Saturday, January 25, 2014

Togetherness Conference -- Spring 2014

I am so excited for the upcoming Togetherness Project . . .

The Togetherness Project empowers women whose lives are affected by the pornography addiction and/or infidelity of a loved one by providing encouragement, education and community. We are a sisterhood of love, validation, and the rarest of friends. Our semi-annual conferences feature renown sexual addiction therapists, professional counselors and inspiring individuals who offer honest, realistic and validating discussions that enable us to rise above our collective challenges together.

Join us at our next women's conference on April 26th, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Early Registration pricing is only good until February 2nd.  Check it out.

Please help pass on the information and get it into the hands of as many women who need this as possible . . . there are flyers available for download here:
Togetherness flyers - 2 to a page, color

Togetherness flyers - color

Togetherness flyers - black & white

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I think we've established I'm not super great at maintaining this space.  But, I did want to check in.  I'm excited to be attending Jacy's "Togetherness Project" this weekend, and I was just sitting here thinking about how much this whole WoPA persona of mine is making its way to the forefront.  I don't think I'm very good at maintaining this space, because I'm not that great at keeping up this 'dual' life and personality -- I just want to be me and talk about my life, not pieces and parts of it.  I am not quite ready to 'shout from the rooftops' or anything, but my husband and I are prayerfully figuring out what role recovery will play in our day to day lives, out in front of others.  One big move was when I was asked to share my testimony of trials and the atonement in Sunday School a couple months ago.  I spent the last five minutes of class talking about J's porn addiction, and recovery, and what we've learned from it all.  J took the last 15 minutes of Elders Quorum talking about it as well.  So, we came 'out' at Church.  Big, right?  Except that I feel like I threw this big thing out into the universe, and are waiting to hear something back, but have gotten very little feedback.  I have to rely heavily on the idea that we both KNEW it was the right thing to do.  I had a WoPA friend ask me the other day how many people have come up and talked to me and J about their own addictions (or their spouses') since we talked in Church.  Um, zero.  She seemed as surprised as I was.  I mean, I didn't open up so that people would come to me, but I guess I assumed it would happen.  I'd open up to others and they'd open up to me.  I have such an intense craving for 'realness' now -- and especially at Church, where I feel like I get the least 'real' from others in my life.  Instead, it's just been like nothing happened, like we didn't say anything.  Which is fine, and I did get some nice emails and a couple kind comments about how brave we were, and how much people respect us, but mostly it's just left this weird void where I expected something to come from it, but I have to come to understand and be OK with the fact that things don't happen the way I think they will.  And that it's OK.  It was, without a doubt, the right thing for us to do.  And that is reason enough to do it.  As a good friend pointed out, my validation from this comes from God, and knowing I did what He wanted me to do, and I needed to let go of wanting validation from others.  Working on that.  :-)

Anyway, J is still doing LifeStar and SA, and loving them both.  I honestly don't think he could imagine life without those meetings each week, and I think part of him is bummed about LifeStar going down to 2x a month instead of weekly soon.  He's got around 18 months of recovery and sobriety under his belt.  He's still working on new realizations and new understandings on nearly weekly basis, and neither of us can imagine this journey without his two groups to walk him through all these emotions, resentments, new insights and all that.  We are both getting healthier all the time, and I honestly can't imagine my life without recovery in it now.  It's been so good for both of us, even if it came after years of pain and heartache and lies and betrayal. 

Anyway, it was a bit of a disjointed post -- I had a few minutes after putting the baby down for a nap, and before I have to take the Kindergartener to tumbling.  Just wanted to check in and say I'm still alive.  We're doing good.  And we're figuring out what the next step is for us. 

Hope to meet some of you WoPAs at the Togetherness Project this weekend!

