Support structure

Recovery from s~xual addiction

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sheldon_h
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Support structure

Post by sheldon_h » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:59 pm

As, I assume, with all of you, there are events in my life which make me turn towards God a little bit (or sometimes a lot) more than usual. For me, in those times, it becomes easier to avoid temptation and I even start to see the world in what I would consider to be a healthy way: through eyes of charity.

My wife had a baby girl this last Sunday. Our first girl, we've got 3 boys already. I've been on a one of those up-times.

I've also been working with my doctor to get the right medication to get my bipolar under control. The medication has seemed to have had a very positive effect.

So, the last two weeks, I have found it easy to turn to God when temptations have arisen, until today.

For the past few days, I have thought that I need to build a support structure around myself: attend some meetings, get some phone numbers and email addresses, etc.

There was a time when I had a moderate support structure, a couple of people I could call and a few I could email, but I haven't stayed in touch and it's slowly dissolved. Now I feel so alone in this.

I did a google search for pn addiction help or something like that and got some links to programs which promise results but I have a hard time with the idea of paying for a program... someone making money off of my desperation for a solution. It just doesn't seem right and I'm loathe to spend hundreds of dollars on something that perhaps I could get somewhere else for "free" (with just the work of the program.) But then, where is the line of who needs professional help. If anyone qualifies, I'm sure I do, but I've never found help that I had confidence in. (Not to mention, wow is it expensive!)

I also went to the ARP website and looked up the local meetings. I told my wife I was going to attend some of them and I think I need to stick with it until I want to stick with it... if you know what I mean.

The question in my mind is always "would the program work if I worked it right." I know that it has in the past, but I also know there were setbacks and pitfalls. Maybe my problem was that I let my pitfalls turn me away from seeking recovery with the thought "well, it worked for a while, but it seems to have worn off."

I think this time that I wasn't even a fool enough (is this progress?) to believe that the positive two weeks I've had could turn into real, continuing recovery without work on my part. As you said, Phil, step into the sunlight. I'm just a little disappointed in myself that I didn't act last week to get to meetings and begin this process... but then, my wife just had a baby and life has been quite full :).

I guess what I would really like is to arrive at a group where there were four or five participants that had a good number of years "under their belt" so to speak and to be able to learn from those who have had success. It seems like every time I have gone to meetings everyone there had at the most a few months of sobriety... where are the success stories? does ARP work? (obviously if I work it?)

I'd like to go to a meeting where there were a number of regulars with whom I could relate and with whom I have a bond of brotherhood (of course, I know, this takes time and persistence to establish.) I miss my old heart-t-heart group, but time has moved on as it always does.

Well, it is what it is and I am where I am. I'll go to a meeting tonight and see what happens.

Please let me know what your thoughts are... I need the connection.

Thanks,
~Sheldon

TimA.
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Post by TimA. » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:00 pm

Hi Sheldon,

I would love to get email from you and I always reply to email I get. Thing is though the people on the list seem very reluctant to corespond. That has been my expierence anyway. I have written to everyone on the list and gotten only a few replies, which I replied to and never heard anything else. The same has been true of the online sponsor list. I got one reply and he never wrote me again. Its enough to make an insecure soul like myself despair but I am not complaining, even though it probably sounds like I am.

I know what you mean about coming off a high. I have found a spiritual high period almost garuntees I will slip or more likely relapes. Another thing I have found about myself is that I usually dont do slips but rather full blown binges and it takes me some time to find my way back to the path.

I think the one thing that has helped me most is to keep in my mind the FACT that Jesus loves me and that love is not diminished by anything I have ever done or will ever do. If I can remember that when the voices shame me and call me pervert, worthless, inadequate etc. then I can put the lie to that kind of talk. I love Him because He first loved me, with a love stronger than death. He is with me always and He was there when the things happened to me as a child. He felt the same pain that I did then and more. Because of the agency granted to us all He did not stop it but He has the ability to make it as if it never happened. He can and will take away the harm I have done also.

Anyway, Congratulations on your baby girl!! And if you are interested my address is on the email list, I would love to hear from you.

