Reactive? Moi?

Last night I checked-in a matter which has been troubling me for some months. It became pertinent yesterday because I realised that it is part of my personality and a character trait which I would gladly see the back of. 

During my step6/7 work I identified that I was quite a ‘reactive’ person. I don’t think I ever got round to humbly asking for God to remove this defect. In fact, I wonder if I became righteously indignant that I might have to ‘check it in at the door’. It has therefore taken me a long time to fully acknowledge this and begin to act. I guess that other things had to be under control first. 

I use social media a fair bit and I’ve identified that, although I am mildly interested in ‘news’, I’m way more stimulated by the comments on the news. 

When I read news articles I can understand my feelings towards them and moderate my thoughts and actions accordingly.

However, when I read the comments, I discover that I become an altogether different emotional beast. These emotions are almost always negative and as such place my mind in a position where I can happily consider other behaviours and thoughts which are unpleasant. Sex does enter the discussion at this point.

Therefore I checked this in. On voicing these thoughts, I got in touch with them and was able to see them for what they were. Hearing them fed back to me without advice was sufficient to reinforce that I needed to take action. 

This does not mean that I need avoid social media but I must be careful in navigating the comments and content. 

I’m checking it in here because it forces me to connect again and determine action. 

I’ve also taken time to consider my faith position and in this period of deconstruction and reconstruction I think I’m gradually moving to a state where I’m happier with this process. It was hard at first but I understand that it needed to be done. SAA is proving to be a place where I develop, and although that is alongside some very interesting characters, it really is a place of much honesty and openness. I know of nowhere else that is quite that open. 

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Where the bodies are found

I had a very good day yesterday. I spoke with my sponsor about middle circle activity and noted that I had spent rather too much time in what I call ‘low level’ middle circle activity. This includes eating too much inappropriate and unhealthy food. 

You might reasonably think that this has nothing to do with sex but it puts my mind in a place where I can progress to more intense middle circle activity. This would then lead me down a slippery slope to my bottom lines ( no pun intended).

I’ve therefore put in some boundaries round my snacking and over time, just so long as I hold to these, it should get easier to maintain them. Ive never been great round food but an additional 10kg more than I would like to weigh is going to have to go before it becomes 20kg.

What was interesting was an observation by my sponsor that food issues are often the last ting to be addressed in addiction. He often observes that chemicals e.g. Alcohol and drugs are usually tackled first and then the sex and finally food. This may be because food is even more of a basic need than Sex and therefore issues around it are likely to be even deeper ingrained. It’s a challenge! 

My wife has successfully negotiated food problems in the past so I know it can be done. The prime motivation for me is to make sure that I can continue to enjoy food whilst still being content in my health. I’m not getting any younger and weight will be a factor in health matters if I don’t deal with it early. 

I also had a chat with the chap I sponsor. He had a significant issue with which my experience could help him. I’ll admit to a degree of healthy pride in being able to assist.

I’d also been asked by a new member if I could help him by stating that he was in attendance at SAA meetings. This was to help in mitigating his sentence at court. I took this back to my sponsor who has experience of dealing with that and has offered to assist but feels that it is unlikely to make any difference. It may have been better had he sought help sooner but he has found us at quite a late stage in the process. I’d have happily helped had I not been in a position where my anonymity is important to me. I can’t be associated, even by a sideways view, with that process and I think my sponsor is likely to give a similar answer. We have a lot at stake and our personal recovery is paramount. Being of service is important too, but not at the sake of ourselves. I am grateful that I never got into a situation where I was at risk of legal process but have heard enough stories now to understand that it is a place that a sex addict could find themselves without too much effort. The problem with addiction is that even if you say to yourself that ‘I will never do that’, the truth is that you could find yourself breaking that boundary to get a ‘fix’. That is why recovery is important. Additionally, when an addict slips back into addiction behaviours they don’t just dip their toes, they slow straight to the bottom and worse so they are always closer to the next worst thing. It’s hell. It really is. 

The meeting last night was very healthy and also very useful and allowed a lot of recovery to happen. Each meeting is slightly unique and I enjoy hearing shares from others about their experience, strength and hope. 

