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April 20 • Ending the Same

Day 651

A few days ago, I wrote about the approaching first anniversary of giving my First Step presentation to a group of sex addicts working through a 12 Step workshop. That day has come and gone, and I've been thinking a lot about that exercise and wondering what re-reading those fourteen pages would do for me now. It's really strange. So much of it seems like I'm reading a novel based on someone else's life, and now and then, something hits me between the eyes like it was yesterday. There is relief as I read the things from my childhood that are much better categorized in my life now than they were a year ago. I am astounded at remembering the things I did as a teenager, and for years into my 20s and 30s, things that seemed so insignificant at the time, yet things I should have been smart enough to understand were destroying me. But I lied very well to myself during all that, believing that as long as I never touched another woman, I was still holy and okay.

Then the dam broke, and my fantasies turned into a hellish reality. And the shame returned to forgotten levels as I re-visited my story through the words I wrote recalling my acting out years: Massage parlor visits, interactions with other women, and the alcohol I consumed trying to medicate the pain of my actions which were supposed to medicate the pain of my life. My concluding thoughts today are very similar to how I ended my First Step one year ago:

"Now, I'm just trying to survive without killing anyone — including myself — or hurting any more people. It would be nice to be able to pay my mortgage and provide for my family, but even that has become weirdly secondary as a priority. "This afternoon, I found myself watching the Denzel Washington movie "Flight" about an alcoholic pilot that went to jail after crashing an airliner. Near the end of the film, he said, "Some people will forgive me, some people won't, and that's alright. At least I'm sober." "There's no way I can make up for what I've done, except — according to my wife — to not give up, to stay sober. "I want to be a better man than I've ever been, even if that's a lesser man than I ever thought I was."

God, help me. Please.




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