In the middle of a major trial and grateful for my 12 step program

This last Friday was my last day with the company I’ve been with for the last several years.  I work in a remote office that was part of a San Francisco based company.  There were 30 of us in our office and we were all let go at the same time.  We were close, like family.  It was one of the hardest experiences of my life to say goodbye to everyone last week.  I would equate it to the pain I felt when my grandfather, who was a major part of my life, passed away suddenly.  I felt SUPER sad.  I felt lost.  I felt some fear and anxiety.  It was like a massive storm was upon me in the open ocean and I was just getting pummeled by wave after wave! Continue reading

What does it mean to have a “Broken heart and a contrite spirit?”

For most of my life I always pictured the requirement for having a broken heart and a contrite spirit was to be “broken” in spirit.  In other words, to be less than I am right now.  To give up my freedom.  Or to lose my sense of self.  Or to give up my free will.  That essentially I would lose my independence and having been broken, become unable to make my own decisions or to standup for myself and be who I want to be.  In some ways, those statements are close to the true meaning of a “Broken Heart” and yet in ways that are subtle and very important they also couldn’t be further from the truth. Continue reading

A year and a half later I still reach out to my sponsor

Last week was a difficult week for me.  I was struggling with stress from work, the time I was spending with my recovery groups, time with family, time with church obligations, and on top of that I felt like I was not giving enough attention and effort to my relationship with my wife.  I felt like I was crumbling underneath it all and not doing well in any one of them.  I was beginning to feel self-pity, resentment, fear, and anger.  I ignored it for a few days, but finally I found the humility to admit that I was once again powerless over this struggle and needed to reach out to someone immediately.  Continue reading

The most hope filled 12 step meeting I’ve attended!

This last Sunday evening at my LDS Addiciton Recovery 12 step Meeting we had a visiting leader as the normal leader was out of town.  At the close of the meeting the leader will usually share a thought he has prepared for the night.  What set this time apart from the others is the visiting leader was a recovered pornography addict himself.  You could have heard a pin drop in the room it was so silent.  We hung on every single word he uttered!  It was amazing.  He had us all with his first line, “Brethren, I don’t know if you know this or not, but you are the cream of the crop!  You truly are.” Continue reading

Why do we try to drive the bus when we’re blind?

A friend of mine asked me this question last night in our 12 step meeting. He had recently slipped up and was frustrated with how he got there and how long it took him to get back on the right path.  He said it was like riding in a Bus with God.  When we are willing to let God drive the bus He knows exactly where to go and will get us there safely and on time.  But we usually start to get agitated at the route or the speed and decide we’d be better off as the driver and eventually we push God out of the drivers seat and take over.  But what we don’t realize is that we’re actually blind and can’t even see where we’re going.  So we bump into trees and light poles along the way until finally, we realize how foolish we’re being and we humble ourselves and ask God to drive the bus again.  He’s happy to do it as soon as we ask.  And He is so patient with us.  He doesn’t berate us or punish us (we did that to ourselves as we drove around bumping into things) — He only loves us.  He always loves us.  And He is a great bus driver! Continue reading

Sometimes I just want to be normal

Every now and again I have a bit of a pity party.  It’s the one that goes like this, “Why did this happen to me?  Why can’t I be like normal people?  Why do I have to work the 12 steps the rest of my life?”

Can you hear the baby crying in the background?  Because I can.  I don’t know how often this happens, and I would say that it’s happening less and less, but it still happens.  Usually around the same time I start softening my bottom lines, quit doing daily study and meditation, or stop calling a friend to do 10th steps.  Coincidence?  I think not.

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My brother’s tribute to my sobriety: “Lady Liberty is totally modestly dressed”

Every now and then something will truly move me.  It will usually change my perspective on how I see the world, how I look to the future, or how I even interpret my past.  Most of them are with my family like an incredible vacation, a lost loved one, or a major event in our children’s lives.  But once in a while something unique occurs and it becomes one of the things that will always be part of me and I will never forget.  The latest indelible memory came from my brother in the form of a padded envelope on Friday afternoon.  Continue reading

Backstory: Along came mobile…

 

I almost don’t want to share this part of my story.  It was a dark time for me.  I really got sucked down the rabbit hole and was afraid I would never make it back out.  However, it was also a time when a trusted spiritual leader encouraged me to seek professional help.  It also was when one of my best friends invited me to join him at a 12 step meeting.  It was the darkest of times but it was also the catalyst for my journey to freedom.  I would not trade those experiences for anything.  They have propelled me to a place of peace, freedom, and joyous opportunities to help others. Continue reading

Day 9 of 30: A Friend’s Journey to Recovery

Two days ago I read a friend’s blog about her progress on her own recovery and was absolutely blown away at the power of her story!  It’s been amazing to see her progress and watch the 12 steps working in her life.  She is completely different from when I started following her blog and I’m sure there was plenty of growth before that and certainly there will be plenty of growth moving forward!  THAT is the power of the 12 step program!  I am not kidding, it literally has the power to change who we are.  We become different people than we once were.  We’re less selfish.  We’re more confident.  We’re free of our burdens and able to turn our attention to the needs of others.  We heal.  We grow.  We share our stories with others.  If you’ve been stuck on your own program or have wondered if a 12 step can work for you, read this snapshot into the journey of my friend’s recovery.  It is amazing! Continue reading

Day 6 of 30: Working with Others

This morning I re-read Chapter 7 in the AA Big Book titled “Working with Others”.  The very first sentence of the chapter boldly declares a primary key to continued sobriety:  “Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from [acting out] as intensive work with other [addicts].”  As recovered/recovering addicts we can help other addicts like no one else can.  Helping someone else achieve sobriety and ultimately beat their addiction is one of the greatest joys for a fellow addict.  This chapter has some great advice on how to help others as well as some important cautionary measures to be sure you take. Continue reading