Wednesday, December 26, 2012

TRYING HARDER CAN MAKE THINGS WORSE

Trying Harder Can Make Things Worse

I grew up attending a large denominational church and many others in our fellowship maintained long and serious commitments to church and family. On the other hand, a number of us came from no particular religious faith; some even considered themselves agnostic or atheist when they first came to our fellowship.

            Regardless of the religious position I claimed, my secrets, my addictions and my compulsions increased anyway. Destruction began to overtake my mind, my life and all that I was as a human being. More and more I became obsessed with the sexual conquest of women, focusing less and less on the important things in my life. I was increasingly obsessive about sex while working harder and harder to overcome the out-of-control way I felt about my life. Addiction was taking my mind away from me. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I was being choked lifeless while I claimed to be in control. Repeatedly I made commitments to stop. But, I was losing touch with reality as I professed commitments and recommitments to God, to religious practice, to my family and to myself. I tried and failed again and again and again. No matter how much I tried, my best efforts always ended in failure. No amount of self-determination, effort or religious activity protected me from my addicted compulsions. No matter how hard I tried, I found no effective plan, method or power to permanently overcome my obsessions, or the shame that always followed them. The harder I tried, the worse things got.
 
from When Lost Men Come Home - not for men only
copyright 2012, David Zailer

Operation Integrity 2012 Year End Update


 Operation Integrity 2012 Year End Update

With joy and thanksgiving, I give you the Operation Integrity year-end update. 2012 brought significant growth to our work helping people recover from addiction, leading to radical life transformation — all made possible by your prayers and financial support.



 

· Operation Integrity fellowships are helping men, women and families, escape destructive behaviors and isolation moving toward honest and transparent relationships — Coast Hills Church, Lifelines at The Crossing Church, Capistrano Beach Church and Center City Church host OI groups

· We are mentoring private recovery meetings across the country, our literature bringing understanding where there had been confusion and anger

· Our books, Our Journey Home and When Lost Men Come Home, not for men only are making a difference

· We are providing affordable recovery programs through our 45 Day Intensive & 90 Day Transformation programs; and collaborating with counselors, therapists, churches, and substance abuse treatment centers

· I have been speaking locally and around the U.S. — leading Operation Integrity gatherings and conferences in Charleston West Virginia and Springfield Missouri, with more scheduled for this year and 2013

· Operation Integrity was in Leadership Magazine, Envision Magazine, Christianity Today, Covenant Eyes, Power for Living, and the Healing for The Soul Herald

· We are helping Pastors and Clergy in Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, California, Michigan, Texas and Canada

· Operation Integrity became a founding member in Katharos, sharing resources and experience with similar ministries

· Operation Integrity Weeklygoes out to more than 3500 people each week

Real Life Results
This afternoon I meet with a 30-something year-old husband and father. He is a wonderful young man but struggled with addiction to pornography since adolescence — keeping his struggle secret — he was hijacked alone inside out and out. Operation Integrity was the turning point, giving him the help he needed, bringing him education, community, counseling and mentoring, and family support. Today he is porn free, his relationship with his wife is healing, and he is living in Christ empowered freedom, and seeing this freedom spread throughout his life. He is just one example of how Operation Integrity is changing lives.

Leaning into the work God is laying out for Operation Integrity, I ask that you financially support Operation Integrity. (Your financial support to Operation Integrity is tax deductible.) I thank you personally for your financial contributions, but most of all I thank you for your ongoing support through prayer.

There are two convenient ways you can financially support Operation Integrity.

1. Visit us at www.operationintegrity.orgto make a donation.

2. Mail your check to Operation Integrity, 24040 Camino del Avion #A115, Monarch Beach CA
92629.

Yours in Christ and recovery,

David Zailer
Executive Director
Operation Integrity - Helping people recover from addiction, leading to radical life transformation.

1-800-762-0430
Follow Operation Integrity on Facebook, & Twitter @opintegrity

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Recovery is Both Hard and Simple

Recovery is Both Hard and Simple

Addiction recovery is not fashionable, popular or exclusive. It is hard work and often marked by mishaps and mistakes. (At least that is how it has been for me.) The work of recovery is simple though. All that is required is an authentic desire to change, the courage to be honest and the willingness to do the work. And through personal experience, I’ve become convinced that the primary ingredient needed for recovery from sexual addiction is honest spiritual growth. Every area of a one’s life must become re-oriented spiritually if life is going to be healthy and good for them. 

