Monday, June 17, 2013

NEXT STEPS, from WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME, not for men only

Next Steps
You might be wondering at this point, “Who is the person I’m going to get real with and make my admissions to? Where do I find them?” Here, I will share with you the suggestions I followed and was glad I did.
Pick someone of the same gender, perhaps from your list of “higher powers.” A local pastor or clergyman often works well, but not always. A competent counselor or medical professional can be very helpful in matters related to recovery from addiction. Above all, seek a person you believe to be trustworthy, someone who is able and committed to keep your confidentiality. I was fortunate to find someone who exemplified the love and acceptance of Jesus. I suggest you do the same because your listener will become your advocate in recovery just like Jesus is your advocate with God. Look for someone who expresses confidence in your ability to recover based on the power of a loving God. Someone who has suffered from their own addictions and is recovering is most always a good choice. You want a person who is capable of looking past whatever self-deception that is still inside of you, one who can intuitively see your truest self, seeing you as God sees you — someone who will not ignore personal dishonesty, but who will be understanding and patient with you. Look for someone who can and who is willing to offer you advice, someone whose advice you would follow. 
            Once you find the person you are going to get real with, share with them what you are intent on doing and why you feel they have something to offer you. It is imperative that you let them know you have become addicted sexually and you know you need help from others to recover. Respectfully ask them for their time, explaining that it may take more than one appointment. (These conversations can’t be rushed if they are to be effective.) Share with them your desire to develop a growing faith in God and more honest relationships with other people, and pledge to them your commitment to be as honest as you can be.
            I suggest you share with them what you have thought about yourself, others and God. But leave the faults of others out of the discussion. The wrongs of others are not your most pressing concern right now and obsessing on them may deepen your resentment and anger. Stick with the facts about yourself, avoiding unnecessary drama, exaggeration and minimization. 
“Tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.”
Mark Twain
            Once I spoke honestly with another person about my life and my addictions, I found it helped to take some time for personal reflection. So, I spent time alone and I thanked God for the courage and opportunity I had experienced. I realized God had been there in the midst of conversation I had with this other person. I was reminded once again that God is always there when I show up honestly, with the truth about myself. He is always one step ahead of me. I also wrote down what I experienced, and I shared it with others in my recovering fellowship. 
            Having had this “first of its kind” personal experience, I enjoyed an amazing time of sitting, quietly and peacefully experiencing my body, my mind and my heart at peace and at rest with one another. The angst, the personal resentment, and the distrust I had felt since childhood was gone. And in its place was a feeling that the world we all live in is a good world and I was a good part of it. I thanked God for the experience. I asked Him to help me continue to grow in honesty, and give me strength to consistently surrender the bondage I had lived in for so long. I felt that my experience of living with other people had been changed, and I had been changed too. I knew my recovery was not complete and that I still was very capable of addictive self-destruction, but I also knew I was no longer alone, and I did not have to bear the burden of my faults alone, but they were shared. I felt alive in a large way, part of a world of imperfect and wonderful people, who when honest with God and others, will know the strength and capability of giving life amidst all hardship and sorrow. Sharing is caring. We become a living miracle in the lives of others when we share.
This is an excerpt from WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME, not for men only  ~ Copyright David Zailer, 2011

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