Men’s Step 0 – Day 1

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To not watch tv by myself unless it is something my wife and I discuss and feel safe with. To not seek attention from other women. To check in daily. To work on recovery daily. To use my tools daily.

We surrender to god our weaknesses and then he can help them become our strengths

The importance of companionship and participation in groups tied to success in the program. I guess it makes a lot of sense, as I know that I failed so many times to succeed.

Because I can learn from their experiences, and they can learn from mine, from my mistakes and failures.

I am going to reach out to my brother, to my friend Joseph, and I would like to reach out to a couple of the men from the group.

I will not look at pornography; I will not take and use my phone in the bathroom, I will limit "mindless browsing" to 3 minutes or less; I will spend time with my wife.

I have struggled so much on my own, it has been exhausting. Once I stop, and fail on my own, and surrender, then I am open to receiving the power of God and applying the atonement in my life.

The concept of getting outside of yourself, it was a foreign construct to me prior to hearing the discussion and this reading.

Both personal accountability and to aid in the progress of others.

My spouse.

I currently have none defined

We stop completely, and when the emotions or cravings or trigger arrives, we instead reach out.

Several. "The measure of such commitment will be the measure of your recovery". "Without regular participation in the fellowship, there seems to be no recovery"; getting outside of my own head. There is power in connection with others. A power that I can't describe, but it gets me out of my head and helps me to focus outward.

I often don't really "want" to go to meetings, but I always go anyway. I find that my desire to attend is equal to the degree which I'm in my own head and self-obsessed. Once I'm there, it pulls me back into reality and I leave much happier and more grounded. Getting involved has helped me to be a part of the solution for myself, and hopefully for others.

I'm still not very good at reaching out. I have a few friends in the program that I'm comfortable with. Sometimes I text others that I feel a connection with, but this is rare. I commit to reaching out to Kyle from group. I just texted him to see when he can chat.

I have a few of them. I don't take my phone into the bathroom, I try to leave work at work, and when I travel I don't turn on the TV in hotels. I need to revisit these and perhaps update them or consider new ones.

It's like magic! I realize now that God was just waiting for me to ask Him the right way for help. I needed to be willing to do whatever it takes to stop completely, for good. Once I was willing to really surrender, it was like God said "I've been waiting for you to be ready and now you will feel my blessings for you". It's been wonderful! My attitude and perspective have completely changed. I now know I have to surrender to Him each day and let go of things I cannot change, have courage to change the things I can, and ask for wisdom to know the difference. Once day at a time!

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"'We participated in the fellowship of the program.' No one seems able to stay sober and progress in recovery without it, though some try. For most of us, without associating in some way with other recovering individuals, there is no lasting sobriety and none of the fringe benefits of recovery, growth, freedom and joy...We don't try to explain this; it is simply a fact." (p. 63)

"Fellowship is that crucial to our recovery. We can't do it alone...The measure of such commitment will be the measure of your recovery." (p. 63-64)

"We cannot put this strongly enough: Experience has shown us that we must be part of others or we cannot maintain effective surrender, see ourselves rightly, or work the Steps. Without regular participation in the fellowship, there seems to be no recovery." (p. 64)

"There can be no relief from the obsession of lust while still practicing the acts of lust in any form...We stop feeding lust...We stop feeding lust through the eyes, the fantasy, and the memory...We stop living only and always inside our own heads...As we become aware of other addictions that are part of our lives, we pray for willingness to surrender each one." (p. 64)

"What we are really saying when we start meeting with others is, 'I have to stop; please help me.'" (p. 65)

"The program doesn't tell us how to stop - we had done that a thousand and one times - it shows us how to keep from starting again. We had it backwards; before, we always wanted the therapist, spouse, or God to do the stopping for us - to fix us. Now, we step; and then, in our surrender, the power of God becomes effective in us." (p. 65)

This stuff is so good - both for my addiction to lust and also for my addiction to resentment and control.