            As we seek God sincerely, and live transparently with others, we will be better able to face ourselves honestly and know The Source of power that leads us out of the darkness that ruled our lives in the past. When we are willing to face the honest facts about ourselves and take steps necessary to change, we discover an effective spiritual and personal life. We find a solution building and strengthening inside us. And with this strength we can become contributing partners with those around us. With the spiritual put in order, life’s external struggles begin to resolve themselves with amazing simplicity.

from When Lost Men Come Home - not for men only
copyright 2012, David Zailer
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Strength In Numbers


 strength in numbers

Each of us who participates in Operation Integrity has our own personal experience and story, but we celebrate together as one fellowship, a community of survivors who have an intuitive understanding of one another’s experiences. And while our stories and experiences are all different, having unique patterns, behaviors and consequences, we see ourselves reflected in one another. This has taught us to focus on the similarities we share and not the differences. In this way we benefit individually from the total strength the fellowship offers as a whole. To the extent that we participate personally in our recovering community, we benefit from its resources. But it is more than this. Along with the benefits, we share the sufferings and shortcomings of one another at the same time. Anyone who wants to recover from sexual addiction is welcomed and accepted.

from When Lost Men Come Home - not for men only
copyright 2012, David Zailer

 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Empowered in Powerlessness - When Lost Men Come Home; not for men only


Empowered in Powerlessness

Every day I realize how powerless I am — in my own power that is — to find the freedom that my soul longs for. Having said that, I do have days when I feel tremendous freedom, abandoning my old self-destructive ways and enjoying life’s goodness to the fullest. There are other days, though, when I feel that at any moment I may catapult myself into a darkness that far exceeds my own ability to escape. Sometimes, sexual addiction assaults me with a conflict of mind, spirit and body, brutalizing me at the very core of who I am. Can you relate to this?

            Those of us who have struggled with repeated patterns of sexually destructive behavior and who are honest with ourselves know this powerlessness, though we often have trouble admitting it. Recognizing and admitting personal powerlessness and insufficiency regarding an addiction is a fundamental principle that must be accepted deeply before anyone will find recovery and change for themselves and their life. Just like being an alcoholic, the solution starts with admitting we have a problem. Personally, I almost died in depression and shame before I accepted this simple truth. And I know of others who, even after countless failures, continue to claim confidence in themselves alone. It seems to me like they die a little more every day.

            Without the benefit of honestly recognizing and admitting my addictions, my self-confidence was a liability to me. However, when I got honest about the true condition of my life, I could no longer avoid the reality of my sexual addiction. I could see that I was trapped in a progressing and accelerating downward spiral. My failures were personal and profound, born from the deepest places within me. My life was getting worse, never better.
 
from When Lost Men Come Home - not for men only
copyright 2012, David Zailer

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wonderul Experience in Colorado & Presenting 2012 Year End Update

Hello Operation Integrity Supporter,

I have just returned from a wonderful trip to Colorado Springs Colorado, where I spoke at the monthly breakfast for Christian Counselors from the Colorado Springs area, and conducted a day of training for counselors associated with Healing for the Soul. Both events went wonderfully, and there is already talk of me returning to The Springs in a few months.

As I work to wrap up 2012, I want to take a few moments to thank you for your prayers and financial support this year and ask that you continue praying for me and for Operation Integrity, and that you would also remember us in your end of the year giving.

Our Year End Update is below. Please take a few minutes to review it.

