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I attended church for the first time in two years
By smwil46
10/13/2008 3:11:17 AM
It has been a wonderful weekend. Saturday I went to the SLC Church distribution center and bought a bunch of things that I thought would help me in my addiction. I was there for over an hour. I bought 100 pictures of the Savior, two 50 packs of the card pictures. I plan on sharing them with others in the addiction recovery program. After I left there I called my wife to let her know where I was going and what I was doing. As I was talking with her I got sidetracked and took a wrong turn which started taking me in the totally opposite direction. I needed to hang up and drive. After I hung up I got off the freeway and was going to get on the other direction when a temptation hit me very strong. You see, I was in a part of town that I shouldn’t have been in. It was a trigger for me. I started to follow the temptation. It kept getting stronger. I started to analyze the feelings and urges and I didn’t like them because I new how I would feel after. Even though the urge made me feel good the after result would have been devastating. I pulled over the car and pulled out my meeting schedule and looked to see when there was a meeting and where. I found one that was a little out of the way but in the direction of home. It was an hour away, but I didn’t care. I focused on the meeting and made it my main thought until I got there.

Wow, It was the best one I have attended so far. The spirit radiated there. The spirit was so strong that almost everyone who attended was in tears by the time it was over. I knew that was where the Lord wanted me, in his presence sharing and loving others instead of out on the streets offending his most precious creations. The rest of the day was wonderful. I went home and shared with my wife and we spent the rest of the day enjoying each others company.

Sunday I went to church for the first time in two years. I always feel a strong spirit of love from the Lord when I attend the LDS church. The children are so beautiful when they are dressed up and smiling. I remember when I used to go to church with my own children and they gleamed the same way. I especially noticed it yesterday.

I do have to make a correction in something I have been saying in my writings. I have been saying that Women are God’s most precious creation. I need to rephrase that and say that Children are Gods most precious creation first and then my Wife is second. I’m sorry all of you Women will have to be third on my list. I’m so very sorry.

It was fast and testimony meeting. I have always hated them in the past because people just seem to ramble on. I found myself intently listening to every testimony and enjoying them all. When I went in and sat down I got there early enough to take a seat on the fourth row right in front of the pulpit. You see I didn’t want to miss a thing. That is my seat from now on. I will make it a point to get there early enough on Sundays to get my seat. The nice thing about sitting up front is that no one likes to sit there. I like that. After church I met with the bishop as I will every week for a while. I then went home and spent the day with the most precious wonderful love of my life, my Wife.

Wow what a wonderful weekend, all because I was able to submit to the lord and give him my temptation and aloud him to direct my thoughts and actions. The joy I felt this weekend out weighed the very short term gratification of the flesh and disappointment and anguish that I may have caused someone else was incredible.

I can’t wait to get up and write theses feelings and share them with you all in the middle of the night. It feels much better than writing about things of shame and disappointment. I am attending another meeting this morning. I always struggle with Mondays. Remember that I am still weak and I still need the Lord to give me strength. He wants nothing more than to see his most wonderful creations happy in his spirit. The addiction recovery meetings are very addicting to me. That’s an addiction I want as long as I don’t loose focus on my responsibilities as a Father and husband responsible for bringing is the bread and butter into the home. Tonight is family night. I want to find a way to have family home evening with my wife without her knowing we are having family home evening. She has been asking me to study the book of Romans with her. I think tonight would be a great time to start.

Thank you all for your Love and support. It is my goal to stay completely sober passed the 8 days I made it before. Wow 8 days is a long time for me. I am on day 3 today. Sorry to say I slipped on Friday morning and masturbated at home. Hey at least it wasn’t outside somewhere where someone could have seen me. It has been over a month since I have looked at pornography, even longer since I have exposed to anyone. One day at a time.

Lord you are welcome here. Please come and be my strength for just one more day.

May the Lord bless all of us and have a wonderful day.