All in all it was a good day of recovery and quite satisfying. 

Philip Larkin was wrong 

Or right.

So I’ve been working on a statement to mark my position and this is it:

I think I ought to start somewhere.

Can I explain how I’ve got to where I am?
Yes. I can, but only with reference to where I’ve come from.
Where have I come from?
This might get tricky in-as-much-as I might open the odd can-of-worms. I was brought up in a house where going to church was the usual thing to do. It was the thing which others did. My maternal grandmother had a substantial faith and I think this was passed on, in some way, to my mother, who never really embraced it. We lived in a small village. It was considered usual for the community to go to church and to get children baptised there. I also attended Sunday school but, once again, it never really felt like a part of our life which was truly important. I also attended church-parade as part of the scout group but this too was very much a ‘process’ rather than anything that was born out of a faith in God. There was clearly an acknowledgement of the divine in both cases but this was not something which was to be considered as anything which really mattered. Eventually I became a part of the choir and was an altar servant for the sacrament. This was quite a ‘high’ Anglican parish church.
I was thus very much a part of church culture for a good number of years. At senior school I was part of the ‘Christian union’ but this was a short lived association and was quickly put aside when more attractive offers were presented to me. I’m going to be honest and state that I did not have any true faith at this point and would have happily denied my faith if that was what was required to preserve my image.
This position continued until I was at University. There I, once again, rededicated my life and tried to become more involved with the Christian Union but I found it extremely hard to draw myself away from other pleasures. For the most part this was alcohol, but this was not the only thing. For another thing, I dropped away from church attendance and up to my leaving for University, I had attended the same Anglican church in the same small village for all my formative years.
I met my wife just over a year later and I am convinced that she saved my life. Only God could have put her there. I attended church again (I would have said ‘we’ but she was already doing this) and eventually arranged to be married. She was the lead for this. She was studying education with theology and had a more solid grounding in faith and church life than I had. We became engaged. I stopped drinking large amounts of alcohol almost overnight and was generally a lot straighter in my actions and thoughts.
This set the pattern for the next twenty five years or so. My wife had a grounding in the Baptist / evangelical tradition and I, initially, brought her into the Anglican tradition. As we moved around the country, we gradually gravitated toward the baptist churches apart from a, rather long, association with a free-gospel hall fellowship. I was a person who went to the church, heard the message, understood the message but did not seal it into my heart. I could not do this. There was too much I wished to hide from God and, in my broken mind, that meant not engaging with church in a wholehearted way. This was all despite organising church events, helping out with looking after visiting speakers, doing works of service and being a regular attending person. I guess that I always was someone who had the best interests of myself and the church at heart but could not quite , in all honesty, be whole in Christ. I sang the songs and heard the word but I was far from God and it wasn’t there in my heart.
I realise that I have to keep ‘on task’ and make this about my spiritual life and not my whole life as there are many factors which could be talked about in order that I explain why I couldn’t be the kind of person I thought as someone who attended a church.
In 2012 I finally gave in and became baptised as an adult. I had been baptised as a child and gradually became more convicted that what I needed to do was to become baptised as an adult.
One member of the church I was attending at the time of my baptism stated that Satan would be at work to undo the work of the baptism. It was a warning
He wasn’t wrong
In late 2012 my wife suffered a considerable personal trauma. I had no idea why this happened and I struggled to come to terms with it. It may seem selfish and thoughtless to use that as my reference point but the simple truth is that I had a problem and I didn’t know why. In truth, there was a lot which I struggled to come to terms with and I sought professional help to deal with it. During the initial counselling sessions I eventually brought out a matter which turned out to be the, very real, problem underpinning the spiritual state in which I found myself. This required a deal of specialist therapy and has required ongoing care to this day. I am still very much in need of help and it is likely I will always require some form of help and I can never be complacent.
During the process of rebuilding a sense of who-I-am and discovering my true identity, I spent time with a small fellowship /self help group. It was within the honesty and humility of that group that I found the nature of God, or rather He found me. I then understood what everyone who knows God understands.
What unfolded over the next while was a gradual and deeper understanding of myself and what I had been missing out on for a very long time. It is a process which is ongoing and I can’t yet see an end point and nor does there need to be one.
When I moved to my current address 6 years ago I started to attend a Baptist church and initially the teaching was sound and the church was very much a traditional place to worship. In early 2013 the senior pastor resigned suddenly. The assistant pastor stepped up to the role and, with help from others, led the church into a period of change, the aim of which was to appoint a new senior pastor. Over the ensuing period his evangelical and forward-looking approach was rejected by the membership of the church in favour of trying to preserve a way of doing church which appeared to be based rather more on changing nothing. The voting structure was rearranged in a political manner in order that the bar be set too high to allow the assistant pastor to be appointed into the senior role. I attended a meeting where there was, quite obvious, manipulation of those attending to prevent appointment of the assistant pastor to that role. At this point I decided that I could not be a part of an organisation which was so openly divisive, un-supportive, and, quite frankly, un-Christian. However, I would not move until the time was shown to me. This became obvious on the Remembrance Sunday in 2015 and I exited shortly after that.