Monday, August 12, 2013

I have a super great new Bishop.  As we've been increasingly stressed about our children's health, he has been there to support us every step of the way.  We've also shared with him much of what we've learned on this path of recovery, and he's already put me in contact with a woman in our Ward who wanted to talk to another wife about what she was going through.  I have a great relationship with our Bishop and his wife, so when my mind was racing one day about all these thoughts I was having about recovery and a Bishop's role in it, and past Bishop's we'd had, I typed up all my stream of consciousness thoughts into an email and sent it to him.  And he called me on his way home from work and talked about how much he loved what I had to say, asked for some clarification on some things, then asked if I could share my thoughts with the other Bishop's in the Stake at a Welfare meeting.  Um, sure?  :-)  So, here's the email I sent -- I feel all vulnerable posting it, 'cause it was a.) super off the cuff, and not proofread at all when I sent it, and b.) I know it's coming from a place of 'we're through the worst of it (HOPEFULLY!)', and that definitely puts things in a new light, and I don't want my email to come across as making any less of what someone is going through right now in their lives because I'm able to look back on our experience and see some of the blessings of it.  I know I talk of our 'long path' in the letter -- and I realize I've only been married for 9 years, a fraction of what some people dealing with this have.  I realize that while J has been struggling with this for over 20 years of his life, that there are people who've struggled with it much longer.  Our experience is by no means the hardest out there, as we've been quite blessed along the way and it could've been so much worse, but I felt like it was so important to me to stress to our Bishop not to tell people that enough prayer and fasting is the only answer, 'cause I know that even in 9 and 20 years of this trial, that being told that if you have enough faith it'll 'go away' starts to make you doubt the power of your own faith.

Anyway, here it is . . . 


I've been thinking a lot about trials and weaknesses lately.  Your meeting with us last week has had one thing repeating in my head, "That hard things aren't bad things."  I even spent the whole weekend reflecting on the trials in my life and their benefits.  Now, I'm still a little too close to the kids' health stuff to be seeing all the blessings, but I believe I will find them.  :-)  But, with the porn stuff, my heart has been full all weekend, for the blessings of this trial. 
For you, as a Bishop working with others, I just wanted to express a few things that are going through my mind about the topic.  This trial, the uphill battle of J's sobriety has been one of the great blessings in both of our lives.  For years we had Bishops encourage more prayer, more fasting, more faith, so God could take away the trial.  We had faith, we had prayer, and we fasted -- and J wanted to have God take away the trial, the temptation. But nothing changed.  Because he hadn't been ready to GIVE away the sin.  To do the backbreaking work of rewiring his brain, his life, uncovering what this addiction was hiding -- what he was medicating, his beliefs about himself and others that were painful or ugly.   It has been the long pathway -- the hours and hours in group therapy, talking with others in 12 step meetings, the studying and reading and journaling, that have truly changed J's life, while God has been working all things for his good and changing his heart.  It is just as much a miracle in my eyes as if J had woken up one day with this sin removed, his heart made clean and had no desire to sin again -- but in fighting for it, he has had the opportunity to learn about himself, about his relationships with his earthly parents and his Heavenly Parents.  He has learned SO much compassion, love and trust of others.  He's released years of shame and isolation and lack of self-worth and has begun to be truly healed by Christ as he has opened up and reached out and learned to comfort those who stand in need of comfort and mourn with those who mourn.  I believe God can miraculously heal us without therapy and 12 step groups, obviously -- but I believe He also has them here for our good.  And I believe that without reaching out and making connections for support or as support for others, that we are missing part of the equation of healing, of an opportunity to learn Christlike love, of mourning and comforting as commanded.
I'm afraid we inadvertently tell people that if they seek outside help (therapy, 12 step groups, group therapy), that they just don't have enough faith.  That they're not trusting God, that they don't truly believe in the power of the atonement.  But we have found the power of the atonement manifested to us in group therapy and 12 step groups -- and the healing of being with and sharing with people.  To having people love and accept you, warts and all.  To feel the shame that we've held on to slip away and be replaced with love and acceptance.  I've never felt my Savior so close as I have through these experiences.  I have felt Christlike love -- from my Savior and through others who are seeking Him on this same path.

