kind of temptation is like and I'm saying, "That's interesting. I could do that again...but I don't think I will. Instead, I'm going to go the to write to others. And I've got a lot of work to do. No time for that now. So, no thanks.""
posted at 11:35:57 on November 18, 2010 by BeClean
"D, forgive me if I'm wrong, but you sound to me like you are totally afraid of your temptations. You worry that when they come into your mind--when you have the desire to masturbate--you are eventually going to give in. You are angry that the temptation has come again, you are fearful that you will fall again, and you wish and pray that the temptations would just stop coming.

That's not going to happen. Even Jesus was tempted, and he was no less of a God or man for it.

We have to learn to live with temptations and not be afraid or angry at them. They are part of life. Enjoy them as a part of life. Don't be afraid of them. They don't mean you are a bad person, and they don't mean you will fail again. They just mean you are alive and valuable (to God and your enemy).

Does anyone else like bad dreams? As little kids, we probably all used to hate them. They terrorized you in the night, and you awoke in tears, calling for mom or dad. Two of my kids came into my room last night after having bad dreams (we watched "You've Got Mail" with them, and I guess it freaked them out ;).

Now that I'm grown, I LOVE bad dreams. It's like a scary movie. It isn't real. I wake up and think, "Oh, thank goodness!" and I rejoice that I'm alive and happy with comparatively few problems.

Temptations are kind of like bad dreams. They're not bad. They're not real. I don't have to act on them. I can even be happy they came, and then I can go back to what I was doing (sleeping or working, as the case may be)."
posted at 11:52:11 on November 18, 2010 by BeClean
You're probably right    
"I'm a bit afraid, especially right now. I'm already totally dreading ARP next week. What if he's there again? I just wish I could figure out what has changed that has made me so much less successful.

I know temptations don't make me a bad person, but I think I still struggle with sometimes thinking they mean I'll fail again.

I just hate that for whatever reason I can't seem to have the success I've had and want to have. I hate addiction right now.

Sorry. I'm in a bad mood."
posted at 12:22:40 on November 18, 2010 by dstanley
Aaaahhh.....did it some more    
"OK, so I acted out some more. I'm done though. I'm going to find a way to make it through the rest of today sober. As my counselor said "Well, you have two choices: 1) keep beating yourself up about the slip, or 2) get back on the wagon and keep moving forward. The choice is yours, but I believe you know what you need to do. You are human - you made a mistake - you are still making progress. Keep up the great work and forget about it!" So, here's to getting on the wagon and moving forward.

I think one thing people who aren't addicted have trouble getting is just how hard it can be to do the right thing even when you really want to. I think people can tend to think addicts just don't want it enough or try enough. I want it. I really, really want it. It frustrates me tremendously that I am having such a hard time maintaining sobriety. I need to keep working on it.

Wives, I hope you'll be patient with your spouses and realize that a slip doesn't neccessarily mean they don't care or weren't trying."
posted at 14:01:06 on November 18, 2010 by dstanley
"With sex addiction, most often the sexes are separated. There are women-only groups and men-only groups in many of the ARP. Check the schedule."
posted at 16:18:51 on November 18, 2010 by lawrence
Separate Groups    
"We have no separate groups in our area. We barely even have any PASG groups. The only time I've had a group that was separated by gender was LifeStar. When I was in rehab and after care it was always mixed. I actually think in somes ways that's good. You have to deal with the opposite sex in the rest of life. I had a guy that I think was trying to start something with me once (from ARP). It was good for me to deal with that and work through it (he doesn't come anymore). I need to learn to deal with men that fit my fantasies, and men that seem like possible dating material. Especially if I get a job again. I'm in the computer field so I'm surrounded by guys, and they aren't always appropriate."
posted at 20:40:20 on November 18, 2010 by dstanley

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"In a decaying environment, the mind is the last redoubt of righteousness, and it must be preserved even amid bombardment by evil stimuli. Christ is competent to see us through, “for in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” As promised, He will make either “a way to escape” or a way “to bear it”."

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987