Posts Tagged ‘masturbation’

There are times when I know Jeff is more prone to slip up on the road to recovery.  These include when he is tired, when he is stressed and when he is lonely.  I don’t travel much, but when I do it is a perfect storm for Jeff.  As the lone caretaker for our two active boys while I’m out of town – the stress and exhaustion come quickly.  The loneliness soon follows.  Here are some things I try to do to support Jeff when I have to be away from home.

  1. I take his struggle seriously. I ask him about his strategy. I encourage him and affirm him.
  2. I try to help him find some pockets of time to recharge. Maybe that means scheduling a babysitter one evening while I’m gone so he can go to his group.  Or arrange a play date so he can enjoy a few hours of quiet at the house.
  3. I spend time with him alone before and after the trip. No kids, no “to do” list. Whether it is a date night or just a quiet evening after putting the kids to bed, I let him know that I love him by speaking his love language.
  4. I leave notes of encouragement. This is something I use to do just for the boys, but Jeff loves it too.  I put them on the bathroom mirror, on the front door, in dresser drawers.  I want all my boys to be reminded that they are the world to me.
  5. I talk to him frequently while I’m out of town. I’m not a phone talker, but Jeff has shared with me that he really needs to talk to me while I’m gone.  So I give him my full attention, which means I turn off the tv and the computer and focus on him.  I also try to let him end the conversation, so he doesn’t feel as if I’m rushing him.
  6. I pray for him. I confess that I don’t do this nearly as much as I should.  But I ask the Lord to keep Jeff strong, to give the boys a smooth, easy week, and to protect Jeff’s eyes from temptation.  I never forget that this is a spiritual battle, which can only be fought by prayer.


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This letter was written by one of the members of Castimonia on the request of his therapist.  Please take a moment to read this, it is very powerful.

Goodbye Letter

Dear Addiction,

                I have longed for this day for over 20 years. I’m writing to tell you ‘goodbye’. Sure, I’ve said that before, but before you mock me, I have a few things to say. I’ve been reflecting on our time together lately. I don’t remember when we met; it seems like you’ve always been around. But we really grew close the summer I found that adult magazine. What a rush! I had never met anyone who could make me feel as good as you could. As my companion, you knew the pain I felt as a boy, you understood it better than I did. You were such a comforter, bringing images to mind to take my thoughts away from the pain and uncertainties of life.

                I understand how we grew so close, but I couldn’t see how you were changing me. You changed the way I viewed the world, the way I saw women, and the way I viewed myself. You changed my priorities and passions, you changed my fragile boundaries, and you changed the very structure of my brain!

                I thought of you as a friend, but you were anything but a friend. You brought harm to every part of my being; mind, body and, spirit. You also harmed countless people around me; from people I didn’t even know to the people I loved the most. You destroyed relationships with my family and closest friends. You cost me a marriage, a ministry, and my reputation with my home church. You stole tens of thousands of hours from my work, family, and from life giving pursuits, not to mention the thousands of dollars from my bank account. You took my integrity, confidence, and self-respect. Weren’t you satisfied with all of that? No!

                You drew me away from my God and demanded that I worship you! You took His place in my life, but you were a poor substitute old Familiar One. You never left me nor forsook me, even though I begged you to. I sacrificed the most sacred things for you, but you always wanted more. I feasted at your table, but your food and drink left my soul ravenous and parched. I faithfully listened and obeyed your words, but nothing turned out as you said…NOTHING!!! There were times, it’s true, you brought me comfort, happiness, and wholeness. But your gifts were a mirage, a momentary fix at best. In the end, they brought shame and guilt, which deepened my despair.       In all things, you promised life but delivered death.

                I know this wasn’t ALL your fault. I am to blame, too; I went along, I said “yes”. I invited you in time and time again. I fed you, entertained you, gave you a safe place to reside, and went to all lengths to protect you. I’ve given you far too much power, influence, time, attention, and energy.

