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 Post subject: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:11 am 
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Posts: 355
I've always felt that , for me, RN has one weakness. No face that face contact. I need that hat accountability. Why? Because I can't produce on my own the consistant incentive to maintain health. It is a pathetic commentary on my will, discipline, integrity, etc. But I don't care. It's true. I need to be accountable to others.
Problem is, that doesn't work on its own. If I'm not working and uncovering my issues and pursuing life and feeding my grass - if I'm just pulling weeds instead, I can get around any system.
I just can't believe that I cannot grow up. I can't believe that I cannot find joy and sustained stimulation from my values. Guilt yes. Sorrow yes. Pain, yes. Shame, yes. But joy -at times, sure. But it all wears on me and I just meed to escape it all. So, what is that? Are my values not really my values after all? Do I really not love my wife or kids or God or work or anything else that I HAVE to escape it periodically? Feel like I'll shrivel up and die if I dont? That I can't even remember why I care to be on this planet - and that porn reminds me and gives me the rush to help me know I'm alive again, only to dash me against the same gory rock again and again as I wake up and realize, just like every other time - no, I cannot live here. There is no life here. It is a lifeless rock I've marooned myself on. Then go beg forgiveness again. Back to work again only to find in a month or so that I'm back to dissatisfaction, stress, boredom. What a stupid life I've built up for myself. What a shame.
So anyway, yes, unfortunately, I know this drill all too well. Except, I don't give a crap about putting down any "right"answers anymore. Anyone reading, please don't expect them. If you don't like them or I sound insincere, I don't care. Go read someone else's thread.
That said, I do want to change and I care less than ever about doing it for anyone else. Though I still doubt I've got pure enough intentions. The pain of failure is certainly a real motivation for me. Not any external pain or any that is imposed on me by others (at the moment anyway) but just the pain of disappointment in myself. The pain of hypocracy. The pain of unworthiness. The pain of disgust with myself. The pain of living beneath my ability and station as a son of God, a father, a husband, brother, friend, employer, etc. The pain of failure at being whom I'm meant to be should be enough, but it's not. In a month or so, all this "pain" will be forgotten and ill think nothing of taking and little peek and all will be undone.
So, the pain, embarrassment, the guilt, etc. It's great and all, but I know it is only a spark with which to fan a flame of change. Like any spark, it will fizzle as sure as all the others have without sustained effort.
This time I do have an ace in the hole though. I've got a buddy with a similar problem (though he is a but more solid than I am). We're meeting once a week to work RN together. I hope it will work. I think I need it more than he does so I don't know if he'll maintain interest and I'm no fan of being someones project, but for now I'll take what I can get. If that doesn't work, I'll go back to SA meetings, but my group is pretty lame. I'm usually the most sober person there, so it's kind of depressing. No one I've met yet that could serve as a sponsor has been interested, so I'm trying to build my own thing here. We'll see.
Anywya, I've done these first lessons so many times now that I'm just going to journal a bit here and touch on the homework, though I'm re-reading all the lessons and will post the important answers.
For now, I'm back and pissed. But I know that being disgusted with myself is no foundation for lasting change and so I'm putting no stock in my emotions. It will be show up here and do the work or shut up. Poop or get off the pot. Here we go again.


