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September 08 • Family Fog

Day 792

I once heard my father-in-law mention Johnny Cash so I jumped into the conversation with the enthusiasm a true fan should bring. He cut me off with a comment about how 'The Man in Black' was nothing more than a drug addict and that he could no longer listen to his music.

Having worked with chemical dependency in my ministry, I had a different view of addictions. I argued that while Johnny Cash had clearly abused drugs, and that he was an addict, he deserved a little respect for his efforts to get clean and live a life in recovery.

"Addiction is just a weakness. And even years after he recovered, Johnny Cash relapsed, which just proves my point."

I was stunned at his retort. Not only was this man wise and well-educated, but he was also a country music fan, and I couldn't understand his harshness.

That was many years ago, long before I faced my sexual addiction. While my father-in-law did not sway my view of Johnny Cash or alcoholics or drug addicts, my respect for him has had a lingering effect on my ability to come to terms with my sexual addiction.

"Maybe he's right. Maybe I'm just weak. My God, what if he finds out that his favorite son-in-law is a freaking sex addict? I shouldn't expect any grace from that side of the family."

The more I work my program, the more grace I have for other addicts, and the more grace I have for other people that do not have grace for me. Many good people do not understand how the body can take over the mind and vice-versa, especially if they've never experienced it themselves. And while I make those people my problem in my own thoughts (because I want to please them), they are not my nemesis. Maybe I can influence them someday and help my portion of the world lessen the stigma of addiction, but that is not my job today.

Today, I will not give people power over me or my recovery because of what they may or may not think. I am sober. If I do not do the work, I will lose my sobriety, and who knows what else. That is what is important.

Today, I will remain sober.



Nothing worked out when I handled it all on my own

And each time I failed it made me feel twice as alone

Then I cried "Lord there must be a surer and easier way

For it just cannot be that a man should lose hope everyday"

And I came to believe in a power much higher than I

–Johnny Cash, “I Came to Believe”



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