“And we ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically.”
The Big Book, Step 10
I am experiencing this very thing now with regard to my pornography addiction, and it is so exciting! I don’t feel like fighting my addiction anymore; I just accept that I am the way I am and work through my issues. Today I feel much more sane than before, and I view my addiction like a choice rather than a compulsion…I don’t feel like I’m constantly pulled toward acting out anymore. Yes, there are times of temptation, but the temptations usually pull me toward a character defect (resentment, anger, jealousy) rather than acting out.
For example, if I’m sitting at a computer and I feel the urge to visit a website I have no business viewing it is almost automatic for me now to either close the browser or walk away from the computer. I can make the choice to not act out because I don’t want to pay the price for losing my sobriety.
For a long time I was trying to ‘do the right thing’ according to the Bible, my pastor, my mentor and even the 12 Step program. That was OK for a while because it kept me sober and moving forward in my recovery program. If I hadn’t had the Bible, a pastor, a program or a mentor to push me along in doing ‘the right thing’ during those days, it’s very likely I would have acted out.
But now I’m ready to start making my own decisions. I no longer feel the need to avoid pornography because someone else says it’s ‘wrong’. Now I want to avoid pornography because I know it’s unhealthy for me to use it. I understand the great moral hazard involved and the great many prices and penalties I’d have to pay if I went back to acting out. This is part of growing up and maturing: Rather than hiding behind other people’s reasons for staying sober, I can choose my own reasons for sobriety. I can respond to temptation on my own terms.
What is your experience in dealing with temptation?