I believe Christ's atonement works in a myriad of ways, and I think we sell ourselves short if we believe or, without meaning to, teach others that the miracles are only in the dramatic, or the 'poof' experiences.  (For years I wished God would just wave a magic wand and 'poof', J would be healed and whole and this trial would be over, thus the 'poof' experiences references.  I also had many Bishops encourage this line of thinking, that if we had enough faith, the sin and the desire to sin would just disappear.  Which, I believe it can -- I believe it works this way for some people.  I also believe that for many people, probably the majority, the healing comes through work and practice and learning about negative patterns and replacing them with healthier outlets, examining habits and patterns and replacing them with healthier ones, which effectively rewires the brain, and in connecting with people and letting go of the shame that's made them feel unloved or unconnected for so long.  That through that work, the miracle comes.  The desire to sin lessens, as the desire and understanding of good things and healthy outlets grows.  It's a more grueling process in some ways, but very worth it.  And the Savior is leading it every step of the way.)
The great miracle we've learned through all of this is God's hand in our lives, the truthfulness of the atonement and its power, and the immense power in reaching out and being with others.  This would not have been the same experience if it had been only handled silently in prayer, quietly alone in the temple and secretly in fasting.  Those things have been amazing and we wouldn't be here without them, but without the struggle, the therapy, the group meetings, the reaching out to others, neither of us would be the people we are now.  And as much as I just wanted the porn problem to just 'disappear' the first 8 years of my marriage, I am so grateful for the struggle it's been -- we are both better, richer people for it.  I know that living longer with sin affecting our life wasn't a good thing, but God makes all things work out for our good.  And the things J (and I) have learned about ourselves and what drives our bad behaviors and our hurt feelings, has brought us closer to each other, to God, and to healing.
I just want to share this, because as much as I believe Christ is the one true path to healing, I believe that sometimes we inadvertently make people feel like there is only one way the path to wholeness should look -- and that that one path is much more instantaneous and miraculous that it often is for most people.  If it hadn't had been this hard (if praying and fasting alone had been enough), what would we have missed out on?  We wouldn't be who we are now, and I wouldn't trade the testimony of the atonement that I've gained for an easier or quicker path.  I am grateful to know that God is there, has always been there, but that He is also willing to let us struggle, hurt and live in pain for awhile, so that when we find Him, when we find peace and healing and our Savior, that it is that much sweeter and full.  That we have learned so much more on this long road, that we have been refined in the process, so that we are stronger going into the next trial.  I think there were times we were almost ready to give up hope, because we hadn't gotten our 'miracle' yet.  Our praying and fasting and temple attendance must somehow be lacking, we thought.  Maybe we weren't good enough, didn't have enough faith, for God to take away this trial.  But I will forever be grateful to my Heavenly Father for not making this path shorter or easier -- that He made us reach and work and struggle, and because of that we got desperate and started to work like never before.  That this struggle opened up a whole new world to us, and through it we've met some of the greatest people I've ever known, and we've been able to be those important people in the lives of others.  We've become emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually healthier people.  I just wanted to share this, because I know the path to healing and wholeness, in any number of trials, looks so different for each person.  And I just wanted to share that at times, if we preach only the 'ideal' of what repentance and forsaking of sins 'should' look like, we miss out on the variety of winding paths that God uses to bring us back to Him.
Sorry that was long -- I get rambly when I'm typing and the baby is napping.  :-)
Have a great week!
Thanks for everything,

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Changing Relationship

Had an interesting experience with my husband today.

He'd gone down to make breakfast, and after awhile came upstairs with tears just rolling down his face.  He came in and said, "I need to talk to you," and we sat down on the bed (while I tried not to have a mini-coronary, 'cause I was convinced he was going to be 'confessing' something that was going to break my heart or piss me off or both.  Seriously, him walking in with tears streaming down his face pretty much had me convinced that he'd looked at porn for the first time in 15 months or so.)