Yours truly in Christ and recovery,

David Zailer

Operation Integrity 2012 Year End Update
With joy and thanksgiving, I give you the Operation Integrity year-end update. 2012 brought significant growth to our work helping people recover from addiction, leading to radical life transformation — all made possible by your prayers and financial support.
· Operation Integrity fellowships are helping men, women and families, escape destructive behaviors and isolation moving toward honest and transparent relationships — Coast Hills Church, Lifelines at The Crossing Church, Capistrano Beach Church and Center City Church host OI groups
· We are mentoring private recovery meetings across the country, our literature bringing understanding where there had been confusion and anger
· Our books, Our Journey Home and When Lost Men Come Home, not for men only are making a difference
· We are providing affordable recovery programs through our 45 Day Intensive & 90 Day Transformation programs; and collaborating with counselors, therapists, churches, and substance abuse treatment centers
· I have been speaking locally and around the U.S. — leading Operation Integrity gatherings and conferences in Charleston West Virginia and Springfield Missouri, with more scheduled for this year and 2013
· Operation Integrity was in Leadership Magazine, Envision Magazine, Christianity Today, Covenant Eyes, Power for Living, and the Healing for The Soul Herald
· We are helping Pastors and Clergy in Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, California, Michigan, Texas and Canada
· Operation Integrity became a founding member in Katharos, sharing resources and experience with similar ministries
· Operation Integrity Weekly goes out to more than 3500 people each week
Real Life Results
This afternoon I meet with a 30-something year-old husband and father. He is a wonderful young man but struggled with addiction to pornography since adolescence — keeping his struggle secret — he was hijacked alone inside out and out. Operation Integrity was the turning point, giving him the help he needed, bringing him education, community, counseling and mentoring, and family support. Today he is porn free, his relationship with his wife is healing, and he is living in Christ empowered freedom, and seeing this freedom spread throughout his life. He is just one example of how Operation Integrity is changing lives.
Leaning into the work God is laying out for Operation Integrity, I ask that you financially support Operation Integrity. (Your financial support to Operation Integrity is tax deductible.) I thank you personally for your financial contributions, but most of all I thank you for your ongoing support through prayer.
There are two convenient ways you can financially support Operation Integrity.
1. Visit us at www.operationintegrity.org to make a donation.
2. Mail your check to Operation Integrity, 24040 Camino del Avion #A115, Monarch Beach CA
92629.
Yours in Christ and recovery,
David Zailer
Executive Director
Operation Integrity - Helping people recover from addiction, leading to radical life transformation.
1-800-762-0430
Follow Operation Integrity on Facebook, & Twitter @opintegrity

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Author's Story from When Lost Men Come Home - not for men only


The Author’s Story from
When Lost Men Come Home - not for men only

 

For years, I remembered little from my childhood, but I began to remember more and more as I grew in my early recovery. I remembered how my mother battled severe depression and mental illness, a battle she eventually lost to suicide. My father was a well-respected organist at church but also he had a secret stash of pornography which, as a young boy, I looked at whenever I could get away with it. My older sister suffered from eating disorders, and I was often in trouble with the neighbors or at school. When I was eight, a family friend from church took an interest in me. He took me fishing, to baseball games, and he began molesting me. Consistent with my family’s pattern of secrets and shame, I never told anyone. I’m not sure which hurt me worse, being molested or thinking of how my father was cheating on my mom through his use of pornography.

By age nine I was exhibiting behavioral problems at school and church. The molestation continued and I continued to keep it secret. I was flunking school, barred from some after school activities, and often too disruptive for many Sunday School teachers. Finally, I was examined by a child psychologist and diagnosed mentally retarded. The doctors prescribed tranquilizers to control my behavior and I was placed in a school for mentally disadvantaged children.  My name became “retard.” 

            The people at the church my family attended said that God loved all the little children — yellow, brown, black and white. Had He forgotten about me? Was I some strange color, different from everyone else? I felt like people just wanted me to go away. Increasingly, I became defensive and competitive, determined to prove my own value. I prayed and pleaded for God to remember me — to help me. I remember sitting on my bed, in my adolescent years, reading The Living Bible and praying that somehow, someway God would give me a life that was useful and worthwhile. Silence.

            In my early 20s, I was still attending church, but I had lost hope of ever having a life worth living. I began to drink. It started quite innocently; my first beer was with friends as we shared a pizza. I hated the beer taste but loved the warm feeling, the self-confidence and the sense of freedom the alcohol gave me. It was an answer of sorts. Within two weeks of that first beer, I was drinking everyday — heavily. Years went by, and I began to work weekends in a strip joint where I discovered cocaine, insane promiscuity and, along with the girlfriend I had at the time, I began to work in print and video pornography. Over the next five years, several of my friends were murdered and I saw numerous lives destroyed. I assumed that my life would be short, I feared for my own survival, but I was still unable to find a power that would change the way I felt about life.

            In 1989, I moved to the West Coast vowing to start a new life. I started a business, made it successful, and began to religiously attend church once again. I smiled and pretended that life was great. But I was still utterly miserable. I never escaped thoughts of self-hatred and the feeling that everyone would be better off if I just went away. After a few years of abstaining from drugs and alcohol by sheer willpower alone, I periodically began to drink again and soon the drugs followed. Where I had previously been a daily cocaine user of generally small amounts, I now became a binge user of much larger amounts, adding crystal meth and heroin to the list of drugs used. I rationalized my drug use, saying I wasn’t doing it every day. I convinced myself that I was entitled to have a little fun now and then.

