“With a proper display of honesty and morality, we’d stand a better chance of getting what we really wanted. But whenever we had to choose between character and comfort, the character-building was lost in the dust of our chase after what we thought was happiness.” Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
What I wanted all those years in my addiction was love and acceptance. I thought I could get those things from pornography, but happiness was always just out of reach. ‘Just one more adult movie and I would be satisfied’, I thought. Eventually, however, I realized that seeking happiness through my addiction was a fool’s errand. To find happiness I would have to choose character over comfort. The problem is that I chose comfort consistently, day after day, year after year.
I still remember what it felt like when I used pornography in the weeks before I entered recovery. It wasn’t fun anymore. It wasn’t a thrill. I barely felt relief from my lust after acting out before the craving would start up again. I was resigned to my addiction. I was an addict in the truest sense of the word, like anyone who has ever been addicted cocaine or heroin. The thing I started using to pursue happiness and escape had enslaved me. I still remember walking downstairs to the basement, muttering another apology to God even as I turned on the computer. I knew what I was going to do before I did it: I was going to choose comfort over character.
Choosing character would have meant saying no to pornography once and for all. Choosing character would have meant admitting I could not stop. Choosing character would have meant seeking help from perfect strangers; from people who, frankly, I would never have thought to associate with before I entered recovery. For these reasons and more I chose comfort over character for most of my life.
Now I have finally begun choosing character over comfort and it is making all the difference in the world! Choosing character over comfort means showing up for recovery meetings even when I am tired, depressed, and angry. Choosing character over comfort means reading recovery material when I would rather be reading a novel or watching TV. Choosing character over comfort means writing a blog where I open up about my addiction so I can (hopefully) help other men. Choosing character over comfort means my marriage is the healthiest it has ever been, my career is moving quicker than it ever has, and my physical and mental health are at an all-time high.
Take the advice of someone who spent most of his life making bad choices: Choose character over comfort.