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Posts Tagged ‘check-in’

So what’s up with the Turtle?

I am happy to have returned to the blogospeher, even if not as regularly as I would like.  And I am happy to be praying, even if not as regularly as I’d like.  As a turtle, I move and change slowly.  My best hope is that movement is in the right direction.

Last week we took a roadtrip with my youngest daughter.  She loves elephants, so we drove to Kansas City and saw elephants.  I’ve never spent any time in Kansas City before.  It is a fun town with lots to see (besides elephants).  Lots of fountains and monuments, music and barbecue, shopping and museums.

I really enjoyed spending time with family and I know the time was good for me.

… and yet.

And yet I did act out.  There was some time when my wife and daughter left to do some swimming or shopping and I stayed behind.  And I acted out.  I looked at internet pornography while they were away.  

Very disappointing.  I wonder some times if I am even trying.  Don’t I want to get better?

Still … I am trying.

I am back at the office and trying to work daily prayer back into my life.  I am trying to check-in with accountability partners.  I am trying to be honest when I blog.

Lord Jesus,

Have mercy on me a sinner!  And grant me the grace to want to do what is right and the strength to surrender to what is right.  May my struggles bring you glory.

Amen.

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RETURN OF THE TURTLE?

I really don’t know …

But I do know I have been struggling lately.  No, I haven’t gone off the deep-end into a series of acting-out episodes.  But I have been casually looking at pornography on the internet several times a week.  And that is not who I want to be.

Or do I?  Is it ok if I have this one vice if I manage everything else?  Part of me wants the answer to be “Yes.”  Part of me wants it to be normal, ok, and even healthy.  But my conscience doesn’t buy it.

So I am struggling.  I am wandering from the straight path.  But I am not wandering far enough to fell the exigency of the situation.  It might be better if I failed … bottomed out … found out how serious this problem is.  Then I might be ready for surrender.

But today … today I still believe I can handle it.  I can be in control.  I am a man and I am strong. Today I see surrender as weakness.

But in my heart I know that surrender is the strongest thing a man could do.  Admit my weakness and walk in the light.

Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief!

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A TURTLE’S DAY

Whew!

 

The Turtle has been on the move.

 

Life is filled with change.  Some good, some bad, all stressful.

 

And the Turtle has been through change.  

 

After nine years of working with a great company, I have moved on to a new opportunity.  Life is different here.  I am more engaged in my new work and I no longer have an office.  This is a good change for an addict … no place to hide.

 

New work, new friends, new opportunities.  And it looks like it will be easier for me to blog here (no security filters stopping me from blogging suring the day).

 

So how has the Turtle been?

 

That’s always a complicated question for an addict.  I haven’t acted out for a long time.  But I also have not been connecting with my accountability partners.  This puts me in a dangerous place … I seem to be back to doing it on my own.  That’s no place for an addict.

 

But I feel so busy.  And I feel so exposed.  So many people sit so close to me, how can I make a call to check-in?  Won’t people hear what I am checking in about?  Won’t they all figure out I am a sex addict?  Won’t that end any chance I have of making friends and fitting in?

 

Those are my excuses for not reaching out.  They are weak … and so am I.

 

Pray for the Addict!

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S T U M B L E D 

CRAWLING BACK

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HAIL TO THE SALT BRIGADE!

Last week’s meeting of the SALT Brigade was sorely needed — sorely needed by me and each of the other members of the group. All of us had reached the same point in our struggles with sex addiction: CRASH AND BURN! And yet we all dialed in to our weekly call. None of us wanted to be on the call, but somehow we all found the courage to dial that number.

So what do you do when you’re a support group and no one is having success? You cry out. You bare your souls and cry out to God. You tell it like it is and then you start taking stock. And then you find that all of you has something pretty big to be grateful for — God has not left you. You have screwed up, you have done what you said you would not do, you have tried to hide from God and from each other … but God is still there.

God is still there and He does not condemn. He simply invites: Come with me! Try it my way!

And so we found the courage to begin anew. I have been clean since that meeting. I am trying to bounce my eyes. I am trying to pray. I am trying to do daily check-ins. But above all … I am grateful!

Thanks be to God!!!

S-A-L-T: Standing Against Lust Together

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Slowly, but surely, the addict is trying to get back into the mode of blogging. So where is the self disclosure?

I will try to do a check-in. I need it for myself … you might as well get to see.

It has been an on-and-off recovery process over the summer. I have had some periods of acting out followed by periods of sobriety. For the past couple of months I have settled into a “mostly sober” state of life. Acting out once every ten days or so, but no binges. As they say in the meetings — we strive for progress, not perfection (although perfection would be really nice).

So how do I think I am doing?

Physically:

I feel very good right now. I have been running this summer and my body feels great. I am sleeping well and I haven’t been sick.

Emotionally:

I also feel pretty good emotionally. I feel connected at home with my wife and family and I feel very engaged at work. But I also feel a bit stressed and a bit tired. I never quite feel I am achieving work-life balance.

Spiritually:

Spiritually I have been feeling dry. Prayer is a constant struggle and many days I don’t pray at all. And yet I am starting evening seminary classes this fall. This makes me feel particularly guilty — how can I study spiritual things if I am not living a spiritual life.

So there you have it … a snap shot of where the addict is today. Not all good and not all bad. And the amazing thing — Christ has been there all along!

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Step.

Another step taken.

Another step taken in this journey.

Another step in this journey of steps.

One journey.

Twelve steps.

Repeat.

The Turtle has been away .. away from blogging … away from the journey … on sabbatical.

The Turtle has been away because it is hard to find time to blog when there is no access to blogging while at work. The Turtle has been away because the journey is difficult and it is not always easy to recognize progress. The Turtle has been away because he is going through a dry spell. Spiritual dryness.

But there is reason to celebrate! After going through the pain of knee surgery and the loss of running as a source of exercise and meditation, I have returned to health. The return to running reached its culmination with this past Sunday’s Twin Cities Marathon. I not only was able to participate and finish, I actually set a personal best time!!!

So now I feel like it’s time to return to blogging and participating more actively in this journey of steps that we all “recovery.” I am a sex addict who struggles with internet pornography and this blog is a tool I use to journal for my own development and to share my story with others.

It has been month’s since I have been on this blog. What has happened? Have I abandoned the Battle for Purity? Have I relapsed? Or has my recovery become complete?

No … no … and no.

Generally speaking, the journey has continued. I continue to struggle for purity and I continue to have ups and downs in that struggle. I can look back over the past year and see progress … but not perfection. The frequency of acting out with pornography has been declining. But I am nowhere close to the goal of purity to which I aspire.

That’s what makes this road so difficult. I want to be better … I want to no longer have the urge to act out. Anything less than purity or sobriety is a great disappointment to me. But I cannot let this disappointment turn into despair. I cannot let the absence of perfection lead to a willingness to give up altogether. Jesus came to this world, took on the form of humanity, and surrendered his life that I might be restored. My job is to keep fighting to be the man He calls me to be … especially when it is hard.

So here I am. A Turtle in recovery. A Turtle who seems to be always short of the goal. But a Turtle who will keep moving toward the goal.

One step at a time.

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