                Five months ago today (9/11/14), my loving Father intervened and opened my eyes to see how toxic our relationship was. I severed our relationship because I saw the destruction you brought to my life. Though the scars from our ventures will never go away, your influence will be felt for years to come. Yes, you’ve altered my life forever.   But I am a better man without you. My family is better without you.

                I’ve asked my Heavenly Father to take your place and to show me a better way. We’re on a different path than the one you travel. I know this will make you angry, and you will lurk in the shadows seeking to enslave me once again. But I’m getting stronger by the day old ‘friend’. I know your voice and will be vigilant to watch for you. So it’s time to say a final “goodbye” to you Familiar One, you and your destructive ways are no longer welcome here.

PS: I’m telling other men about you; I’m exposing you for who you really are. I only hope that I can destroy as many of your relationships as you have of mine.

No longer your slave,

be-true-to-yourself-300x220To be true to yourself means to act in accordance with who you are and what you believe. If you know and love yourself you will find it effortless to be true to yourself. Just as you cannot love anyone else until you love yourself, you cannot be true to anyone else until you are true to yourself. Be who you are! Have the courage to accept yourself as you really are, not as someone else thinks you should be. Do not take action or pretend to be someone else for the sake of gaining acceptance. When you do things that are not genuine or a reflection of the real you, you will not be happy with yourself and will end up confused. You’ll be confused because you won’t know whom to please, or how. Self-respect comes from being true to who you really are and from acting in accordance with your fundamental nature. When you respect yourself, others will respect you. They will sense that you are strong and capable of standing up for yourself and your beliefs. When you are true to yourself, you allow your individuality and uniqueness to shine through. You respect the opinions of others but do not conform to stereotypes or their expectations of you. To be true to yourself takes courage. It requires you to be introspective, sincere, open-minded and fair. It does not mean that you are inconsiderate or disrespectful of others. It means that you will not let others define you or make decisions for you that you should make for yourself.

“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.” – Raymond Hull

man-worriedWorrying can be helpful when it spurs you to take action and solve a problem. But if you’re preoccupied with “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, worry becomes a problem. Unrelenting doubts and fears can be paralyzing. They can sap your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels soaring, and interfere with your daily life. But chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective. Constant worrying takes a heavy toll. It keeps you up at night and makes you tense and edgy during the day. You hate feeling like a nervous wreck. So why is it so difficult to stop worrying? For most chronic worriers, the anxious thoughts are fueled by the beliefs—both negative and positive—they hold about worrying. On the negative side, you may believe that your constant worrying is harmful, that it’s going to drive you crazy or affect your physical health. Or you may worry that you’re going to lose all control over your worrying—that it will take over and never stop. On the positive side, you may believe that your worrying helps you avoid bad things, prevents problems, prepares you for the worst, or leads to solutions. Negative beliefs, or worrying about worrying, add to your anxiety and keep worry going. But positive beliefs about worrying can be just as damaging. It’s tough to break the worry habit if you believe that your worrying protects you. In order to stop worry and anxiety for good, you must give up your belief that worrying serves a positive purpose. Once you realize that worrying is the problem, not the solution, you can regain control of your worried mind. Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.,

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” - Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIC

Next week is Faith & Freedom Week and the Houston Graduate School of Theology along with Willow Meadows Baptist Church as put together some great sessions on educating us on Human Trafficking.  Please take time to visit one or all of these sessions.

September 15 – 18, 2014

9/15/2014-MONDAY (6:30-8:00 PM)

Representatives from Arrow Child & Family Ministries and Freedom Place will discuss their work rescuing victims of human trafficking in the USA and Abroad and how churches can be involved.

9/16/2014-TUESDAY (6:30-8:00 PM)

Human Trafficking 101 Class will be presented by Misa Nguyen, Deputy Director of United Against Human Trafficking.

9/17/2014-WEDNESDAY (6:30-8:00 PM)

Founder of Peace Gospel Int’l and She Has Hope, Kirby Trapolino, will describe the work of these ministries which rescues and rehabilitates human trafficking survivors with the goal of restoring them to a life full of hope.

