Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Call in the Middle of the Night

I was dead asleep last night, and I received a call from a friend in one of my support groups. He had slipped up, and was calling for support. I could feel the pain in his voice as he talked about acting out. I could feel the pain he felt at knowing he had to tell his wife. I could feel his despair.

I've been there, I know the pain. There is so much hopelessness that comes with acting out. I know this friend well, and I know how hard he is working on his recovery. That hard work pays great dividends, but at the moment of the mistake, it can all feel like wasted effort. The thought "Will I ever change?" keeps ringing through the ears.

But the fact that he was picking up the phone, to admit his mistakes and talk about where to go next demonstrates his progress. Rather than sweeping his mistake under the rug, he was standing up as a man to admit he had done wrong. That is absolutely crucial to recovery, and I admire his courage. It's so easy to rationalize not making the call. 'Oh it's the middle of the night' or 'I've already acted out, what's the use'. This man had the courage to pick up the phone and address his weakness.

I feel for his wife too. This morning she is going to be told she has been betrayed again. There will be a lot of pain and a lot of tears in their house this morning.

This is a terrible addiction. It causes immense pain in so many people, and can lead to questioning every belief ever held. The only solution I know of is to turn out right than turn in. Turn to other people, turn to God, turn to unselfishness. Otherwise, it's just all pain.

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