Scott

Comments:

Good Job Scott!    
"It made me think of a scripture http://scriptures.lds.org/mosiah/2/21-26#21 Verse 24 tells us that when we keep the commandments of God, he does immediately bless you. It sounds as if he allowed you to have a contrasting taste of keeping his commandments, even one time. What a wonderful Blessing. Don't miss another day of church and he will continue to bless you."
posted at 11:53:25 on October 14, 2008 by nyronian
How are you doing Scott?    
"I pray you are having a day filled with hope."
posted at 12:58:02 on October 16, 2008 by robin
Robin    
"I am doing ok. I have had an interesting week. Meetings every day and feeling strong in the Lord, then all of the sudden out of the blue I got slapped up the side of the head with a two by four. I attended a meeting Wednesday morning and arrived to attend a meeting that evening when all of the sudden I couldn’t go in. I just could not get myself to physically walk in the building. I left to go home. I gave in and didn’t fight. I was two exhausted and gave in. I ended up at the gym and gave up my sobriety. I felt horrible. I didn’t expose to anyone. If that’s what your thinking. I have with the Lord help a very strong will not to expose to anyone as long as I am attending meetings. I ended up masturbating in private. I know that with the Lords help I will be able to put my masturbation problem behind me. Hey I had six days sobriety. Its better than once or twice a day. Believe it or not I am getting better.

I have just started step 2 in the 12 step program. I have been in fear that I might fail after reading step 2. I have always failed and the adversary was letting me know it. I am just glad that I was not seen. I was really having a hard time about it until tonight when I attended another meeting. The spirit witnessed to me that when we have setbacks we can learn from them. I believe that is why the Lord allows adversity in our lives, so we can learn from them.

Other than that I am doing fantastic.

Scott"
posted at 23:24:51 on October 16, 2008 by smwil46
Scott    
"You are putting a lot into getting better. You are doing so much better. Keep going to those meetings. Keep praying and working the steps. I don't like that gym.
Have a good weekend. You are in my prayers."
posted at 10:27:33 on October 17, 2008 by robin
One day, one hour, one minute at a time.    
"Scott,

I'm pulling for you. I've been in recovery for some time and had my ups and downs. You have to take hope in the progress you've made, I do to. Sometimes it is discouraging because I don’t have the sobriety that I wish I had. (Years of sobriety just clean, clean, clean.) I have to look at the progress. One point probably for the both of us is we’ve raised the bar as far as what we consider an issue. There are lots of things that I wouldn’t have considered a relapse before that I do now. I have to look at that and the periods of sobriety compared to my previous standard to really appreciate how far I have come. I didn’t even count looking at porn as “falling” before. I didn’t “fall” unless I really acted on it. I’m guessing you may not have considered porn and masturbation as a real problem before as long as you didn’t expose. I didn’t even consider anything as pornographic unless it fit the “over 18 to view” category. Even R rated movies weren’t porn in my opinion. I now draw the line way back at anything arousing, because I realize once I am headed in that direction I am in trouble.

I now use the definition given in the Ensign a while back, “Legal, academic, and other definitions of pornography vary widely, but in a practical sense, pornography is any visual or written medium created with the intent to sexually stimulate. If the work was not intended to stimulate but nevertheless causes sexual arousal in an individual, it constitutes pornography for that person.
If you find yourself asking whether a work is pornographic, the question itself suggests the material makes you uncomfortable. That should be enough to tell you to avoid it.”
(Rory C. Reid, "The Road Back: Abandoning Pornography", Ensign Feb. 2005)

Based on my new definition I have to avoid some fully clothed women.

I believe I have to stay accountable. I can’t blame a relapse on anything/anyone else like the girl at work who didn’t dress right. I can’t minimize a relapse by saying, “at least I am better than I was” because then I will never achieve the level of sobriety that I can and know I should. At the same time I have to look at the progress to keep myself positive and moving forward.

