By Keith D. one of our Castimonia facilitators
I was given a book titled “Out of the Depths” (Author Edgar Harrell) by a very dear friend of mine this past Father’s Day. When I first glanced at the title of the book, I immediately assumed it was a book of recovery. Rather, it is a story about 900 of the 1,200 man crew that were swimming in shark infested waters for five days in the Philippine Sea after the USS Indianapolis was hit by two torpedoes just weeks before the end of WWII.
Inside the front cover was a beautifully written note from our friend saying that the review of this book made her think of me. She knew of my (our) problem as she is my wife’s best friend as my wife confided in her. In it she writes “you are definitely a man of courage, faith, and endurance”.
Lt. Col. North writes “It has been a great blessing to spend most of my life in the company of heroes. By “hero”, I mean a person who has wittingly put himself in grave physical jeopardy for the benefit of another. Heroes are people who overcome evil by doing good at great personal risk. Through self-sacrifice, fortitude, and action, whether they succeed or fail, heroes provide a moral and ethical framework-and-inspiration-for the rest of us…..Real heroes are selfless…..Many of the marines that with whom I was privileged to serve for nearly a quarter of a century were heroes. The firemen and police who rushed into the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon on 9/11 fit the description. Today, a good number of soldiers airmen, Marines, and Guardsmen that I cover for FOX News certainly meet the criteria….It (this book) is a tale of men tested beyond anything they thought possible-and how they responded with bravery, endurance, and faith in the face of fear and overwhelming despair.”
For some reason, I cannot get past the Foreword of the book. In its three pages, Lt. Colonel Oliver North writes about heroes. What he writes about heroes is true. However, there are other men (and women) that are heroes to me. Although these men that Lt. Col. Oliver North writes about are heroes, there are other heroes that he does not write about. I cannot help but think of myself and many other people like me, who have struggled with pornography and sexual addiction. It has reshaped what a hero looks like to me.
The heroes I am thinking of are rarely in grave physical danger. However, they do face other dangers that may appear to be just as large if not larger than any physical danger. These dangers live in the mind in the form of fears. Some of these fears include whether one may lose his job, his marriage, family, and friends for the pursuit of disclosure and recovery.
Every time I attend a meeting I am in a room filled with heroes. Each member’s story is unique and faces his own challenges. Just as Lt. Col. North wrote, heroes are people who overcome evil by doing good at great personal risk. Each one is a hero in their own right and I have learned to draw on the strength of these heroes.
This is what a hero looks like to me:
To me…..a hero is someone who finally “comes clean” after years of acting out
To me…..a hero is in recovery whether he is separated from his wife and family, or his marriage ends up in divorce
To me…..a hero is someone who takes a polygraph
To me…..a hero is someone who practices rigorous honesty over sobriety
To me…..a hero is someone who has not been sexually intimate with his wife for 20 months but still hasn’t acted-out and is believing for the healing of his marriage
To me…..a hero is someone who recognizes he is struggling and calls another brother to avoid acting out
To me…..a hero is someone who gives a first step
To me…..a hero is someone who has shared his struggle with pornography and sexual addiction to his wife’s parents or to their children
To me…..a hero is a man of God who admits he is wrong and is willing to make amends
To me…..a hero is someone who chooses the pain of recovery rather than abandon his family and live in his (or her) addiction.
To me…..a hero is a man of courage, endurance, and faith in the face of fear and overwhelming despair!