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, October 24, 2012

Resetting Sobriety

Slipping with my sobriety is always hard. Last night, I succumbed. There was a 20 year-old kid who has been stopping by my office for a while. He apparently was a friend of one of my students. We chatted briefly after one class (as he met his friend after class was over and while I was erasing the board), in part, because we had a friend in common. He approached me and, "You're so and so, right?" I acknowledged that I was "so and so." He then asked, "Do you know A?"  I said yes.

We chatted for a few moments and then I left back to my office. A few weeks ago I ran into him in the gym. He asked about A. I told him what I knew. Afterward we had lunch together and chatted a bit about his work and A. He then asked if we could have coffee. I told him I don't drink coffee. A few days later he showed up at my office, I talked with him and he asked me if I could help him with a paper he was writing, and so I did. After that he started stopping by. Last night he came by my office, just as I was leaving. He asked me if we could grab dinner, I acquiesced.

He then said he had a big paper that he needed help with, I told him I couldn't help and that I was on my way home. He asked if he could drop by my home and get some help at home. At this point I knew what he was trying to do. I denied his request and hopped on the bus. After getting home, I received a text message, he was "freaking out," and asked for help. I tried the best I could over texting, but it was fruitless. By this time, my addictive patterns and pathways were well lit. I eventually invited him over. He came over and we sat on my couch for three hours working on his paper. After it was complete, he closed his computer. I was about to get up to show him the door, he put his hand on my thigh and pushed me back to a seated position. That was the end. I showed him the door three hours later. At the door, with my head hanging low from what I just did, he ran to me gave me a hug and grabbed my head and gave me kiss. He then picked up his bag and walked out the door.

As I reflected on this incident and how I have lost my sobriety, I realized that my life is stressful. Questions of the church remain, frustration and uncertainty around my dissertation remain, and funding for my graduate education remains tenuous. But I paused today and met with the Institute director. It was  a pleasant feeling to access the Spirit and speak with a god-fearing man of faith. I took solace and comfort in that visit. I'm not sure how to process what happened with the kid, but I move forward.


  1. You really tried hard to resist him. That's more than I could say for a lot of folks. Your heart was in the right place, at least at first.

    Who do you have in your life that you can turn to when things start to go south on you?

  2. I appreciate the question. Though something seems awry about the question, I'm not really sure what, but something does.

    Regardless, I appreciate the avuncular concern.