Men of Redemption

Restoring a Life of Purity – One Day at a Time

Archive for the ‘Q & A About Recovery’ Category

WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION ABOUT RECOVERY?

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 20, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . . .

“I feel I’m doing really well in my recovery group, as I’ve seen a lot of growth from where I used to be. It’s been nearly seven months of sobriety and I’m very encouraged as I move forward. Because of that growth, I’d like to have disclosure with my wife, sharing with her to know everything I’ve done to her in my addictive behaviors. Is this a good time to begin this process or should I wait?

Thank you for honesty and courage in sharing where you are in your recovery. That confession does show that you’re moving in the right direction. The answer to your question-WAIT. I truly understand your desire to be open and transparent with your wife, which is one of the goals we ought to pursue while in recovery, but we need to understand the sensitivity side of having disclosure. It’s good that you’re very proud of where you are in your journey, and keep up the good work. But seven months is not nearly enough time of sobriety to even consider disclosure. At this stage in your recovery you’re probably still working on some deep issues-trauma, hurts for the past, identifying those issues that have prohibited you from moving forward in life, as well as maybe some relationship concerns. I wholeheartedly understand you wanting to further the process of disclosure as you gain more confidence and healing in your recovery, but it’s also about understanding where your wife is emotionally, mentally and spiritually. If she has not received or have been receiving any support while you’re doing your recovery, that means that she’s still harboring that pain, that broken trust, with nowhere to turn or get help herself. Sometimes as men in recovery we can get so excited about our progress, but we tend to forget that the very person who was the recipient of the collateral damage we’ve cause with our behaviors was our wives. As we progress, we need to keep in mind our wives, what we’ve put them through, and all that they had incurred because of our problems. How do we do that? Communicate with your wife. Talk to her about what you’ve learned about what you’re struggling with. Let her know that you’re trying to understand the root cause of your problem so that it doesn’t happen ever again! Support her in helping her understand the process you’re going through in recovery. As you continue to progress, you pray that God will minister and send some God-fearing women who have been through this struggle to give her the support she really needs from a woman’s perspective. She needs to know that she isn’t alone and that this was not her fault. So waiting a while, I’d say at least a good year maybe a year and half depending on the severity of your situation, would be great time to take a look at disclosure and assess where you both are at that time. It’s not about when you’re ready-it’s about when YOU BOTH are ready. There is a lot more involve when considering disclosure. So again, I would wait and make sure your wife has had some support, healing, accountability and understanding before moving forward. Don’t be in a rush. It will only make things worst.

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WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION ON RECOVERY?

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 16, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . . .

“I’ve struggled with addictive behaviors for over 20 years now, everything from porn to infidelity and everything in between. I want to stop this behavior because I know I’m a better man than what I’ve displayed myself as. I want to stop but it’s so hard and I don’t what to do or how to go about it. What can I do to rid myself of this behavior before something worst happens to me?

WOW. Sounds like you’ve come or coming to a crisis of truth. I’ll explain that later. Sounds like you’re tired of being sick and tired. I’ve been there and just like you I was fed up and needed to something and fast! First of all, I acknowledged my sin. These behaviors are a lifestyle of sin, a nature that has captivated men since the beginning of time. When you have acknowledged your sin, make confession the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ, and bring it before the Lord. Then ask Him to forgive you of your sin and behavior, and help you understand what it is you’ve been through. Now, it doesn’t stop there. You need to seek out a couple of things: (1) some Christian Counseling to better understand the struggles you’ve been through for the last 20 years. Christian counseling will help you identify the root causes of your behavior; going back into your past and discovering when this actually took place. You have to go back in your history and deal with the root before you even consider moving forward. The counselor will then help formulate a plan to help you overcome and sustain a life of purity that will involve setting up boundaries and structure which will involve accountability, transparency and honesty. If you really want to rid yourself of these behaviors these three components are crucial to this process. Then (2) you need to find a Men’s Support Group that is structured in the same way that your counselor has set up a plan for you. You need a men’s group that is structured with high levels of confidentiality, accountability and group leaders who are trained to walk with you on this journey on a personal level.  This group needs to have in place a foundation that is proven, vital to the cause of redemption and walking in freedom. It cannot be a group that meets once a week, go through the motions and then turn you lose after the meeting and then no immediate contact until you reconvene the following week. You need a group that’s going to be with you in this journey 24-7, through phone calls, through visitation and through face-to-face meetings. You need this kind of criteria if you truly want to rid yourself of these behaviors.

