www.TrueKnights.org Purity News Archive

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sex. What it is and what it means.

One of the things that I never really expected to dive into when I started this process of recovery was figuring out what my sexuality was. I knew what sex was, my problem was just when, where, how, what and who I expressed with. Pictures, videos, etc are out and my wife is in. Well, if you aren't married, let me tell you right now, it doesn't mean anything goes.

Marriage isn't a continuous night after night fest of sexual acts that are pleasurable and life changing. (Sex can be life changing but that usually comes about 9 months later). I guess the best way to think about it is to think about sex as a flower. You can walk down the street and pick up a flower off the ground but it probably has dirt on it and it isn't going to live long. It is beautiful and an intense sight but it dies and withers away.

Really, the work of intimacy and acts of service need to be undertaken. This is growing a plant. making it strong and tall. The bloom develops and blooms, that is where true union, sex as the fruit of love and intimacy is found. This is the true place that sex belongs. It is a beautiful and living thing. As it fades and begins to wither another bloom on the plant is to be found but the story of the last is not over, as it fades on the branch a seed is planted that can form a new bush that can grow and bloom again. The plant or bush is the work of love and intimacy, the flower, the fruit.

One of the things my therapist said today was that from the days of my addictive behavior their are neural pathways that as they go into disuse will atrophy but are "wired" into my brain. As I live my life the way I am supposed to an alternate and appropriate pathway for sexuality will be developed. The other one may never disappear but the new one will become more dominant.

God, Grant me the serenity,


Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Hopefully not for many years. That isn't to say that I don't want to work the program or just act out and forget it all. I am too blessed in my life to do that. No, I know I won't be recovered until I am, God willing and depending on His mercy, standing in His presence forever in eternity.

No, my addiction is His mercy working in my life. I encounter God in my addiction. It shows me my weakness and God reaches me through it. He shows me how to be a better person. One part of the white book makes a statement to the effect that lust was just a symptom of the problem. Our true problem is our diseased attitudes.

I am learning how to truly be a father, husband, brother, son, lover, so on and so on to include every role in my life because of this addiction. I am still far from perfect and striving to be better. I don't want to be recovered and I don't want to act out ever again. I want to be a gratefully recovering addict. I would rather spend my life gratefully recovering and be a better person than be "recovered" but never better myself as a person.

This will be with me every day and so will working recovery. Sometimes going all the way is just the start.

God, grant me the serenity,


Sex is for what?

Sex is for fun, right? It is all about the pleasure? Come on, you are married and can have all the fun you want, sex is your benefit and right!!

STOP, that is all wrong.

Let's try this again. Sex is fun. Sex is pleasurable. You are married, you can have sex whenever its agreed to by your spouse and it is a benefit but not of being married. Sex is a benefit of working on a good relationship with her spouse.

Every now and then when I am leaving work about 11 at night the station that I was on has the sex/relationship advice show, Loveline. Every now and then their is a call of a 16-20 yo female calling in and complaining about how she doesn't have an orgasm with intercourse. The host talks about a need for her to be comfortable with the relationship and herself and to just grow up a little.

One thing my wife and I have discovered is that sex isn't all about me or about her. It can be somewhat 'routine' but it isn't mundane. We want to give ourselves to each other because of our relationship. I don't mean just the fact that we are husband and wife but because we do things together and for each other throughout the day and appreciate what the other does.

Sex becomes the fruit of the work that we do in marriage, an extension of the expression of our love. It isn't how crazy can we get, how can I satisfy myself, or we need a new toy so we can take this to the new level. It simply becomes about a connection with each other that is fulfilling with each other.

I often joke with my wife about the fact that during sex I know the combination to her safe, yes, it may be routine but it is routinely satisfying. The reason, we love each other and Sex is the fruit of the relationship and not the basis of the relationship.

God grant me the serenity,


Saturday, March 29, 2008

I am addicted to what?

I just realized that I am addicted to the most basic human connection at the deepest level. That is what I am searching for when I act out, I will never find it acting out but that is what I am seeking. Union on the deepest level, the electric feeling of someone that is so part of me that they never end and I never begin, we are just one.

