As an LDS Porn Addict in Recovery, Am I in “Joseph Mode” or “David Mode”? [Part 1 of 3]

For me as an addict, one of the hardest things to understand and remember about addiction is that it’s all about the mental obsession with my drug, lust. When I am active in my addiction, I grow progressively more obsessed with getting that one, single lust hit–and then another thousand lust hits after that–until finally nothing else matters. A big key to overcoming addiction is learning to disrupt the obsession when it first hits, rather than dwelling on it as it grows more powerful. Contrary to popular belief, this disruption is not a question of willpower, but rather one of powerlessness, as well as a healthy dependance on Heavenly Father and others around me.

Disrupting the Obsession with Lust

addicts need prayer and healthy interaction with other human beings

In addition to prayer, my recovery requires healthy interaction with others (Evening Prayer by Anna Ancher (1859-1935)).

My experience has been that disrupting the obsession is most effective when I employ all the tools of recovery at my disposal. These include but are definitely not limited to:

  • Calling my sponsor and talking about where my head is;
  • Calling SA (Sexaholics Anonymous) members from my phone list and talking about where my head is;
  • Reading the scriptures with a particular view to understanding what Heavenly Father wants me to be, how Jesus Christ’s sacrifice can heal me and those around me, and how individuals in the scriptures got outside of themselves and their own problems so they could give service to others;
  • Praying and asking Heavenly Father for the strength to pick up the phone and call someone, or to get in the car and drive to an SA meeting;
  • Visiting with my LDS bishop and talking about where my head is and asking if there’s anyone in the ward for whom I may be of service;
  • Visiting with my LDS stake president and talking about where my head is and asking if there’s anyone in the stake for whom I may be of service;
  • Calling one or both of my home teachers and talking to them about where my head is (they both know I’m a recovering addict and, in fact, one of them is, too) and thanking them for being of service to me;
  • Telling my wife I love her and asking if there’s a way for me to be of service to her or our kids;
  • Engaging in specific acts of service for my family or others without having to ask them about it first;
  • Spending time with one or several of my children, without cell phones or television or internet or other distractions, talking about what’s going on in their lives, playing games that they pick, or going shopping with them for something fun they want;
  • Getting out my journal and writing about where my head is and then calling my sponsor or someone else with recovery experience to share what I’ve written;
  • Engaging in athletic activity that involves healthy interaction with others (i.e., a team sport).

Addict in Isolation or Interaction?

The big questions I have to ask myself repeatedly are, “Am I trying to isolate myself from others? Am I trying to keep secrets–even little ones of the “not-really-a-sin” variety? What, if anything, am I doing to make sure I’m not obsessing about my drug, lust?” You’ll notice that much of what I mention above involves healthy interaction with other human beings or preparing in some way for that healthy interaction.

One problem I face, however, is understanding how I’m actually doing in the mental, emotional and spiritual facets of my recovery. There are two stories in the Old Testament that help me as an addict see whether I’m dealing effectively with my obsession with lust. One is the story of Joseph in Egypt; the other is the story of David. In the next couple post, I’ll talk about those those two stories. I’m pretty sure that this will be a new take for most Latter-day Saints.

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As an LDS Porn Addict in Recovery, Am I in “Joseph Mode” or “David Mode”? [Part 1 of 3] — 1 Comment

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