As I mentioned earlier, sounds like you’re having a crisis of truth. This is when you’ve reached or face a decision or moment in your life that going to have made a decision you never really wanted to make in your life and you have to make it. Whether it’s a catastrophe, loss of a family member, loss of your marriage or career, all because of your addictive behaviors. Your addictive behaviors can do exactly that if you don’t stop in your tracks and realize where you’re at in life and with your behaviors. This is why you need to make the decision before the decision is made for you. So don’t put it off any longer, DO IT NOW!! You have to understand you’re not playing with something you can go and get a subscription of pills for and it’ll leave you in a couple of days. This is a spiritual battle, and you can’t fight this battle with fleshly remedies. You have to use spiritual weapons for spiritual warfare. You don’t want the consequences of your actions to dictate what will or can happen to you, it’s that serious! So get some help now and don’t wait my friend. There is help out there IF you truly want it!

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  –  Ephesians 6:10-12      

 

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WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION ON RECOVERY?

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 13, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . . .

“I’m struggling with accountability. I know accountability is crucial to the entire process but I just can’t seem to get into the habit of calling the guys in my group when I never really called guys before. It’s always been women I’ve called. How do I get pass this?”

Understanding and relational development is the key to accountability. If you belong to a group that has strong accountability practices, and they follow through in those practices consistently, you will begin to understand why there is a need to have other men in your life with purpose. While most men were in their “mess” – (this is what we called their addictive behaviors) those of us who acted out with women, they were our initial and immediate contacts. So whenever we got the desire we’d always call women. Now that you’re in recovery, and you have made a conscious decision to allow God to change and transform your mind and heart, God will also strengthen you to understand that we need Men of God in our lives to help us, to strengthen us and to mentor us as we move forward in our recovery. We have to eradicate the desire to “run” to women when we want to act out-instead, we need to persevere and run to our brothers, Men of God, who are there for our support and guidance to help us, to prevent us from falling again to the prey of women.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  –  Proverbs 27:17

When we begin to understand why Godly men are important to our recoveries, and God has impressed upon your heart that having that relationship with them is paramount, then you’ll see their importance in and for your life. Reaching out to other men will gradually erase, and eventually eradicate your desire to contact women for pleasure altogether because you’re going to develop purpose with these Men of God, and this is called relationship. Most men in recovery never had a brother or brothers that they could talk to or bond with on a personal level. Yeah, you have guys who you talk sports, politics and women about. But where are the men when you’re hurting or have been hurt; when you need to confide in someone over a heart issue, or when you want to talk to a brother about your struggles with addictive behaviors? Where are those guys when you really need them? Accountability helps you to develop relationship exactly for this purpose. You can get pass this by opening yourself up totally to accountability, developing relationship with Men of God who will encourage you, who will pray with and for you through your struggles and walk alongside you in your journey. That’s how you can get pass your struggle my friend.

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WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION ON RECOVERY?

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 9, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . . .

“I’m enjoying my support group a lot but my work schedule won’t permit me to make regular attendance consistently. I know my group leader tells me I need to be there but I can’t make it to group on some nights. What can I do to assure my group leader that I want to be there but work is not cooperating?      

We run into this situation all the time in our group. For one, your job is your livelihood, and we will never ask you to anything that would interfere with that. There are two directions you could go with this concern and either one can work to your benefit.

Talk with your Group Leader and see if the work involved can be made up. This option seems to work for a lot of guys in many groups because the work involved eventually gets completed. It lets the Group Leader know that he cares about getting his work done. It also gives the group member an opportunity stay involved with the group when he’s not in attendance as the group will extend they’re prayers for him to somehow get the time off that’s required and be with them. On the other hand, the member not in attendance is missing out on the live interaction with his group, the sharing and edification of one another and the accountability efforts for the group as a whole. This is where the frustration lies with most guys, not being there when they really need to be. But with a work schedule that has been in place for a while it’s hard to make the meetings when work isn’t cooperating so you might consider this option if you can’t get the time off.

Talk with your Boss and let him/her know what’s important to you on the night you have a group. This option will require some prayer and favor from the Lord, and it can be accomplished! On a day where you can meet with your boss, sit down with him/her and share what you’re doing on that given night. If you have the kind of working relationship where you can talk with your boss, share with them (in confidentiality) what your focus is on that night, maybe share a little about your struggles and what this group means to you when you attend regularly. Your boss needs to know what’s important to you when it comes to life, especially if you have a good relationship with them. Then, with some prayer, and the transparency you just share with you boss, maybe then they will consider making some modifications or actually making a decision to give you that night off permanently. It doesn’t always happen like that, but in some cases it truly does. Now, your boss just might say “No” to your request altogether, so you just accept their answer and inform your Group Leader of the decision and go from there. You have done all that you can do as far as making something happen. Your Group Leader should understand your dilemma and work with you within the guidelines and protocol of the group structure.

