Today is a milestone worth celebrating. One year, 365 days, worth of abstinence from sexual addiction. There have been many tears, slips and falls since I published this post about my struggles nearly 2 years ago. That post took many hours of thought and hitting the publish post button felt akin to voluntarily getting naked in a room of fully clothed people. There have been many struggles to keep putting one foot in front of the other since then. For a while all I did was look backwards at the 120 days of abstinence that followed that post and beat myself up for not being able to reach 121. Repeatedly getting up and trying again has been one of the biggest battles of my life. My motivation for doing so was my yearning to be free of shame. To embrace truth instead of being bogged down in the lies.
In my counseling sessions I've been asked to define my sexual addiction - as in what behaviours are you referring to, they ask. At first I was ashamed to tell. I know I'm not the only one to struggle with those behaviours and today I'm able to be matter of fact about naming them. No, I don't offer it as small talk in social situations, after all there'd be spewed coffee and choking coughs to follow if I did, but if one asks me, I tell. Our human need to know we aren't alone in our struggles motivates me to be forthright about it when appropriate.
By the grace of God and my willingness to surrender - well I think that is a grace in itself, too - here I am today. It feels beatiful. Looking backwards and forwards is not the norm anymore. Staying in this day feels more comfortable. It's less of a strain on the neck, too. I'm not doing any of this perfectly and that's finally a comforting thought instead of ammunition to beat myself up with.
Never have Anne Lamott's two favourite prayers been my constant companions more than in this past year. They sum up my journey. In the morning, "Help me, help me, help me" and in the evening, "Thank you, thank you, thank you."