My Step 01

August 4, 2006

As I said before, I had experimented with pn and mb from my youth upward, but I really came into my own in grad school.  As I became more ensconched in my addiction, I began to think of it as helpful.  If I needed to work all night on a paper, I would look at pn once my wife had gone to bed and the worrying surrounding that would keep me awake all night.  When my wife and I weren’t really talking, we seemed to work together better.  Looking at pn helps me make up for my inadequacies in bed.  Thoghts like this actually would occur to me.

When I thought my wife would leave, I actually contemplated what I would do.  I thought that I would have a week long binge, downloading everything I could think of that appealed.  I would then confess it to my bishop, explaining it away as grief at her leaving.  I used to think about how my life would be free-er if she crashed in a car wreck.  I used to think a lot of things.

I want to be clear here.  I love my wife.  I always have.  But addiction really monkeys with your thinking.  Even when I would have those thoughts, I would recoil, disbelieving that I had actually thought that.  But I had.

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Step 01: Honesty

August 4, 2006

1. Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.

In the LDS Addiction Recovery Manual, the first step is directly associated with the quality of honesty.  This is a good association.  The first step is about becoming honest with yourself and becoming honest with others.

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Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable

The truth is that most addicts that I have met are not in denial about their addictions. They are aware of it and they are aware that it is bad. What they are in denial about is the effects of their addiction.

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Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable

The truth about addiction is, initially, painful. It isn’t something that we can easily admit. Looking at the above step (from the LDS Addiction Recovery Manual), it is frightening to admit that we are powerless to overcome our addictions. We cherish our agency and are loathe to believe that it can be lost or, probably more importantly, that we have lost it.

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From the AA Big Book:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.

From Heart t’ Heart:

1. We admitted we were powerless over compulsive/addictive behaviors — that our lives had become unmanageable. Admitted that we of ourselves are powerless, nothing without God. (Mosiah 4:5; Alma 26:12)

From the LDS Addiction Recovery Manual:

1. Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.

The First Step is, to some degree, about admitting that you just might have a problem.  With addiction comes denial (and a host of other problems).  You recognize that you are making wrong choices (if you don’t recognize them as wrong choices, you have problems more serious than addiction).  You also recognize that you haven’t quit them.

Maybe its because you’ve never really taken the time to focus on getting rid of them.  Maybe its because you have an important calling or position and it would hurt too many other people if your problem became public.  Maybe you are just embarassed.  In any case, you know that you have a bad habit, but you believe that you could quit it whenever.  It’s just a matter of applying willpower, after all.

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