            In 1999, I went on what was to be my last drug binge. I had planned a little weekend getaway but I ended up traveling around Southern CA for three weeks, smoking $500.00 worth of crack cocaine every day, never eating or sleeping. During this trip, I overdosed three times, and three times I was arrested on felony drug charges. I would quickly bail myself out of jail after each arrest, and head back out on the road for some more of the same. I was not going to go home until I had some fun. I thought of it as recreation.

            A few days later, when sitting in a seedy hotel, I called a friend named Bob, who I knew from church. Bob was a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who attended Alcoholics Anonymous and was very active at church. For the last few months I had been confiding to him about my drug use and my sense of hopelessness. I trusted him because it was obvious to me that, from his own experience, Bob knew the internal anguish I felt. And he was the only person I knew who seemed to really like being around me. During our phone conversation, Bob convinced me to stop drinking and doping for just that day and get some rest. And then later that night he drove for hours to pick me up and bring me home. 

            Once home, I got some very bad news. The State of California wanted me to go to prison for my drug crimes. It appeared that I had finally succeeded in destroying my life, even though I never meant to. However, following my attorney’s recommendation I entered a drug and alcohol treatment program that combined counseling and the Twelve Steps as outlined by Alcoholics Anonymous. This program educated me about the reality of my addictions and confronted me regarding the destructive self-obsession behind most everything I thought and did. My drug life had been hell on earth, but this felt worse.

            These early months in the program were preparing me for the greatest day of my life. That greatest day started with my attorney calling me in the morning to let me know things were not going well for me in the legal issues and that I should begin putting my affairs in order to serve my time in prison. Then that same afternoon, my counselor at the treatment program asked me to tell him about my personal belief in God. In response to his question, I recited to him by heart everything I knew about God from growing up in church and Sunday School. He listened for quite a while as I droned on and on, but then, with obvious frustration, he told me that he didn’t want to hear any more. Surprised, I asked him why, and then he proceeded to tell me that I needed to find a real God and I needed to find a real Jesus. As you can imagine this offended me greatly and when I asked him why, he continued by saying, “Well, David, it is pretty obvious that the God and the Jesus that you think you have now hasn’t done you much good. Has it?” When what he said finally sunk in to me, I sat stunned in silence facing the reality that whatever religious professions I had claimed had left me morally and spiritually bankrupt — void of the necessary power to live life successfully. I was more empty than empty.

            Later that evening I was to meet my friend Bob, the one who picked me up and brought me home. He and I were going to discuss what needed to be done before I went to prison. It was dark and cold as I stood in an empty parking lot, alone and waiting for Bob to arrive. Looking up at the stars, I pondered the failure of my life and I began to pray. This was my life — I was $100,000 in debt, my family would not speak to me, my friends and business associates would barely tolerate me, I had overdosed on several occasions, and come close to being killed a few times. I was in a drug rehab and worst of all, all I really wanted at that very moment in time was more cocaine.

            Standing there alone, I looked up at the stars and said, “Oh God!  I am a drug addict and I don’t even know who You are. I need help and I have nowhere else to turn. I am willing to call You by any name You want me to, but if You don’t help me I am going to die.” 

            At that moment, and for the first time in my life, I found a degree of personal honesty, the beginning of humility, and I accepted myself for who and what I was — a child in need. At that point, suddenly, everything in life seemed unimportant except for one thing — God. Either He would help me, or I was as good as dead. God was no longer just a “religious” belief; God was a life or death issue for me.

            Standing there in the cold alone with nothing but my desperate prayer, I heard what seemed like a voice say, “Alright David, now I can go to work.” Startled, I whirled all around looking for who had spoken to me. I looked behind the bushes next to the building to my left, and I looked under the cars which were to the right. I even looked inside the dumpster that was a few yards away. I looked all over that parking lot and there was no one there. It felt like I was going crazy, but I also sensed something big had just happened. Whatever had just happened, I knew my prayer had been heard and answered. I felt deep within me that things could be different for me in the future, that a new experience of life had begun. I had a sense that the battle for my life had been joined with power adequate to change what needed to be changed — me! For the first time I could remember, I knew I didn’t have to be alone, and best of all, I had a real desire to live. By admitting that I was the problem, God gave me a solution. The solution was Him. That night in an instant, I became unconcerned about prison, unconcerned about what had happened to me in childhood; I was excited about life and I became ready to do all I could to fully experience the life God would make possible for me.