That is what I am looking for, but taking is not the answer, intimacy and true union is. That is something that you give, not to take but only receive.

It is amazing to me how we have so messed up sex, the purpose isn't pleasure but union. The most intense relations are the most giving and intimate....that is the real connection, not something frantic and taking.

In a way all of these phrases can give you insight into how your relationships and physically intimate parts of life will be.

An eye for an eye.
It is in giving that we receive.
The measure we gave is the measure we got back.
Remember, what you do is a boomerang, it comes back.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

It has been a long week this week but we keep working, a little at a time, even if for only five minutes.

God grant me the serenity,

Monday, March 17, 2008

Just desserts

At times we just have to try a little bit harder. This past Sunday night we read Step Ten from the White Book. The section on page 133 "I'm the Key" was something that struck out at me. Basically, it details out a recovering addicts experience that illustrates the ammends making principles of the program.

He talks about telling her to shape up or get out, that she was an addict to television and had many other problems. "I had her nailed and felt pretty strongly about the whole thing." He then talks about going on a trip with another addict and having time to talk about the problem with his fellow addict.

He comes to a stark realization, "I was the key, and my attitude was wrong. I was waiting for her to change, not realizing that my very attitude made that impossible."

So, I sat in the meeting and reflected how the different ways I acted towards my wife effected her behavior. The more compassionate and loving I was, even when she appeared out of line to me the better things were and the better resolution to the situations occured. The point wasn't that I was right or I was wrong (many times I could and am in the wrong) but that I had accepted the serenity prayer, the surrender. I really thought more about how I could act even better towards my wife and strengthen our relationship.

Well, the devil has a way with the world. I thought about this more and the devil has a wonderful way of using things against us. I know several people that have made first steps and then acted out. Well, I grew in a bit deeper insight on how I should treat my wife and how I could do better in treating my wife and then I blew it this Monday morning, the very next day.

My wife and became upset with a decision that I made. I acted very poorly because I felt I was getting picked at and became defensive instead of reflecting her concern to her and listening to her (mistake #1). I then brought up my stone wall defenses (mistake #2). Next, I decided to say she was wrong (mistake #3). Now, I decide to poke back (mistake #4). Then I have the gall to bully at her: yelling, name calling, etc (mistake #5). Lastly, I decided not to give her some space to calm down (mistake #6). Well, you get the idea, we argued.

Needless to say we both hurt each other. Words cut very deep. We have both taken our lumps and apologized and forgiven the other. However, I had to cement in a lesson and remember something I said the night before on Sunday night. I have to live this program, not day by day but decision by decision.

I can only change what I do in this life.

God grant me the serenity,
Matthew S

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Books and work

Well, they came today.

Facing the Shadows: Starting Sexual and Relationship Recovery by Patrick Carnes

Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes

Time to read the second one and work the workbook that is the first one. Part of me is excited and part of me is scared. I am glad to be digging deeper and working harder but part of me is scared of change. Change is inevitable in digging deeper into who I am as a person and owning my actions.

I can only control the work, the emotions will come but I have to think my response to them out and not react blindly.

God, Grant me the Serenity,

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Time to think. . .

At times we go through our days and we are so busy with things to do. We are so busy trying to be what we feel we should be that at times we have to stop and take time to think. I all to often find myself in that spot of wondering where all my time went and wondering what direction I need to go because I have had no time to think. This could be a very dangerous place for me because I don't want to get into the habit of reacting my way through life.

Actually, I have been, for the most part, reacting my through life. Not so much in the big things but in the small day to day grind. Those are the things that get me into trouble, especially if I don't put as much thought into them as I should. The small decisions can pile up bigger than the big ones, force me into a corner on a big decision I don't want to deal with and get me to a place that I am overwhelmed in.

I have certain values that I use to make decisions and I need to make sure I start the beginning of my day with a focus on deliberate actions and making the choices I should and not just trying to get through the day. Something I can change is how I feel about how I responded to the day that I am in.