Now this isn’t the end of your request. You can still continue to pray, and ask God to make way where there was no way, and God can and will move upon hearts. You just never know. One day you just might walk into your job site and the boss wants to see you immediately and then says something like this . . . .

“I’ve given some thought to your request. You have been an outstanding employee for us for quite some time. After thinking about it carefully and what we’re doing here in the company, I think we can accommodate your request at this time. Your request is granted!”

Nothing but God my friend. Nothing but God Himself!

 

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WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION ON RECOVERY?

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 8, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . . .

“I’ve told a couple of my friends about my problem with sexual addiction. They tell me that it’s not a problem and that every man goes through this behavior. I don’t see anything wrong with it. So why do I need to get some help for something every man is going through but they’re not getting as well?”      

Well, if you know you have a problem already, then why are you consulting your friends and being influenced by their opinions? Didn’t mean to answer a question with a question. Bad journalism! My friend, if you know you have a problem, talk to someone who is experienced in this issue of sexual integrity. You need to understand the complexity and collateral damage this type of behavior can cause. With you thinking, and probably believing, there is nothing wrong with “A little extra curricular activity” as some might say, but the effects of this behavior haven’t really shown itself to you just yet. These behaviors can and will destroy relationships, marriages and lives. Not to mention they also can bring on severe consequences that will result in major losses in many areas such as employment, material holdings, your home, as well as financial ruin. You don’t see it now, but if you don’t get some help in understanding what addictive behaviors can do, those realistic consequences will be upon so fast you’ll never know what hit you. Right now, you’ve probably haven’t lost anything or have been affected by the behaviors. Until the behaviors are dealt with, they will most assuredly build momentum to where you’ll be convinced that there isn’t anything wrong with it. The last thing you’ll want to do is listen and be influenced by those who have no idea what you’re going through. And I bet the guys you spoke to were single with no cares in the world because they’re going to do what they want. Getting some help about your problem, since you’ve already admitted it, is crucial in you understanding the problem on the grand scale of things. Addictive behaviors can lead to illegal activities such as crime, fraud and drugs. If pornography is already in the mix, it will eventually lead to rape and everything that comes with it. So when you say you see nothing wrong with it, please understand that a lot of men and women who have been convicted of sexual crimes who started out thinking exactly like you are. Be of good courage, begin to seek out some help in getting to know everything you can about your problem, then apply that help to you own life and I will guarantee you’ll change your perspectives on how you see this issue, and probably will make adjustments accordingly. I pray, and sincerely hope you do my friend, sincerely I do!

 

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WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION ON RECOVERY?

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 5, 2017

My Question is . . . .

 

“My husband is currently in recovery working out some addictive behaviors we’ve discovered recently. I hate him for what he has done to me and our children. But I’m struggling with how do I, and how can I deal with this because I’m wondering if I did anything to bring this on. Is there help for me in understanding this?     

This is a great question and I hope there are wives reading this question because this is where so many wives are. First of all, THIS NOT IS YOUR FAULT! You didn’t cause those behaviors to happen. There was nothing you did or could’ve done to make or encourage your husband to do what he did. The reason for that is it was a choice to do what he did. Chances are your husband probably brought those behaviors into the marriage. He probably was struggling with them before he met you, and he thought either marriage or an active “sexual relationship” with you would make them go away. Knowing this now, I would encourage you to begin to seek out some mature women whom you respect and talk to them about what you have experienced with this. I will add that those mature women ought to be God-fearing women who have been through some things, maybe even what you’ve experienced, so that you could relate to their struggles and what they did to bring some understanding to their situations. Then I would suggest that you look for and seek out a strong women’s support group that ministers, supports and walks alongside you in this experience. It’s one thing to talk and share about your experiences, but after the talking is done you still need that offline support when you have to begin to move forward and face the reality of what has happened because the problem is still there. It’s not going to go away because  you still have to face what has been done until you get some understanding, as well as healing for yourself. You’re angry, hurt, betrayed, and you never saw this coming. Yes, your husband is getting the help he needs in a good support group but with you being the victim in this, you need support and encouragement to help you process it and how you need to move forward in your life and your marriage. I do want to encourage you to pray for your husband as he continues to get the help he needs. As you begin to receive your encouragement, understanding about this issue, I believe God will minister to your heart and bring that understanding as well as wisdom. It’s so easy for a wife to take to open door and say “I’m out” or “I’m done” because she would be responding out of anger. That would be the wrong thing to do. But getting some wisdom and support, and really looking at the real root of the problem together with your husband will help both of you bring the understanding to this problem, and getting the right help will help bring some resolution. It’s not going to happen over night, but when you make that decision, that choice to move in this direction it’s not going make a huge difference in your marriage, your life but also in your legacy as well.

