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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
“It’s all part of the human condition.” Those are the words my brother lovingly shared with me over the phone as we talked about my daughter who had just been admitted to a mental health hospital for severe depression. He had been there. He knew what it was like to suffer with horrible depression for years. That was last Wednesday. We’re hoping she’s well enough to go home tomorrow but there are no guarantees. And worst of all, there’s nothing I can do to fix it.
My daughter and I are training for her first foot race and have had a good time running together. She enjoys exercising and the healthful feelings she gets after she runs in the morning — as do I! Two weeks ago we started interval training, where you run for short distances as fast as you can, rest, and do it again multiple times. It’s really hard and pushes you more than you think you can do the first time you try it. She was super nervous and kept saying, “I just don’t think I can do this.” I kept reassuring her that I knew she could and that 90% of doing something hard comes from our minds, not our bodies. Then I started to talk to her about the principle of “Digging Deep” and that when she thinks she’s out of gas and can’t go one step further if she’ll look inside and really dig deep she’ll find that there’s still more to give. Continue reading