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:09 am 
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Posts: 355
I'll be doing at least some reading and some writing every day. I've got a mountain of layers to unravel (yes, yes, like Shrek) and it will only be done through studious journaling. I'll be chipping away at lessons as well, but to me, the habits of checking in daily is what is important at the moment. This is something demostrable I can do that will help me to break ancient habits of seeking escape every time I have to use my brain for anything. That redirection and diving in and checking off unfavorable tasks, as well as continuing to care about the health even when I can barely remem er why it was so hard for me, are are skills I don't have and areas where I need to mature.
One other thing that I have to face. Oddly enough, I have an ecclesiastical leader who doesn't seem to 1) hold put much hope that I'll ever really get over this or 2) seem to care all that much. Ok, that's one of the motivators I've always had (crap, gotta go confess my sins again ).
Even weirder, my wife seems to care less and less each time I confess to her. Not that she loves me less or doesn't care about our relationship or is distant or callous or anything like that. She just says she love me anyway and believes I'll figure it out.
So my point is, it is really down to me. What do I want? Without the motivations I've always had (if I do this, I'll have to confess to my wife or my pastor, etc.) Now, I still do and it always sucks, but they seem to accept me anyway. So it's just down to ms now. Am I wnough? Do I care enough on my own to obtain then maintain health? CAN I derive stimitation from my values? I've talked to my wife about that today and I really don't know if I can. I can derive meaning. I can viscera truth and that is a real value. But stimulation? No, not much. I fast for weeks or montha with little to no stimulation, then binge on stimulation and start all over again because I'm always having to choose between my values and stimulation -as far as I understand. That is and always has been a big, maybe the biggest problem for me. I love and respect and want my values, but thet dont stimulate me much. They stress me out. So, I imagine Jon would ask, "then are they really your values?" I don't know, but it doesn't matter. They are what I aspire to. They are what I respect. They are, in a weird sense, what I value. So I keep them. I have to. There is nothing else I value. Im not making much sense, but I'm thankful to take the time to not make much sense.
The other problem I have come to see much more clearly is that there are some serious psychological and chemical benefits that porn use. I've only ever seen it as evil (and I still do) but I used to not be able to say why I use when I hate it so much. Now I can't say that anymore.
It feeds my brain. It changes my personality mostly for the better. Temporarily anyway. It gives me energy and connects me, weirdly, to humanity. It makes me feel. It makes me humble and appreciative more to my Savior.

Wow. What a sales pitch. I'll get to the other side tomorrow. It is huge and bad, but my wife is waiting on me.


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:10 am 
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Not much time tonight. Had a birthday for one of my boys and getting to bed late.
Life is upside down for me these days in most ways. I really don't know what to think. I dare not attempt a vision statement yet -I really don't know what I want, what works, what doesn't, what makes me happy or content. I know there is too much stress and turmoil in my life. I don't blame anyone else for it, but blame won't help me see clearer anyway.
I know I love my wife and kids but there is way too much contention in our home. I know I love Christ, but I know He's got much better prospects than me. I know that success is important to me, but I don't really know why. I know my self worth is very wrapped up in it. I know I'm selfish and undiciplined. I know I have compassion and a degree of empathy. I just feel my perspectives and beliefs and to some degree my values and are changing so quickly lately that I'm not sure where the wheel stops. I feel that I've damaged my brain on one hand and blown some air holes in it on the other that is letting oxygen into areas heretofore dead.
I'm posting tonight because I'm posting every day. I don't have anything enlightening or inspiring to say.


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:58 am 
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Posts: 355
Even less tonight, though we're finally finishing up a huge project that I'm hoping will get our schedules back to normal. We need some balance around here in the worst way. Maybe that will help me to start figuring out what I am anymore.
Need to be careful about dramatizing my angst/confusion. It's real easy to just call it around ll too difficult and use it as around an excuse to give up. If lust was a viable answer, I would have answered the question long ago.
I must find the time/discipline to work through the lessons again. But I'll at least check in and post daily.


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:51 am 
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Posts: 355
Geeze, I think I see one obvious help to transitioning to health. Some freaking sleep once in a while!
It can't help that I'm nit ever able to get in bed with more than a few hours sleep to look forward to. Anyway, nothing much to report. Good day for some things, lousy for getting my existential problems solved.


