Choices, Choices, Choices

Choices, choices,choices. What a wonderful option to have. I rememeber when I was in my addiction that I thought I was doomed to live a life in addiction. Never having a day without pain was what I thought I was to endure for the rest of my life however long I had left. Next thing you know I found recovery. Then the miracles started happening and I found out that I had a choice to act out or not to act out. Then the choices started to flourish. I could choose which meeting I wanted to go to or who I was not going to speak to any longer. These weren’t big choices but they added up. They gave me confidence in myself so that when it was time to make a big decision I was on my game. I had my sponsor to assist me and the people in my fellowship to bounce ideas off of. But, when it came time to meet the rubber to the road, it was just my Higher Power and myself. Choices, its a God thing.

17 thoughts on “Choices, Choices, Choices

  1. Choices. This one was/is a doozie for me. Real simple, do I want to live or do I want to die? The “small” acts in acting out won’t kill me but they will add up enough to do me in. There are so many yets I have not had…. Yes my husband caught me in a physical affair and nearly ended our marriage but that was almost two years ago and we CHOSE to see if we, were fixable. So far we have been. I have not lost my marriage, my sons, my phyiscal well being. My sanity is often in question but mostly intact. Now I choose to live a life in recovery. I choose to hit my knees and beg my higher power to take this awful wretched compulsive disease away from me. I choose to pick up the phone when I want to act out, pick up the phone when I feel weak, when I feel good. I choose to make the time to hit meetings as often as I can. These choices give me a life, they give me hope and ultimately they give me peace and sanity.

    When I was acting out I had no choices, I had to get the next “hit”, I had to stumble down a progressive painful path of using and being used. It was all I thought I was worth.

    Today, today I have choices. I am cautious with my newly found/earned freedom but by the grace of GOD I have earned my choices and hope to continue to make them wisely. Thank you for this blog and this program and the support. Ally

    • I love this. Choices…yes…that’s what this is all about. Choosing weather I want to remain an addict. Choosing weather I want to grow. Choosing weather I want to continue to cause pain to others and continued pain to myself. Choosing to live or die. Choosing to do the work or taking the easy route. I think about the movie – ” The Matrix”. There is the place in the movie where Keanu Reeves has a choice of continuing to live a delusion and go back to living in the world the Matrix had created, or take the pill which would allow him to transcend that and see and enter the real world. He chooses true reality, not the created one. And then the other guy – can’t remember his name – the bad guy – also has a choice. He chooses to betray his friends and principles to hold onto the created – not real -world, because it is so much more pleasant and gratifying than the real world. But in the process, he betrayed his friends and the cause, and cost sever their lives. Well – for most of my life – I’ve been the bad guy. I always chose the easy way – the way that brought immediate gratification. I didn’t want to wait for the pleasure. I did at times, but I had little staying power. And it was most obvious in my marriage. I chose again and again – an illusion. And just like in the Matrix, I did it knowing it would hurt – terribly -those who I loved the most. I remember watching that movie and thinking – my god – how could he do that?!!! What a scum bag! Well – I’m the scum bag. I’m him. I made the easy painless choice again and again. My eyes have been opened though and I see reality. Its not pretty and as of right now – really really painful. I’ve essentially destroyed my marriage, live 11 hours apart from my wife, have lost the respect of kids, and almost all of my friends. But I brought this entirely on myself. I’ve betrayed almost everyone that I loved or cared about. Now I’ve chosen to work this program. I’m only on the 1st step and a part of me wants to quit right now and say – this is too much! There must be an easier way! I simply can’t do this. But I know in my heart that I’m simply reaching for the lie again. No, its not going to be easy. This is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I know it. But I have to do this. I want to be a man of honor, and integrity. I want to respect myself again. I want to wake up and be able to look in the mirror without a look of disgust. I want to feel real happiness again. I want to grow – no matter what it takes. I can’t go by my feelings. My feelings are what have gotten me here. I’ve got to make a decision. Every single day and sometimes every hour. To recommit to this program and continue doing the right thing. That decision is what we’ll save me. I can’t see the end yet. That may be a long way off. But whatever the end is – I know it must be much better than the end I’ve been headed for. Heartache, despair, loneliness, emptiness, and constant guilt and regret. That I can’t bear any longer. So I’m making the decision today that I’m going to work the program in all that it means today. And tomorrow, I’ll have to decide again. And as I string all these days together, then I hope to look back one day and see a different person. Someone I’m proud of. Someone who has made a positive difference and someone who can look in the mirror and know that the me that I see – is the real me. A me that I never dreamed would be possible just some time ago. I’ll take reality however painful it might be now because I can live with it. I can’t live with the reality that I’ve made for myself. I don’t ever want to go back.

