The 12 Step Addiction Recovery Program (ARP) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been an amazing source of healing for me as I have dealt with my husband’s pornography addiction. In the beginning, I was very apprehensive to attend and put it off for quite some time. I was embarrassed. What if I knew somebody there? What if no one was there but me? I felt I could handle this burden on my own anyways. After all, my husband was the one with the addiction. I told myself I didn’t need a group. By this time, I had begun my own recovery blog and was connecting with other women in similar circumstances.
Then, some women from another online recovery forum contacted me and asked if I attended any of the Church’s 12 Step meetings. I explained my reasons for not attending. Undeterred, the women suggested that I consider attending not for myself but because I might be able to help other women who were suffering. I decided to go.
On that first night, I nervously walked into the meetinghouse feeling quite uncomfortable about the whole ordeal. Ten weeks later it turns out I had been helped in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I hope that I have made a difference for others as well.
I have actually become good friends with many of the women who attend the 12 Step meetings. They inspire me. Each week we read about one of the 12 recovery steps from the manual entitled LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery Program: A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing. We then take turns talking about our own recovery stories and insights. Although we can share whatever we want, we are encouraged to talk about our experience with the specific step we are currently working on individually.
Listening to these women share their heartache as well as their growing trust in Heavenly Father inspires me. It gives me hope to keep working toward recovery. We are all at different stages of recovery. We ache and cry with those in the early stages and share the triumph of those who have found happiness once again and now spreading awareness of the devastating effects a sex and pornography addict’s behavior will always have on the spouse.
The LDS 12 Step Addiction Recovery Program, managed by LDS Family Services is truly an inspired program. If someone close to you struggles with pornography addiction or other compulsive sexual behavior, I strongly encourage you to find a meeting near you and to attend. You may be surprised at what an uplifting environment it is. If you go and happen to see someone you know, rejoice! Now you have a friend who will share your “secret” in confidence.
If you feel you can do this alone–well, I don’t know if you can or can’t, but I do know that this program will provide a lot of extra support and encouragement. Pornography addiction is a plague both in the world and within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many good men suffer silently with this addiction because they think they can overcome it on their own. Many amazing women who are married to addicts are thrown into mental, emotional and spiritual crisis before they even know what hit them. Recovery can be difficult and painful for the addict as well as for any loved ones involved. Still, the struggle is well worth it! Recovery is possible and it feels wonderful!
My experience is that the 12 Step program will provide a way for you to be happy again if you diligently work the steps in your life. I love my group–and I mean really love my 12 Step group. I even text, call and occasionally hang out with these women outside of our weekly meetings. I feel truly blessed to know them.
I encourage you to attend a meeting. You will draw benefit from it and you will learn to overcome this awful plague that has entered your life.