I feel like this is a good time for another recovery email.
First of all we had a lot of activity on our forum. Here are some of the things that stood out for me.
We have a new member Kai, who shared his story here, it never stops to amaze me how similar all of our stories are.
I have never discussed this problem that I have with anyone, and yet it has been affecting me for twenty years. I am in an enviable position by most measures – married, in a respectable job and with a great quality of life – but seem to risk it all because of my addiction to pornography. No one knows as I have never felt able to talk to anyone about it and of course it is a secretive process. I worry that should I see someone professionally this would jeopardize all that I hold dear, that when my addiction becomes clear to others I will potentially lose it all, and I cannot bear the idea of this. And so, I struggle on by myself, deluding myself that each time I look at pornography will be the last but really knowing that it is not probably not something I can address alone. I therefore hope that this sharing will help me to deal with it (and help others in a similar position). I do nothing illegal but spend secretive periods on the internet looking at adult hard-core and soft-core pornography, and afterward feel ashamed and weak. This activity waxes and wanes and I may go for a few months doing none of this and then almost “binge” for a few days, looking at stuff each day before I somehow have a shift in mindset and believe I can resist again for a while. I know it is worse when I am stressed and although it does not affect my job in any way, it certainly affects my relationship with my wife (even as simply meaning that my desire to have sex with her is reduced because I have masturbated earlier that day) and its salient nature means I do not spend the time or pay the attention to others as much as I should. I think I recognise in myself a self-loathing because of this and I feel as though the front that I portray is exactly that, and so I withdraw socially, because it is an effortful process that tires me out. I am hoping that this confession will steel me into action and I am grateful of whatever support or advice anyone has to give. Today is Day 1.
Couple of our member had hard time with their recovery, but they also learned some very valuable lessons from it.
jl595 writes: http://feedtherightwolf.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=7
This is a journal for yesterday and today.
I’m sorry friends,
I have not resorted to watching pornography and I was 5 days sober but it is was starting to get much more difficult to abstain from it. Although I had a relatively easy day yesterday, I was aroused for just about the entire morning on and off and I had trouble focusing my thoughts away from it. I have been under a lot of stress over the last couple days and unfortunately I slipped. The first time I masturbated, which was something I didn’t want to do but worst of all, but the second time I watched pornography very briefly but after about 15 minutes I turned it off. I am glad that I didn’t watch it all the way through but I am still upset that I cracked. I realize that I will not be better overnight and these things are just bound to happen but I want to control them.
And AA Responds
“It’s not how many times you fall that matters, it’s how many time you get back up.”
I’ve not had the best last 24 hours either.
This from “Uncle Bob” – http://yourbrainonporn.com/uncle-bob-porn-addiction-recovery-tips
Uncle Bob wrote:
If you relapse, continue to count your past days of success. “x days + x days” If instead you start your count completely over it throws you into endless loops. To accept imperfection and continuously move forward makes more sense. If you insist on counting from zero, the brain says “Do it again; it has only been x days so why not?” If instead you just shrug off the slip, the brain has nothing to manipulate you with.
12 Step Tips
One of my very good friends in recovery gave a talk at my local Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting. He’ve shared a lot of quality information, but there was one thing that stood out for me and everybody else.
He said that recovery is about learning to honor your commitments. He always tells to his sponsees, that he doesn’t care how they define their sobriety, but he does care that once they make this commitment to themselves, that they honor that commitment.
And I agree 100%, recovery is about commitment. It is easy to say I am never going to act out again, I promise. But it is not easy to commit to consistently do good things that bring serenity into your life.
When I was desperate to stop my addiction, I was able to commit to a large number of quality things in my life. Now, however, with a little bit of sobriety under my belt, it is not so easy for me to stay committed to my recovery.
I used to do all of the following on the daily basis:
- Morning Practice (Reading spiritual literature and meditating first thing in the morning)
- Eating healthy breakfast
- Making 2 phone call to my friends in recovery
- Attending 3 Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings per week
- Calling my sponsor every night to tell him how I did that day
- Journal before I go to bed
- Staying Hydrated
- Eat Healthy
- Go to bed at least 8 hours before I needed to wake up
- Asking daily what is my Higher power’s will for me for that day, and then committing to doing it
Now for the past couple of months my day consisted of:
- Checking my email and news first thing in the morning (30 minutes to 1 hour)
- Grabbing something to eat last minute and run out to work
- Skipping 12 step meetings
- Not doing my morning practice
- Journaling once every 2 weeks, and only when I feel like crap
- Doing emergency ERP practices and meditation, only when I feel that things start to get out of control
- Not getting enough sleep
- Not thinking about what would be the right thing for me to do and not planning ahead
- Spending a lot of time reading news, forums, and other mindless activities
- Checking my email and news right before I go to bed
Yes, I am proud to say that I was able to stay sexually sober with all of this going on. But it sure did not feel like I was Sober, with the capital S.
I miss the days of serenity and peace that following healthy routine brought to me.
That is why I am going to make a new commitment. For the next week, I am going to get up and go for a walk first thing in the morning. Then I will comeback read spiritual literature and meditate. Next I will eat healthy breakfast, hygiene, and get ready for work. I will not check my email until I get to work.
I believe that developing this habit will be the most beneficial for me out of the list of options that I have, but I won’t know for sure until I try it.
I will blog about my progress here: http://feedtherightwolf.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=280
May God bless you,