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June 01 • Friendly Friends

Day 693

Today, I received a text message from an addict friend asking me to 'unpack' something he'd read in my journal on this website:

"My moment was watching what I thought was my last remnant of hope slipping away. It was a rare moment of courage in a storm of despair."

I replied that I'd be happy to discuss it. Unfortunately, I didn't recognize the excerpt. It did not take long to find it.

A year ago today, I wrote a story in my journal about the first anniversary of the first time I said 'no' to my Failed Friend. That means today is the second 'anniversary' of that pivotal day in my addiction, and more importantly, in my recovery. Today is not my 'birthday,' the date we use in the 12 Steps to mark the beginning of being sober and for which we collect those magical coins. My current sobriety did not start until deep into the summer of two years ago, meaning the most significant day in my recovery was still not the end of my acting out.

It is good for me to remember the times when I fell down, or fell off the sex wagon. Sometimes my brain lets me believe that my leap into recovery was a piece of cake; that I was down and then I wasn't. That kind of thinking is just a lie that allows me to assume that all I had to do was make a decision to stop and, presto, I stopped. That thinking just sets me up for fighting this on-going battle from my own strength, which sets me up for failure.

My memories of June 1 from two years ago are vivid, even though I recently missed the expectation of it. A year ago, I had been anticipating this milestone moment for days, and just a year later, it sneaks up on me. I prefer to think that's a good thing.

Yes, this date is a big day for me in the annals of my life, but it is not as big a day as this day is because today I'm sober. And if I'm sober tomorrow, that will also be a bigger day than the first time I told my inner addict friend to go to hell.

I have new addict friends today, and they all live outside my head, and they are the friendly kind. They are among the people that demonstrate compassion and encouragement to me.

In sharing this story with my wife today, she also was exuding compassion and encouragement. It was of a different sort than what I get from my fellows that have lived in the same hell and struggle with the same fears. I don't want to think about fighting this fight without both kinds of critical underpinning.

Am I weak because I need so much support from others to battle on? No, I'm just a fortunate sex addict.

Happy Pivot Day to me!




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