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:04 am 
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Posts: 355
No I didn't miss last night, I was meeting until late with my recovery pardner. It was great, great guy. I'm thankful to finally have someone to work off of. He's doing better than I am, at least as far as I'm concerned. He is a healthier person, though he still struggles. But he has some balance in his life whereas I don't feel I do. I realize that my adhd brain is plagued with black and white, all or nothing thinking. I don't know if I've always been this way -what am I saying? I've always been this way. I think it might be getting worse though. But it makes me so imbalanced because I can't stop obsessing over one thing (whatever is most immediate, usually my business) until it is perfect or done, which it never is. Consequently, I'm missing my kids growing up (not because I'm not there, that's one good thing about being totally imbalanced, I have no hobbies or outside interestd either), but because I can't enjoy them much at all and that is just criminal. Same with my wife, and frankly she has the same struggle as well. It is something I have to figure out how to address, except, y'know, no time. Because I have to work and fret all the time. Very busy here folks.
Anyway, I'm downloading a Covey work page for creating a vision statement. Hopefully it will help to answer some questions that I can't seem to find answers to lately. I just hope I'm not too late. Brain too damaged, too much time wasted, too much life passed, too many disappointments (in myself) to bring it all around. It's not that it all seems so bleak, it's that it all seems so pointless! Half of the effort required is to convnice myself that this work will bear any fruits. So weird that I've become so faithless and ambivelent. Yet another of the many wondwrful side effects of comparing all of life to the excitemen of lust. Wish I'd listened 40 years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:38 am
Posts: 355
Not much changong in my life. Why? Because I'm not effectuating change. So weird that even as I stand in the middle of the change superhighway, no change 18-wheelers have yet smashed into me and changed me. Well, looks like I'll have to do it the old fashioned ed way and FINISH MY FREAKING VISION STATMENT. For crying out loud. I have a friend in PRISON who is working on his. He's actually making progress! Of course, prison does free up ones evenings and weekends for "me" time...
Anyway, I have to shoehorn the completion of my vision this weekend. I can do it.


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:06 am 
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Great day today, very insightful. I'm a grateful for each and every insight into "things as they really are". I believe I'm making some progress in this area. Trying to combine a number of insights into one paradigm. All of the spiritual as well as the mental and emotional ahas.
Grace is a central topic. I want to understand it better. I believe in God and that His grace is real and infinite. I also believe in my responsibilities towards Him, my loved ones and nd those I am asked to serve. I know I have many important duties, that compulsive behavior is far beneath the sacred duties I have been charged with. However, I also am just starting to understand a bit about what CS Lewis has said regarding sin and grace. That when we really understand our position before God, we will worry less about it. Not that we don't care, that we don't ardently repent and seriously strive to be obedient, but that we trust in God's promises to forgive and help us to rise indefinitely as needed. I believe that removing some of that stress actually helps (me) to want to act out less (to aleviate that very same stress)
Anyway, I know it sounds and bit circuitous, bit I was inspired today and and eager to better understand.


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:06 am 
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Great day today, very insightful. I'm a grateful for each and every insight into "things as they really are". I believe I'm making some progress in this area. Trying to combine a number of insights into one paradigm. All of the spiritual as well as the mental and emotional ahas.
Grace is a central topic. I want to understand it better. I believe in God and that His grace is real and infinite. I also believe in my responsibilities towards Him, my loved ones and nd those I am asked to serve. I know I have many important duties, that compulsive behavior is far beneath the sacred duties I have been charged with. However, I also am just starting to understand a bit about what CS Lewis has said regarding sin and grace. That when we really understand our position before God, we will worry less about it. Not that we don't care, that we don't ardently repent and seriously strive to be obedient, but that we trust in God's promises to forgive and help us to rise indefinitely as needed. I believe that removing some of that stress actually helps (me) to want to act out less (to aleviate that very same stress)
Anyway, I know it sounds and bit circuitous, bit I was inspired today and and eager to better understand.


