Last night was a great lesson in doing the steps even when they seem small and not important. It was 15 minutes before bedtime and I was kind of feeling a little bit off. Some of the mini-cravings were in the back of my head and it was like they were saying, “Just look up one photo that’s totally safe. There’s nothing wrong with that.” Except I knew that was a big fat lie! The next thought was, “I should probably do a 10th step real quick.” Followed by, “Nah, I’m headed to bed right now. The night is almost up and I can muscle through this.” Then something else clicked in my head and said, “Uh, how many times have you been down this road and you know you HATE the destination!”
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.
“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
A year ago I was sitting in my therapist’s office with my wife. We rarely met together but he wanted to see how the two of us were doing. I was a hot mess mentally and emotionally. I never did discover why. All I knew was in that moment, sitting in his office I could not sit still as my legs were bouncing. I wanted to jump out of his window and run away (he was on the first floor). I felt like my chest was going to collapse and the world was falling on top of me! I was extremely tense and did not want to be there. He asked if I would like to go for a walk and try to collect myself first. I was happy to accept and quickly left. Continue reading
Who knew that helping out with my child’s school project could be a trigger to view pornography? Last night my 12 year old asked for my help photoshopping a few posters for a school council election. I love to help my kids with their projects and I especially love doing anything creative. Imagine my shock to find myself totally triggered in the middle of the project. I was serving someone else for crying out loud! Thankfully, I was able to work one of my many tools I’ve learned over the years and avoid any complications like a slip. Continue reading
When I was 19-21 I spent two years in service to my church. I was more or less cut off from the world and focused on serving others. Pornography? No problem. I thought I had it beat and was looking forward to the rest of my life. Was I in for a shock when I got home. Continue reading
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
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