Day 5 of 30: Incredible sadness with no trigger!

This morning as I was attending a church leadership meeting I found out some incredibly sad news about a family in our church.  It just broke my heart.  In fact, it’s fair to say I literally wept as we talked about the situation.  There wasn’t a dry set of eyes in that room by the time we were done.  It shook me to my core and I was incredibly sad.  I haven’t felt that deep of a sadness in I can’t remember how long.  As I was driving home I realized that one of the reasons I couldn’t remember the last time I felt that sad was because I’ve never really allowed myself to feel that way.  Continue reading

Day 3 of 30: Keys to Recovery

Over the last several years I’ve studied multiple books including He Did Deliver Me from Bondage, the AA Big Book and the Addiction Recovery Program Manual.  I’ve also met with a private counselor, held a private recovery group at my house, attended LDS Addiction Recovery group meetings, and attended SAA Primary Purpose meetings.  Fairly early on I took notes from each of these meetings and I would underline passages in the books and write in the columns.  Every now and again I would come across something that really changed my way of thinking or lead to a new pattern of behavior or was literally the key to my transformation from an addict to a recovered addict (I highlighted it by writing KEY in the book).  Over the next few days I will occasionally list those “KEY” experiences.  Hopefully you find them useful for your own journey to freedom from addiction. Continue reading

30 days 30 posts

For the month of June I thought I’d try an experiment.  I’m going to share my thoughts on pornography addiction, recovery, prevention, relationships, healing, helping others, depression and anxiety, and anything else that comes up in my daily study, interactions with others, working with sponsees, and 12 step group meetings.  I don’t know what the topics will be until I write them.  I’ll try to keep them to 3 paragraphs or less.  Continue reading

My first experience as a sponsor

I have wanted to be a sponsor for some time now, it was hard to be patient but I knew I needed to wait for someone to hit their bottom and be willing to work the steps.  I finally had someone reach out to me a month ago.  I’ll keep him and any of the story pertaining to him completely anonymous and out of this story.  That’s his story to tell, not mine.  For now, this is about my side of the experience.  What is it like to be a sponsor and what did I learn in my first meeting?  It surprised me! Continue reading

I was TERRIFIED to attend a 12 step meeting

I don’t know if I can adequately reproduce in words the absolute fear that I had about attending my first 12 step meeting.  “What would people think?”  “Who might be there?”  “What if someone found out?”  “What if someone I know is there?”  “What if it’s a room full of weirdos?”  After several months of fretting and “thinking about it” I finally got up the courage to … ask a friend to go with me.  Seriously!  I called a friend and asked if he’d go with me to a group meeting.  Did I mention that I was absolutely terrified? Continue reading

To Moms (and Dads) with children suffering with pornography addiction

A good friend of mine has a son who struggles with pornography addiction.  They both reached out to me because I’ve been open about my addiction and willing to talk to anyone who has questions or needs help.  One of the first things I told her was to not be angry with him, don’t punish him, and don’t pile on any extra guilt — he’ll do plenty of that on his own and it won’t be helpful.  (This message applies to dads as well.) Continue reading

The most terrifying question in the world.

Do you want to make a man sweat or squirm?  Ask him the most terrifying question in the world:  “How do you feel?”

Our mouths will form the words, “Fine, okay, good, etc.”  Our brains will be in full on “Red Alert” mode!!  The red lights are flashing, the sirens are sounding!  The command and control is shouting, “Dive, dive, dive!!”  We want to get out of there as fast as possible!

“How do we feel?”  What kind of question is that?  Why do you want to know?  What are you looking for?  Society tells men that we don’t have feelings.  We’re tough.  We chew nails, chop down trees, and kill wooly mammoths with our own hands!

We. Do. Not. Have. Feelings.

And we most certainly do NOT talk about them.  At least, that’s what I used to think…turns out recognizing our emotions and sharing them is KEY to recovery.  KEY!! Continue reading

Talking with your children about pornography

This evening I was on my children’s computer in the kitchen and decided to review the YouTube history.  I was surprised to see some videos that had been watched by our oldest.  They were from popular YouTube stars with what I would consider adult topics that have heavy sexual overtones in their content.  I won’t list them nor give direct examples of what they said but I would definitely rate it an NC-17 for what they were talking about in their content.  Certainly not for someone who is learning how to handle their time online.  I shared an example video with my wife and after we both looked at each other in complete shock, she asked, “Well maybe she didn’t listen to that one.”  I indicated that it came directly out of the “watched history” list.  And there were easily 30-40 from that one individual, I can’t imagine what was on the other channels and didn’t really need to know.  What we needed to do was take action. Continue reading