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:45 am 
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Posts: 355
Incredibly painful, eye opening day. First, my wife was asked to take part in a church forum about pornography abuse among teens. She had/has a lot to say about it, but felt it might be too hard for her to participate. So she wrote a letter to the moderator and was blown off by him. She's never talked about it and it was very difficult for her to share what she did, only to have the first person she has opebed up to basically ignore the counsel he asked her to contribute. Terrible. Especially knowing that I am the cause of her pain, even as she seeks to protect me (which I've asked her not to do).
Then, I discover, pursuing a hunch, that one of my dear kids is having similar problems. Crap. Crap. Crap. We talk for a long time, make a solid plan and of course I'm a big hypocrite the entire time. I'm grateful that I feel I have the INTELLECTUAL basis to help in a way I never was, but sick that I have not the moral authority nor wisdom to speak from the other side of this thing.
I've prayed countless times to be able to see reality as it objectively is, me and my sins included. Today that prayer was answered twice over. Pretty tough. But I'm grateful for anything that brings me closer to the truth and helps me to see through the lies I've told myself for decades.
I pray for my wife, my kids, myself and anyone stuck in this mire.
But I know the way out is real and in spite of everything, believe I'll get there.


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:20 am 
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Posts: 355
I'm starting the couple course with my wife. I've really only ever been sporadically serious about healthy living - about truly abandoning my addiction. It has worked for me and given my life "meaning" since I can remember. Not real meaning of course, but it had been a distraction from stress, a protection from boredom, punctuation in the run-on sentence of life. It has provided my many meaningful and humbling repentance experiences. It has filled me with chemicals that help to expand my emotions and...vision? for a time before the crash.
I've not been able to maintain serious devotion to recovery in my life. Periods of abstinance for months to years, but never the real embracing of life that presupposes that porn is antithetical to a happy life.
I was reading Kenzo's thread. Since I've given up seeking advice (I never have followed with the diligence it merited anyway), I'll venture to say that I've never cared for his brand of commentary, or frankly, his view of recovery. Too stark, brutish. But he's been right all along. All or nothing. I've tended towards the more cereberal, the more nuanced. And where has it gotten me? I could read Boundless' commentary all day long. Such beautiful, thought-provoking philosophy. But it never changed me. Nor could it. Only I can change me and I havent been willing to. If it were like the man and the lizard in The Great Divorce, I could have done it. I could have let the angel kill the lizard and be done with it. But I can't just starve him out. It just takes too long, is too drawn out, too subtly painful. Where is the drama, the glorific, tragic sacrifice in that? Just dull throbbing hunger. That's no fun and, of course, one more peek can't be that bad.
It's pathetic, but true. I just dont have anything else to fill that kind of void in my life and I don't even know what the void is. And there is my problem. And since I've admitted that, it has only gotten worse.
Anyway, reading Kenzo's thread I found this gem
"This news prompted me to consider my own position and I to am enjoying life
perhaps truly for the first time in my adolescent and subsequent adult life
before recovery did I actually have a life, or did I have a number of excuses and practices to simply get through life
that is the fact
I was lost in a life that was destroying me and I was embracing it
sobering thought
frightening thought"
What can I say? He's right. I'm "managing" my life with tools. Some good, some terrible, but not living it at all. I am turned off by his absolutism. That is not how life or people works. He's not a monster and his ex is not a paragon of virtue. His eternal self flagulation, his constant deference to her because of what he did seems way out of whack, unhealthy and unrealistic. But he's 7 years into health and appears he may be developing a relationship with her. Where am I after 40 years of this crap? In the same hobbled position I've always been in.
It is that extremism I've rejected. I've sought the merciful way, the gentle path, the excuses, the repentence, the shame, the guilt. Anything but the hard, cold brutality of taking my pacifier and locking it into a dark cell to starve. Ignoring it's cries for even the tiniest sustenance forver? Who can do that?!. Well, Kenzo's can.
So, hats off to you, Kenzo. Brute that you are. You're a hero to me. I know that all or nothing is my reality. I just still don't know if I have the will to choose it and that is perhaps my most painful and shameful reality.