            Ultimately, the court system had mercy on me, giving me the opportunity of long-term rehabilitation and probation. Motivated by a spiritual power deep within me, I continue to seek my Savior and He continues to do the work He promised to do — changing me from the inside out, guiding me and teaching me to surrender my will to His. As a result of His power, I have discovered wonderful gifts such as mercy, courage, love for myself and others, and hope. These gifts have enabled me to do things I have never dreamed of doing. I was baptized while attending my church’s men’s retreat, where I learned that for two years prior to my arrest a group of men had been praying for me. In God’s world, I was loved even before I thought it was possible for me to be loved at all.

            I am still receiving new and wonderful gifts today. My favorite one is gratitude for life — both past and present. My childhood misfortune and my addictions to alcohol, drugs and sex have become an important, and sometimes still difficult, part of what I believe to be a well scripted plan for my life. With the simple surrender of my will and life, which I don’t always do, I continue to discover God in a loving and personal way. He is always willing to reveal Himself to me and to you as well. I now see that the story of my life has really very little to do with me. It has everything to do with God, and everything to do with you. For you see, it is my passion to tell others about the One who gives mercy and grace to addicted sinners like me. Because, if He gives mercy and grace to someone like me, then He will most certainly give it to anyone who sincerely asks for it. Any tragedy I have suffered and all comfort I receive is for the purpose of sharing with those who suffer so they can find comfort too. I have more blessing than I need.

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3, 4 TNIV
 
from When Lost Men Come Home - not for men only
copyright 2012, David Zailer
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=David+Zailer

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

OPERATION INTEGRITY 2012 UPDATE


Operation Integrity 2012 Year End Update                        
 
With joy and thanksgiving, I give you the Operation Integrity year-end update. 2012 brought significant growth to our work helping people recover from addiction, leading to radical life transformation — all made  possible by your prayers and financial support.
 
·        Operation Integrity fellowships are helping men, women and families, escape destructive behaviors and isolation moving toward honest and transparent relationships — Coast Hills Church, Lifelines at The Crossing Church, Capistrano Beach Church and Center City Church host OI groups

·        We are mentoring private recovery meetings across the country, our literature bringing understanding where there had been confusion and anger

·        Our books, Our Journey Home and When Lost Men Come Home, not for men only are making a difference

·        We are providing affordable recovery programs through our 45 Day Intensive & 90 Day Transformation programs; and collaborating with counselors, therapists, churches, and substance abuse treatment centers

·        I have been speaking locally and around the U.S. — leading Operation Integrity gatherings and conferences in Charleston West Virginia and Springfield Missouri, with more scheduled for this year and 2013

 ·        Operation Integrity was in Leadership Magazine, Envision Magazine, Christianity Today, Covenant Eyes, Power for Living, and the Healing for The Soul Herald  

·        We are helping Pastors and Clergy in Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, California, Michigan, Texas and Canada 

·        Operation Integrity became a founding member in Katharos, sharing resources and experience with similar ministries 

·        Operation Integrity Weekly goes out to more than 3500 people each week
 

Real Life Results
 
This afternoon I meet with a 30-something year-old husband and father. He is a wonderful young man but struggled with addiction to pornography since adolescence — keeping his struggle secret — he was hijacked alone inside out and out. Operation Integrity was the turning point, giving him the help he needed, bringing him education, community, counseling and mentoring, and family support. Today he is porn free, his relationship with his wife is healing, and he is living in Christ empowered freedom, and seeing this freedom spread throughout his life. He is just one example of how Operation Integrity is changing lives.

 Leaning into the work God is laying out for Operation Integrity, I ask that you financially support Operation Integrity. (Your financial support to Operation Integrity is tax deductible.) I thank you personally for your financial contributions, but most of all I thank you for your ongoing support through prayer.

 There are two convenient ways you can financially support Operation Integrity.

 1. Visit us at www.operationintegrity.org to make a donation.

2. Mail your check to Operation Integrity, 24040 Camino del Avion #A115, Monarch Beach CA
    92629.

 Yours in Christ and recovery,

David Zailer
Executive Director
Operation Integrity - Helping people recover from addiction, leading to radical life transformation.

