Keep Coming Back

Today is a new day. The sun rose. The winds of freedom were blowing and I was once again writing on Recovery Monologue. The quote “Keep coming back” is the message I feel closest to today. Even though the original blog was dismantled and blown across cyberspace into a million pieces. I just said, “Okay we can rebuild this and with safeguards that weren’t in place in it’s first life. People kept supporting me to “Keep moving forward. Fight for it. Just keep the flame alive.” So with all the support from everyone, we are back. And we’ll keep coming back just like I do with my recovery. If God was done with me and didn’t want me to breathe a second life into RM, then I would never had found GoDaddy.com or this blog. But I kept my faith in my Higher Power and waited patiently for the answers to come and here we are. A blessing to be sure.

Like one sister in group always says, “Keep coming back.” I love her for that steadfastness she has to program. She empowers me everytime she spells it out for all of us to hear. God I love her. Thank you. So for me I’ll keep coming back to get empowered by all the incredible love and support I get from my program, the group and fellowship. Thank you all for the support you have given to Recovery Monologue and please KEEP COMING BACK so we can once again be a light to those still in the darkness of addiction and give hope that the miracle still exists for those who seek it…God bless you all on your journeys.

How Committed Do I Have To Be In Recovery

How committed do I really have to be to my recovery in order to have the promises fulfilled in my life. Well let’s see…I know for me it’s all or nothing. As it says in “How It Works” …half measures availed us nothing.  And well they should. I found out when I slipped just how true the comment was. In the beginning of my recovery I listened to my sponsor and took his suggestions. I called every day and to at least three people in program. I journaled went to meetings and made it a point to change people, places and things. I did great and the promises of “The Promises” start to permeate into my life. Five months later I had a slip, I took control of my life back in my hands. What a brutal mistake. I stopped listening to my sponsors suggestions, I didn’t call regularly like I was supposed to, I began isolating really badly and I missed meetings. I thought that I had a better way and I was going to prove it to the world. My sponsor wanted to fire me and I deserved that. Two months of half measures and I hit my bottom. I came into a meeting and begged for God’s mercy. What I realized was my sponsor, with all his experience, knew better than I did. What I learned was that the program works. I turned my will over to my higher power and began living, 100% committed to my recovery. I’m an addict. Left to my own devices I will fall on my face over and over again. Putting my recovery first above everything keeps me in sobriety, one day at a time.

Recovery…Why Now?

As I listen & look at my brothers and sisters in recovery one common theme comes to mind…The gratitude that recovery brings with it. “Why now?” might be a question that some people ask themselves as they start their journey. The answer to this question comes in as many varied answers as colors of the rainbow. I know for me the message was extremely clear. If not now then I would have lost my life. That was a critical turning point and the reason for my decision. I knew as clearly as my front hand follows the back that I was on collision course with death. I was going to lose my family, my career, my freedom, my sanity and most importantly, my life. Today I look at this question of “Why now?” and say to myself, “now” is because I am worth it. I have value. Also because I care about my family, career, my freedoms and my sanity. Recovery has been the ultimate teacher in the ways of daily living and living the principles of the 12 steps in all my affairs. Today is the present, the gift I reward myself with as each new day that blossoms. Sure, I still have thoughts of acting out, euphoric recall and triggers; however I know that today I also have my recovery and the tools to lead me on the path of sobriety. Most importantly, “now” I have my higher power who loves and support me and as long as my spiritual connection is running on high then my gratitude for this program and all its gifts is forefront in my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still an addict and always will be, but I remember, “Why now?” and smile as my HP leads me on my way.

Internet…Friend or Foe

One of the toughest areas to wade through is the internet. While it is truly one of mankind’s greatest gifts, it has had negative consequences for many. I think it is so amazing that we could build such an educational tool. I also know the harsh reality of its dark sides. I too, was caught up in its pornographic waters. Thankfully, I have learned that while I have a strong spiritual connection I can swim with its sharks. I do not have to choose such sites that can erode my inner soul. This is the greatest tool given to mankind since the invention of the light bulb. Some people get caught up in the bubble of their disease and end up browsing aimlessly through a sea of perversion. Not because they wanted too, but rather because this disease is so cunning and powerful that they felt unable to stop their desires to view pornography or chat. At times like this the tool becomes a weapon and can rip the very fiber of integrity right from its foundation. Once bitten by the internet bug, most fall prey to its dark sides very quickly whether they are spending time on chat sites or personal ads. Its appeal to allow us to remain anonymous has most sex addicts addicted after just a few sessions. The allure of its images cast a spell over our ability to rationalize between fantasy and reality. Therefore this great tool can never fulfill its truest potential. However, there is one power that can assist us as we chart out our course, that one power is God, may you find God now and have Him surf along side of you to keep your journey safe. It’s up to each of us to choose our existence with the internet, for surely the internet is here to stay.

A Reality Check

I decided to talk about something that is near and dear to me, living. As each new day passes I thank my higher power for another day free from my addiction because I know that that’s all I have. One day at a time. This then gets me to think about being alive. I do a reality check. I remember that today I’m alive. By the grace of God I’m alive. If I had stayed in my addiction three and a half years ago today I would have joined others as a statistic, another dead addict. I know my addiction wants to kill me, wants to suck the spiritual life right out of me. That’s the reality I live with each day. I’ve come to respect my addiction because I know its power. I know what drives it. This is why I do a reality check each and every day, just to remind me where I stand. I’m an addict, my thinking is not normal. Sure my obsessions have lessened as the years have gone by, but I’m still on my toes watching each and every minute carefully because I don’t know when my addict may rear its ugly head. I’ve already been blindsided in the past. That proved to be a very valuable lesson. So just for today, for this moment I enjoy my reprieve from my addiction, diligently watching ever so carefully for what the next moment offers. You might say I’m a little rigid, but I know from experience and from the experience of my fellows that reality is that this disease really does want to kill me. So be careful and watch your footing as you walk your paths and be alert to the pebbles in the path, it could be your addiction playing a trick on you.