God then led me to a Pentecostal church in the City centre and I honestly thought I had it right but this was early days and I was eventually led to another Pentecostal church closer to where I lived. This seemed like it was the obvious place to be. It was busy, active and had a varied congregation including many of my own age and gender. I was quickly encouraged to ‘partner’ with the church and this I did. It may well be that I did this too quickly. Over the following 16months I found much to be content with, but in retrospect I understand that what I was seeking was a level of affirmation of my choices and a way for someone else to deliver to me a pre-packed form of Christianity which suited my biases. However, at the same time I found some things in the culture with which I was not comfortable and were in contravention of my values and internal belief structure. A full explanation of that sentence would take a lot of time and space and I need to get along.
In essence the issues are:

  • A validation of the Bethel church based at Redding in California. Primarily this validation was evidenced in the, almost exclusive, use of their music in worship. The worship songs are quite often theologically ‘thin’ and most often centred on the worshipper rather than God. Even the songs which appear to be directed at God are more often than not directed toward earth. This lack of reverence for God and his position is a massive stumbling block for me. Paying for the licensing of this music is overt support and that is where the problem lies
  • The reliance on ‘feeling’ and emotion based engagement with Church
  • A distinct lack of any depth or substance to the preaching
  • Preaching which has more emphasis on socio-political attributes, application and ethos rather than anything biblical. This, for me, represents an anti-intellectual stance. Jesus is mentioned but it seems almost as an afterthought.
  • Not impressed at all with the book-promotion tour of an author associated with the church. This is commercialisation of Christianity and it really sucks.
  • An industrial approach to Church which mimics the marketplace and workplace. We are called to be counter-cultural not capitalist.
  • The return of a church member from attending the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry was affirmed and applauded. This is further validation of a type of church with which I cannot be associated. This school is not properly validated and some of the methods espoused are questionable at the very least if not outright heretical.
  • why not Bethel? Kris Vallotton is a major proponent of ‘Prosperity gospel’ and his own words back this up. This is not a matter of opinion. This is fact. This is abhorrent teaching.
  • Why not Bethel? Theophostic counselling, a discredited method of psychotherapy which has the potential to cause great long-term harm and the church I was attending was using this method in their ‘prayer room’ sessions.
  • Why not Bethel? The church validates Benny Hinn as a good person of ministry and this person is well known to be corrupt and unbecoming of a minister. There is plenty of primary evidence for this. Whilst I understand that we are human and have human attributes and that the church is made of up of humans, there are limits beyond which I am not prepared to venture. I have a boundary and I’d like to try to maintain that boundary.
  • The nature of Bethel as a church which has removed itself from any over-seeing denominational structure. It was formerly a member of the AOG (which is acceptable and sound) but now sets out on its own terms under the loose affiliation of the NAR movement.
  • The NAR arose from the ashes of, the toxic, shepherding movement of the 70s and 80s and therefore its foundations are suspect to say the least.
  • Churches of the type of those found in the NAR movement act more like cults than churches and many of the characteristics of a cult may be found in Bethel. I am satisfied as to the depth of my personal investigation and the veracity of those from whom I have chosen to accept informations in this regard.