1-800-762-0430
Follow Operation Integrity on Facebook, & Twitter @opintegrity

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My Purpose is

My purpose is to seek, discover and know Jesus Christ / God and the fullness of His character. And, as I receive the benefits of knowing Him, I will encourage others to seek, discover and know Jesus Christ / God for themselves.
- David Zailer

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Solution


A Solution

 
The vision of Operation Integrity is to help people recover from addiction, leading to radical life transformation. We accomplish this by educating people about addiction, helping people become part of a community that supports recovery and growth, encouraging spiritual growth through a personal Twelve Step program along with counseling and/or therapy, and Spiritual Formation leading to an ever-deepening relationship with God. We propose that the following five components be part of a person’s life — minimum of three to five years.

·       Meet personally with a qualified therapist or counselor as often as possible and as guided by the counselor. Involve one’s family in therapy as suggested by counselor.

·       Be involved in a Christ-centered Twelve Step Recovery Group. This includes attending meetings like Operation Integrity and other addiction specific support fellowships.

·       Be involved in Twelve Step process at a personal level. This includes getting a sponsor and following their guidance, thoughtfully and devotionally reading recovery material like When Lost Men Come Home and other related literature.

·       Encourage family involvement through Counseling, Al-Anon, Co-Dependents Anonymous, or similar Twelve Step support fellowship for spouses and loved ones.

·       Address underlying triggers. Underlying causes may be an excessive need for affirmation, family of origin issues, childhood abuse or abandonment, unhealed grief, deep feelings of inferiority or superiority, an unhealthy view of God which may even exist in those who have religious training and church experience. Other causes may include other addictions like overeating, alcohol and other drugs, gambling, unhealthy relationships, religious activity and others. 

 
It has been the Operation Integrity experience, that people who follow these suggestions with diligence and sincerity have a successful recovery experience.

from When Lost Men Come Home - not for men only
copyright 2012, David Zailer
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=David+Zailer

Taking the Next Step

Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.
Hebrews 4:14-16 The Message


“Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.” -Paul Tournier

Taking the Next Step

With whom are we going to get real? To whom will we get honest and make our admissions? Some general guidelines will help us find the right kind of person, who in turn, will help us make the most of our Step Five experience. It is important for us to understand first and foremost that there is no one particular person who can completely accept us, and all that we are, in total love. Giving total and complete love is Jesus’ job. No one can do that for us but Him. The purpose of getting real and honest with another person is so that we can experience redemption and restoration at a social level, with other human beings.

It’s been suggested that we choose someone of the same gender. This is not a hard and fast rule but, especially where sexual issues or addictions are involved, we will probably feel more at ease with someone of the same gender. Pastors and members of the clergy usually work quite well, but not always. Competent counselors, therapists or the appropriate mental health professionals should be considered. They can usually be very helpful in matters related to recovery from addiction. We want to find someone we trust, someone who is able keep all that we have to tell them in complete confidence. Above all, we want to find someone who exemplifies the love and acceptance of Jesus. The person we choose to speak with needs to be confident in our ability to recover based on the power of God’s love. They need to believe that Jesus’ love can help all people, especially those of us who are working to recover from our addictions. In many ways, our listener becomes our advocate at a personal and social level much like Jesus is our advocate with God. A person who has suffered from and is recovering from an addiction is often a very good choice. Most of all, we need to find someone who is capable of looking past whatever self-deception that is still holding us back. And, at the same time, our listener needs to see us for who we really are, like God sees us. It is important that they not ignore the remaining personal dishonesty that we still have. We need them to be understanding and patient with us at the same time, too.

Once we have found someone who we feel comfortable with, we need to tell that person the reason why we feel the need to have a serious discussion. Respectfully, we’ll ask him or her for their time. We need to tell that person that we are working to recover from an addiction and that we need help from others to do so. We should explain that it may take more than one appointment. These conversations cannot be rushed if they are to be effective. It is important that we express our desire to have a growing faith in God and trusting relationships with other people. It is also important that we explain that we are committing ourselves to be as honest in our conversations as we can be.

We need to tell our listener about what have habitually thought about ourselves, other people and God. Speaking to another person about our deepest reality means that we do not discuss the faults and mistakes of other people. Right now, at this point in time, problems and faults of others are not our concern. Focusing on the problems that other people have created for us will only deepen our resentment and anger. Let’s stick with the facts about ourselves.

Often, our greatest motivation will be the pain that our addictions have brought into our lives. Reaching out for all the goodness that God has, let us make the most of this opportunity, and this day, so that we can recover from our addictions and, best of all, experience all of the goodness that God gives.

from Our Journey Home
copyright 2011, David Zailer
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=David+Zailer