“Recovery is an inside job. No amount of outside assistance can treat this disease.” – SA
I either learn something new each time I attend an SA meeting or am reminded of something that I have recently learned (or both). Yesterday I was reminded by a wise member that the answers are inside. The disease is inside me, its in my head and my heart. I am sick and unless God supernaturally heals me I will always be. The good news is the treatment is real and it works. Like my actual disease the solution is found inside as well.
What I am learning lately is that lust is not the symptom. Lust has been my medication for the last 20 years. I have been upping my dose each year hoping it would make me feel better. The reality is that I have been injecting poison in the veins of my heart and my soul. The medication has been killing me all along.
The symptoms of my disease run deep – they are a damaged heart. My symptoms can be summed up in three ways:
- I am restless
- I am irritable
- I am discontented
I have lived my entire life with these as the pillars that define my attitudes, actions and character. It is obviously a flawed foundation. Now I will live the rest of my life treating these symptoms in a Godly and healthy way. The goal is not perfection – meaning I am not expecting to be fully cured. But my solution allows me to be comfortable. Living comfortably as a lust addict is both realistic and possible. It is the goal I have for myself daily and also sustainable moving forward.
I am still working out this whole treatment concept because honestly I am still not that self-aware of when my symptoms start to flare up. My disease has taught me to run from feelings and not be aware of them because that will cause unnecessary pain. Now I must be in tune to what my heart is saying and if it’s saying, “Hey I’m really restless today” I do not need to ignore that. I need to address it.
How do I address my R.I.D.?
I go to a meeting. I make a call. I tell my therapists (Jedi Master). I blog about it here. I do a number of things that are best for me. I don’t turn to lust or any other destructive action or way of thinking. Also, by addressing it in the right way I am able to turn outward and not live inside myself. I need to focus on others. I need to humbly serve and not selfishly consume and isolate. My day goes really well when I have an “others first” mentality. It starts in the morning when I pray and give the day to God and continues with actively looking for ways to serve others or at least show love toward others. That’s being patient with a student who is acting out in class. That’s helping a fellow colleague that is overworked or stressed. That’s calling members of SA to check on them. That’s being gracious to my Uber passengers. That’s moving boxes for my neighbor.
It’s amazing how many opportunites there are throughout a day to serve others. Especially if you are being aware – seeking them out in a way. God provides me with as many opportunities to serve as I am willing to take on!
I want a lot on my service plate. I want to serve others every day because it’s a win-win. Treating my R.I.D. and being useful to others.
That’s a winning combination.