typeawordhere

Same Sex Attraction, Confidence Issues, Weight Loss and other Freaking Hard Things!

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction–that our lives had become unmanageable

on October 6, 2016

“There is healing and spiritual power available as you follow the “we” principle in your life….As a group,”we” can do a lot more than that which can be done alone” (Recovery For Everyone, Douglas Weiss)

It is often said that taking the first step can be the hardest. I believe that can apply to a lot of lifes situations and it is especially applicable to joining an addiction recovery group. In this step the questions are presented in sections and I will highlight each section and what it helped me to discover about my journey through this step.  

We

In this section it asks you to name your support systems that you have currently in your life (family, church, friends etc) as well as talking about what you want from your recovery group/meetings. I found this helpful because it helped me think about what I really wanted to gain from this program. Thinking about the “we” aspect and including my systems that were already in my life as well as my new support group made me realize how surrounded and blessed I am to not go through this alone. And more importantly, God would not have me go through this alone. He never intended for (wo)man to be alone. If He did than what would the point of the atonement and Christs sacrifice be? We are to forever turn our hearts to Him so that He can change them into something better and more Christlike. We can find many individuals to help us along the way but none is more important than our Heavenly Father and our brother Jesus Christ. 

One of the questions that stood out to me the most in this sections was:

What are the goals you can set up to not let shame keep you from being a part of this important recovery “we” group?

For me recognizing that shame does not come from God and serves no purpose in moving me to positive changing behavior has been crucial. All shame does is keep me stagnant and encourage me to wallow in despair and negative self talk. Those feelings are ones Satan encourages and wants me to not move past. Having a group, the ultimate “safe place”, to discuss raw and difficult things is one crucial step in moving past this place of shame which Satan wants to keep us in. I believe it is why the concept of “we” is so important for all of us.

Admitted

In this section I admit and acknowledge what is fact. This is hard and requires brutal honesty with ones self. I took my time and really thought about what I was needing to admit to myself and to others. Admitting it so that I could change it. Some of those things I admitted were that I sexualize and objectify women, I encourage and seek out things that bring lustful thoughts/fantasy to my mind and I often use my need for connection with women as an excuse to seek out female relationships even when they become unhealthy. Admitting those things was probably the most difficult thing I had to do in step one. Just writing it down was painful. It was important and helped me to clarify why I needed to do this. I was also able to decipher the reasons why I was so reluctant to admit those things to myself. Reasons such as using the excuse that I’m gay meant that I could express myself however I wanted to, do things that I had never allowed myself to without feeling shame but also without regard for how it could/would effect my husband. That is purely selfish thinking and I know some might disagree with me, but I believe this to be true with my whole being. Selfishness comes from Satan and it breeds nothing but feelings of entitlement which lead to choices that will ultimately leave us all alone in the end. One cannot sustain a selfish life and have healthy connections simultaneously. 

Powerless

This was an interesting section to go through. The questions were thought provoking and took time to answer. I will highlight a few that stood out to me most.

It started with having me define what it meant for me to be powerless over addiction. I like how this is a reoccuring question in this program because it helps me to focus how I see and interpret things rather than to be told. My definition of powerless is: to participate in a behavior without concious thought/knowledge, acting as a reflex almost, even if it is detrimental to ones health (spiritually, mentally, physically) and/or relationships.

Next was asking me who might try to convince me that I was not an addict and what would I say to them. This was especially profound for me because I often feel that I have to explain my life choices to those who don’t understand them, demean them or think me ridiculous for not accepting that being gay equates to living that way as well. I feel frustrated, hurt and misunderstood often when in these situations. Writing down how I would respond gave me a feeling of power even in the midst of admitting my powerlessness. My answers included: My feelings do not (will not) determine my choices, My spiritual journey/health is more important than what my mind or body wants, God has given me glimpses into what path He desires me to be on and I am trying to follow it, and finally My Happiness is not your happiness, just as your happiness is not mine.

After writing those answers down and finding power in my powerlessness it reminded me of what the scriptures say about finding strength in our weakneses. 

           2 Nephi 3:13, ” And out of weakness he shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people,                   unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.”
          2 Nephi 33:4, “And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.”

In acknolwedging my weakness I am giving myself permission to recognize that I am able to change. Making that which was once weak, strong. Even more, knowing that I cannot do this without God and Christ has helped me to be more aware of my connection to them. To open my heart, to feel of their love and grace, and to be humbled in the process. 

Unmanageable

This section is arranged by topic and has you list out how your addiction has made you lose control of your life in each one. The areas my addiction has effected me the most were in the relationships with my spouse, family, friends and most importantly God. My spirituality declined drastically. Feelings of anger and resentment clouded my thinking and left me wandering through a gray colored existence. Confused yet unwilling to pray to God for the clarity He so oftens provides me, I retreated into unhealthy behaviors and relationships that made things even more confusing. My relationship with myself even became very negative. I did not trust myself or my thoughts and would often spiral into a lot of negative self talk and doubt. It was in this step that I realized how far I had actually strayed from the spirit of the Lord, how much I was disconnected and hurtful towards my husband and that my life would unravel quickly if I did not make some drastic changes to my behaviors and thought patterns. At the end of this step I concluded that my ability to justify my behavior had been ridiculous. Gay or not gay, my feelings and attractions had dictated too much of my life. My goals in life would certainly not be met if I did not take control of my life.

This was an eye opening first step for me and helped me to strip away the gray which had been encircling me for so long. Step 2 focuses a lot on spirituality and ones connection with God. That will be what I highlight in my next post. As always thanks for reading and happy day to you and yours.

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One response to “Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction–that our lives had become unmanageable

  1. Abby says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and what you’ve learned. I love the bit about finding strength in our weaknesses. I gained a new understanding about how weaknesses can become strengths too when I was doing the church’s addiction recovery program. I think we often think of strengths and weaknesses as being opposites – and that when a weakness becomes a strength it is changed, the weakness quality/attribute is replaced with its opposite strength quality/attribute. And I’m sure sometimes it does happen this way. But I came to realise that sometimes it is the same quality/attribute that is both a strength and a weakness – which it is depends on what we do with it or how we use it.

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