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July 04 • Independence Days

Day 726

Independence Day takes on a whole new meaning for an addict. Most of us have a day when our lives turned from a downward spiral to a hopeful moment of believing we could be free of our self-destructions. For me, that day is June 1st. It is neither the last time I acted out sexually, nor was it a touchstone epiphany of recovery. That day is my Independence Day because it was the first time that I successfully said 'no' to my addict, and was able to stop a downward spiral in the middle of my backswing. It was the first time I said 'enough' to myself and meant it.

I won a battle, but the war was far from over. A few weeks later, I lost a similar battle, thanks in no small part to my escalating use of alcohol to mask the pain that I had been medicating with sexual misbehaviors. A few weeks after that, I bared my soul and my activities in a disclosure to my wife. If I'm staying with the metaphor, this was the day I constituted a new future; I drew a line between a crazy man doing whatever he could to feel less pain, and a man in recovery with new rules and new commitments to a future of honesty and clarity.

The failures were not finished. The battles with dishonesty and isolation continued, and I am still adding to and subtracting from the person I want to be. I still have fights with myself, often protesting against my own protestations in the course of figuring out which voice is the true one — the one I meditate to hear, or the one from my addict that can be so deceitful and sound so justifying, but is almost always recognizable in my heart of hearts.

When our US forefathers turned their energies from a rebellious bunch of crazy-thinking democratic experimenters into constitutionally-based visionaries, everything changed. The battles were not over, and 250 years later, the war is still not won, but we continue to press for a better version of ourselves as a nation.

It's always dangerous when comparing sexual addiction to just about anything else. This entry is merely a holiday-inspired attempt to recognize that we have fights in many aspects of our lives, and the need to win critical battles and get back up after losses is part of life. It is a reminder to myself, even if politically incorrect, that I am not alone.

No one will shoot fireworks for my successes, but I am also determined not to get shot for any future failures.



Now, I ain't sayin' it's right or it's wrong

But maybe it's the only way

Talk about your revolution

It's the Independence Day

–Martina McBride, “Independence Day”



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