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WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION TODAY?

Posted by Men of Redemption on June 2, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . . .

“How do I know if I’m in the right recovery group? I’ve been to a couple different groups and it seems like they are all the same. How do I know if the one I’m going to now is the one that’s really for me?

To find out if the group that you belong to is the best for you, look for three things that will assure you that you’re in the right place: Curriculum, Group Dynamics, and Accountability.

Curriculum –

What kind of curriculum are they using for the group? There are a lot of groups out there that use various books, studies, certain programs that are geared to support group setting. But I find that having a curriculum that is designed to help you identify and understand the root causes of your issues will work best. Some curriculums work with you and take you back into your past life to help identify the introduction to addictive behaviors, trauma issues, pains, and other issues that we have allowed to infiltrate our lives and lead to destructive behaviors. See if the curriculum addresses those issues, give examples, and then show you what and how you can begin to put things in place so that you can get healing from them and move forward in your life.

Group Dynamics –

Look to see if your group has consistent protocol and high levels of confidentiality. This is very important in selecting a good group for your needs and understanding. When looking at Group Dynamics, see if the group starts on time; does the Facilitator/Director have a vision, a mission statement for the group; does the group have purpose and direction; and with the curriculum it has and uses what is it that they are preparing me for as my healing progresses when I complete the curriculum. These things play a major factor in you understanding who you are in Christ, your purpose in this life, and what is God preparing you to do when it’s time for you to leave the group.

Accountability –

This is the one thing you should be looking for first and foremost. Without Accountability, there is no success in any support group without it! Besides the curriculum and the group dynamics, you need to know and see how accountability looks and works amongst the group itself in order in order to know they have it and it’s working successfully. Is there phone calls required? Do the guys have opportunity to engage in meeting outside the group if they choose to? Can you contact someone, a group leader anytime of the day or night should you need to due to an emergency or in case you relapse? And what type of relapse prevention criteria do they have to help you stay accountable and on course? All these questions need to be answered and considered if you are serious about your recovery and moving forward in life.

So if you are unsure about the support you belong to, ask yourself these questions and see if the your present group is giving you what you’re looking for in a group. If any of these are not present, maybe it’s time you consider looking for a group that’s addressing these concerns, with consistency I might add. These three areas are so important to your recovery that attending any group without them is surely to delay, even interrupt all progress made in a person’s recovery without fail. Looking at the very first support group [Jesus and His Disciples]; they knew their Curriculum(The Living Word), Group Dynamics(Follow Him, Pray, Transparency), Accountability(Being together, talking to one another about everything), this is what you should be looking for in a support group.

 

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WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION TODAY?

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 31, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . . .

“I’ve been going to my support group consistently for the last eight to nine months and have seen tremendous progress in my recovery. But my wife says she doesn’t think I’m doing enough. She says she doesn’t see me doing certain things but I am doing everything I’m suppose to. How can I convince her that I’m doing the right things?

It’s not about convincing your wife that you’re doing everything you’re suppose to; It’s about trusting God that He will enable you to do everything He desires you to do and then your wife will be convinced. So many men get crossed up in their recovery efforts thing that if they’re doing everything and their wives see them doing it that’s going to be okay. That’s clearly a sign that you are doomed to fail in all of your efforts. We men in recovery don’t do our recovery to appease our wives, to make them happy. We do recovery because we want healing, we want to walk in freedom, and we want God’s grace and mercy to overwhelm us by His power and might. That means it’s nothing that you or I can do but what God is and will do through His Holy Spirit to bring change and transformation into our lives. Yes, your wife is watching you and every move you make. But don’t feel like you’re being interrogated or put on trial(although that how many men feel). Don’t allow your focus or your reaction to your wife dictate your recovery efforts. Trust God, trust the curriculum and all the efforts of your support group to lead you and guide as move forward in your journey. When we stop and see what others think or get their opinions, it prohibits our focus, our intentionality of perseverance, we tend to stop and inadvertently delay all of our efforts by wondering, contemplating if what we’re doing is right. These are tricks of the enemy attempting to distract us, to demobilize us from staying on course. And he will use the very ones dearest to us to convince us of this to make it seem legitimate. That’s why accountability is so important in our journey. We need to reach out to our accountability cord and talk to our brothers about this very thing and other things when we feel trapped or tied up in our recovery. You’re not being disrespectful to your wife. Her expectations are always going to be wanting more from you until she sees God get a hold of you and when He does . . . . then she will be convinced that what you are doing is enough! But it doesn’t stop there! Once God get a hold of you, you’ll need to all God to strengthen you to remain consistent in all your recovery efforts every day, not just on days where your wife sees you or pays attention to you. She’s watching you everyday, but so is God. Concern yourself about convincing God, then your wife will be convinced by God and know that you are doing enough.

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WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION TODAY?

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 29, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . . .

How long is long enough to remain with a support group? I’ve been attending this one group faithfully for the last nine months and I’ve seen good progress in my life. I’ve asked my group leader how long I should stay in the group but he hasn’t given me a clear answer and I don’t want to stay in the group forever. So how long should I remain in the group if my progression shows I’m doing well?

This is one of the most consistent questions that is asked from every man going into support group setting. Even before they put their hands on the curriculum they’re going to use, even before they attend their first group meeting. And believe me, this is something every group leader knows and expects from first time arrivals to their groups. I try to share with the guys that this should not be a question that hovers at the front of their minds. You see, your emphasis is already on the end when you haven’t even began the group. We want that energy, that focus to be centered and enforced at the beginning of your journey to recovery. It’s not about how long should you stay, it’s about what are getting out of the group, it’s curriculum and it’s accountability efforts that making a difference in your life. Your group should be impacting your life on extreme levels so that your life is changing, transforming and evolving into the creative design that God created you to be. If the group has influenced your perspective on life, helped you identify who you are in Christ, and you are walking in healing daily and consistently, chances are that leaving or concerns about leaving won’t be at the forefront of your mind or heart. If God has, and is doing what you’ve been praying for, you’ll not want to concern yourself about leaving but what and how you can invite another brother to come and receive what you have received. When you have received and are walking in your healing, I’ve known guys to not want to leave but stay and help the group, become a part of the leadership team, or even take the program they’ve just completed to their church and start a group there. So it depends on what you’re expecting to achieve when you complete the curriculum. Even more importantly, it’s about what God is saying to you or speaking to you about and what He wants you to do when you complete the program. Don’t base your success on how well you think or believe you’re doing but what is God saying to you and what He wants you to do. God has purpose for each and every one of us, and His thoughts and ways are far above ours(Isaiah 55:8), so finished the program or curriculum, and while you’re doing that continue to pray and ask God what it is that He wants you to do when you’ve completed it. You might be surprised at the answer. I surely was!!

 

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WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION?

Posted by Men of Redemption on May 25, 2017

MY QUESTION IS . . . .

“I’ve been in recovery now for about a year now, and I believe I’m moving forward with my life with the changes that I have made. The support group I belong to has some requirements that include the guys in our group calling each other once or twice a week, sometimes more. There are five guys in my group so that’s anywhere from 5-10 calls a week from them. Are all these calls really necessary?

The purpose for the calls are connected to what most support groups call Accountability. Accountability is very important in recovery, especially when the man or woman has self-esteem issues, isolation concerns, or has trouble connecting with others. Every opportunity a group has to stay connected with a brother assures him that his group cares about him in every area of his life besides when they meet during group sessions. As a matter of fact, especially when he is away from the group, those six days until the next time they meet again is crucial because he is mostly doing life by himself, with no accountability, no one to encourage or help him or her make critical decisions about important matters. He or she is literally alone with no one to refer to. Now this doesn’t mean that they are incapable of making their own decisions by no means! Some brothers and sisters just need that support, that call that comes unexpected when they need it; that call when they’re facing a challenging situation and they’re about to do something they’ll probably regret; that call when they face a situation involving temptation or compromise of their faith and they want or need some back up or guidance. There are dozens of reason why calling a brother or sister is critical for every person in their support group. Depending on the brother or sister, some people require more calls than others because their issues require extensive accountability efforts from struggles, self-esteem issues, self-control, etc.. I know some guys who require a call at least once a day due to him having a lack of self-control when it comes to certain instances. If the support group is meeting their members right where they are, these accountability calls can and will be as affective as if they were standing right next to the individual. So don’t be alarmed or hesitant about calls being required by one another. It can only help you in a lot of situations you may lose sight of. Also, it’s another excellent way of developing relationship with your group members, getting to know one another on a personal level. It will make your group that much stronger when you’re battling the struggles of life when you need someone to stand with you in the fight.

Do you have a question about Recovery? Email it to us @: menofredemption040709@hotmail.com. Only questions will be printed on blog.

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