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:49 pm 
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A po st from the other side that gives me so much perspective that I want to add it here. It is from Mrs Jones to luvtopray. Our situations are eerily similar. Could have been written by my wife. I have to see my life as a whole.
luvpray2!
You've really been churning through these at a fast rate! That's great and I hope you're getting a lot out of them. One thing I discovered was that at times, I would get stuck; and it would help to go back through them at that point. I tended to work similarly, but I worked so quickly that I would miss parts of the lessons. I wouldn't change anything about how I worked through them, other than simply that I wish I had known sooner to go back and read through previous lessons when I was stuck.
I'm noticing a lot of "we" and "him" in your lessons. I can sense your optimism and hope. And from what you're saying, there's reason for hope! The fact that he is being honest and open without you needing to dig is a wonderful sign. I do want to caution you that throwing yourself whole heartedly into your relationship at this point, fully believing not just that he CAN recover but that he WILL recover, will leave you very vulnerable to the bumpy ride that is ahead. If this is still new (the new energy toward recovery) then it's likely that even he doesn't know exactly how sincere he is in his recovery. A very common problem is for a person to throw themselves into recovery work and attempting to heal the relationship and then hit a wall and lose interest in making practical changes in their life. I am not saying that this will happen. He certainly will hit a wall at some point, fresh energy never lasts with anything! Until he reaches that point you have no way of knowing what he will choose to do. It's hard to emotionally detach from their recovery, to put off hope until you see longer term proof (Hope deferred really does make the heart sick!); but, speaking from experience, it is SO much more painful to put time, energy, and hope into building the type of relationship you have always wanted, only to discover that your partner is completely incapable of sustaining it - and then to watch them intentionally destroy the good things you have built together. He has a long road ahead of him before he is able to give you the relationship you want and deserve. Please take care of yourself so you don't wind up hurt further in this process!
It sounds like he is really working on ALL forms of honesty - not attempting to twist or alter the truth in any way. That is fantastic and it's a wonderful sign that he is sincere in his desire to recover. That honesty will be a crucial building block in his recovery!

luvpray2 wrote:
I do not know anyone who can describe someone like him, with just a glance, he notices every thing, their size....their smile, their skin, their teeth, their hair, their body fat...I might barely be able to tell you if she is blond or brunette that she has already been thoroughly analyzed by him. He tells me he doesn't realize when he is charming/flirting, when it is actually quite obvious...is he naive, deceiving himself, unable to turn it off even in front of me?

It sounds like scanning might be a major part of his addiction. Scanning can be one of the more difficult parts of the addiction for them to beat. It's possible that he is naive, deceiving himself, and at this point unable to turn it off even in front of you. That does NOT excuse it. I cannot emphasize that enough. He does not have an excuse for objectifying and scanning - even if he doesn't realize he's doing it. Part of his recovery is going to be figuring out how to look at women as more than just the sum of their body parts. Your role in this is to protect your own emotional stability and set boundaries that will protect the things that you value. How do you feel when you see him flirting with other women? What can you do to protect yourself?

luvpray2 wrote:
Of course his life was directed by impulses , desires for instant gratification....I think I am still puzzled on why I cannot provide for such gratification...

The way I think of this is that my husband had two separate lives going - his emotional life, and his "responsibilities" life. His emotions had nothing to do with his "responsibilities" - even the responsibilities that he appreciated and valued, like me. So when he felt an emotional need, when he felt drained, or impulsive, when his emotions were out of balance; I had nothing to do with that. To suggest that he turn to me for that (to him at that point) it would have been like suggesting he eat a slice of pizza to solve the problem that he needed to use the bathroom. I was in one compartment and his feelings and needs were in another. One of the biggest jobs of someone in recovery is to break down those compartments and see the connections that exist in their lives. The other (related) reason, is that what you are suggesting in this statement requires intimacy. It would require him to allow you to see his weaknesses, to see that he's not perfect, to see that he has needs - and to allow you the opportunity to reject him and his needs. It is MUCH safer to turn to sources that are more easily controlled by him.