God, Grant me the serenity.
Under the Mercy,

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Getting to the heart of the problem. . .

"Instead of covering our feelings with complusive sex, we began exposing the roots of our spiritual emptiness and hunger. And the healing began."
-- pg. 204, "The Solution", SA WhiteBook

Sexual acting out is the symptom. It is how we learned to cope with things that we couldn't/didn't deal with. The consequences of that acting out is what made our lives unmanageable and we saw that as the problem. In reality, something deeper was and is pushing and motivating us. We have to get to that and deal with that so that we can truly heal. St. Augustine calls it the hole in our heart that only God can fill.

It is much easier to short circuit things dealing with things, especially stressful things, by acting out. People in our society do it daily, sometimes it is just yelling, fighting, drinking or any number of things. For the sex addict it is acting out sexually (promiscuity, random sex, violent sex, fetish, fantasy, etc). The gratefully recovering addict is learning to deal with things using the actions of love.

Step Eleven

"Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."
-- pg 135, SA WhiteBook

Two things stood out from the reading from Step Eleven tonight. When I say stood out, they jumped off the page at me.

"our concept of God was wrong, and we were lost to the true God."
-- pg 136, SA WhiteBook

This is a huge discovery for me, a Church-going guy. One of the things I have learned is that I have to approach God as I understand Him and come to know him better, slowly, day by day. I can't use God to justify my actions, either sexually acting out or the underlying problems that lead to my want to act out. That is the big thing, I never really sat down and thought God approved of my sexual acting out but I did have a puppet God that approved all my actions that LED to the acting out.

I was always right in situations and deserved to be treated as such. At times I would even feel as though I was God's knight, his champion that was always right in his actions. This is getting further under my skin and closer to the heart of the problem, I want to be admired and always seen as right. This is where humility and surrender get closer to my heart and more uncomfortable. It is also where surrender is more important. I have to take on the role of servant and not master in my life.

"But what if God was for us, not as we saw ourselves, but as we truly were?"
-- Pg. 137, SA WhiteBook

Wow, talk about a packed statement. What if God was for me? What if He did and does care about me? Wow, I have someone that can help me and He is the master of the universe!! News flash, God can't care about me, look at how horrible I am. I am nothing like anything He would ever want around, the only reason I haven't been smited by Him is that he must get some perverse comic relief from watching me stumble around.

Remeber the quote before this one? Yeah, ties right into this. God is for me, and it is never too late. The gospel today was about the raising of Lazurus from the dead. One of the lines that stuck out to me was, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." What a powerful statement. At times that is the way the addict feels in his relatings. I am beyond help, if only you had been here when I was able to be helped God, then maybe you could have done something. That is the misconception of God by the addict. The point is that even though Lazaurus had been dead for four days, God still raised him from the dead. He was not beyond help and neither am I.

God is for me as I am. I simply have to start walking with Him. He loves me even though I am messed up, He can help me, I have to let Him.

Let Go.
Let God.

I am thankful I am sober today.
God, grant me the serenity.

Under the Mercy,


Things to do:

  1. Order workbook
  2. Adjust to time change :(
  3. Go to meeting
  4. Finish putting together cabinet for wife
  5. organize storage room
  6. move furniture
  7. journal
  8. read

I have been doing lots of reading lately while I am at work as a way to prevent my mind from wandering. I have been reading lots of Robert Ludlum and his secret agent styled writings, I wonder if that is really good for me. They are really good but I wonder if I should fanatically read them, I have started to have dreams where I am a secret agent! Sigh, time to eat dinner.

Under the Mercy,


God, Grant me the serenity

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


In recovery we are supposed to use the actions of love to replace the actions of lust. The measure we give is the measure we receive.

What is love? Love is patient.

What does it mean that I am supposed to be patient? How does this relate to me as an addict? One of the biggest things I can think of about an addict is that we take things we want, we don't want to wait for things in their proper order, we want things the way we want them to be. We are a generally impatient people.

