Is it the phase of the moon?
By lawrence
3/17/2011 12:59:10 PM
It seems to me, although I haven't kept really good track, that when I slip, many others in meetings, online, etc. have also slipped recently. Strange phenomenon.

I confess to you all. I looked at porn a lot yesterday. I just messed up. I blew it. Not really websites and vids, but full blown porn nonetheless with google images. No mb.

I am determined to be a duck and this is water on my back. I had a long counseling session last night. There are a lot of precursors to acting out, always. I was able to identify 24 of them, and one of the 24 was dozens of SUDs (seemingly unimportant decisions). These are not 24 excuses or rationalizations or minimalizations. They make up a relapse analysis geared toward prevention next time. They are facts, truth.

It is important to look at both the spiritual side of this as well as the (what's the word?) psychological side. The spiritual side is outlined for us all in Helaman 12.

I pray for all of you. I love you. With God, we can beat this. I have been honest. I have hope. Now I will trust in God.

He is helping me find the root causes. I'm going to dig that tree out by golly! The pathway to that end is lined with nasty triggers. I'll never use them as an excuse to act out, but it helps to be aware that they are there.

God Bless


Relapse analysis,    
"That's interesting, Lawrence. Do you mind sharing some of the other 24 factors with us? I think it could be a good resource for knowing how to avoid a slip. As far as the phase of the moon goes, there might be some truth to it, I've had a lot of temptation lately, but I haven't given in."
posted at 16:28:56 on March 17, 2011 by ETTE
"Lawrence I have been and am continually thankful for your honesty and example.

Thank you."
posted at 17:29:17 on March 17, 2011 by paul
most all of it is personal    
"I will share, but I won't be so specific. A lot of them are little tiny triggers that normally wouldn't cause me to choose to turn back to my addiction, but when I added them up, and had turned away from God for just a moment, gave me the impression that there wasn't much else to do. I am at work right now, and don't have the journal with me, but from my memory I can share a couple of them.

They are in no particular order, just as I think of them.

I was doing homework with my 16 year old son (we have had intimate spiritual talks about my addiction, and about masturbation in general, and our struggles with it). We have really good filters, but we were sitting together at the computer and were researching his homework and a porn pic came up on one of the hits. We did the right thing, but it lingered in my mind.

I was struggling with sad emotions from a dear brother who has been such a strength to me, who will no longer be attending one of my 12 step meetings.

I am in group therapy. The last two weeks have been extremely triggering, listening to others' situations and stories. In the long run it will be helpful. My heart is full of dread to share my story because the stories I have heard so far are extremely mild compared to mine, which I have yet to share.

Physical intimacy with my wife. I don't want to share detail. Things were going really well with that, but it is still sensitive and any situation with that can be a bad trigger for her or me, even when things are going well. Am I subconsciously sabotaging my own life? I have to consider this.

I started my borderline, gateway behaviors a few days earlier. I thought I could chat with random strangers and keep the conversations non-sexual. The addictive adrenaline rush hit me and hit me hard. It was too close to my old ways of acting out. This was what brought me down.

This is not a trigger or a precursor with causality, but just a fact. I was and am still very strong at doing all of my dailies. Personal prayer morning and night, prayer with my sweetheart morning and night, sharing of feelings exercise for couples, sharing of praise for couples, family home evening, family scripture study in the eves, family devotional reading in the morning, twice daily family prayer, and prayer one-on-one with each child. I didn't fall because I slacked off. My personal prayers began drifting into meaningless ritual a bit.

My excitement for life and adrenaline levels were super high this week and I might have gotten a bit out of control. I have bad ADHD and it is a delicate balance to take stimulants medication for the ADHD. I made a major purchase of a motorcycle (well, a scooter). Changes, even positive ones such as a new scooter, new job, new baby, new coworkers, all cause the same stress to the mind and body that negative events cause like project due dates, college exams, doing taxes, financial troubles, etc.

Masturbation. I am still technically sober from that (over 5 weeks), but I keep getting more and more comfortable with (to anyone else probably) "NORMAL" behaviors regarding this. I don't want to give graphic detail so as not to be triggering to any of you or myself, so it is hard to explain. I say well this one thing is really ok, nothing wrong with it, but in the back of my mind it is an opportunity to sneak a little taste of the liquor. If I was an alcoholic, maybe it is like using rum flavoring in a recipe. I may not be explaining this well. It basically involves walking too close to the line. I say its not fair, other normal people can easily enjoy _____________ , but for me I have to completely stay away? Fill in your own blank. Tell me if this makes any sense to you.

Things are getting busy. Maybe I can share more later. Here is your partial list. By the way, I did really good yesterday and had the Spirit. Of course I had nasty images dancing in my head a lot, but today I feel even better, with even stronger power of the Holy Ghost. God is in charge, yes. But I am getting more confident in myself, not as a self-ISH thing, but as a self-LESS thing and I feel that feeling and ability comes from my Heavenly Father.

I hope all this wasn't too much ranting and raving. I do write a lot, and I write long. Since I started my recovery over a year ago, I have almost 400 pages of journaling and blogging (small font, single spaced). It is the most healing thing, though."
posted at 10:11:18 on March 18, 2011 by lawrence
"I appreciate it that you were willing to share. It got me thinking that a lot of triggers are related to stress and changes in our lives. I'm lucky enough to not have a lot of stress in my life at this point, so I have been able to stay clean more easily than usual.

Keep up the good work, Lawrence. I enjoy your blogs."
posted at 15:28:52 on March 18, 2011 by ETTE
Thank you    
"Lawerence, I know it was personal, but thanks so much for sharing. We all have lists. I know exactly what you mean and your list definitely made sense. Thanks for being willing to share that. I will have to try more blogging maybe it will be a healing thing for me too.
Really thanks so much again for sharing. Hope that things are continuing to go well. Keep it up!!"
posted at 23:39:31 on March 23, 2011 by Helpme

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"Develop discipline of self so that, more and more, you do not have to decide and redecide what you will do when you are confronted with the same temptation time and time again. You need only to decide some things once. How great a blessing it is to be free of agonizing over and over again regarding a temptation. "

— Spencer W. Kimball