What positive things have come from your addiction?
By rmww
10/22/2013 12:30:08 AM
I've been thinking about Jakey's recent blog about the book title he recently saw, called "Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn." I'm wondering what specific lessons that others have learned from their addiction. I know it's easy to focus on the negative, and the damage that our additions have done in our lives, but certainly there are positive things we've all learned along the way, right? What have you learned?

For me, three things come to mind.

1. I've actually become more forgiving of others, especially my children. I personally stand in need of a lot of forgiveness due to a lot of dumb mistakes I've made over the years (especially the addiction related ones). How can I refuse to forgive others of a measly debt of 100 pence, when I'm in need of forgiveness of a debt worth 10,000 talents?

2. I've learned that having the Spirit as a constant companion is an incredible blessing. Unfortunately I've learned this by losing the Spirit through unworthiness, where I've then realized how bad it sucks to not have the Spirit.

3. I've learned that I really do have a testimony of God, of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and of the restored gospel.

There have been several times when I was in the middle of feeding my addiction where I tried to rationalize rationalize my actions. I thought, "maybe the church's position on morality really is outdated, and is simply the ideas of a bunch of old guys. They may be well meaning, but these old guys simply don't understand what the real world is like." Or, even more extreme, I've asked myself whether I really believed that God exists. What if He really wasn't there? That would certainly make my porn behavior less relevant, which would make the guilt irrelevant as well. If I could only convince myself that God wasn't there, or that he didn't really care what I did, it would make it SOOO much easier to keep indulging in porn.

But, I couldn't do it. I just can't. I simply know these things to be true. I know that God lives, and that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that the Atonement heals lives. I know that the gospel has been restored, and that our priesthood leaders are called of God, with keys, and power, and authority to provide guidance in our lives.

My behavior has challenged me to question these principles as a way of excusing my behavior, and yet somehow, there is something burning inside of me that knows these things are true.

What about you? What have you learned from your addiction? What positive things have come from your experiences?


Great question    
"For me:

1) A measure of humility (Wow! I'm just like anyone else!)

2) Meekness. I don't judge. Except for politicians. And political commentators. :)

3) An understanding of the human condition and of our frailties end evil inclinations (not all of our inclinations are evil, of course, but the natural man is an enemy to God). Guess you might call this simply "understanding humans".

4) A practical knowledge of Christ's Atonement and its cleansing and healing power.

5) Enlightenment. I know who the true saints are. The ones who don't judge us (or anyone else). There will be no haughty or arrogant or unkind or judgmental souls allowed into the Kingdom of Heaven. There are none there now, and there will never be any there, ever, worlds without end.

6) I reserve the right to add to this list at any time : ) : ) : )"
posted at 10:22:17 on October 22, 2013 by dog
All of the Above    
"I wish I hadn't have to "wallow in the swamp of self indulgence" (as Elder Maxwell once said) to get to this point but yes, you do learn. I think before I went back into prn a few years ago (I am almost a year since my last binge), I was not very caring and empathetic towards other people who have issues. That has changed. I also lost my testimony. I never thought it would happen. So I learned not to be prideful and to think you are above serious sin unless you are vigilant everyday to combat it. I also have had the opportunity to rebuild my testimony to sort out a lot of things. It has been very enlightening. I think I was too caught up in the culture of the gospel instead of the core of the gospel which is the atonement. It has been a long road, but through working through my Bishop and striving to make good and righteous choices, I am slowly feeling the Spirit enter back into my life."
posted at 11:21:48 on October 22, 2013 by matt78
I've learned    
"That I cannot. But God can."
posted at 12:59:22 on October 22, 2013 by Anonymous
I've often wondered about this myself    
"My mom is convinced that mein kampf has refined me. That where I was once often, if not always, given to a spirit of frivolous tension and disordered energy there is now a discernable calm about me. Where I was once contentious I now share Peace. I can make allowance for stillness to do my talking. My wife claims she feels it too. That by degrees I'm "changing", as they put it. I think they're full of shit ;)