Something I have found good to practice is when I am going somewhere and their is someone that is going the same place, for instance into the library, but they are behind me a bit, I will slow down and perform an act of kindness. I will get to the door and hold it for them, they are several steps behind me but it makes me stop and WAIT on someone and perform a small act of random reparation anonymously.

This action of finding an opportunity to help someone, taking time to help them and making sure it takes time from me is good. It also has to be a small sacrifice, not for a thank you from a stranger but for that person because they are a person. I usually offer a small prayer for them for God's will or serenity in their life.

Under the Mercy,

God, grant me the serenity....

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tired and Busy

Usually something dangerous, but still working small bits throughout the day. Must not become complacent for the test will come but sweet freedom and serenity feels so much better.

Under the Mercy,

Monday, March 3, 2008

The next test, and the next, and the next. . .

Just because we have surrendered (steps 1, 2 and 3) anything we can get our hands on doesn't mean that we are free from our obsession. We become complacent about surrender and the obsession comes back, a new test, the next test. It will probably present itself in a new and different way but it will come back. The feeling of unease will come back and we either reach for our drug or we surrender. We thought we were free but out of the blue we found a resentment.

At first we never realized that a resentment may have been more of the problem than lusting. In reality lust is just the symptom of the interior death that we experience. We have to learn to take the actions of love, choosing what is best for another for their sake, to heal ourselves. This involves ever growing layers of surrender, it is like peeling an onion.

God grant me the serenity. . . .

Under the Mercy,

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Odd out of the news.

Ok, somehow this is part of the problem. I really could have bought it if they had stuck with unfair practices such as only one half of the yelling match getting questioned.

Under the Mercy,

God, grant me the serenity....

Monday, February 25, 2008

Counseling. . . .

. . . . so I went to see a counselor today. It seems like something more I can do to further my work on this addiction. Everything was good and wonderful until about 5 minutes he I am told he is retiring in May. The good news he is willing to meet with me until then to do some work and get me on a road of continuing work. He is also introducing me to other resources available if my needs go beyond the time that we have together to work. It may require traveling to a small town 30 miles away from mine but I can do that. One of the options, a facillitated mens group therapy session would require me changing my days off from my precious weekends but I can do that. Those are issues that him and I have to work through.

For the time being I am going to order a workbook, Facing the Shadows by Patrick Carnes (SexHelp.com). It is a workbook that is for people in the beginning of recovery and it never hurts to start back at the beginning. The therapist was particularly interested in discussing the last several chapters of the book that deal with defining, maintaing and cultivating sobriety. Their are 2 more books in the series that are in the offing, one to come out this year and another next year. They continue working through 30 practical things to do to sustain true recovery. I was so glad to see some of the things I am doing mentioned in the plans for future volumes, but it will be good to work through them regardless.

The biggest thing I can think of that will help me is being able to step outside myself. Between now and May I just need to find someone to work these books with me.

I am grateful to be sober today.

God, grant me the serenity....
Under the Mercy,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A hole in my heart

and it can only be filled by God. God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Suffering is my teacher. Pain is a teacher. Grow through loving, loving menas being vunerable, being vunerable means allowing yourself to be hurt.

Under the Mercy,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

When the days are busy and long. . .

. . . .it is important to remember to stop and listen to what is going on in your heart and your desires. Take a moment to look at your values, goals and behaviors and see how you are doing. Take a moment to see how your tank is doing and how much energy you have to deal with the day. In step 10 we learn that sober is not well. We have to remember to that our daily actions can have a negative effect on being well. It is easier to carry resentments but we must surrender them and make ammends.

Under the Mercy,
God, grant me the serenity. . .

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I think this is something that really works against me in dealing with my addiction. It definitely makes me feel uneasy, going to have to do some work and meditate about this and my addiction.

Under the Mercy,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Good morning, or is it afternoon?

At times getting all turned around can be a bad thing. The biggest thing to remember is to keep from geting tired out and out of sorts. I am blessed in having a wonderful wife that let me sleep in extra when I work late. It is hard enough on both of us being on a second shift schedule but overtime doesn't help.

