One of the key concepts of the 12 step recovery program is the acceptance of helplessness. I.e. that you accept you are helpless to beat this addiction on your own. Or at least I think that’s what it means – it is quite complex I think and can be interpreted in different ways according to the individual and what best suits their situation and personal journey of recovery.
Either way, right now I feel helpless. I continue to act out on a regular basis (once or twice a week) using internet porn. Despite all the things I have done, habits I have changed, blocks I have installed etc, I still manage to find a way to act out. I have reached the point where I just don’t know what to do anymore, and that has led me to thinking about this idea of helplessness.
I accept that I cannot do this on my own. I accept that I may have to make drastic changes to my life in order to beat this. For me, accepting that I am not able to beat this on my own, i.e not in my control, is hard to do. I am generally a control-freak – I like knowing I am in control of things and I if I am going to beat addiction, I’ve always felt I need to be responsible for that and be the one to do it. Helplessness, to me, represented the giving up of that control; accepting that I can’t do this and I need more help than perhaps I was willing to admit.
But I’m there now. I have started going back to SAA, and I’ve spoken with a fellow member who may be willing to act as a temporary sponsor for me, getting me started on the 12 steps.
Something needs to change. Just to recap, if only for my benefit, here are the things I am doing:
- Going to SAA once a week and seeking out a temporary sponsor to help me get started on the 12 steps.
- Installed content blocks on all my devices that my wife has the password to.
- No devices in the bedroom.
- Always going to bed with my wife and not staying up on my own.
- Increasing therapy from once a month to twice a month, and possibly even going to once a week (that’s how often it used to be during my best period of sobriety)
What is incredibly frustrating is that despite the above, I still acted out today. Acting out really drains the motivation. It creates a little seed of depression and desperation inside me that is just bursting to grow if I let it. It wants me to give up, it wants me to accept defeat and stop fighting. It wants me to think I am worthless and that there is no point in trying to live a better life. The periods after acting out (like what I am in now) are hard, and I need to stay strong and motivated.
Here’s to the fight.