He sat there crying and finally said, "I am so tired right now, life is SO relentless, I just feel like everything is coming at me and I'm drowning and I hate it."  Basically, life is crazy for us right now -- our kids are dealing with expensive and uncertain medical problems, money's draining out of our savings account, J's HATING his job right now (which has never happened before -- he's worked for the company for 7 years and liked it until 3 months ago), we never spend any time together right now 'cause we're just constantly putting out fires and when he does come home if there's not something super pressing going on, I run away and escape and leave him with the kids for awhile 'cause I'm so stressed and overwhelmed.  Add to that J's been sick for about four weeks now (although he's on the mend, in theory).  Our kids, for whatever reason, this last couple weeks have been IMPOSSIBLY grumpy and whiny and fight-y and SO hard to deal with.  J never, ever, ever loses his temper with the kids, and I've seen him yell at them like three or four times this week.  I've NEVER seen him yell before this week, ever.  EVER.  I'm at my wit's end with them right now (my 18 month old is the world's grumpiest, clingiest baby right now, and I can't do ANYTHING without him hanging on my leg and crying, so I'm getting nothing done and my mounting clutter and disorder at home is stressing me out even more), and that stresses him out 'cause he feels like he's doing everything he can to help me out, and I'm still frustrated and tired and exhausted and annoyed and just so DONE with life piling everything on right now.  ANYWAY.  He talked about how he hates how he feels like he comes home and he's 'in charge' of the kids so I can get my part time work done (but before I could bristle much, he added that he knows I'm just doing what I need to, to get my stuff done -- and he realizes that if he's this worn out by the kids in 2 hours in the evening, that being with them all day must be exhausting, so he turned it around before I could even get miffed), and how he feels like he gets no 'me time' for himself (also, before I could bristle again, he acknowledged that he goes to LifeStar once a week and SA once a week, and how those are both time away and with other adults, something I don't get much of, and he realizes he gets time to himself, it just isn't recharging him like he wants it too.)

He basically just said he feels so overwhelmed and stressed.  All the time.  And it's hard.  I know it is, 'cause I'm feeling it too.  He said he was doing dishes after breakfast and it all just hit (while the kids were fighting and screaming at each other, they've seriously been crazy lately), and he just started crying.  The fact we were leaving for Church soon played into things to, as he admitted he feels like he gets nothing from Church right now.  He said he goes to SA and to LifeStar and gets something from every single meeting, but he goes to Church for three hours and wrestles with kids and feels like he gets nothing out of meetings, is making no real connections, and if he stopped coming altogether nobody would even notice.  (This actually led to a great discussion about how the biggest difference in these two situations is how he's interacting with others -- basically that he's totally open and honest and real at SA/LifeStar, and is therefore making real and genuine connections -- and I don't remember the last time I saw him make a comment in Sunday School, as he doesn't put himself out there at all.  And that he is the one with the most power to change him experience at Church.  Also, that he doesn't take four kids with him to SA -- that'd probably make it a lot harder meeting to get anything out of too.)  :-)

Basically, this is a hard time in our lives.

There's not much we can do about it right now, but just work through it.  It's not going anywhere anytime soon, and as we're learning, 'hard things are not bad things'.  And even the bad stuff teaches us something.

A few things came to mind:

1.) How defensive it made me feel at times, and HOW HARD it was for me not to throw in stuff like, "If you think you're frustrated after being with them for a little while, imagine what it's like for me all day . . ." or "If you feel like you never get a morning off 'cause you have SA on Saturday mornings and I 'make you' make breakfast on Sunday morning, realize we already split the weekend on making breakfasts, you're just gone on Saturdays. EVERY Saturday."  I bit my tongue well though, and we had a good discussion, and he did a good job acknowledging the other side of everything without me really having to point it out.  I realize how focused I am on me -- that life is hard for me right now, and I want that acknowledged even when he's sharing with me how painful it is for him right now.  I should probably jot this down in my Step 4 Inventory journal or something . . . :-)

2.) I know this sounds SO stupid, but I realized how HARD it is for him to not 'numb pain'.  And I feel for him.  I mean, it's better this way, but I feel for him.  For someone who's had a porn addiction for 20 years, he's talked recently about how he's had to learn to feel his emotions, and how it's REALLY hard and how he sometimes thinks, "Wow, things were easier when I didn't have to 'feel' all this."  I realized how much I numb my own pain -- getting online, watching TV, working on my computer, eating Chocolate Covered Macadamia Caramels from Coscto . . . and I realized that he, on the other hand, has replaced his addiction with nothing but healthy working through of emotions.  And what a huge change that is for him, and how freaking difficult it must be sometimes.