9/18/2014-THURSDAY (12:30PM-3:00PM)

Houston Graduate School of Theology is hosting an academic colloquium on the topic of human trafficking entitled “The God Who Sees: A Theological Response to Human Trafficking”.

Willow Meadows Baptist Church
Fellowship Hall
4300 West Bellfort Street
Houston, TX  77035

For more information, please contact Dr. Chuch Pitts ( or Ms. Jannell Ray (
Phone: 713.942.9505

26594It is your duty to search for truth. It is everyone’s responsibility to seek what is right and just. Being mature enough to admit that you are wrong lend dignity to you. It also insures that you will remain open-minded about life.

1. Notice that you are upset when someone else doesn’t agree that you are right. This is the first step in the process. It is a simple awareness that you are in reaction.

2. Pause and allow yourself to see how crazy it is to be upset about who’s right. This is a simple task that requires that you give your ego a small time out. It is goofy to be that upset about whether people agree with you or not.

3. Don’t be angry that you are in reaction, but chalk it up to an opportunity to gain insight about yourself. Actually change the meaning of your reaction from something that is off base to an opportunity.

4. Forgive the other person for not having your “wonderful” insight. Hey, they have the freedom to believe what they want, just like you do.

5. Examine if you are possibly wrong. If by any remote possibility you believe that you are in reaction and wrong about it, please admit it.

6. Don’t expect them to love you just because you admitted you were wrong. Just admit it and see what happens.

That will help you get more real, more humble and will help your relationships deepen. There is great dignity in being able to admit when you are wrong. It is wonderful to be around that kind of person. By Louis Tartaglia, M.D.

“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” - John C. Maxwell

Once again, continuing the theme of “300: Rise of an Empire” I found a third subtheme in this movie.  Although not really impressed with the movie as a whole and how Hollywood has distorted history and also added a completely fabricated and unnecessary sexual scene to this movie, I thought it had some deeper recovery-related gems.  For those that don’t know much about this movie (and I don’t expect those early in their recovery to watch the entire movie) here is a summary from Wikipedia:

Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster “300,” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield-on the sea-as Greek general Themistocles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. This film pits Themistocles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

Nevertheless, in watching this movie, I did pick up on  the recovery-related themes.  Maybe it was me trying to find some sort of redemptive quality in a poorly made movie, or maybe it was the Holy Spirit saying to me, “use this material, men will ‘listen’ when you speak to them through these films.”  I don’t know which one it was, but I’m hoping it was the latter.  The third subtheme I saw in this movie is that of a violent and vicious female naval commander, Artemisia, who shows no mercy and destroys her enemies.  What we see in 300: Rise of an Empire, is a discussion that takes place between Themistocles and his generals discussing Artemisia and her childhood.  Here we see a child who was severely traumatized, through no fault of her own, and who grows up to be, to put it bluntly, a psychopathic killer.  This movie does a good job establishing the connection between childhood trauma and the acting out of that trauma in adulthood.  There are many in recovery who experienced a tremendous amount of childhood trauma, even to the extent of what is shown in the film, who have medicated the trauma by acting out in a variety of ways. Understanding this childhood trauma and how it affects those around us is important because we begin to feel empathy for the individual and not hold on to our resentments against them.  Trauma does not excuse the acting out, it only allows us to understand why the individual is choosing to act out in a very destructive ways; ways that show a need for safety and self-preservation.  I hope you enjoy watching this film as much as I enjoyed making it.  It’s amazing how many recovery themes one can find in the average Hollywood movie.  I encourage you to look deeper in to the media you watch and see what the Holy Spirit is telling you about that media.

Disclaimer: Although tempted to watch the original movie from where this clip was taken, a person new to recovery should consult their therapist, sponsor, and/or accountability partner on whether to watch this film.  It has a sex scene with some partial nudity that could sexually trigger the individual. Also, the excessive violence (some of which I removed from this clip) can be harmful to your recovery if you are like I was early on; prone to medicate the viewing of violence and associated guilt.
As always, take what you like and leave the rest.
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