Fell on my Face Again.
By scotty9
11/9/2009 9:55:38 AM
Step 1 - Key Principle — Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.
I relapsed hard this weekend. After viewing some 'questionable' material, I got extremely discouraged and decided that if I was going to have to confess this, I might as well make it "worth it" so I went looking for ways to break my filter. It wasn't worth it. It's the dumbest thing I've done thus far in my recovery.

In two years, I had never attempted to disable the filter. I respected it, knowing that it was there to help me. It took less than 5 minutes. If the stupid thing had taken another 10 minutes, I might have turned back. I don't know. Anyways, it's not the filter's fault. It's mine.

I feel horrible. Two years ago, I started my recovery. I went a year and a half with no relapses -- only to relapse last June. I was sure that this time I had 'gotten it' and wouldn't relapse. However, the work to maintain faith and spirituality is HARD. I'm still working on my underlying issues. It takes constant work to be clean right now. It's frustrating. It seems like the only time and money that I have for myself is consumed with recovery. In addition, it cuts into the time and money that I should be giving to my family.

'Working my Recovery' is not the funnest hobby I've ever had, but it's necessary. What's done is done and I have to start where I am.

I had to break my wife's heart yesterday and tell her that I relapsed. It was horrible. I wanted to tell her Saturday when she got home from work, but she was happy and it broke my heart to take away the sliver of happiness that she had. She's a good wife and I have the best kids in the world. I CAN'T STAND what I've done. I hope my kids don't turn out like me. My wife may not ever forgive me. I'm sure nobody would blame her if she leaves me. Everyone knows someone who dumped their husband over this issue. I pray that she will find happiness despite my sins.

I'm an addict. I have to get help -- again. I'm going to seek that help and I'm going to seek healing through Christ's atonement. In the meantime, I have to scramble for a better filter and set up an appointment with my counselor. I also have to steel myself for the immense crushing force of shame that is coming. I've had a pretty good dose so far, but there's more coming.


Thanks BeClean    
Thanks for the comments. I definitely was not clear when I said "'Working my Recovery' is not the funnest hobby I've ever had, but it's necessary." Please forgive my rambling, as I'm feeling pretty raw and torn up inside over what I did.

What I mean by that is sort of what you are saying -- a life focused only on recovering from the addiction can sometimes actually feed the addictive behavior by keeping it constantly present in your mind. However, it's when I start thinking "oh, I'm ok. I've done well, I've made progress" that I start slacking off on some of the stuff that helped me make progress.

I really struggle to find a balance. Trying to work through my issues is taxing and exhausting and doesn't seem to move very quickly. And, I am fairly busy with life/kids/work, etc. I really don't have time for myself as it is, and now I need to start setting aside more time and money for therapy, writing, etc.

I'm just whining, really. It is what it is and I'm not going to get out of this deal without the work. The more I think "It's ok, I've got this," the longer I prolong the process.

One of the hardest things in this process is this: Nobody gives you a sticker when you're 'done' -- because you never really are. And trying to figure out how much is enough without getting your life totally out of balance is pretty tough.

Is it my Dad's fault that I am the way I am? Well, I've made the choices that I've made. Those choices are my fault and I have to own them. However, he also chose to abuse me physically and verbally -- there are cases much more severe than mine -- but it did happen and it's effect on me has been real. This left me feeling worthless, unloved, depressed and suicidal most of my life. What I've learned is that although I learned to have a Faith in God, I never really believed that he wanted anything to do with ME personally. It's one thing to have Faith that God could move mountains if he wanted to. It's another thing entirely to have Faith in yourself. Faith that can only come through believing that the Atonement is for me personally.

For me, that's where a lot of the "work" has come. Trying to gain Faith in myself. Once Satan can tear down my Faith in myself, then he can get in there with "Well, you're a loser anyways and you'll never make it, why not indulge a little?" If Satan destroys Faith in self, then he destroys Faith in the atonement.

