“God, in His discipline, doesn’t come at us with a sword, but with a scalpel instead.” – Scott Sauls
“Why are y’all just standing around on defense? We have a game tomorrow!”
This was me last week as I helped run a practice for the JV team only. The other coach running the practice is also new to the program and is just as passionate and fiery as I am (actually probably more – he is a former marine)! Needless to say the lack of effort during that particular practice caused us coaches to take action. We set the tone very early by letting them know that whenever they didn’t give their best effort there would be consequences. We weren’t really sure if they didn’t believe us or if they didn’t really care but regardless they ran a LOT of sprints that practice. It got to the point where our anger and frustration morphed into befuddlement. Do they really just not care? It hit me when a player was complaining about running what I estimate as the team’s 20th sprint. “Damn, Coach y’all doin’ too much today – its just JV!”
Thats it. The varsity players and head coach were not in the gym. It was just the players that were definitely not dressing with the varsity players for the next game. In their mind this practice was insignificant so putting forth maximum effort wasn’t necessary. They would save that effort when they thought it mattered more. They would save it for when they thought it would actually make a difference with their positioning on the roster.
“Coach Marines” and I tried to explain to them that EVERY practice matters. Especially if they are trying to move up the depth chart and eventually secure a spot on the varsity squad. Taking a day off because you think you are too good to work hard in a JV practice makes you worse, not better. It shows a lack of character and that means you aren’t ready for varsity anyway.
The message got through to some but not to others. We had to ask two players to leave because their attitudes were so poor it started to effect the rest of the team and the practice as a whole.
After practice, the other coach and I talked about what had transpired. We judged the players that gave a minimal effort and bragged that if that were us we would have NEVER done something like that back when we played. I walked out of the gym metaphorically shaking my head, dumbfounded by the lack of character in some of our players.
It didn’t take long however for me to quickly realize that I am not immune to that way of thinking.
First of all, lacking a sense of urgency is one of the main reasons I find myself where I am today.
1. I never really viewed myself as an addict.
2. I thought that I could just do the bare minimum and get by.
I would go to church, lead a few Bible studies, pray to God to help me stop lusting and looking at porn, etc. I had no sense of the severity of my situation. Unless my marriage was in jeopardy or employment was at stake or something of that nature I didn’t think I needed to put that much effort in getting help.
Now that I have started my recovery process, I am still thinking that way at times unfortunately. At first I thought that if I read all the literature and applied those concepts then maybe that would be enough to get better. Granted I have read some powerful, life-changing words since June. Its been very helpful. Its been healthy. But its not enough. This blog has been a great outlet for me to express my feelings and emotions. Its allowed me to tell my story freely. Its been healthy. But its not enough. Going to therapy once a week has already been a life changing experience. My therapist is wise, insightful and most importantly has a ton of applicable experience. Its been healthy. But its not enough.
In fact, it was my therapist that challenged me to have more of a sense of urgency with my addiction. “You have a fatal disease. Its not going to heal itself, you need treatment.” He likened sex addiction to heart disease. You can eat better, take medication and read all there is to know about preventing it. But the only way to actually cure it is to undergo surgery. The surgery is a process and it takes work and skill. It takes patience and it takes a team to pull it off.
“This disease will kill you.” – My therapist
I now have the sense of urgency that I think I need to continue down the path of recovery – down the path of healthy living. I say that now but at some point I may realize that I need to give even more of myself to the commitment of recovery – who knows. But at least I am grasping the concept of taking it one day at a time. Having a sense of urgency for me means understanding that every day my thoughts and actions either help in my recovery or delay it. Just as my players had to learn the hard way that every day matters – I too must learn and embrace this valuable lesson. It could (and already has) save me from many a relapse.
I go willingly to the operating table every day. My surgeons are skilled at opening my heart so that I can see whats inside. They are my therapist, my sponsor, members of CR, members of SA. They are you. I am so thankful for these surgeons because you are saving my life. Clearly the work is not over after my heart is operated on. Thats merely the beginning.
The most important surgeon is my Creator. He knows exactly whats in my heart and He knows exactly how to heal it. So you see one of the reasons I have been full of hope lately is that I have the best team of doctors a sex addict could ever ask for!