I need the fellowship of other addicts. I need that connection and that support. I need to be able to talk to others about what I'm thinking, feeling, and telling myself.

I can't do this alone, which at times I feel like I want to do.

Because only in giving of myself to others can I get outside of myself. And by giving of myself to others and putting my trust in someone other than me, it can help me put my trust in God as well.

It's lack of connection that has gotten me into the mess of addiction.

It's true connection with God and others that will keep me out of addiction one day and one moment at a time.

Cameron T
David K
David P
Daniel W
Ed C
Mike W
Tony H
Peter K

I will practice the "chin up" approach in all interactions.
I will stay away from Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social networks.
I will be accountable for my use of YouTube and will talk to Becky & others about my use of that platform.
I will avoid browsing the internet.
I will not stay up later than Becky.
I will practice surrender (repeating the 3rd Step & Serenity Prayer) if I'm feeling temptations to lust or create stories in my head.
I will do the same when I feel temptation to control or react in negative ways with my kids.

I will think about what narratives I'm telling myself and be curious about why I'm believing those narratives.
I will work the Steps as a way to connect with God and self-assess.

Now I do what I can to clear my head and heart of the false narratives and junk that I've put in there. Then, as I do that, God can communicate with me again.

He's always there and ready to communicate. But if I keep putting mud in the "living water," He can't communicate with me even though He may be trying - I just can't hear or see or feel Him.

As I stop, then I practice surrender one temptation at a time and THEN "the power of God becomes effective in [me]." But that equation doesn't work consistently in any other way.

This is great stuff.

I'm glad I completed my goal today.

The needing other members to help us out of this hole part stuck out to me today. I wish I wasn't so afraid of reaching out to people and going to meetings. I want to understand that more but I think the way of getting out of it is to just do it. Just go to a meeting.

For me, its the connection. Knowing that the other person is experiencing what it is like to be a sex addict like me makes it easier to get out of my head. To get out of ruts and to start moving forward.

I want to be committed to reaching out to a few guys I am comfortable reaching out to.

That is something I still want to do and sit down and write out my boundaries.

That we have to stop and then God gives us strength for the rest. To pick up the pieces. To become better.

-"Without regular participation in the fellowship, there seems to be no recovery."
--How long have I tried to do it alone?

-We always wanted God, therapist, others to do the stopping for us. "No we stop; and then, in our surrender, the power of God becomes effective in us."
--I think I've wanted God to do the stopping for me.

To get out of our heads. To have accountability. Isolation fuels the disease. To hear other's stories and thoughts and learn from them. To connect.

Darryl. Although I need to reach out to more members of the group. What is the hesitation in this for?

No phone in room.

I do think I've wanted God to do the stopping and do a quick fix me up. That is not how it works. I surrender, humble myself, and God's power can be made available.

I recognize how much just going to the group has helped me when reading about how surrendering our actions to the group puts them out in the open and cuts them down to size. I know I have felt a difference since opening up in meetings.

I think it is important because there are other examples of people who have gone through the same struggles I face and have had success in overcoming them. I know the other people in the group want to see me have success. And when I am there I can here stories of how others overcame their struggles and I can gain a new perspective in how to overcome.

I will reach out to at least one other person from the group on a weekly basis as well as keep in touch with my dad about my progress and struggles.

No use of social media, other than a possible quick post in the presence of my wife.
Be 100% honest with myself and my allies. I am committed to surrendering my temptations to God, and a trusted ally before giving in and acting out.
Install a program on phone and computers so my wife can see my activity.

I think it means at first it is my job to stop, to show God that I really want this. And as I ask I ask God for help when times get hard and temptation sets in that he will give me his power that I don't myself, and through that power it will give me the strength I need to make it through 1 more day at a time.

We have to stop, we have to get involved, we have to be willing

We can't stop alone, we need help

Potential Sponsee

I will not escape my feelings with games or shows. I will do my step work before any leasure time

We have to take one step into the light to have God help us.