You might reasonably state that the church I attend is not Bethel Redding but I would counter this by noting that by validating Bethel, it is firmly aligning itself with the values of Bethel and that is where I must draw the line. It is my view that the current trend in Evangelical Christianity is creating a narcissistic view of spiritual matters and a wholly un-Biblical environment where questions,doubt and proper deep consideration are cast aside in favour of an easy-to-digest, spoon fed, emotion based ‘experience’.
After saying to myself that I would not be ‘drawn’ into argument, I did find myself making some of these justifications to the senior pastor of the church. He, rightly, pointed out that I should look at the ‘fruit’ of the church and its people. That may be so, but the underpinning values are, to me, very important. I have no desire to be drawn deeper into a system which ‘may’ be OK but runs counter to my value system.

I have to be passionate about these things and additionally I’ve no desire to discuss them in any depth with those who may be adversely affected by anything I say. I have no desire to cause offence and I do not wish to spread dissent or division and it is therefore better that I step aside and let them get on with things. They do not need me holding them back. They have a trajectory and I can’t be on it. The senior pastor asked if I’d talked it through with others in the church and for the reasons just stated I’ve no desire to do that. Neo-Pentecostalism is not for me. I must also point out that I’m quite happy to be ‘wrong’. This does not present me with any kind of epistemic crisis and I’m comfortable with that.

Does this mean that I have rejected Christianity? Not at all! I’m simply making a move to ask those questions which are often thought about but remain un-asked.

Psalm 2

Psalm 2:1-12 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. 

I’m grateful for my sponsor.

I’m grateful for the person whom I am sponsoring 

I’m grateful for wisdom and insight

I’m grateful that the anger I felt earlier in the week has subsided and my stress is under control. 

I’m grateful that I can feel and recognise anger and apologise when necessary 

I’m grateful for SAA and a really reflective meeting last night. 

I’m grateful that I’m able to be emotionally present in my life

I’m grateful for my wife

I’m grateful for God

I’m grateful that I’m here

Psalm1

Psalm 1:1-6 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction. 

Sometimes it’s good to reflect. One of the real advantages of being with SAA is that it gives a chance to reflect and meditate. Different groups have different ways of approaching the meetings but in essence they are like a church service with petitions and responses, choice readings and an informal ‘sharing’ in place of a sermon. These ‘shares’ are varied but in all cases, because they arise from the heart of the person, they are valuable. You may take what you need and, I find, it is best to approach with an open mind. For me it is the one place where I can openly express how I am feeling and voice my fears and resentments and expose them for the false beliefs they usually are. Last night we focussed on step7 where we humbly ask God to remove our defects of character. This came at a very appropriate time for me because:

At work I have been presented with a challenge. A senior colleague has mooted that there is a chance that I, along with others, may be asked to take on some additional work commitments. This is likely to have a significant detrimental impact on my work-life balance. It’s bad enough now but this would likely make it worse. And therein lies the rub… ‘likely’. It is of course my fears and my anxiety and my desire to control everything that is at the heart of this. Additionally I know that I have very weak boundaries and am more than likely to say ‘yes’ when I really want to say ‘no’. My defective and erroneous internal beliefs underpin how I behave and although I’ve made a lot of progress and I’m a lot more aware of them than I was, I’m still very vulnerable. I need to take care and I know that I must not allow myself to be split off from the herd when I’m facing a more direct question on this matter. So I’m humbly asking God to help me remove my desire to please others at the expense of myself. I’ve been practicing this in small ways but this is a much bigger challenge. Perhaps God is giving me a chance to grow in this way. 

On chatting this through with my sponsor yesterday I expressed a good deal of anger and underpinning that anger was a fear which is embodied in the threat to my otherwise reasonable home life. Managing that anger and repurposing the energy into developing a healthy response to this threat is probably essential if I’m to guard my boundaries correctly. 

So. Step 7 was a useful thing to have discussed last night and I’m grateful for that. 