I've attempted unsuccessfully to forgive my father for his sins. He's human. He had a mess of a life growing up. This is another area where I end up at a roadblock in my progress -- frustrated and confused. He will never admit to what he did. I tried talking to him about some of it years ago and he denies it all. He will never apologize, and quite frankly an apology now would seem hollow and insincere, and it would likely be "I'm sorry that I offended you" which is just a way of apologizing in a way that invalidates the very thing you are apologizing for. It's like saying "I'm sorry, but it's really just your fault for taking it wrong."

Well, enough rambling. Pretty soon, I have to go home and attempt to face my family. It's Monday -- time for Family Home Evening. "Hey family, gather round and let's hear a fun little story about morality. Honey, why don't you whip us up a batch of 'my-husband's-a-jerk' cookies?""
posted at 15:59:29 on November 9, 2009 by scotty9
Cheer up, Scotty    
"What's done is done, so you can decide to wallow in self-pity, or you can pick yourself up and be positive in spite of your mistakes. You're understandably upset about your family, but I think you need to move on with life regardless of what your family decides to do. I don't think the Lord wants you to be sick with anxiety over whether you'll lose your family or not; I think that kind of thinking comes from the other side. You deserve to be happy, Scotty, we all do.

Personally, I think you're doing very well. The fact that you didn't hide or lie about your mistake is huge. I also think it's great that you can't stand what you've done. I know the Lord appreciates your desire to be obedient, and He'll bless you for all your efforts to recover. You just need to "let go and let God."

By the way, thanks for the comment about the cookies, your self-irony is amusing."
posted at 17:23:10 on November 9, 2009 by ETTE
get back on your feet    
"I've spent so much time when I'm in the right mindset making sure that the filter is good, that only my wife knows the password, that all the safeguards are set into place, but where there's a will there's a way. I've come to the conclusion, that although its important to set up your environment for success, you can't depend on it wholly. I made that mistake too many times. I mean, if you are an alcoholic it only makes sense to get rid of any alcohol in your house, but you have to be committed not to sneak out to a bar or liquor store or something.

One thing that I've learned is that, when you mess up, this is a learning opportunity, a chance to examine what went wrong, what trigger it this time. But not to beat yourself up. I think that is one of Satan's best and most dependable weapons against us. If we sink into depression then the only relief is the addiction (at least thats what he would have us to believe). Its a downward spiral that he's been carefully leading me down.

But I really think God would have us to be gentle with ourselves. If we are to view the world as Christ would and act like he would, we need to apply that to ourselves, realizing that we aren't perfect and that we will continue to make mistakes, but we are still loved by our Father above and we aren't lost causes. We can be healed and we have potential beyond anything we can imagine.

Just don't let Satan keep you down, fix your filter and then have faith and get back on your feet. I'll be praying for you."
posted at 10:33:58 on November 10, 2009 by adrastos
Fear of Complacency    
"You guys have touched on something that is a good discussion item. I hate walking through life fearful that I may fail again. Yet, if I just ignore the addiction and walk along without the constant "worrying" my past tells me I'll eventually fall very hard. So there needs to be some sort of balance here. I've been sober 96 days now, but not without a few very difficult times. It seems that obsessing was one of the only things I could do to get through some of it. Other times the days flew by without even a thought of the addiction. As I "worried" less about the sin, I tended to relax my defenses and found myself going to those "starter" web-sites, etc. Thankfully I "woke up" before anything serious, but it very easily could have gone downhill for me.

So is it good to obsess about all this because of the fear of complacency?"
posted at 10:59:11 on November 10, 2009 by aug7change

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"In recent years, as I have sung the hymns of the Atonement, it has been with an especially full heart—and also with full voice, when I can continue to sing—lines such as “How great thou art,” “I scarce can take it in,” “To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,” “I stand all amazed,” and “Oh, it is wonderful!”"

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987