Life advice from Five-year-olds

I’m lounging comfortably on a huge houseboat bobbing gently atop the waters of Lake Cumberland. 

The girls and I made the two hour drive a few days ago as a good friend of mine insisted that the girls come to the lake for an adventure. An adventure they are having. In our short time here, we’ve taken a pontoon boat to a beautiful cove called Goose Holler, we have fished off the back of the house boat, we have feasted on some delicious fried catfish and of course we have done lots and lots of swimming.

At Goose Holler the girls and I swam out toward all the zooming boats to take advantage of the waves that would ensue. After swimming out from shore about 50 feet or so I was comfortable just staying put and floating inside the giant XL life vest that swallowed me up. The girls, however, had different plans.

“Come on, Dad! Let’s keep swimming!”

Maybe they were channeling their inner Dory. After all we did see the movie Finding Dory a little over a week ago. Maybe they weren’t thinking of Dory at all. Maybe they were having too much fun to just float. They wanted to keep going because swimming further out was more exciting.

In recovery it’s vitally important to be rigorously honest – with God, others and ourselves. So this is me being rigorously honest. I’ve been a bit lazy with my recovery since the girls arrived in June. I’ve attended two meetings in 23 days. That is the driest spell I’ve had since first attending SA back in January. I’ve called my sponsor nearly every day per usual but my commitment to make several calls a day to other sexaholics has dropped down significantly over the last week. I’ve prayed a lot but have not done a good job setting aside time daily to pause and reflect – to meditate on God’s truths. I haven’t worked the steps AT ALL. I also haven’t met with my therapist since June 9th. My blogs have even been a bit shorter and fewer than normal.

Now obviously I have good reasons for some of the things I mentioned. But at the same time I think the lazy river mentality of summer has lulled me to a standstill. I’ve been content with merely staying sober – floating along the surface but not really going anywhere. I need a reminder sometimes of the fact that I can never rely on yesterday’s sobriety to get me through today. I must always practice a positive sobriety and floating may work today but it may not work tomorrow. My disease is a disease with a strong current. It’s not a docile lake. I must not fight the current on my own as that does more harm than good. I must surrender to my Higher Power and to the program and I must WORK the program daily.

My girls had no fear that day in the water and viewed the open water as a challenge, not an obstacle. That was inspiring to me. I’d like to say the main reason I haven’t done much recovery work is because of lack of time or energy or resources. Logistics have just posed to many obstacles. But really fear has played a big part and it’s very hard for me to admit that because of my pride. But I’m still learning this recovery lifestyle and slowly the shame and fear and pride loosen their grip if I surrender them to God and humbly serve others instead of myself. 

My fear is swimming alone. Can I stay sober through the pain of saying goodbye. That is the thing I must surrender today.

I wish I would have recorded their voices that day so I could cue it up whenever I feel like floating along lazily.

“Just keep swimming, Daddy!”



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