Back to Basics

When we feel bad physically we go to the doctor for a checkup. When our recovery is a little lax is good to do a check up from the neck up. Going back to the basics is what has worked for me in jump starting a relaxed recovery. Sometimes I feel blue. Sometimes I feel disconnected from my program and sometimes I feel that I’ve spiritually lost my connection. I’ve learned there are tools I have that assist me in getting back on course. Getting back to the basics is what keeps me in sobriety, one day at a time. If I feel blue I turn to my gratitude list and remember the ten most important things for me. When I feel disconnected from my program I get on the phone and make as many calls as I can in order to speak to three people. It has been suggested in the “Tools of Recovery” text to make at least 3 calls a day. I highly recommend this. The good conversations can really get you out of your head and stop those disconnected feelings. And when I’m feeling a little out of sorts spiritually, I spark up a good conversation with my higher power. One of the best things I know is He’s always there to listen. Afterwards I feel His guidance, love and light. A very fulfilling experience and one that makes me smile. Now I know you might say, “That’s great, it works for you.” Well, these basics tools do work for me. That’s why I suggest them to all my sponsees when they are feeling out of sorts with their program. Who knows it could work for you. Give it a try and I meet you in sobriety. TyF.

Willingness And Desire

Willingness and Desire, it sounds like a good name for a romance novel. Truth be told it’s the two most important qualities as addicts we can have in order to seek sobriety, one day at a time. I remember when I first came to the rooms, I didn’t have the willingness nor the desire for sobriety. I felt that I didn’t have any problems. I guess if I could have listened to my shares from those early days they probably didn’t have much substance to them. Then a funny thing happened, I actually admitted I was a sex addict years later and ended up coming back to the rooms out of desperation. Desperation to stop the pain I was in. The second time around I had realized I actually had a problem and it was effecting my life. Thank GOD! I finally had the willingness needed to seach for the solution. I even had the desire to stop acting out. This is all thats needed in order to stop the insanity, willingness and desire. For me, I applaud those who keep coming back to the rooms and haven’t put together long sobriety. I understand their plight, just as they understand mine. They keep coming back because they have a desire to stop acting out and a willingness to show up to meetings. The “crutial two.” Even with my three and a half years these two words are paramount in my struggle to stay sober, one day at a time and I applaud anyone who finds their way to these rooms with their own willingness and desire. God bless you all. TyF

When Our Character Defects Get In The Way

Life would always be a bowl of cherrys if it wasn’t for our character defects getting in the way. Sounds boring right. Not really. I for one would love to live in a perfect world, then reality sets in and these darn things called defects of character knawl at me like a dog on a bone. It wouldn’t be that bad except for the fact that I’ve tried to ignor the outfall of my behaviour.Then there was the guilt. Oh my God it seemed as though I had slayed someone with the amount of guilt I was carrying around with me. Wouldn’t you know it another character defect shows up because I’m trying to look good. PRIDE, what a terrible defect. Well the whole mess could have been avoided if I just did the next right thing and was honest. But no, my addict was rearing it’s ugly little head by this time and I just sat there afraid of my own shadow. Thank God for sponsors. Mine of course was quick to point out all of my defects after I told him what happened, with gloves of love. He reminded me why I was in program and what program meant. He says the right thing so it seems, at always the right moment just enough to get me to realize the truth of my behaviors. I love him for that. So we have a good laugh. I stop beating myself up and I remember why program works. The best is that I can move forward having learned a new lesson and know that being honest is always better than lying and that PRIDE always makes you look worse not better.

 

Commitments…A Way Of Life

One word in the english vocabulary that tends to shy people away is the word commitment. While I must say I shunned it most of my adult life, I finally learned to embrace it when I got into recovery. There’s something about it that really got under my skin after I started in the rooms. I guess because it really means so much in a positive manner. I’ve become committed to my higher power, to my recovery, to my marriage, to my sponsees, and to my friends. I gained a whole new perspective on what used to scare me to death. Oh I was committed to my addiction all right, but not nearly as committed as I am to my recovery. Being committed to my recovery allows me to reap rewards of the mind and soul. A commitment to my addiction just got me more chaos. The trade off is not equal whatsoever. Today I choose to be a man of honorable commitments and have watched my life soar with miracles. Thank you Papa.

Intimacy…God’s Little Gift

One of the truest miracles of recovery is learning how to be intimate with another human being and with myself. Now you’re probably asking yourself, “How do I become intimate with myself?” First we had to learn what the word intimate meant, and then after we learned that we start to follow our hearts and share ourselves with people in an intimate manner. Slowly at first, but as time grew I became more fluent. This was a special time. I was sharing myself emotionally with my wife in ways I never dreamed of while I was in my addiction. We became closer. My sharing in meetings began to blossom with real value. I was allowing my emotional self time to engage with others. This is different from the ways I allowed myself to engage physically with people while I was in my addiction. Sharing one’s heart and feelings has meaning different from sharing one’s physical self in an anonymous hook-up in our addiction. This was a learned trait only while I was in recovery, truly one of God’s gifts. Spending time alone reading a good book or out on a relaxing jog is being intimate with one’s self, even a truer gift.