“Go back and watch the Jimmy V speech and replace cancer with addiction. Remember, now you have more sober days under your belt than ever before. The addiction can never rob you of that.” – My Counselor
This was the text that I received earlier today when I informed my counselor of something that is extremely difficult to admit.
That I relapsed.
The dark clouds of gloom surrounding the city is very fitting for me because it perfectly reflects how I feel.
Anger, disappointment, guilt, sadness – welling up inside. But even though these emotions are running high at the moment there are a few feelings that normally would be there that are not.
Despair, hopelessness, isolation, loneliness and shame.
It is by the grace of God and the mercy of those that God has put in my life that I don’t have to be touched by the latter list. Before I found this program, those would have been my go-to feelings and feeling them would have been downright unbearable. And so to escape them I would further medicate and the cycle would continue.
Today, still on the heels of a relapse, that cycle does not have to be a part of my life. My recovery will not allow it. The support system in place and the tools at my disposal make that cycle completely unnecessary. Today I have already spoken with several of my fellows from the program – even a few who are currently out of the country. Their wisdom, love, acceptance and encouragement is invaluable.
This is why I consider them my brothers.
You may have heard of the “White Helmets” in Aleppo, Syria – a trained group of individuals who run toward the rubble after a blast to save people from being buried alive. They number in the thousands and they have saved an estimated 50,000 and counting from death. The perfect picture of selflessness and mercy. My brothers in the fellowship are my White Helmets that run toward me whenever a “blast” occurs. They save me from being buried alive by isolation and shame.
Praise be to Christ!
My Resolution – Focus on today, not the year ahead.
Before acting out last night in a moment of lust and isolation – I had built up several months of sexual sobriety. The only way that was possible for me was to take things one day at a time. New Year’s resolutions may work for some people but they have never worked for me. I have tried so many times to set a goal on January 1st to stop acting out or to stop looking at pornography, etc. It has never worked.
Not until I found SA.
The only way the program can work for me is if I maintain a 24 hour focus and approach each day with humility and desperation to seek the real solution to my problem. The solution doesn’t work for me if I get too ahead of myself. It doesn’t work if I am stuck in the past either. It only works if I am living in the present. I wasn’t being present when I acted out last night. I was stuck in my own head and lust took over.
So my “resolution” is to keep coming back and to commit to staying the course. My resolution is to live one day at a time. My resolution is to cling to the truth that recovery really is about progress not perfection.
Today is a new day.
Whether you are an addict or not – we all should strive to live a full and healthy life. Even if you have seen it before please take 10 minutes and watch Jimmy V give a beautiful speech about how we can do that: