Those who have been working SAL recovery for awhile understand that recovery is a marathon, not a sprint.
When I first came to SAL, it seemed strange to me was that people were still attending meetings even years after “rock-bottom”–long after finding sobriety or stability from trauma reactions. In other recovery groups I had attended, people were in and out as fast they could manage, anxious to put all this addiction stuff behind them and move on.
So why do people keep coming to SAL?
I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself.
The more I work recovery, the more I realize how recovery brings healing, clarity and peace to every aspect of my life–not just those issues surrounding sexual addiction. I know the positive changes in my life depend on living with God at my center, one day at a time. And that will never change.
There Are Layers to Recovery
Recovery is all about peeling back layers. It took years of practicing recovery actions to begin to see a real recovery change-of-heart for my husband and myself. What I thought I understood 5 years ago has grown into a much deeper, richer understanding of what it really means to live with God at my center today. This process will continue, I have no doubt, for a lifetime.
SAL Recovery Tools Can Help You Find a Deeper Change of Heart
The goal of S.A.Lifeline Foundation is to assist people on their pathway of recovery, no matter how far into the process they may be.
The tools we offer through sal12step.org (Introduction to Recovery Course, Guided Meditations, Daily Step Work Curriculums, Boundaries worksheets) are all valuable supports that can enrich and deepen your recovery change-of-heart no matter where you are on the path.
A Women’s Retreat Participant Shares How Her Surrenders Are Changing
Sharline is an SAL member who found that the concept of Surrender took on new meaning for her after attending this year’s SAL Women’s Retreat. She has graciously allowed us to share this beautiful and courageous journal entry, which really resonated with me as I reflected on my own recovery journey.
Surrender is one of those layered recovery concepts that deepens as we go, and has the power to change the way we see, well….everything. As we work the steps and use available recovery tools, our self-awareness grows and we become aware of coping strategies we didn’t even know we were using.
We hope these words from Sharline will resonate with you today, and that you will feel inspired to use the tools available to you to really commit yourself to your own recovery. This program works…when you work it.
I am taking back my recovery today.
I am acting as savior. I am putting so much time and energy and thought into how to guide my husband through his recovery that I don’t have any time left to guide myself through mine. I am correcting his course when he goes astray. I am hyper-focused on creating an environment to prevent his acting out. I try to identify every possible way he could relapse and then plug up the hole. The time I am spending on his recovery is time not spent on my own.
I surrender. I surrender my need to be my husband’s savior. He has a Savior and He is the only one who can save my husband.
I am controlling. I consume a vast amount of material on addiction. Books, blogs, podcasts, articles, pamphlets, TED talks and videos. You name it, I am searching it. For me, knowledge is power. I want to be the best educated victim of betrayal trauma possible. It’s my way to control my situation and even my husband. It is my center.
I surrender. I surrender my need to control. I am putting God at my center and He has complete control.
I am obsessed. I am obsessed with the truth. I am analyzing every conversation, every check-in and every text to see if it stands up. I am forcing the truth out of my husband in hopes that it will drive him to be more honest in the future. My detective skills are honed but the constant state of analysis is pulling me away from serenity.
I surrender. I surrender my obsession with my husband’s honesty. I will pray for discernment and trust God to guide me.
I am fearful. I am fearful to enact boundaries consistently. I fear my husband will view the boundary as a punishment for his honesty, and that will drive him back into hiding and lying. I am hesitant to express my needs in fear of causing my husband to act out. I do this even at the risk of betraying myself.
I surrender. I surrender my fear. I trust that God’s will is the true path for my life.
I am angry. I am angry that I have been submersed in trauma because of my husband’s choices. I am angry that the future I had planned on will never be mine. I am angry that I have lost my financial security and am living in uncertainty.
I surrender. I surrender my anger. I believe through God, I will find peace and joy in the new life that is ahead of me.
I am insecure. I worry I am not enough. I worry I am not thin enough, young enough or pretty enough when my husband practices street lust. I worry I am not smart enough because I went 30 years without knowing of his addiction. I worry that my deficiencies will keep my husband in his addiction.
I surrender. I surrender my insecurity. I am a daughter of God who has given me a beautiful vessel worthy of my love, my physical care, my time and my appreciation.
I am taking back my recovery today.