Keep attending meetings both church and addiction recovery. I was going to make a comment for your wife a while back on another one of your posts, but I don’t think I ever got around to it. You mentioned that your wife didn’t understand why you needed a number of meetings per week. To wife-I understand your feelings. My wife felt the same way when I first got into the program. I was attending two meetings a week which she already felt was pushing it. I have six kids and between family and other responsibilities it didn’t seem that I had the time for meetings too. Occasionally I would tell her I felt like I needed a meeting when it wasn’t my regular night. Her hackles would come up and often I wouldn’t go. After a while her attitude changed. She was seeing the first real progress through the 12 step program. (We’d been married 15 years at that point and she knew about my problem the whole time.) She had also seen enough nights that I didn’t go to a meeting when I felt I needed to and had witnessed the struggle, relapse or depression that resulted from not going. She had also seen me leave the house in the dumps and come bouncing back in after those extra meetings that I did go to. She once told me to go to a meeting even though she had other plans before I announced my desire. She said, “If you need a meeting I’d rather have you go than stay here.” It might have been because she knew I’d be useless and moping around the whole night.

At one point I decided to really focus on my own recovery and do 30 meetings in 30 days. It was very helpful and I feel like I achieved my highest level of spirituality at that point. I was also trying to attend the temple once a week. Right now I am trying to bulk up on meetings, but counting temple attendance, church meetings, etc. in the mix. I am also not shooting for any particular time period. The one thing I try to do during periods like this is to get concentrated time with family. Instead of just being in the house somewhere the same time they are there I try to actually do things with them. I try to get out on dates more often as well. I have also found that I can get daytime meetings and not make my family feel as neglected. It sounds like you are doing some of this already, but I thought I would mention it.

I think it helps that I am not telling myself I have to average a meeting a day. Sometimes it makes it really hard. Today I am off work and was planning to get a noon meeting. I had a niece coming for a visit who is moving out of state soon. She ended up calling to come over right as I would have left for the meeting so I decided to stay home and attend an evening meeting. Then my sister called to see if my wife and I wanted to go out with her and her husband tonight. We have been trying to get together for some time, so now I am online instead of going to a meeting today. Hopefully it will give me the shot in the arm I need.

I know the extra meetings can be rough, but I think it is worth it in the end.

Most of all keep plugging away at it. Every clean day is a victory! I don’t know how many nights I have been relieved just to go to sleep, because that meant I made it and just tucked away another clean day.

Take care, you’re doing great."
posted at 17:49:35 on October 17, 2008 by justjohn
Thank You    
"Thank you so much for your prayers and comments. This is the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with in my life. I feel much better when I pray to my Father and study his word. One tangible thing I have is the love and support I have from family, friends, everyone in the addiction recovery program and all of you. The Lord has humbled me and has helped me to be able to share my addiction to loving people around me that have not judged me, instead they have poured out their love and pray for me to change. No matter how hard they try they can’t change me. I can’t even change me. I am so grateful to a Father who loves me and only he can make that change. Yes it takes great effort on my part. That he requires of me. I find that my biggest obstacle in overcoming my addiction is me and my pride. I am still finding that I am not being honest with myself. Yes I go through the motions, but am I really being honest about every detail. I have thought a lot about the other night when I messed up at the gym. It would have been ok to go to the gym. The problem was not the gym. I in my mindset went there with the urge to expose. I have a pair of running shorts that show a lot of leg. I like to be noticed wearing them. It gives me a sense of security and acceptance. I like it when women notice me. The other night when I was running I got aroused by women seeing me wearing these running shorts. I guess where I am getting here is I need to throw them away and set a dress standard for myself when I go to the gym. I notice guys wearing long baggy shorts. I have never seen anyone at the gym wearing what I wear. That should be a signal that I am out of style. They are probably thinking to them selves how embarrassing I should be for wearing them. I guess that part of what arouses me. I don’t care what they think. That is the selfishness that comes out in me. I should care how it is affecting others, especially when it is causing fear to them. Last night I had to go to the store to get something for my wife and I told here I was going to wear her pink sandals to the store. I did. I was getting the same feeling as I did when I wore the shorts. I think wearing the sandals is not threatening sexually and is more legal than exposing myself in public. I like to be noticed. I guess that’s where the therapy comes in to all of this. I need to find out why it is so important for me to be noticed. I wonder if that’s why girls wear skimpy clothing, or people get piercings in places people can see, or they just color their hair in rainbow colors. Is it all for the same reason that they just want to be noticed?