  2. This is a great topic for me. I am using my computer and I have a choice of using it for unhealthy behavior or using for healthy reasons. This blog helps me make this choice, even now at 12:18 am when I would normally want to be on another site, I know I can come here and talk about it. I have the choice to go to this site instead. Thank you for giving me this place to allow me to make this choice. Tonight it is short and sweet, but I made the right choice.

  3. Choices…also known as decisions….and I grew up watching my parents and my siblings making bad decisions….I hated them for their lack of ambition and I pledged at a young age to never be like them…then one day I realized I was married for 7 years, avoiding home, shirking my responsibilities to have sexual affairs and open myself up to legal issues by my blind ambition to afford a lifestyle, actually two lifestyles (the public one and the private one). I chose to sulk and feel sorry for myself for years thinking I didn’t have the strength to make the hard, moral or legal decisions. My current relationship, my business and my children are all better for my recovery and I am better as a result. One day at a time, one decision at a time, one choice at a time.

  4. Choices is always a good topic for me. Today I can make choices. I have opportunities everyday to go in one direction or the other. I can try to look up something unhealthy on the internet, but I chose to not even try. I was on Barnes and Noble today and I had a choice of hanging out at the magazines or just going about my business and I went about my business. I have other specific behaviors which I will not spell out so as not to trigger anyone reading this that I often think of that I choose not to act on because I know where they will lead me. Today I have a choice to lead a healthy life in recovery. I know that a choice to act out will take me into despair and loneliness, shame and countless other bad feelings that I do not even want to try to list or remember. I am feeling too good right now. I just know that if I think about it, I can “play the tape” of where I will be in 24 hrs – 3 days – 1 week – 1 month – etc… if I act out. I have been there before and I will be there again if I make the wrong choice. So for today, I make the right choice. I ask my higher power to keep me sober one more day and one day at a time it has been working. Thank you higher power. And thank you higher power for today not allowing me to get in that car accident.

  5. Choices, Choices, Choices….. Today I have choices, just like the post says. I have a lot going on right now. My schedule is a little topsy turvy which I don’t like. I like to stick with my regular schedule day in and day out. I am traveling which upsets my routine. I have some big things changing in my life. I have a major procedure that I am about to undertake that will affect my life temporarily. And I am being sucked into drama from my brother because I reached out to contact him to make my amends. This is a lot. In my active addiction and even in my early recovery, a lot of things like this going on would lead me to want to act out: not just want to act out, I would act out. I would feel overwhelmed and just react and act out. Today I have a choice. My choice is to not act out. My choice is to continue living the life that I have built in recovery. My choice is to continue down the road of recovery which has given me so many blessings. My choice is to live my life the way that I want to live it which is completely different from what I was doing 4 years ago and different from what others probably expected of me. But it is what I need to do for me and that is what is important. I love my life today. It changes every day and part of that is scary and part of it is exciting. But I know that I am changing in good ways and moving in the right direction so the exciting part outweighs the scary part. So in summary I chose to live a better life today and hopefully as a result of the work that I am doing I will continue to stay sober one more day.

  6. Choices. This one rings true for me today. As an addict we think recovery means that our choices are being taken away from us.

    Acting out has consumed my life and become the only thing I think about; therefore, if I can not act out that means I can’t do what I want. Thus, my choices have been taken away from me.

    This is a truly sick way to view the world and my life. The truth being, in my addiction I had no choices. The only thing I could do was act out. That is not a choice, it is a compulsion. A clear distinction. One gives you opportunity for decision making, the other does not. One is freedom to think and one is slavery to a thought.

    In one of Ted’s previous posts, he makes an excellent point. Today, I sit here on the computer, an instrument that has taken me down many dark paths in my addiction. But it was never the computer that put me in trouble, it was the choice I made about how to use it. Now I sit here typing my feelings, and the computer is being used as a tool for my recovery. An excellent example about the choices we can make if we think with clarity and “choose” to use the program.

    Yesterday was a tough day for me. I found myself very stressed and upset. These feelings can trigger me to act out. In fact, one of my first thoughts was about acting out. My second thought was to call my sponsor. Since acting out has gained me nothing to this point except pain and anguish, I chose to call my sponsor yesterday.

    Guess what? It was the right choice. After talking with him, I felt better about myself and my situation. I would hate to think of the consequences had I acted out. I hope next time my first thought will be to call him.

