Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Struggles of Addiction

I haven't shared a lot specifically about my addiction and my recovery.  I want this to be a place to share the ideas of personal change for all people looking to improve their life and live close to our Savior.  However,  I do think addiction recovery rates as one of the most difficult changes a person can make.  Occasionally I would like to share some personal feelings about my recovery from addiction.  My hope is that anyone dealing with trials, big or small, or attempting to turn their life to Christ can learn something from my difficult and painful journey.

I am full of gratitude tonight.  You see, tonight is a night in which the old me would have struggled mightily to avoid the draw of pornography.  I happen to be a big BYU fan, and in the past I have felt extreme frustration when BYU loses.  To the point of feeling sorry for myself and feelings of anger.  Frustration and self-pity are key triggers for me.  I have realized over the past 22 years of addiction that when I am frustrated it is easy for me to turn to pornography to numb the pain.

Tonight BYU lost a football game.  To make the situation even more dangerous, I am home alone.  The combination of those things in the past would have been deadly to my spirit.  But tonight I feel none of those familiar feelings.  I feel no desire to turn to temptation.  I feel no frustration or anger.  I don't feel sorry for myself.

If I look honestly at the reasons those feelings are gone, I can't help but settle on the fact that it is a miracle of the Lord.  One of his true tender mercies.  The incredibly painful experiences of the past have each prepared me to understand the thoughts and ideas which lead me down the wrong path so many times.  The Lord has blessed me to see those danger signs, and turn to him.

None of this is to say I am perfect or I have won.  I have constant work to do every day (just like the Olympic Athlete) to ensure that I stay close to the Lord and listen to Him.  I just am feeling very grateful tonight for a loving Savior who has taken me in his arms and blessed me.  Not to mention an incredible wife who has stood by me and supported me.  

I love my Savior.  He has never left my side and has had faith in me through uncountable sins and relapses.  Tonight I feel his love.  


Dan and Wendy said...

In the past you numbed your pain and frustration by acting out in your addiction. What have you used to replace your addiction with? That might be benificial to others that similarly struggle.

Your Brother in the Gospel said...

Thank you for your insight. I also believe that it is only through our Savior that we can truly change. Sharing your experience of that change will give hope to others that struggle with addiction.