Here am I, again. It’s been a while.
I don’t have the words to express the shame I’ve felt this year. After reaching my highest ever streak and falling, it’s been a struggle to even reach 2 weeks. I’ve carried a heavy burden of deep shame and regret. The depression which left me in December 2018 came back, and stronger than ever to make up for the lost time. Family life, relationships, finances, my health, so many things started falling apart. I felt the biggest hypocrite for seemingly making spiritual progress in front of others, but GOD and I knew what I was up to in the dark. I accepted the pain and misery reaching me from all corners like some sort of deserved divine retribution.
Shame is a deeply powerful emotion. I couldn’t face coming back here to share my relapse stories again and again. I abandoned my companions in the heat of battle; people who had helped me, inspired and taught me; people who relied on me for support. My ego and pride were hurt. I was vocal on the forum before, sharing advice and insights all over the place, but now I wasn’t following any of my own words. I was a shell of my former self.
But thank GOD for friends who keep persisting in trying to get through to you. One close friend of mine really communicated to me how PMO was completely destroying my life and he could barely recognize me anymore. He spoke to me about the dozens of times I told him I was truly ‘done this time,’ and how with each relapse he could see I was losing part of myself. When would I really be done? At 30? 50? Would I ever break free? He told me he really wanted to have faith in me, but I was making it so hard for him to continue to believe I could break free of the addiction. His words brought me to tears. At that moment I could feel the urgency again, that notion that I may be stuck in this cycle forever unless I do something now.
So, here am I, reporting for duty again with my tail between my legs and my head down. I’ve been absolutely humbled by how much power this addiction has had over me, and I understand that after 13 years of addiction, the journey doesn’t end for me at day 90. Or 180, or even a year. I have to be committed to showing up every day because this is a lifetime battle. And the few days I experienced free of this were proof enough that life is beautiful without it, and I’m not missing out on a thing, but gaining a great future.
There is still more than half of the year to go, time to turn 2019 around.
Always thank GOD for everything.