Tim

sheldon_h
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Post by sheldon_h » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:15 am

Tim,

I think I have not responded in the past because I was insecure. Funny how that works, huh? A hundred "what if" thoughts pop into my head generating possible reasons why responding and building connections MIGHT be bad. I'm positive I know where those thoughts come from... someone who does not want us to build bonds that can help us heal.

All,

Well, I ended up going to the meeting on Wednesday night, but not last night. It was really good. It wasn't all transient college students this time which is important to me because I want something that is a little more stable and doesn't change every semester.

Last night I was feeling a little sick, so I didn't go. I've also been in "binge" mode even though I promised myself that the slip I had on Wednesday would not turn into a "binge". Funny how that works too.

I've felt like I really need to start at the beginning, my foundation has been worn away for quite a while so I went to Step 1 in A.A.'s 12 and 12.

My heart rejects the notion that I am bankrupt and that my life is unmanageable but it's pretty obvious to my head. In the 12 and 12, they talk about "raising the bottom" but don't go into too much detail about it (unless I missed it.)

The question burning in my mind is: how do I motivate myself? How do I reach the point where enough is enough BEFORE I lose my family and drown in my addiction?

Any thoughts? I'm going to be pondering this for at least tonight and tomorrow.

~Sheldon

PhilH
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Post by PhilH » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:31 pm

As soon as you read my name you will probably know what I am going to say--because I only have one solution. But it works.

The only thing that works for me to maintain close contact with my Savior. That means trusting Him, and trusting that if I turn my life, my thoughts, my impulses and temptations over to Him, He will take care of me and my life will be happier. That has made all the difference. The Savior will take away every temptation if I give it to Him. He will also calm my mind and comfort my sorrows if I take them to Him. The only thing I have to fight is my own stubbornness in wanting to do things myself. That equals pride. I have to give up the control of my life to Him. But IT WORKS. Jesus is faithful in His promises. He will rescue us if we continue to turn to Him. My abstinence wasn't perfect for the first 20 months I started working the program. I had a number of slips. But I continued to come to my Savior and plead for relief. I still get temptations (like 10 minutes ago on the TV). But if I rely on the Lord, it doesn't go anywhere anymore.

That's all I can say. It works. Talk to Him. Write to Him and write His answers to you. Come to know Him as your best friend. Give Him everything you can, and it will be enough.

sheldon_h
Posts: 94
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:49 am
Location: Orem, UT
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Post by sheldon_h » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:37 am

Phil, thanks for the comment. I've been thinking about what you wrote and I know you're right. I've been there (at least I think I have) and life was great.

My problem is that for the past couple of years I have been in a cycle of attempting to draw near unto God where I spend a few days studying, praying, etc. and then, for whatever reason, I either slip or I lose interest or I am distracted by other things in my life: video games (which I have now stopped altogether for the last few months), hobbies, exercise, even my family.

So I go for a few days without giving into pn and mb temptation and start to think I'm doing alright and then I slip up again. It's amazing to me that every time I go for 4 or 5 days, I think I'm starting to get over the addiction by myself. I don't know how I can think that every time after so many years, but I do!?!

About 2 weeks ago I said to myself "something's got to change". I told my wife I needed to go to meetings again and she was supportive. I started reading up on step 1 and pondering it, but I haven't looked at anything besides emails and this forum for the past 4 days. So once again, there goes my focus.

This is why I wonder about "hitting bottom" which is talked about in the AA books. When a person "hits bottom" according to the literature, they want so badly to recover that they are willing to do anything (even spend an hour each morning drawing near to Christ) to gain that recovery. Even do an honest and searching step 4 and 5 not to mention steps 8 and 9.

I'm not really trying to be obtuse and ignore your advice. I just have not able (is that the right word? am I able?) to come unto Him effectively and consistently.

What I do know is that I'm in a cycle that seems to me to be never-ending and a big part of the problem is my motivation (or lack thereof) to do even what I know how to in order to break out. Once or twice a week I reach the point where I feel like something has to change, but that doesn't seem to be often enough and I don't have the faith or strength to be consistent in recovery work or "build relationship with God" work in the interim.

One other thing: I know my thinking is messed up and it is totally possible that I am lying to myself (or believing lies that Satan is feeding me.) So if my vision is skewed, please say something.

One other other thing: I posted this here because I'm open to comments from anybody, not just Phil...

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