I really have to be careful here because the last thing I want is to be feeding my addiction in my writing or sharing of my issues with others. There is a fine line and I don’t want to cross it. I do truly want to overcome my addictions. I am tired of false recoveries just to find myself back into my addiction. I guess thats why I struggle when I do slip. I really would like to hear others comments about this. I am open and I am learning to listen.

It is in my humble prayer that we all can be comforted by the Lord our God and his atoning sacrifice that we can and will overcome addictions and return to live with him.

I am learning new habits and it is in one of these habits that I pray (a lot) for others and their afflictions. I am meeting with my bishop to talk about getting involved in service,
As I loose myself in the service of the Lord then he has promised that I will find myself.
.
Scott"
posted at 07:48:42 on October 18, 2008 by smwil46
Scott,    
"It seems like you are still experimenting with what you can get away with. Recovery isn't walking a fine line, being careful not to step off. Recovery is staying as far away from that line as possible. Are you telling me that you absolutely have to go to this gymn? You are playing with fire, my friend. Most of us have to find out the hard way.

Relapse happens long before the actual act. It usually starts days or weeks before with a thought that we "entertain" rather than dispel.

I, personally, need to stay away from anything that even resembles lust."
posted at 16:24:55 on October 18, 2008 by Anonymous
but...    
"good job on the other stuff!!"
posted at 16:25:50 on October 18, 2008 by Anonymous
Anonymous    
"Dear Anonymous,

I’m sorry I didn’t get your name, but you are exactly right about the gym. I can not go to the gym by myself wearing the shorts in mention. Lesson learned. The shorts have been discarded. I think I will avoid the gym from now on. I am looking into getting a treadmill to have here at home. I have cut out watching TV, and many movies. I do watch the news on occasion but I don’t watch much of anything else unless it is something the family is watching. I am right now focusing on going to addiction recovery meetings daily, reading wholesome books like scriptures and other uplifting books and working. Yes I had a setback a couple of days ago. I learned from it and now am moving on. I do want to thank you for your advice. Please in the future identify yourself. I feel that you are sincere in your comments if I know your name. "
posted at 21:03:01 on October 18, 2008 by smwil46
Just "anonymous"    
"but my friends call me, "anonymous".
I'm just one of many who's in your corner and has a lot more days clean than you. My sincerity is left in your capable hands to judge. Take what you like. Leave the rest."
posted at 23:37:40 on October 18, 2008 by Anonymous
I will call you Just Anonymous    
"Yes we are all friends. I consider you for being so honest and direct with me as one of my closest friends.

Scott"
posted at 08:45:45 on October 19, 2008 by smwil46
Opposite (of Addictive Thinking)    
"Did you see the Seinfeld episode where George decided to start doing the opposite of everything, and his life "turned around" for the better?

I had an experience with that: years ago I was struggling with envy. I was jealous of everyone who seemed to have what I did not have, and finally had the insight that I needed to do the opposite of what I was doing. I finally decided that the opposite of envy was gratitude. So, every time I had an envious thought, I tried to replace it with its opposite--a thought of gratitude for something. I discovered that repeatedly doing this really helped me overcome envy.