3.) I realized that although I really, really, really want him to get all healthy and deal with his emotions and all that -- that when he actually does, it makes me defensive and feel slightly attacked or judged (not that he was doing that, I'm just awfully used to a husband who complains about NOTHING and has no problems with ANYTHING, 'cause he was just numbed out and that's how he dealt with things -- now he's coming to me in healthy ways to express what he needs in life and in our marriage, and I'm having a hard time with it, with the feedback from him, even when he's right on and I totally see he has a point.

4.)  Life is hard right now -- I don't want to say 'it sucks', though I often do in my head right now, but it really doesn't, it's just hard and relentless feeling right now.  On one hand, it's reassuring to see him actually seeing that and living that and being WITH me on that (whereas I used to feel like he never stressed about anything, and I was stressed about something, and there was 'obviously' something wrong with me -- when it turned out he was just blocking out all the stress with porn binging) -- on the other hand though, I miss having someone who doesn't ever get rattled, who wasn't ever scared or nervous or upset or angry or frustrated or overwhelmed, who never seemed 'done' with the kids or the chores or life -- it was some weird anchor or rock or something, that I could get all stressed out, but he'd always be calm, rational and even.  Having him ride the waves of emotion and uncertainty with me is unsettling at times, even though it's preferable to him just numbing and zoning out.

So basically, I'm seeing how our relationship is changing, and although I'm getting 'everything I ever wanted' (a connected husband with actual emotions who doesn't just think he has to stay 'even' and 'cool' and 'calm' all the time, and isn't looking at porn), that after 9 years of marriage, this is a difficult, and at times unsettling, change for me.

It's for the better, but it's an adjustment. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Let's Get Together, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!

OK, so I'm TOTALLY ripping off Harriet and even posting her exact wording and everything, 'cause I'm THAT lazy, but also this was THAT important for me to get on my blog and spread the word!

I am so excited to be a part of such an amazing event.  Awesome Jacy has put together a one day conference in SLC and we are all invited.  It will be a day of learning, healing and growing.

Come and spend the day with me and my friends and be renewed, restrengthened and loved.  We are not alone.
Money a little tight?  No problem.  We've all been there.  There are scholarships available.
I've registered.  Have you?
See you there.
It's me, HX, again: I'm so excited for this you guys! I can't wait! Meeting women who were going through the same thing as me was a game changer, a life changer.  It changed everything.  If you can do this, do it.  If you can't do this, reach out and make connections elsewhere.  Having real, in life friends in this world made it an infinitely less scary place.  Love you guys!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Recovery for Me

So, per usual, I'm forever behind on updating my WoPA blog.  As just an update on our lives, J is doing really well.  He's actively involved in a local SA group (he's even treasurer or secretary or whoever it is that leads to boxes of White Books being shipped to our house fairly regularly.)  He loves it.  He also attends a truly amazing LifeStar group -- the guys are all working hard, they get along, there's no walls up and they get together to hang out and go to dinner together.  For the first time, I feel like J has his own support system and group of friends that he's truly himself with. 

As for me, you combine several young kids, lack of sleep, some serious health scares (first with me, now we're in the midst of them with the kids), and a not-as-impressive-as-J's-recovery work, and well, I hit my rock bottom.  Several months ago I went to see a therapist (finally! what took me so long?!) about my 'depression'.  And then was quite shocked (silly, clueless HX) as she talked in length about my very obvious and fairly severe anxiety.  Anxiety?  It'd never crossed my mind.  But now, the endless fears, endless 'what ifs' and scary outcomes in our lives, started to make sense.  My mind was a runaway freight train, taking my kids' health and husbands' addiction on some crazy ride that was relentless and endlessly frightening. 

