For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

- Mosiah 3:19

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Running Uphill

I just got back from a recovery meeting. As I reflected on the meeting and my life, and where I am, it occurred to me that there is a certain aspect of the illusion (of why I act out) that I continue to believe and hold on to. That aspect of the illusion is about finding completion, fulfillment, wholeness, a sense of serenity, peace and safety. In my addictive mind, I tend to think that one of these men I act out with will want more than sex, but that he will want to spend his life with me. Yet it always goes like this: I meet him online, we chat for a bit, then either he invites me over or I him, he comes over, we chat for a bit, then move on to sex. After that portion is over, we lie together for a bit, I then make an excuse, "I have to be up early..." He gets the cue and and leaves, or I leave. Or after that portion is over, he simply says thanks and leaves. Except for those weird relationships (which I blogged about), I never see these men again.

Yet, I continue to go back because I think that I will find someone to fill the God-size hole in my soul. As I rationally think about it, if the hole is God-sized, why the fuck am I looking for a guy seeking "anonymous fun" to fill that hole? But I continue to go back, because the illusion of finding fulfillment remains. I continue to think I can find it there.

This morning in the recovery meeting, I realized that I continue to grasp on to that illusion; I realized further that the tools of the program, if I but simply practice them daily, can break that illusion to pieces. Yet I'm afraid to let go of the illusion - it has been a comfort to me for years, it has always been there for me, it has been a friend (not ever a good one), but it has been a constant friend. As I now desire sobriety, letting that friend go is hard (however dysfunctional our relationship has been).

I was reminded it happens one day at a time. This reminded me of running uphills. As I train for races, I try to find hills to train on. On Saturday I did a long run, at mile 8, I encountered a long steep hill. Trying to maintain my 8:30 minute mile pace up the hill was especially difficult, because I kept looking to see how much farther I had to go, I kept trying to look for the top of the hill. When I would spot the top I became discouraged, my legs would buckle and my mind would say, "Stop, you don't have to run, you can walk." With legs in pain, labored breathing, and trying to see the end from the beginning of the hill became overwhelming. I wanted to quit. At that moment, I simply put my head down and looked at my feet...telling myself one step at a time, "don't look up, just look at your feet...keep them moving." Eventually I got to the top of the hill. I thought it was over, but I was in pain, my body wanted to stop. Despite having run up the hill, I still did not fully recover from the hill until about a half mile later.

I thought about that experience in relation to my recovery. It started to make some sense. I can put my head down, and allow the tools of the Sexaholics Anonymous Program to dash the illusion that hinders my progression to pieces one day at a time.

I am worthy of love. I can be fulfilled. As Elder Anderson once said faith is a decision. I hope I can consistently, and daily affirm to myself that God's love can indeed make me whole, if I but simply put one foot in front of the other, He can fill the hole inside of me.

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