Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Steps to destruction....

So I run into this a lot with people that are struggling from hurts, hang-ups and habits. Normally though, I don't get told until after someone has gone out and relapsed or back slidden into old habits.

The truth is there is a process for those of us that have addictions...there are steps that we have to take in order to relapse. Here's an example...I'm an alcoholic...period. If I'm going to go out and relapse, for whatever reason, there are steps that need to be taken in order to get me there. If I can stop myself at any one of these steps, my odds of relapsing are significantly less.

1) I have to have the thought that I want a drink. (From here I have two options...take the next step towards relapse or turn from the idea...maybe call my sponsor?)

2) I have to travel somewhere in order to get that drink. (Again...two options...continue on my quest for relapse or turn from it. Go to a meeting, go to a park, beach or other calm serene place instead)

3) I have to physically pick up that drink. Either from a liquor store at a bar...I still need to pick it up. (Two options...pick it up or leave it there)

4) Finally bring it to my lips and sip it. Let's face it...from here it's too late do anything but it can get worse.

As an alcoholic, if I get away with the first drink...the second and third are easy. If I'm able to wash down the guilt and shame of the first drink (kind of like I did with my feelings before) the continuation of this process shortens. You see from here I can say to myself that it wasn't all that bad. It was easy. And I no longer think of the steps it takes to relapse (since I already did) now i get to think about the steps to hide it. To get away with it... and before I know it. I'm back in the swing of my past and to be honest..I just don't care anymore for those years of sobriety I put together. Jack and Bud are my friends...and just like before...they don't judge me.

The same goes for any addiction...let's look at a pornography addiction:
1) I open my computer with the thought that I want to look at porn. (two options...flee or continue)
2) I look at that spam email that says something provocative (flee or continue)
3) I go to the website (flee or continue)
4) I look at one provocative picture/video (Blam...hours have passed and I'm fully engulfed)

Look at this way: Let's say you don't have any fuel in your car...the light is on and probably has been for awhile. You want to go to Vegas...As your driving down the freeway before you hit the 15, there are offramps with gas stations about every mile. Now would you get out of the fastlane to get gas for you car or would you continue to the long stretch of road where you know there's now way off?

In a previous post I mentioned that God gives a way out along every step of the way. It's our choice to take it or wait for the next one. But sooner or later, God will let you go to your destination without any input and let you learn the lesson on your own. This is painful, but He does it to teach us to trust Him. Do you trust Him? Before you relapse (next time or your first) are willing and ready to follow Him through the escape hatch...or are you willing to go through the pain?
He'll be there at the end...but it's a long way back.

Thanks for letting me share.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pray this!

My Lord God
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following
your will does not mean
that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that my desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope that I have that desire
in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear,
for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone.
- Thomas Merton (1915-1968)