I decided I needed to stop being a slacker, crack open my 12 step manual, and get to meetings.  But, um, I didn't.  I thought about it a lot though.  That almost counts, right?  (Um, no?)

But then, as it seems to happen, the perfect thing at the perfect time fell into my lap.  I heard about this new place in Utah County called Addo Recovery.  And the best part was -- this was a place that seemed mainly concerned about the women in these relationships.  And, because of the care and compassion and concern of the business owners and therapists, they were offering a six week workshop called 'Healing From Betrayal Trauma' for wives.  Myself, and several of my favoritest people and fellow bloggers, were in the flagship group.  And, you guys, it was amazing.  Each week I came out of those meetings of such a high, that it lasted me most of the week.  (I went in person, it was also broadcast over the internet at the same time for out of state participants.)   I 'felt, felt'.  Hearing the research on this whole trauma model, it was like someone was looking right inside me and seeing me and what I'd been through.  Most of what I applied each week I was actually focusing on my kids' health issues and the lack of control and all the stress I was feeling over that, and not the porn stuff, but I couldn't believe how much more capable, resilient, strong and in a better place as I soaked up all that Dr. Kevin Skinner (an industry-leading therapist) had to say.  Each week was complete with assessments, personalized homework, articles and other things to reinforce the weekly presentation. 

The entire program was designed to bring peace -- and it did.  I mean, not complete and total or anything -- it's not a miracle cure :-)  But, I feel more on the path I want to be on.  Each week I felt an added measure of peace, more control of my own life and emotions.  I'm still working to apply the things I've learned, I've rewritten out all my notes twice now, and each time I do I pick up something new.  I have a renewed determination to find my own path, my own happiness, my own peace -- and myself! 

My main take away really was that I am resilient.  More than I know.  I don't give myself enough credit.  I've got through some crazy painful stuff, and I'm still standing.  I have crazy stressful stuff still ahead with my kids, but I'll get through.  I can better recognize the choices that are available to me -- I feel less out of control, and see all the many ways I determine my own life's joy and peace.  This was seriously one of the most healing things I've done in this whole journey I've been on. I love the 12 step stuff, I really do, and I now have a renewed dedication to working my own recovery through 12 steps -- but, the whole codependency model (while I recognize some of what I struggle with in this arena) just never spoke to me like the trauma model did.  It was the most validating, accepting and affirming education I've found so far.  Dr. Skinner talks about the importance of 'feeling felt' (which I referenced earlier) -- and this was that for me -- I felt like someone (a professional someone with lots of titles behind his name even) got what I was feeling -- and was even telling me it was normal, natural, and now let's take the steps of getting out of it. I'm excited and rejuvenated in my recovery -- I'm doing new things that bring me peace and a sense of control and ownership over my pain and my joy.  I am happier than I've been.  I'm moving forward in a healthier way. 

I heartily recommend checking out their website at -- and contacting them.  I know for now they want to keep the women's trauma course free, and to reach out and help women everywhere.  Seriously, what do you have to lose? 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Husband's Letter to His Addict Self

In his LifeStar therapy, my husband wrote a letter to the addict part of himself.  While reading it in group tonight, he said he got quite emotional and then when he was done it felt like a giant weight had been lifted and he felt 'free' from some of the ideas that the addict part of him was still clinging to.  He said he was happy to share it, I'd already posted it on the forum, so I thought I'd share it here too:

Dear Addict,
First of all I would like to say thanks for all that you have given me.  You have allowed me to be what I thought that I needed to be.  You have allowed me to be even and hide my emotions when I thought that I needed to do that.  Any time that I have been lonely or bored, you have been there to provide excitement and a secret rush.  Even though you have been the source of much of my shame and pain, you have been there to mask the hurt and hide the sorrow. 