Time to think of something special to give back to her. She deserves it. It is good to always remember that we are beter than we deserve and that is definitely true in my case.

Under the Mercy,

Monday, February 18, 2008

Daily Living

Working on developing daily habits. Since this is a program of daily living and daily recovery I need to know that I am working it every day, even when I don't sit down with book, pen and paper. I have an initial list and I am working on refining it of things I look at when I start my day and before I end it of ways that I work the program throughout the day.

I begin the day looking at the list reminding myself to look for opportunities to work the steps. I end the day looking at the list finding ways that I missed opportunities and then remembering the ways that I did work the steps in those ways.

  1. Make a call for support
  2. Do a daily meditation of the program
  3. Admit your powerlessness
  4. Be honest about mistakes and shortcomings
  5. Have a spiritual awareness
  6. Support another program person
  7. Active work on a step
  8. Focus on Today
  9. Do something to mend harm you caused
  10. Give a meeting.
  11. Work for balance in your life.
  12. Attend a meeting
  13. Maintain a defined sobriety
  14. Take responsibility for actions

Under the Mercy,


Sunday, February 17, 2008

The difference in Step One

Before recovery begins unmanageable and out of control are the same thing.

After you begin recovery you begin to understand that out of control is ok and normal. You can accept and deal with it. Unmaneagable happens when you are acting out.

Under the Mercy,

Step 10, 12 Steps, making amends

When I first ever walked into a 12 step meeting, I wanted to know what these magical 12 steps where and figure out how quick to get through them so that I could be cured.

I have come to realize that they are only 12 steps because they have to be put into an order of some sort. Really, and step 10 makes it clear, these things are a way of life. Surrender, focus on making yourself better and learn to relate to others. That is what the steps are about, a way of life to do those things that are unnatural to an addict and make them natural.

To apologize for actions without expecting in return. To feel injured by another and look inside yourself to see what you could do different. To learn to be a better person and learn to do better.

Making amends is not a natural thing, it is easier to whine over one's own wounds but that is not what a true relationship, relating without manipulating, giving yourself away, that is how we find ourself. Our true self.

Under the Mercy,

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Habits and Reaction

My entire life I have been someone who reacts to the situations that are put in front of me. At times it was striking back at a bully, getting mad, chickening out or even being swayed into doing something. This has helped me in dealing with crisis situations but I think that due to patterns I have learned, it has fed my addiction. Things have to be a certain way for me and when they aren’t I react to make them the way I feel that they should be. This can and often opens the door for resentment. It also makes it very easy respond to sexual input without thinking especially when my triggers are in play. When I have stress and resentment sexual release is something that is very calming.

Well, it is calming for a time, then there is resentment and guilt and the cycle can repeat itself as I am more on edge as I try to stuff down the guilt and move on. Again, reacting to the situation and not dealing with. All of my life is based on reactions. In Church the other day the homily was about developing habits and patterns to help get us to heaven. Right now I am someone who reacts, goes quickly and fast paced through life. From now on, I need to slow down and think about things, not reacting but being much more methodical in the way I approach things, especially things that make me want to react. Instead of letting my stresses jump up through my reacting and trying to control.

Under the Mercy,

God grant me the serenity. . . .

Habits and Reaction

My entire life I have been someone who reacts to the situations that are put in front of me. At times it was striking back at a bully, getting mad, chickening out or even being swayed into doing something. This has helped me in dealing with crisis situations but I think that due to patterns I have learned, it has fed my addiction. Things have to be a certain way for me and when they aren’t I react to make them the way I feel that they should be. This can and often opens the door for resentment. It also makes it very easy respond to sexual input without thinking especially when my triggers are in play. When I have stress and resentment sexual release is something that is very calming.

Well, it is calming for a time, then there is resentment and guilt and the cycle can repeat itself as I am more on edge as I try to stuff down the guilt and move on. Again, reacting to the situation and not dealing with. All of my life is based on reactions. In Church the other day the homily was about developing habits and patterns to help get us to heaven. Right now I am someone who reacts, goes quickly and fast paced through life. From now on, I need to slow down and think about things, not reacting but being much more methodical in the way I approach things, especially things that make me want to react. Instead of letting my stresses jump up through my reacting and trying to control.

