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September 10 • Afeared

Day 794

What is it that causes angst in my soul?

I have asked myself that question many times since I entered recovery. It seems reasonable to want to know what it is I'm afraid of; otherwise, how do I know I'm working on the right problem(s).


Before recovery, I was afraid of being found out. That particular fear goes back to my childhood and echos across every endeavor. It is hard for me to admit that I was afraid of being discovered for the sexual fraud I always felt myself to be. I have touchstones that remind me of my memories, and that is important to me because I don't want to be making up things to gin up my issues so my recovery sounds better.


One recurring expectation was that each new chapter of my life would solve my sexual compulsions. The first vivid memory of thinking that way was when I started high school. The summer before my freshman year, I took solace that those thoughts and deeds that chased me constantly would soon be leaving me, because,

...once I was in high school it just seemed obvious that I would become a more mature young man that would no longer struggle with the fantasies and acting act that I had already wearied of fighting.

When I changed schools and made the varsity basketball team and got the lead in the school play and was elected president of the student body and, and, and... The next accomplishment was always going to 'cure' me of my childish acting out.


Next was college, marriage, politics, broadcasting, ministry, and more. Each season was going to be the one to get my attention and help me grow up. Even now, I have a lurking sense that if I could just get the right job in the right situation, I could stop attending 12 Step meetings and just be recovered.


That's what scares me now.


I know I am a sex addict, and knowing that does not bother me near as much as going back to believing that it is in my power — or in the formula of career and position — to be the person I want to be. It is not, and it scares the hell out of me to think those thoughts still exist in my innermost being.


I do not want to create an inescapable cage where I live a self-fulfilling prophecy of being stuck. I am not stuck. I am growing and becoming a much better man. It is my addict that is worried about me never going back. I don't think I fear my addict anymore. I respect him like I respect a snake in the grass, but he's only able to strike at me if I lose focus spiritually and egotistically (if there's a difference). I fear losing focus.


Dear God, help me maintain sharp vision today. Let me remember without being re-trapped by insane thinking. Please give me the strength to remain sober today.


–JR

 


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