‘Catch’

Last night someone threw a bottle toward me. They (I guess) assumed that I would naturally catch it prior to putting it in the waste basket I was stood next to. They could not have known that it was more than likely that I would drop it or rather, fail to catch it. 

I’ve never been very good at catching things or ball/bat games. I was always told that I had poor hand-eye coordination and, growing up, I was frequently teased and mildly chastised for not having the ability to catch. This was never severe but it was frequent and until now I’ve had little chance or need to bring it to mind.

However. Last night I caught the bottle and tossed it in the trash. I’ve noticed that my ability to catch has improved since I have been in recovery and this is more than likely a result of not holding onto the shame of not being ‘able’ to catch. 

Shame has many facets and this may be small and insignificant but I would suggest that it is representative of the kind of power that shame can have. It’s no wonder that shame drives me to seek an encounter where I feel good (however briefly). 

I’m doing alright at the moment although that is in part driven by the fact that I am responsible for helping an SAA fellow. I also feel remarkably calm.

I’ve also had a family funeral this week. This is a time for reflection and potentially a time for shame to rise. I’m grateful that I was able to be there to support my wife and I’m grateful that I could do what I could. My only regret is that I have not been able to give more support to my wife as I have been constrained by the busyness of my life. 

I have now begun the process of removing myself from the association with the Pentecostal church I have attended for about 16months. I don’t feel bad about this and in fact I feel quite satisfied and relaxed. I’ve still no idea of the future but I think that will present itself in due course. I’m a sex addict and I realise that I must not apply distorted thinking to the next steps. I managed this quite well when speaking with the senior pastor of the church on Sunday. I didn’t try to manipulate and didn’t allow myself to be placed in a position where I allowed my boundaries to be broken. 

I do think I have to be careful and I must respect the fact that my boundaries need attention and that in a lot of cases they are not all that clear. I probably require to do a bit of work on these but that’s another day. 

Leaving Pentecostalism is not the end of a relationship with God and in due course I will define a different way forward. I think that I moved far too quickly after leaving the last church. The addict in me was likely in control and that may explain some things. I’ve come to understand that I need space, reflection and contemplation. I don’t need the dopamine of a feelings based way of worship. I may also understand that I need to step away from the kind of worship that seems just as self centred as the world it appears to want to distance itself from! God has to be ‘other’ and ‘here’ but that’s magical and revolutionary and not a matter for emotion based worship. That’s far deeper. 

Responsibilities and resentments

I find myself in a new position. Ive been asked to sponsor someone in SAA and that means that I am in a position of responsibility. That responsibility means I have additional reasons to keep up my sobriety and look after myself. If there were ever an ‘opportune moment’ then this is the one. God appears to have defined the next step for me before I even feel that I wanted to ask ‘what now?’. I’ve had a chat with my SAA fellow already and know that I can be of service to them. The work is not onerous and easily manageable. My sponsor is still willing to support me so I shall move forward carefully. 

Serving others is important and today I find myself serving in church after I have made a decision to step aside from partnership with that church. 

Thanks to my chat with my SAA fellow I suddenly realised that I have to process the resentments which have surfaced to result in the decision I have made to move aside from the current church.

I had forgotten that I need to do this and I thank my fellow for just allowing me, whilst discussing his needs, to become more aware of my own. 

I also pray to God that I may be shown a more graceful and calm life but one which maintains my spiritual needs. I know that God can maintain my spiritual well-being. 

It may well be that a door is being opened to me. Another fellow was talking to me about the potential need for a meeting in a more local area. This may need to be something I consider carefully. God will only allow me to move forward at the pace I can bear. 

As I write this Im sort of listening to a ‘preach’ ( godawful word), and it’s largely ‘prosperity’ based: ” you have to sow a seed”. I detest this thinking and I feel resentment but maybe God is telling me that I need to stop listening to this person and listen to Him. 

Angry?

I think I might be angry.

Partly I think I’m angry with myself for not being too careful but partly I’m angry with others for blindly accepting things without question. So…

As you know, I’m a bit obsessed about Bethel church. Mostly this is because it is becoming a very large player in the Pentecostal community. 