You mentioned that you want to be noticed; you seem to want to "sexualize" even random interactions (the women at the gym, for instance.) I understand this--as a victim of childhood sexual abuse, I tended/tend to think that any man who interacted with me even slightly beyond basic interaction was interested in me sexually. This thinking has been a burden, and I was unable to have normal friendships, because my mind was so occupied with fantasy thoughts. I see now how self-centered and delusional this thinking is. It allowed me to neglect my marriage (after all, all those other men found me fascinating, at least in my imagination!) ANYWAY, it really seems like trying to do the opposite might be good! Instead of thinking, "Oh, he stared at me a little longer than normal, he must be interested in me. Maybe he likes me "that" way!" I try to think the opposite: "He sure does love his wife. I hope they make it to the celestial kingdom together. He sure doesn't need someone like me to mess up his life; and my family doesn't need me to mess up their world." This is kind of a reality check; hopefully "non-addictive" thinking.

I am an addict, and as such will always have to struggle with thinking like an addict. I know now that some of my thoughts are wrong and false. Nevertheless, I still have these kinds of thoughts about men, especially at church. At least I can try to recognize it for the fantasy and evil it is, and try to replace it with the opposite--"reality" thinking. I know there is hope for overcoming addictions, and addictive thinking.

Congratulations on tossing your inappropriate clothing, and in writing here. You are not alone. Good luck with your recovery--that is a much better thing on which to focus."
posted at 10:05:26 on October 19, 2008 by Anonymous
Scott    
"Please take this the right way. I think you need professional help. I'm not saying this to hurt you or make you feel bad. Some of the things you write lead me to believe that you need help on a deeper level than just an online support group can provide. Also, you mention that you love to be noticed. I think on some level we all do. But there is positive and negative attention. You don't seem to care which you receive. I guarantee the people at the gym aren't noticing you in your short shorts and thinking- wow- what nice legs he has. They are probably laughing at you. The people in the store that see you in pink sandals are not thinking-wow-what an interesting person. I would like to meet him. They are thinking -what a wierdo. You might think you don't care. You just like the attention. But it does feel so much better to get positive attention. Think how much better it would feel to have some one think- wow- he just opened the door for me...what a gentleman. Or to notice you because you have such a positive spirit about you..not because you are doing something odd. It is possible to get attention and to be noticed for good things that you do. It may seem like nobody notices when you are just kind and considerate or if you don't do something outrageous. But people do. And even if they don't..YOU know and Heavenly Father knows. I would suggest trying to get attention in more positive ways and seek professional help.

Oak- I don't know. I love book stores too. I don't know what to tell you."
posted at 12:09:16 on October 19, 2008 by Anonymous
WHAT?    
"They have porn in libraries? Where kids go? Are you serious?"
posted at 13:00:09 on October 19, 2008 by Anonymous
porn in libraries    
"Absolutely. I will make a separate post about this since this is becoming such a long thread."
posted at 14:14:47 on October 19, 2008 by roast_rump
Professional Help    
"Yes Anonymous I am getting professional help. If I could check myself into a Sex Addiction program full time for however long it takes I would. I am seeing a counselor once a week by order of the courts. You see this is not something I am taking lightly. I have transgressed very serious sin and acts that are unlawful. I do thank you for your concern. I need to hear that from you. I do want you all to know that I have not nor am I exposing in public any more. I have people that I am being accountable to every day several times a day. I am currently focusing my attention on the Lord and I am so very grateful to him for his love.

Scott"
posted at 15:35:21 on October 19, 2008 by smwil46


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"I will speak briefly of the principle of repentance. How grateful I am for the understanding we have of this great principle. It is not a harsh principle, as I thought when I was a boy. It is kind and merciful. The Hebrew root of the word means, simply, "to turn," or to return, to God. Jehovah pled with the children of Israel: "Return . . . and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful . . . and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God." When we acknowledge our sins, confess them and forsake them, and turn to God, He will forgive us."

— Richard G. Hinckley

General Conference April 2006