Packing List for a 90-day journey
There are many different strategies that one can employ in order to reach a target. I can only share what worked for me.
I found the Step 1 share incredibly liberating and it allowed me to get rid of fantasies that were swirling around my head. This allowed me to finally air-out how sick I was and admit to safe people that my life was completely unmanageable and that I was addicted to lust. Until that point, either I didn't know or I was in denial about how sick I was.
The importance of the fellowship was critical for me in this early stage of recovery. It has allowed me to reach out and ask for help - this is the message of Step 2 - I cannot fight this disease by myself and I need the strength and unity of like-minded people to help me learn to live with this disease. The guys help me reach out and break my isolation. They have given me the strength to realize that I may never get "healed" from sensitivity to lust, and it is something that I have to live with and adapt my life accordingly. Very much like a chocoholic who finds out that he is a diabetic - either he changes his lifestyle or he dies. My disease is exactly the same, either I stop giving in to my lust or I die. Of course it is hard and there are times I just want to say 'to hell with it all'. But it is at this point that I fall back to my Step 1 - I don't want to die.
I also have found helpful my incredibly supportive wife. I know I broke all the 'rules' when I told her everything, she even read my Step 1 before I gave it. Obviously, this led to a tremendously difficult few weeks. However, she has accepted me for who I am, she isn't happy about it and sometimes she wants to give up, but she is giving me the most unbelievable support. I am completely accountable to her. There is a book called 'For Men Only' by a guy called Jeff Feldhahn, it gave me a lot of insight into my wife's mind and it showed me how to be there for her and give her the emotional space that she needs. Of course, it is hard, and there are times that it is extremely difficult, and I am not there for her. But at least now, I know when I have screwed up and why.
One more thing that helped me was that I had a sponsor that knew I didn't want to lose my sobriety. I know that for much of the last 90 days I have been white-knuckling. But my sponsor helped keep me sane and guided me through very troubled and turbulent waters. It took about 70 days of white-knuckling and being brutally honest with my sponsor before I was able to start a "positive" sobriety.
Additionally, I had to learn to take each moment as it comes. It is so hard to live knowing that you may never get better. So instead of focusing on the future, take each moment as it comes and in that moment, focus on why you are doing what you are doing.
Finally, without prayer and without G-d's help I would never have gotten to this point. I have been frum my whole life, but it is only now that I am finally learning how to pray to G-d. My G-d. The G-d who loves me.
I don't know what tomorrow will bring. But if we live for today we can trust that tomorrow will be even better.