Under the Mercy,

God grant me the serenity. . . .

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I have been doing lots of reading and reflecting lately. I ended up spending sometime thinking about something that has been nagging at me and I think I have come to a breakthrough in recovery. I don't know what to call it, I don't really think it is a trigger, it will make more sense when I am done writing it all out and I post it here.

God grant me the serenity.

Under the Mercy,


Monday, February 11, 2008

Why does it have to. . .

. . .be such a long process to recovery? Why can't we just go on living our lives tommorow after making a decision today?

The answer is simple, if I decided to recover today and just go on with life, recovered, tommorow, I wouldn't appreciate recovery. I also wouldn't have changed. Change is a process that I have to undertake. Suffering and pain are the teachers of patience and appreciation. These things take time and have to occur over time. God grant me the serenity. . .

Under the Mercy,

Sunday, February 10, 2008

When the work gets hard. . .

. . .I have to remember to keep working it. At times I just want to throw my hands up in the air and say, screw it all. That is weakness talking, that is the temptation of addiction. Go for the easy way and the instant gratification. Bypass the real connection.

I have to remember to keep working the program, the real connection is not something I can get quick and it is worth all the sacrifice and then some. It is the pearl of great price. At times it seems so far away and the addiction wants its fix, so we surrender and keep moving on. We move on because we are worth it and those we connect in reality and not fantasy are worth it. We are worth the real connection.

Under the Mercy,

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Born Serenity (The Bourne Supremacy)

I have been reading the Bourne series by Robert Ludlum. You can't watch the movies to really understand this person. The 2nd movie in the series bares almost no resemblance to the 2nd book in the series and I mean almost none whatsoever.

The interesting thing about the series of books is basically you have a person who is compelled to do certain things but doesn't know why and he is looking for answers, peace and serenity in his life. It turns out he has servearl different personas. They each have a different way of acting and a different reality.

Bourne is appealing as he is a man of action that takes risks and succeeds. Delta, behind Bourne and still created is ruthless, vindictive, scary and interested in only what he wants. Webb, the man behind it all is a man of serenity. He is a man that would rather react and think, not to be in control. In some ways this is how an addict functions, seperating parts of himself. I am still learning how to be an all in one deal. Not to say addicts have multiple personalities but they do have different ways of coping. It is amazing, and has really given me pause to reflect inside myself and how I behave.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The hardest thing

I suffer from WCSS (Worst Case Scenario Syndrome) and it makes my addiction harder to deal with at times. If I am a forest I don't want to ignore the whole forest to deal with one tree (my addiction is a whole section) but I don't want to give lip service to that tree either and pass it by. If I need to prune it or chop it down, I need to do that. However, then I get into studying that tree and worry about neglecting the forest.

I know its THE lower power (that phrase just came to me) trying to keep me from doing what I am supposed to do. I am working on going to a counselor but I keep beating myself up with the what-ifs. I finally jumped passed them and am trying to line up my schedule and his. It feels much better now that I have made the jump and I am doing the work.

I will have to blog more on this idea of a lower power. Right now I need to focus on my higher power more. I can't want to control everything so that my life is easier. I need to stop fighting the Roman Guards that are trying to hand me the cross so that my life is easier. So, today again, I work to carry my cross. Even with a smile, it is a joy to carry and hell to fight.

God, grant me the serenity. . . .

Say a prayer for the lost out their and skip the Super Bowl, go to a meeting.

Friday, February 1, 2008

One of those days

Do you ever have one of those days where no matter how much you try to do what is right you just can't pull it off? Bad start to the day, lack of surrender, I do surrender but feel like I am getting picked at (doesn't matter if I am or not, I have to surrender). I surrender and try to do what is right (or what I thought was the right thing to do) but I didn't surrender my doing what I thought was right.....it turned out to be what was wrong. It is one of those days. God, grant me the serenity. . .