Dear Addi

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Isn't it about "Time"?

It has been quite a while since I have posted anything. Life has become all consuming as of late. In my work, summers are always the busiest time of year. As a result, my blogging activities have become nonexistent. So, I felt that I should jump in with a quick post and an update on how I, and more importantly, my wife and family are doing.

We are now working on 8 months since "D" day. I have never been more focused on anything in my life. Being busy helps.  Down time can be dangerous for an addict. It has also been 8 months of sobriety. That is something I am very proud of. In the past 8 months I have made my weekly sojourn to the Addiction recovery program provided by the LDS church. About an hour north of where we live, there is a class specifically geared to addicts of Pornography. So, once a week we drive an hour north and an hour back to be a part of a truly inspired program.  Going to this class recharges me.

In our last visit to the stake president we were told that he sees no reason why we wouldn't be able to reconvene a council at exactly 1 year. For this I am grateful.  I won't go into all the reasons for my gratitude, as I plan to write a post soon about life as an excommunicated member but, let me simply say.... the next 4 months can not pass quickly enough.

We have spent a lot of time talking about the passage of time.  We often say time heals. We watch the clock wishing it would move faster. Sometimes we just want time to leap forward. We have been promised healing with the passage of time and we anxiously wait for it to finally arrive.  Emotions and feelings are still raw. We are each fighting different battles. Mine for the longest time has been to fight the flashes of thought or memories or temptations. On this front I can say that time has helped them to greatly subside They have been replaced with flashes of guilt and shame and anger at myself. It is a different kind of pain and a different kind of guilt then before. It is a heavy hurting guilt. A guilt for what i have done to my wife. It is the guilt of my own betrayal.

Somehow I have managed to lock it down inside when it comes up. I prefer feeling nothing to feeling the shame from my past. I am fairly good at blocking out those shameful feelings but the question I have now is.... should I? My wife sometimes feels hurt because her pain is still so present, still so magnified and her flashes of thoughts are dangerously vivid. The betrayal is so real to her and then, she sees me and I seem to be simply taking it in stride.  I appear to be handling it with ease and it causes her to question if I am really hurting at all.

I am learning that I need to allow myself to lift the wall I have built and to actually feel all the hurt and shame... and not just in my secret private moments, but in her presence.  I need her to see that I am battling hard and that the pain is real for me too.  Mine is the pain of one who wishes he had never caused any of this hurt while hers is the pain of one who is dealing with the most intimate betrayal of her life.

This is a really hard process.....

However, we are both dedicated to it  and despite everything, I feel closer to my wife, my children, and my Savior than ever before.  I hate the way we got to where we are.  I hate to see her suffer  and I hate being the cause of her pain but I know that it's only hottest in the middle of the fire.  I know that the refining can't happen if I am sitting on the side line and so, through the fire we walk hand in hand.

I also know that there is a point during the process where if you leave the precious metal in the fire too long, it begins to lose value. There is a perfect point when the master smelter knows that the precious metal has reached the exact heat needed and then, He pulls it out of the fire, leaving it pure... and refined.  He will not ask us to suffer more than is necessary and so, with hope and faith,  we press forward into the heat.

Speaking of time, we have decide to take the terms that are reference to time and change them. We all know that BC typically means  "Before Christ,"  and AD stands for "Anno Domini." (The year of our Lord) We have decided to use those same Abbreviations in relation to my Addiction and recovery.  BC still stands for, "Before Christ."  It does so because I was living my life without him.  I had no relationship with him. I was lost and wandering and seeking the Shepherd  but I placed a chasm of sin and selfishness between us. If I'm being truly honest, I went out of my way to avoid Him  for I knew I could never come to Him in sincerity... not with all the sin I was carrying and hiding.

AD Stands for "After Deliverance" because that is what happened when I finally turned it all over to Him. My confession and repentance has helped me have a true change of heart and opened the door for my Rescuer and Deliverer to step inside.  He has shown me that healing can happen. He has helped me see that the lies and despair and loss that Satan threw in my face day after day  were nothing but half truths and manipulation.  He has set me free from my self imposed chains.

So again, I return to time. It is our friend as well as our enemy.  I have wasted so much time on worthless damaging habits. Idle time can truly be a curse.  Time wasted in secrecy and deceit only serve to tighten the chains with which we are bound. However, the successful passage of time can be our hope and strength. Time spent driving 2 hours each week for support in a 12 step group, time spent helping my family to heal, or time spent inviting others to come unto Christ help to keep the conduit to the spirit open and accessible. Time is of course one of the sacrifices that he requires from us.  But if time spent in the refiner's fire as an offering, can help me and my family find healing and strength, than it is a sacrifice that we are willing to give. Of course the blessing that comes... the true reward.... is that we will eventually come to a place that is no longer defined by time at all but simply referred to as eternity. That is our focus. That is our Goal.

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