Thanksgiving

I was talking to my therapist this week. “I think you should do podcasts,” she told me. Just before I arrived for my appointment I read an opinion about honoring the anonymity tradition of Sexaholics Anonymous as it pertains to social media. I don’t believe these things happen by chance.

It was nice to hear my therapist, a certified sexual addiction therapist (CSAT) think that I have something to offer other people like me. I know I have been richly blessed by the experiences of others. I am particularly grateful to the author of rowboatandmarbles.org. The author is a fellow Mormon, and has first hand understanding of sexaholism. If you think you may be addicted to pornography, I highly recommend his website. You may find it particularly helpful if you also happen to be LDS.

As these things happen, I now find myself sitting in my living room at the tail end of another Thanksgiving family gathering. Kids running around, adults chatting, and me; trying my hand at my first ever blog post. It’s worth mentioning that vacationing is not easy for me. I don’t know how to relax. Vacations take me out of my routine. They often present visual triggers (as is the case with vacation spots – or any spots, who am I kidding? I have programmed my brain with multiple decades of objectifying women). My wife and kids aren’t calling for my time the way they normally do. Even though I have family all around, I can feel more isolated than in normal situations. Add in the normal family challenges presented by personality differences, money, tempers, and messes; and what is a sexaholic to do? There are, in fact, other options than having to indulge my addiction, but I won’t get into detail on those right now.

Keeping on the subject of Thanksgiving, recovery work has taught me to practice gratitude as a way of life. Note: Deiter Uchtdorf’s talk/article “Grateful in Any Circumstances,” is suburb reading on this subject. But how does this look in real life application? A week or two ago my wife and I had a difficult decision to make. We didn’t see eye to eye. She wanted one thing, and I wanted another. I could feel myself getting resentful as I made my case. Resentful that I might not get what I wanted. I started looking around for an escape. Porn isn’t my go to anymore, so I thought about eating something, maybe looking for a friend to complain to – something, someone to distract me! But I knew, I knew that running away from the situation wasn’t going to make it any better. I gave a dear friend just a few details, and he encouraged me to pray about it.

I was at work so I got up from my desk and found a private room where I could pray out loud, and as I kneeled down, I did something unusual for me. The thought came to thank God for this uncomfortable situation. Thank him that my wife and I could not agree, and that I may not get what I wanted. This simple act was exactly what I needed. It led to an immediate change in my attitude, suddenly I was able to accept the possibility of not getting what I wanted, and truly become willing to let God’s will be done, whatever that may be. God’s will wasn’t readily evident to me, but it didn’t matter. Just becoming surrendered to His will was what I needed.

So on this Saturday after Thanksgiving, I’m asking myself the question, “can I be grateful in any circumstance?” I’ve already discovered that the best time to ask myself this question is when the circumstances aren’t desirable, and that the results can be powerful.

If you are reading my first blog post, thank you, and a question for you: can you be grateful under any circumstance? Can you trust that nothing, absolutely nothing in this world happens by chance? That the only way things happen is that God allows them to happen? It works for me, I think it’ll work for you too.

 

 

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