Month: June 2016

Note to Those in Recovery

Note to Those Individuals in Recovery:

You are doing well and that should be congratulated – by yourself and others.    

I found the path of recovery to be very nurturing and very gentle.  Specifically, as I exercised enough confidence to  trust the program and do it fully, I found that shifts which seemed so scary, which I had worked on for years, softened.  There have consistently been times when I am doing things that have nothing to do with recovery, like when driving or talking to someone, when suddenly I become aware of a sweet shift, however minor.  Truly the best description of this is found by saying these concepts or changes ‘distill upon my soul as the dews from heaven.’  Is that not gentle?   

So my point being – don’t force yourself to face difficult emotions – just let God do his perfect work – and my full belief is that right now that means staying sober and do the actions of the program – one day at a time – one moment at a time.  That will bring you to what you need – it is all structured out.  There will be nothing that will be too difficult or too much of a leap.  Nothing forced.  So far, it appears you are making full room for the program as outlined.  If you don’t compromise that, or make it second to anything else, or do things half way, then you can rest assured you are doing all you can do and all that is expected and can expect the blessings.   

I honestly think you have a lot of good thoughts about the meetings etc. I resonate with much of them.    I also found tremendous relief when I could finally just allow myself to be a part of what it was, as it was….(for me btw SA programs seemed to be more useful than ARP – although I found them both helpful).  Perhaps someday there will be meetings – ones that in fact you generate – that are tailored more to your thoughts regarding what is most helpful.  But for now the general format is working for countless thousands of people, and there is much to be said about just letting go and joining as just a guy who is, at least currently, new to this process of recovery.

The simple act of surrendering to the process – as imperfect as I found it – was perhaps as important to my feeling a spiritual transformation as anything I actually did or said in the program itself.

Finding Higher Power, Aid to Recovery

young man rest on wheat field

 

For me, when I first got sober, it made me feel better, as they say.   I particularly felt anxiety better – but also depression – and more resentment than I ever imagined I possessed.  Everything was crashing down on me and I could hardly move my waxy limbs.  I did keep the praying sincere and honest and would have small packets of sunshine as tender mercies from God from time to time.   In the meantime, the 12 step group where there were guys with long term sobriety was in reality my higher power….it was the first time since high school I was being honest and open with a bunch of guys and I found that this provided “juice” to my soul….like I was a rusty machine and it provided lube and oil to make things move again.    This higher power was particularly important because at that time, God was still like a cosmic servant to me – I knew He was there but I wasn’t in relation to Him as his Son.  Rather he was more like a guy kinda responsible for both the good – and the mess and would he now please do what He needed to do to clean it up.  PLEASE.

Eventually my prayers went more toward “what would you have me do.” and were less self-focused.  I started to believe, very slowly and still today with some reluctance, that God in fact knows me personally.   Now, more than ever, this belief is turning slowly into something very real and ongoing and mutually communicative.  There is some depth and joy to having a real God who cares about me as my higher power – and the 12 step meetings are still important reminders and a kind of affirmation of the peace I feel.

Are you fighting your addiction?

Are you fighting your addiction?

On being tired of controlling and fighting all your lust in its various forms:  Don’t fight.  Whenever that familiar feeling comes up in any of the forms or manifestations you mentioned, don’t fight them – surrender them openly to another and to  God while turning away  long enough to where they subside for a time.  At first it may seem that this is, in itself, a never-ending fight, but eventually you will better understand this concept of surrender –  and instead of feeling battle weary and tired,  you will rejoice in the strength that is replacing the weakness and the Spirit that is filling the emptiness.

These small moments are simply battles you cannot fight or mentally wrestle with anymore.  You are in a situation where you need to bury your weapons of war deep in the ground – because you have your own form of blood lust and your soul can’t afford to bloody your old sword again – for any cause or reason.   Instead you prostrate yourself and be killed, or watch on the sidelines while your brothers are killed for you and around you.   But you, with your addiction,  can’t afford the risk of engaging in the fight anymore.  This is a relief that will grow with your growing trust.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this in regard to your own addiction!

Do you resent God for not just healing you sooner?

 

Do you insist on being stuck?  Do you resent God for not just healing you sooner?

Depression and Anxiety therapy

I appreciate your open expressions regarding lust and its effects in your life.  For most of my life I was more unconscious in my resentment toward God than you are, but nevertheless felt alienated from Him and withdrew from Him in subtle emotional ways, given semblance of prayers and rituals – more in my head as thinking-through than talking-through – with a caring Being.   It was hard for me to understand how, in spite of all my thought and efforts,  I wasn’t getting healing or resolution.  And for most of my adult life I felt abandoned to a situation I felt was irreconcilable.  Specifically my hope for romantic love seemed like an apparent impossibility if I were to live the commandments and keep my commitments.  As  I began my recovery work in earnest, some of this resentment became more conscious, and then I couldn’t understand why God couldn’t have led me to the tools and blessings of recovery and sobriety much earlier – why did I need to be in my mid-forties after having lost everything?

I have since felt more and more of God’s goodness and tender love and that His kind presence was always there, stable and sure. In a related way, I could also better see my role in maintaining my conflicts and problems within the context of the raw reality of this difficult mortal experience.

Do you feel a need to escape?

Do you feel a need to escape?  Pornography Statistics

T.V. Series are super fun and give a bit of escape for my wife and I from time-to-time.

In my recovery, I did start noticing that the same emptiness that sometimes invited me to escape into tv – especially when by myself – was the same emptiness that invited me into lust.  I wanted a bit of escape from being in my head and have that emptiness filled…again, especially when I was tempted to watch tv all by myself, rather than doing it as a bit of bonding with family or friends.   Does that sound familiar?

Now I recognize this emptiness as a God-Hunger, and when I am tempted to watch T.V. or otherwise fill it with media sensation (and even the news is sensation-oriented anymore)  I often stop and kneel down and try to connect with God and his will for what he would have me do at the time, and I listen.

Whenever I do this I almost always find a sudden clarity on something important that needs to be done and a motivation and impulse to go that different direction – one that ends up being fulfilling to me and actually helpful to others.

Has any one else experienced this simple transformation to the much more satiating feeling God offers – when otherwise tempted to escape into media?