I thought that I needed to fit into a nice even emotionless box.  I thought that I was not allowed to show emotion, that it was not part of my personality, and that I needed to hide from anything that was too dark or too light.  I thought that I didn’t need the full range of emotions.  I thought that it was better that I be even and centered.  You gave me that.  You let me bottle up my emotions around everyone else, so that I wouldn’t have any anxieties or worries.  However by doing so you also bottled up my joy and happiness.  I have lived an emotionless life for way too long and I now know that I am better for having, feeling and expressing my emotions.

While you have been there to help me cope through some tough times, you have caused me significant shame and pain.  You have cost me the trust of the woman that I love.  You have made many things in my life dirty and unclean.  You were there when I was sealed to my wonderful wife.  You were there when I unworthily blessed each of my children.  You were there when I acted in my role as a husband and father when I was feeling the shame and pain of what I had become on the inside.  When I was troubled and when I was hurt all you offered me was a cheap thrill and more shame and more pain in an attempt to escape the emotions that could have set me free. 

You were there when I needed to connect with others.  You gave me a false connection that felt real and felt whole.  You let me pretend that I didn’t need friends.  When I didn’t have anyone close to me you let me believe that it was ok.  You were always there for me when I didn’t have anyone else.  When I was alone.  When I was in need.  Yet you never gave me anything that lasted.  Every time that I turned to you, all I was handed was cheap and painful.  You never gave me anything that was real or of value.  Even though you were there as a crutch that I leaned on and even liked, I see now that I don’t need you, and that I am infinitely better off without you.

You have been there through my career.  You have let me think that it is ok to go to work each day, and then do nothing.  You have been there with me in the hours and days alone on the internet that I have wasted looking at porn and other things on the internet.  I have given you too much say and too much control throughout my life.

I realize now that none of what I thought that I needed from you actually helped me.  You just caused me to be less of a man.  Instead of dealing with my troubles and trials, I just ran to my drug and hid from my problems.  None of what you have ever given me has actually helped me to be a better person.  You have always given me the easy answer and have let me hide from my shame.  This has never let me grow or heal from my pain.

I am done with you.  I want to feel.  I want to have sorrow that I may know joy.  I want to feel the pain of life so I can know what love is.  I want to face life and grow rather than pretend that I can have my secret addiction and not let it affect me.  I want joy in my life.  I want to have a life that is worth living.  I want to be able to feel that I can go to my Savior and say that I have done my best.  That I have turned to Him for help when I have needed it rather than turned to you. 

At least you have given me something that will be useful throughout my life.  You have given me the chance to have compassion.  You have let me know what the dark is like so I can see the light.  You have let me see my own weakness so I know how I need my Savior, and how I can be there for someone else who is in pain.  Because of you, I can be one of the lower lights for another that is lost at sea.  I can help and be there for another that, like me, is in pain and has this burden in life.  Because of you, I can be there for another to help him turn to Christ.

So while you have pretended to be there for me for many years, I am done.  I don’t need you.  I don’t want you in my life.  I never want to rely on you again.  Get out of my life.  Go away and never shadow my door again.  I have learned what I need from you, and have gained the understanding of my weakness that helps me to have humility and  turn to my Savior.  I am sick of your ways.  I want to have light and love and emotion in my life, and you are not able to to give them to me.  I want to feel the highs and lows. I want to be whole and healed, and you can’t make that happen.  I want to look at my wife and feel the love I have for her, and not be burdened by the shame of what you have given me.  I want to be the father that my children need me to be so that they have the best chance of becoming good wholesome children of God, and you can’t be a part of that. 

Shut up addict.

In other news, my health issues are still up in the air, and I'm frustrated by the snail's pace we're getting answers, but I'm starting to feel more peace that things will turn out fine.  I'm going to see a counselor next week, which I'm really excited about -- I'm just tired of feeling rundown and weary with life and kids and all that and decided I should go talk to someone. 

Well, I guess that's it . . . I managed to check in quarterly once again :-)