Why blog about this?

That’s a great question.  I spent several months finding my answer before I decided to start this blog.  Actually, I found more than one answer.   In short, I’m doing this because I feel that God wants me to.   You’re welcome to read on for the longer version.

One of the most difficult aspects of my addiction has been the isolation—from God, family members, my wife, close friends, even myself.  Addiction thrives in isolation.  For years I carried the shame and guilt of being addicted to pornography.  For most of those years, I didn’t know I was addicted.  But once I realized I was dealing with an addiction, my first thought was this:  “I’m an addict.  I don’t know any addicts.  I’m alone.”  I’m still baffled by how powerfully loneliness can affect me.  I believe that sharing my recovery will help me combat loneliness and isolation.  Although I fear what might happen by my going public, I also have faith that my recovery will be continually enriched and strengthened by it.  Which brings me to my next answer…

I sincerely hope that by sharing my recovery I can help others escape the bondage of addiction.  When I attend addiction recovery meetings, I receive a strength and power that I have not found anywhere else.  I offer what I’m facing, what’s helping me, what’s on my mind and what I’m afraid of, and others in attendance do likewise.  Somehow, by allowing myself to be vulnerable with those good people, I find acceptance and understanding.  I find inspiring examples and deep, personal experiences from which I can draw strength and wisdom for my own recovery.  Many times I find myself in need of a meeting but unable to attend one that day.  I have spoken with several friends in recovery who have expressed similar thoughts.  So, why not strengthen one another in between weekly meetings?  A blog seems like the best way to accomplish that.  I suppose a threaded email could work, too, but that’d be a nightmare to catch up on if someone falls behind.  How wonderful it would be if by simply sharing my recovery in a public setting, I might help lead a fellow addict to God, to healing and recovery.  Others have done so for me.

I also hope to bring more understanding about addiction to those who have been affected by it, and to those who want to know what they can do to help an addict. As I’ve progressed through my recovery from this disease, I’ve learned that I really had no clue what an addiction is.  I’m still learning what an addiction is.  It’s horrible.  It can destroy individuals and families, wreck dreams and marriages, and drag down entire communities.  But why?  Why does it ever go that far?  Do the addicts just not try hard enough to quit?  Do they not want it badly enough?  Do they not love their families?  Why don’t they think of the consequences of their actions?  Why don’t they just stop?  Over the years I asked myself these questions in a mirror many, many times.  “Michael, why do you keep going back?  What’s wrong with you?”  I lacked understanding.  I simply didn’t know what addiction is or how to identify it.  I certainly didn’t know that I had one.  Now that I know I have one, I’m still learning how to overcome it.  Thankfully, the Lord is patient, and His grace is sufficient to lift me when I falter.  I’m so grateful to Him for showing me the truth of my condition as well as showing me the way out.  I’m still on my way out, and it sure is easier when I have the support of people who both care and understand.

I want to be clear that I also value the support of those who aren’t fellow addicts in recovery.  I have an incredible wife who supports and understands me better than anyone I’ve ever known on this earth.  And I have loving parents and parents-in-law who love and support me.  I’ve also been blessed with great friends whose characters are such that I knew I could go to them for support early on in my recovery.

I believe that by better understanding what an addict goes through, people’s ability to encourage and support any addicts they may know will be extended and amplified.  In other words, I believe that we humans have great capacity for showing kindness and love, and I think we do it better when we understand the suffering better.  I believe that more understanding of addiction can yield more compassion for those who face the enslavement of addiction.

Just so you know, I’m an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons.  If I use terminology that seems strange, you’re welcome to send me a message or visit mormon.org.  I also want to be clear that this blog does not necessarily reflect the views or doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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