    Today I choose recovery.

  7. Choices is a great choice for tonight. I’m finding that this addiction is about much more than sex. It is about realizing that I have choices about what my life will be like. For a very long time, sex and secrecy was the choice I made ALL the time. And it always ended up in the same place – pain and misery. I didn’t realize that I had a choice – my compulsion took it away from me.

    Other parts of my life were the same way. I didn’t think that I could choose the people I hung out with, the work that I did, and once I had started a supposedly “committed” relationship, that I had no choice about getting out of it if it had turned out that I had made the wrong decision. This made me feel powerless and out of control – I reached for sex to pretend that I had the gift of free will. But the will wasn’t free. It was the lack of choices in my life that backfired on me. It triggered the addiction and I was no longer in charge.

    I see things differently today. I realize I am responsible for the content of my life. What I do, who I do it with, what work I choose, and when I’m wrong, I can reverse that poor choice with a better one.

    It is very freeing, having choices instead of an addiction. Thanks to all of you who have helped me find this new reality. It will make all the difference and I look forward to the rest of my life with optimism.

    • I have found that the small healthy choices have saved me from the point of no return. To choose to be honest with my therapist or to lie. To call my sponsor and honestly check in or avoid him. To go to a meeting or go home and isolate. To journal and work step work for 15 to 30 minutes or to let my mind go into fantasy. As I make these small choices towards recovery, I begin to feel better. And recovery begins to happen.

  8. Choices, Choices, Choices – Today I have a choice. Prior to recovery I may have “had” a choice, but I never acted on my ability to make that choice. I allowed my obsessions to turn to compulsions and as a result my addiction ran my life every day. Today my choice is to not go back to living my life the way that I was. I am not saying that I have it all perfectly figured out. I still have a long way to go. I still have some unmanageability in my life. However, I am light years away from where I was 5 years ago, from even 2 years ago and that is a miracle. But I know that I can be back there in a matter of days or weeks if I don’t work my program everyday. So I need to make the choice on a daily basis for recovery or my life will start to slip back into the way that it was. I believe what they say in that you are either moving towards your addiction or away from your addiction. I chose to continue to move away from my addiction. I hope that I am always moving in that direction. I think there are days when I move towards it and I need to work extra hard to turn that around and move away from it again. But that is when I need to pull out the tools of the program and work it. Again, all choices that I can make for me and for my recovery.

  9. Today I chose to share on this topic again. I do this when it is very late and I know that I need to share because I have made a commitment to share on this site every night before I go to bed. I am very tired and I need to be more focused to get into the next topic so I am using my choices to share twice on the same topic. I probably did not make a good choice by staying up so late working. However, I have had a busy weekend and did not get to my work and I needed to get a lot completed which I did. I have a good week ahead of me and I feel that I have a good start. Tomorrow will be good with working out, then a good day to work and ending with my meeting. I will choose to take care of myself tomorrow and have a good day. Now I will choose to say good night.

  10. “Choice, Choices, Choices” It is beautiful to see the actual choices in our lives. When I was in addiction it seemed as if my choices were already made. It all pertained to sexual behaviors. These choices were leading me in the wrong direction. I love how this program gives us real choices & how we can find joy through choices…one choice after another. Next thing a number of the right choices are made & we are in a place we would have never imagine. This program provides just that. Awesome!!!

  11. I’m sure somewhere in my past I made a decision, consciously or unconsciously, to use sexual thoughts, feelings and actions to medicate the pain, loss and fear in my life. I also know there came a time in my life when I lost the power of choice and all I could do to try to relieve my sexual addiction was do more of it in progressively different, and darker, ways.

    How many times I remember not wanting to act out, telling myself I wouldn’t act out, consciously choosing not to act out – and, then, ACTING OUT! I remember times when it was as if I was having an out-of-body experience and watching myself get ready, get in my car, drive to a place to act out, find someone to act out with and, eventually, acting out…all as if someone or something else had invaded my body and was doing these things.

    But, it wasn’t someone else…it was me, a sex addict powerless to stop and becoming more and more hopeless by the day. I eventually got to the place where I believed I only had two choices: 1) Give myself over completely to my addiction and let it take me where it will, or 2) Commit suicide, because suicide was the only way I thought my addiction could ever truly be stopped. I knew both of these choices would lead me to the same place – a terrible, painful sexaholic death.

