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September 12 • DVR Lessons

Day 796

I started my morning today watching Game 7 of an Eastern Conference NBA series in the pandemic bubble. It was great, except it really wasn't.

The game aired live last night, and for a variety of reasons, I couldn't watch it in real-time. I turned my phone notifications off when I went to bed so I wouldn't wake up to a random sports headline that would spoil the game because I wanted to watch the drama unfold. Surprisingly, by the time I turned on my TV and DVR, I still had no idea about the outcome. I felt a small victory in that.

The fingers of my right hand can count the number of times I've watched a recorded sporting event. A big part of the rush of sports is the drama of the comeback or the thrashing of your favorite team's hated opponent. The hope and adrenaline of pushing and pulling for the winners and losers is why I watch.

As I'm watching last night's back-and-forth game unfold, I'm asking myself why I'm not enjoying it more. Without regard to the previous paragraph, the answer I got was the realizations that cheering for a go-ahead bucket or hoping the instant replay guys overturn that obviously bad call was even more useless than the normal fantasy of believing that my verbal encouragement can make that long three-pointer go in the basket two-thousand miles away. Even when it's live, I cannot reach through the screen and guide that 30-footer through the hoop. I can't even make my own bowling ball break better by shifting my hips as the pins face their fate from the on-coming rolling attack, so how much more silly is it to try it through the TV? And how much more ridiculous is it to push hope through the electronic magic of a Digital Video Recording device? What's happened has happened, and there's nothing I can do about it.

Yes, I made a connection to that and my sexual addiction. As I re-live too many scenes from my life trying to figure out what happened, I get caught up in the what-ifs of having made a different decision that may have saved me from this painful path.

A sports team that uses video recordings to learn from their past mistakes and finds new ways to confront their future enemies is investing good time in being prepared and improving their game. When I replay the stupid things I've done, as well as the good moments of my life, I can learn from them and be more prepared for future battles.

I've played with many athletes that never made a mistake. All their misses were the result of fouls not called or the coach calling a bad play. I've probably been that guy a few times. I was that guy many times when it came to my sexual proclivities. Facing up to either of those failings can make us better at what's important.

I feel like there's a shift coming in my recovery. I have no idea what it is, and I'm oddly content not knowing as long as I'm faithful in my spiritual walk and honest in my recovery efforts. It is not yet recorded on the eternal DVR, but my ability to change or control so many variables of my life is much less than I like to think. I can do what I can do, but beyond that is a lot like watching a recorded game, at least insomuch as I cannot have any influence over things where my influence does not reach.

Tomorrow will get here in due time, and my sober streak will not be intact if I do not remain sober today. That's enough for now, even though saying that sounds a lot like the recording from, well, every day I've been sober.



This is a record of my life

As it beckons

This is a record of my life

As it changes

Found what I needed

Was right in front of me the whole time

–The Rat Boys, “The Record”



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