This much I know, that I would have been content to live that pie in sky "prefect Mormon life". Fiction. Arguably the uglier. I would have been content to not ask the tough questions. But Life brought those questions to me. I thought I was reading my own journal when Nietzsche said:

"The Will to Truth, which is to tempt us to many a hazardous enterenterprise, the famous Truthfulness of which all philosophers have hitherto spoken with respect, what questions has this Will to Truth not laid before us! What strange, perplexing, questionable questions! It is already a long story; yet it seems as if it were hardly commenced. Is it any wonder if we at last grow distrustful, lose patience, and turn impatiently away? That this Sphinx teaches us at last to ask questions ourselves? WHO is it really that puts questions to us here? WHAT really is this "Will to Truth" in us? In fact we made a long halt at the question as to the origin of this Will—until at last we came to an absolute standstill before a yet more fundamental question. We inquired about the VALUE of this Will. Granted that we want the truth: WHY NOT RATHER untruth? And uncertainty? Even ignorance? The problem of the value of truth presented itself before us—or was it we who presented ourselves before the problem? Which of us is the Oedipus here? Which the Sphinx? It would seem to be a rendezvous of questions and notes of interrogation. And could it be believed that it at last seems to us as if the problem had never been propounded before, as if we were the first to discern it, get a sight of it, and RISK RAISING it? For there is risk in raising it, perhaps there is no greater risk."

In the end, for me, it was not enough to know the truth as I would have arrogantly believed I did in my perfect Mormon life scenario. I needed/need to understand the value of Truth. And in turn, love the Truth. As he who is forgiven much. this might only make sense to me. Thanks for letting me work or some thoughts"
posted at 18:19:08 on October 22, 2013 by they_speak
great thread    
"I, of myself am a douchebag, and need constant reminding lest I forget that I am not god."
posted at 19:17:53 on October 22, 2013 by Anonymous
"I am learning humility each day. After having recently messed up again I am looking inside myself a lot more now, trying to figure out what it is that keeps me on the wrong side of the fence too often.
I always admired Capt Moroni, wanting to be like him, to have perfect understanding of the Savior's plan, but i keep messing up. I realize that there is more problems with me thatn just pornography the related addictions that drive away the Spirit. I imagine there is something more, something more critical for me to give up but I can't seem to figure out what it is"
posted at 08:19:26 on November 13, 2013 by sjanderson
"Hi again SJAnderson.

"I realize that there is more problems with me thatn just pornography the related addictions that drive away the Spirit. I imagine there is something more, something more critical for me to give up but I can't seem to figure out what it is"

It's everything, my friend. It's not just the porn and masturbation. You need to give up everything. You need to put your entire self, all your hopes, dreams, desires, wants, goals, cravings, daily activities, personal resentments, favorite sins, music, books, movies, past....all of it...on the altar. Ask him to take care of it all. Ask him to guide you and be with you always. Tell him you will now do it all his way, if he will show you the way. Tell him you are not going to worry about what other people think any more, only what he thinks. Put it all on the altar.

When you sacrifice it all, God then provides himself a ram for you, the Son of God, to be sacrificed in your place. And then, you suddenly come alive again, as if from the dead. You are now saved, Redeemed, new, born again. And this time, you can live life God's way--and that is the only way to find happiness and satisfaction."
posted at 18:42:45 on November 13, 2013 by beclean

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"Each one who resolves to climb that steep road to recovery must gird up for the fight of a lifetime. But a lifetime is a prize well worth the price. This challenge uniquely involves the will, and the will can prevail. Healing doesn’t come after the first dose of any medicine. So the prescription must be followed firmly, bearing in mind that it often takes as long to recover as it did to become ill. But if made consistently and persistently, correct choices can cure. "

— Russell M. Nelson

General Conference, October 1988