The Power of Support

One of the most important things I stress to new people who come to our 12 step program for the first time is to join our support group afterwards — you’ll make friends, you’ll be able to ask questions and get answers, you’ll get contact info, and be able to text or call each other throughout the week.  Most importantly though, you’ll stop feeling alone because you’ll no longer be alone!  Having our support group has made all of the difference in the world for each one of us. Continue reading

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

Have a plan when you go on vacation and stick to it!

Two weeks ago when I left on vacation I was committed to following my plan to make sure that I studied my scriptures at least 15 minutes a day — most likely in the evening.  This would be the difference in my plan this time versus all of the times in the past.  Usually when I go on vacation I’m fairly triggered by the end of it and that would always frustrate me.  After analyzing past experiences, I realized that it was because I wasn’t doing my morning studies which would result in me being more tempted, more frustrated, and more manic by the end of the trip.  But this time would be different. Continue reading

Peace and nature are great for the soul

We went for a boat ride on the canals of the south. By the end of the ride I was as relaxed as I had felt in months! It felt so good to be at such an incredible level of peace. Nothing bothered me. I wasn’t tense. I wasn’t anxious or worried. Nothing weighed on my mind. Ahhhh…

It reminded me that my counselor told me to go outside more often and to just pay attention to the little details or listen for the quiet sounds. The 11th step also reminds us to meditate daily. 

This morning as I was reading my scriptures I went outside and just listened to nature. There were 4-5 different kinds of birds. There were cows. Horses. Dogs. Just going about their morning but it was so calming to take it all in. With each breath in I could feel how alive everything was. With each breath out I could feel my stress, worries and burdens leaving me.

God will care for my worries and burdens while I am gone. He cares for them when I’m home (and I let him), He always has. As I listened to God’s creations and as I watched His sun climb high into the sky, and felt it’s warmth on my face, I was once again reminded how much He genuinely loves us. Deeply. We’re so important to Him. Each one of us matters to Him on an individual level. 

I felt lifted by the gratitude I felt. I am very thankful to be on this earth at this time doing whatever I can to help Him help others. 

May I keep feeling His peace. May you feel His peace and love. He does love you!

My name is Mike

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

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

Advice to those wanting to stop masturbating

If you are struggling with pornography addiction and are in the process of quitting you most likely are also struggling with masturbation.  If you would also like to quit masturbating, take heart — it can be done!  I’m not here to tell you that you should — that’s a decision for you to make, not me.  However, I will say that when you consider the root of any addiction is selfishness, I find it hard to imagine someone being successful at eliminating their selfish behaviors if they are masturbating — especially if it is combined with sexual fantasy.  In any case, if you’re interested here is what worked for me, some advice I received from my bishop, and additional tips I found on the web (as well as links to those websites for more info). 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.

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

Productive goals versus non-productive goals

My daughter shared a powerful tool that her counselor shared with her this week:  learning to chose non-productive goals over productive goals.  My initial response was, “If a goal is non-productive, what is the point?  The purpose of a goal is to produce a desired outcome, right?”  Turns out, that is not always the case. For those of us that find ourselves impacted by anxiety, depression, or increased stress as a result of our fight over pornography addiction we may find that setting more non-productive goals will be a lot healthier to our recovery, our personal well being, and even to our relationships with others. Continue reading