A Group Study of the Circles Model – From Chaos to Recovery

Why do women have bookclubs?

Do they really even read the book or is it just a reason they create to get together and talk, gossip, or possibly emotionally connect?

Personally, I’ve been kind of jealous when my wife goes to bookclubs. It seems to me to be a great way to meet new friends in the neighborhood, share thoughts and experiences, and maybe even read a book that, on my own, I would have never even considered reading.

So why don’t guys do this?

Are we too cool? Too macho? Too busy? Too caught-up in other things (like addiction)?

Or maybe it’s that we’re afraid of vulnerability, afraid to step out of our comfort zones, afraid to make time for things that may cause us to look inward…

I don’t know the answer, but it’s made me think: we should read recovery literature together and then discuss what we’re learning here on the SAL Men’s Discussion.

Granted, it may not be as connecting as meeting in person, but I know there are quite a few great books out there on addiction and recovery that we could all benefit from.

And the reading doesn’t necessarily have to be a book either – it could be an article, an eBook, or even a cool quote we could all discuss.

If you’re interested in being a part of this “bookclub,” reply with YES in the comments below.

To start things off, I’d like to look over the eBook titled, “Pornography: From Chaos to Recovery – 10 Serious Questions. 10 Honest Answers.

This eBook is actually only 4 pages long, so I can’t use the excuse that “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have enough time.”

10 Addiction Recovery Questions Worth Considering

In the book, these questions are posed:

  1. Is using pornography a problem?
  2. Is recovery possible?
  3. How does one recover?
  4. What does recovery look like?
  5. How does pornography affect the spouse?
  6. How does the spouse heal from betrayal trauma?
  7. How does pornography use affect the marriage?
  8. Can the distressed marriage be saved?
  9. How is the family impacted?
  10. How do healthy parents fortify children?

 

I don’t know about you, but as an addict striving to rid my life of my addiction and live in recovery, each of these questions peaks my interest.

One of my favorite things about this ebook is the diagrams that help me see more clearly what addiction and what real recovery really look like. Check a one of them out:

This one seems so relevant to me as an addict:

  • I’m self absorbed.
  • I’m prideful.
  • I’m unaccountable.
  • I’m hardhearted.
  • I’m dishonest.

All of these feelings and attitudes lead to feelings of victim, withdrawal, manipulation, resentment, lies, lust, acting out, anger, fear, shame, fantasy, and loneliness…

It’s a vicious cycle that just keeps spinning and spinning until I’m in a hole so deep I don’t know where to even go.

But look at the recovery part:

  • I’m connected with the God of my understanding.
  • I practice self-care.
  • I’m honest about needs and emotions.
  • I’m connected with God and others.
  • I have set healthy boundaries.

4 Key Components of Real Recovery

If I’m in real recovery, I’m also using 4 key components that most addicts in long-term recovery use:

  1. Education
  2. Spiritual Guidance
  3. Qualified Therapy
  4. Working the 12 Steps with a Sponsor

One of my favorite quotes from this eBook comes from PhD, Jill C. Manning. She says:

“Pornography is neither harmless nor helpful. It is a mood-altering, belief-changing, relationship damaging, addiction-forming, socially-harmful, spiritually-deadening, life-crippling practice, through which one practices the ways of the adversary.” (p. 1)

The book goes on to say:

“For those who are caught in this vortex of a behavioral addiction, escape seems impossible. Serious relationship challenges emerge, faith in God is questioned, and life-threatening consequences may follow.” (p. 1)

Does this sound familiar?

It sure does to me…

The good news is, recovery is possible!

In order to recover, “one must freely choose for himself or herself to step onto the path of recovery from sexual addiction – and stay on it. That path is narrow and may seem steep at times, so a long-term commitment is vital. Without a firm resolve to “do whatever it takes,” discouragement may set in during setbacks, and sadly, a return to illicit sexual behaviors will likely follow.” (p. 1)

Finally, I really liked this section of the eBook where it talks about whether a marriage can be saved:

“The distressed marriage can indeed be saved! It even has the potential to thrive when its foundation includes a shared connection with God, total honesty, appropriate boundaries and healthy intimacy. Healthy parents who continue to strive to strengthen their marriage are then prepared to teach their children—by example—how to live a balanced life full of joy and peace.” (p. 4)

Conclusion

Hopefully the concept of a “bookclub” sounds appealing to you. If not, we can call it something more “manly” or “tough.”

At the end of the day, what I hope we can accomplish together is the work on the “Education” part of the Circles Model – where we read good books about recovery and share our experience, strength, and hope.

I’ve found that the time I take to educate myself about recovery leads to better real connection, improved spiritual guidance, and working the 12 Steps.

Download this free eBook 
and start the group discussion below.

15 thoughts on “A Group Study of the Circles Model – From Chaos to Recovery”

      1. For me question 4 hit’s home. My recovery didn’t really start until i was completely honest with myself, God, and my wife. Half truth’s had been how i managed my old “recovery” and it never stuck. I never was able to be fully accountable or humble. Pride continued to rule my life and therefore i was still very defensive and resentful. I still have a long long way to go with my pride but finally being completely honest has been a huge change in my recovery and how I feel about myself.

        1. Thanks Chas. I, too, have noticed that my pride and ego have continued to be a hard thing to let go of. I’m realizing that Step work is a lifelong process, not an event I eventually complete and can go back to “normal” or “move on” with.

        2. Would you say that you were conscious of your lack of complete honesty and just holding back or was there a realization that more gradually donned on you that you had more things to disclose or surrender to? I believe the white book talks about a progressive honesty and for me, I have had to practice being more honest as I become aware- at least that’s what I perceive.

    1. Glad to hear your interested Mark. Did you have a chance to look over the eBook? What were your thoughts? What stuck out to you?

      Thanks for the comment and discussion.

      1. A definition of self-absorbed is : preoccupied with one’s own feelings, interests or situation. I feel like that describes me in addict mode for sure and even though I have been working recovery for months now, I still find myself lapsing back into that mode. I find it very instructive that the center of the recovery circle is connection with God. Possibly the most powerful concept I’ve learned in recovery is that I can’t pull myself out of that self-absorbed state by simply trying harder not to be that way. I’ve seen that being surrendered to God’s will enables Him to rescue me from a self-absorbed state and connect with Him. He enables the connection with self and others.

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