In just a couple of months I'll mark my thirteenth anniversary in recovery from sex addiction. That doesn't mean I've been sober for thirteen years. It means I've been pursuing recovery for that long. Addiction is a struggle that many never successfully overcome. I certainly spent years trying in vain to succeed in recovery. Today I can admit the biggest reason for the struggle was my reliance on three very flawed advisors.
Me, Myself, and I
It wasn't until the hail Mary pass of a three day intensive intervention with Dr. Doug Weiss that I was confronted with an obvious truth. I was attempting to manage my recovery by my own strength. You see I'm a very strong willed person and determined not to lose. Once I admitted my addiction and sought the tools of recovery I determined to strike out on my own and win the recovery battle. I was smart enough, strong enough and doggone it people liked me (hat tip to Stuart Smalley).
Here's the problem. Those three advisors lived in my head which is the most dangerous neighborhood I know. If I were able to advise myself out of addiction it would've happened long before 2004. If my counsel was so wise and reliable there's no reason I would've fallen into addiction in the first place. I couldn't heal myself. No one can.
Today I've been sober for two years, eight months, and fifteen days. Accomplishing that means I almost never listen to myself (or me, or I for that matter). On those rare occasions when I do listen to me the advice is usually still questionable. Instead I call my sponsor, share with my Celebrate Recovery group, talk with the men I sponsor or seek my wife's opinion. Nothing beats having trustworthy advisors around you. Nothing beats a community of recovery.
Recently I challenged a friend to consider the ways in which he might be leaning too much on his own counsel and understanding. I'll challenge you in the same way. If you're struggling in your recovery chances are you're listening to the three most dangerous advisors that threatened my success. I humbly suggest you stop listening to them today. Seek out more reliable counsel.