    What I didn’t know at the time was that a gracious God was already working on my behalf establishing a program of recovery in the city where I know live, leading me to this city through a forced job transfer, allowing me to hit a difficult, terrifying bottom and bringing to my mind the idea that there might be a sexual addiction recovery meeting somewhere nearby in which I might be able to find help when I had no where else to turn.

    When I walked into my first meeting after hitting that bottom I remember observing a man there who was clearly “happy, joyous and free” from his addiction. “Maybe it is possible to recover from this addiction”, I thought as I left the meeting without speaking to anyone afterwards. All I knew is that I didn’t want to go back to the last place where my addiction took me and had no doubt I would go back to if I didn’t get help.

    I kept going to meetings, reconnected with an old sponsor, starting working the Steps, slowly re-established a relationship with my Higher Power, started using the tools of recovery and took the scary action of making phone calls and building friendships with other sex addicts in recovery.

    As a result, I have choices today. And, there is nothing better in the world for me today than knowing that, through God’s power, I can choose not to act out sexually today. I can actually feel my feelings, feel my fear and face life without having to turn to my “drug of choice”. I’ll say it again, there is nothing better in the world for me today than knowing that, because of God, recovery and my brothers and sisters walking with me in that recovery, I have choices today I didn’t have just a short time ago.

  12. When I was in active addiction, it felt as if I did not have a choice. I was being thrown around by my disease. I would attempt to impose my will on my compulsion, but I eventually gave in. For me it felt as if, I was not in control. I found myself in a car that drove itself to my acting out place of choice. I found myself inside this place, with no mental ability to stop. The program of recovery, were the emergency brakes that slowed down and eventually stopped my disease. As I attended meetings, called my sponsor, called my fellows, went to therapy, and worked the steps I began to feel a reprieve from my compulsion to act out. I slowly felt as if I actually had a choice this time around. I would be hit with the compulsion to act out due to a trigger and I could choose recovery (phone, meeting, writing, prayer, etc..) or to give in. I began to choose recovery. I began to choose life. Before, I did not have an alternative to my addiction, so the choice was automatic. Today, I have an alternative. Today, I am choosing life.

  13. This is a good topic; and, one my sponsor speaks about regularly. Before I sought recovery, I didn’t consider the choice of acting out. I just pursued it. I just did it. As one replier put it, it was like an out of the body experience in the acting out. I can relate to that analogy! I considered acting out the thing to do to satisfy my sexual appetite. Now I realize I have choices. It’s good to know. But just understanding I have choices is not sufficient. It’s continuing to make good choices. And, I’m going to take it a step further. For me, it’s making the choice and moving on. Since my smart phone was a major portal for me to fall into my addiction, and I still have to use my phone for work and normal life, I am confronted with the choice to access the portal to my addiction…probably 3 dozen times a day! When I’m alone, I find myself wavering back and forth on ‘the choice’ to act out or not act out. While I may not ultimately act out, I’m spending to much time getting to the right choice. This is a current struggle for me. I am spending to much time in the struggle before committing to allowing the urge to pass through me, and making the right choice to not act out. I’m thankful for my sponsor who helps give me clarity. I’m thankful for this too; and for my God.

  14. Choices is a tough one today. The choices I made to act out in the marital bed I shared with my wife has resulted in hurting her to the core. And not just her but the us that was. The enormity of that choice is starting to hit me today. I am struggling with the realization that choice hurt more than I have hurt her and us before. I have made the choice to live my life in recovery now. I am on a clear path and still have choices. I choose to day not to act out I choose to love my wife more and truer than I ever have before. And I choose to accept the responsibilities of my actions in acting out. What I cannot choose is what my wife will do. That is a choice only she can make so I turn it over to my higher power father I ask you to help me without your love me guidance I am lost and make the wrong choices. But with you beside me I will choose right today and stay sober and in recovery and love my wife. Father I ask you to help her choose what is right for her even though it may not be me she chooses. Thank you father for your help and love and guidance through my healing

  15. I did not know that during my addiction i really didnt think i had a choice .My addiction was strong and did all my thinking ,only when i came to understand the lies that my addiction made me believe, was I able to make choices .I feel that for the first time I can say I’m not going to act out and that I will allow myself to feel pain without having to medicate myself .I want to feel what its like to know what my higher power would have me do .I choose today to live free from addictions pull on me ,I choose walk one step at a time to make long lasting purpose . I choose to love myself enough to take care of my body and my heart .I choose to live a more spiritual life that appreciates all that I have and to love and spread love without seeking approval from others .Bottom line I choose the harder path because the reward is worth it and its longer lasting and has real meaning .

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