Any church which is paying royalties for their music and thereby tacitly accepting them is either 1. Accepting of them or 2. Too stupid to see what is going on. 

If ever there were any siding doubt as to what side of the line they stand this article from Kris Vallotton will clear it all up:

Prosperity nonsense 101
This man is widely looked to as a leader. Some 315000 ‘like’ him on Facebook which is a good deal more than ‘like’ this blog! Popularity is not equal to being correct…. 

I was going to stop looking but I can’t. 

I have a choice to make. Either I stick with my new friends and let the church off its hook, or move on and seek a different way forward. I ought to act quickly to prevent damage. I will be sad. Many have been friendly and will struggle to understand why I can’t be in their ‘gang’. I will be thrust back into a reduced social state. How do others do community without doing ‘church’?  I’ve never had a community outside of church. 

I’m actually quite nervous. 

I’ve got resentment then. Am I prepared to pray for those I resent? Of course I am. Am I prepared to forgive? Of course. 

It’s not over yet. But it’s close. 

Hallelujah…

I have a name for my problem so I now completely identify with The Joker in the first Batman film with Jack Nicholson:

I have a name for my pain…
So what is it for me?

I’ve been wondering what it is that I don’t seem to have worked out quite right. I understand and believe that God is there. I’ve said it before, I found him in a room with people who were prepared to be vulnerable in order that they may recover from Sex addiction. Who would have thought that God would seem most present in that place? 

On the face of it, you really wouldn’t think of God wishing to commune with transvestites, exhibitionists,the porn addicted and the sex obsessed. However it makes sense through the lens of Jesus’ life. 

So God found me and made me confront all my years of church attendance where I couldn’t be a part because Sex addiction was holding me back. Church had to change and I left the cosy baptists and joined the Pentecostals. I could be a part! I’ve thrown myself in for 16months and there are lots of good points. But

There are things that are niggling me and I need to address them. After much google mining I think I know what they are and I can name them:

1. The teaching is lightweight. Like, really lightweight. I’ve never met weaker. It has some good application points but, to be fair, I’ve a better grounding in theology. And I’m a Sex Addict who has not been in any position to comment.

2. There’s a pretty strong leaning towards Bethel/Hillsong in the worship. This is limiting and I’ve been looking into Bethel, who are heavily linked to Hillsong and I don’t like what I read so…

3. New Apostolic Reformation – I think our church may be heading towards joining this movement- slowly and steadily,  but moving that way. There’s quite a lot of points that would back this up.

4. A visiting ‘prophet’ from Australia- I wasn’t there but I’ve heard the podcast. It was pretty much anything that could have come from a ‘cold-reading’. 

5. ‘Giftings’ eg tongues – lotsa babbling going on but no interpretation. Am I wrong in thinking that they should be interpreted? 

6. Emotional manipulation- lighting, keyboards etc, no-one rolling on the floor yet noted but hey! There’s time.  

However I must be careful. I know that I’m way too prone to the casual whims of my thinking. Funnily enough I’m writing this  whilst listening to a sermon on ‘spiritual posture’ which on the surface seems perfectly fine and it’s partly illustrated by this from Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4:14-15 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 

I also know that by the time I’m raising these issues, I’m already too far from the vision of this church and need to be completely honest. 

I’m also slightly concerned that the type of church with which I am currently aligned is  designed to manipulate emotion and therefore alow the release of dopamine. In this way it is one more obsessive ‘process’ which is only slightly healthier than the process of sex addiction. It’s only achieving the same result. 

Questions questions 

Hello

I’m still here. I’m still a sex addict. I’m grateful for my sobriety at the time of writing but am fully cognisant of the ever looming threat of slips and relapse. 

I think I’m able to accept that this is a condition for which I will suffer for the rest of my life however I’m also satisfied that the solution is more powerful than the addiction should I choose to live in it! 

In truth, I sometimes choose badly and I really can’t plan to be perfect. I’m human and flawed but I can thank God for the lessons I learn. 

I’m also quite encouraged by looking back on the journey I have madd so far and the changes I have made which are for the better. I know I have some way to go and the journey may never end but at least I can have healthy pride in what has been achieved.