luvpray2 wrote:
I think I have got into e habit or living in a sexualized environment. Because his focus wasn't on me before, I enjoy any attention I get. I am myself behaving as a sexual person. Is it me? Are those my values? Am I just trying to be attractive to him by acting like this?i have no idea, to be honest. All I know is that it is important to me to have him in my life, to feel his love. I am working on my recovery, but I think that even more I am hoping that all this study and research, and thought process can help me , understand and help him. I hope I can be healed, and I can be a positive influence on him so that he can heal himself.


You can absolutely find healing, but if you want healing then you have to pursue that for yourself and not for your husband. The questions "Is this me" and "Are these my values?" are CRUCIAL. I cannot emphasize enough just how important those questions are. If they are not your values, and if what you are creating is not authentically who you want to be; then the damage of his addiction with be extended, the damage to YOU will be extended. Your healing, your ability to be the person you want to be, to live the life that you want to live is at risk if these questions go unanswered. So do whatever you need to do to answer these questions fully and honestly. As far as it being important for you to have him in your life and to feel his love. Unfortunately, you can't control the second one. And while you may be able to control the first, if this is your primary value then you will wind up sacrificing everything that you are simply for the sake of being around a person. You have spent so much of your life investing in this one person, and to lose that time would be tragic. It would be even MORE tragic if you also sacrificed the minutes, days, or years left in your life only trying to create a situation where you could be around him. There is SO much more for you. That's not to say that it's not something valuable to want. I'm NOT saying that it's something you shouldn't hope for, or be willing to work for (I certainly did both!). I am saying that it's important that you find something more than that, because your life is about so much more than just your relationship with one person.


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:48 pm 
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Posts: 355
Been doing quite a bit of work lately, though not posting much yet. I've got a whole family full of people who need the principles and tools RN offers, so we're all doing the recovery side together. They're kids/teens, so I don't want them online doing it, they've got journals and I go through each lesson and edit for content and our specific situations first (mostly media/computer/Internet addiction issues, though I have one kid with porn problems) so far it has been great and most and everyone seems enthusiastic about pursuing purpose through strengthening values.
The Mrs and I are also doing the couples workshop. Did the complete history, it's still in my safe. NOT posing that here, thank you. Very eye opening to see how my rituals evolved but have always been about the same. It helps to see the patterns when trying to determine a through line.
Our evening of caring has been necessarily chopped up a bit, but I'm taking dance lessons with her and, while I don't deserve a medal for it...not my cup o tea. But it has been very fun to watch her shine in sharing someone thing someone thing she loves together. I suck at it tho.
Anyway, on to the couples contract. I'll post that next.


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 3944
Location: UK
Hi S

Quote:
I just still don't know if I have the will to choose it and that is perhaps my most painful and shameful reality.


of course you have the will to choose wisely
making the wrong choice is the most painful and shameful reality,and not just for you
your choices both positive and unfortunately negative have an effect on those close to you

let go of the s**t because that is what it is, it has no value, but you do
be your own hero

_________________
Remember recovery is more than abstinence
Every transition begins with an ending
Do not confuse happiness with seeking pleasure
stay healthy keep safe
Coach Kenzo


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 Post subject: Re: Semper's new thread
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:22 pm 
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Posts: 355
Thanks Kenzo. You're right of course, (and eloquent as ever :s: )
I'll make it. What choice do I have? I'm going to trade my life and love and family and future for this crap?
We're doing the couples workshop now and I've got my whole family doin a watered down version of the recovery workshop.
We're on it a couple of times a week at least now. I'm grateful and I'm in this to win it.
Thank you for caring enough to keep kicking us all in the butt. You're doing God's work my friend.


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