I like how it encourages me to attend 12 step meetings and participate in the fellowship that comes with those meetings.

Without participating in the fellowship, how am I supposed to change? I can't do this on my own, so I need help with other 12 step group members.

Nobody at the moment.

I have added a content filter on my smartphone and I have deleted and blocked social media apps on my phone. When I get on social media websites on my computer, I have a mental barrier that effectively prevents me from going to the locations on those websites that have triggered me in the past.

Surrender to me entails giving up my baggage to God. Letting God dictate my path.

A couple of things. First it talks about the importance of reaching out to others and being involved in groups to recover. Pretty profound when it said that without regular partiipation in the fellowship, there is no recovery. For me this means going to meetings regularly, like it talked about, and reaching out to others daily. I have been calling someone every day which seems to have helped a lot. Also like how it said to get ride of all materials and triggers under my control that could cause lustful thoughts and feelings. I think about youtube, facebook, and other websites that do this. Also I need to get that software app going so those temptations are removed.

I think connecting with other people is a really good way for me to get out of my head. Participating allows me to talk to other people which is a real connection instead of trying to connect to either myself or some pictures and videos on a screen. That is fake and a fantasy. When I participate in meetings and call others, that is real and it helps me stay grounded and away from the porn and masturbation.

I have a list of probably 30 people who I have met through both SA and SAL meetings that I can call. I made myself a schedule last night of 2 people that I can reach out to every day. I am going to reach out to a different person everyday so I can really widen my support group and get to know others.

This is something I could probably work on. I have a few like not going to youtube, not trying to monitor my wife and her online presence, and get a software monitoring app, but I could definitely think about more boundaries and how they could help me.

Ultimately it is the power of God that is going to help me stop acting out and get into and stay in recovery. This is something that I seem to forget from time to time and find myself relying too much on myself and other people. First to get that power of God to start working in my life, I have to stop acting out. I have to gain some momentum and get the porn, masturbation, and fantasy out. I have to surrender all my negative emotions, feelings, and character defects to God to allow him to take over and allow his power to guide my life.

It is critical that I meet with others with the same addiction to hear their stories - to help me to be honest and truthful and remind me where I’ve been.

See above
And to be a light to others beginning the path.

Jeff
Wayne?

Pushing my wife for sex - lust

Turning my heart towards God - giving my right to lust up to Him and feeling His love - trusting He will make more of my life when I surrender my will to Him.

The importance of being in regular contact with brothers in the program. We need help with finding and keeping our recovery. Keeping to ourselves in addiction only feeds it.

It keeps you focused on recovery and helps connect you with others. Connection to others and God fights addiction.

Dave, Jay, Patrick, Keagan, Travis

Phone and computer stay out of my room.

Only the help of God helps us to recover. By surrendering and doing the work daily, God can do what we cannot.

There is no lasting recovery without associating in some way with recovering individuals.

We can’t be sober in one area and act out in another area

We must be a part of others or we cannot maintain effective surrender

Those in group. I need to broaden and redevelop my circle of fellowship

Don’t take my phone into the bathroom. Don’t aimlessly look for videos. Don’t turn off filters

I stop for 24 hours at a time. I have a willing heart to stay stopped.

I'm not comfortable with opening up yet to tohres. I hear what is being said about the importance of a group, and I am committed to the process of recovery so I will learn as I go I guess.

I'm not sure yet that it is. I will learn as I go I'm sure. I have seen the benefits of a group in other areas and I'm probably being fearful in this area, but I will stay committed.

I will continue to reach out to Holly. She needs to be a bigger part of my recovery and I need to have faith in her as much as she has in me.

I don't have a sponsor yet so I will share with Holly and my sonsor when I have one. I'm not really sure I understand what effective boundaries should look like.

As long as I am trying to do this myself, I block God's power to help me. Whan I surrender to Him, I allow Him to get involved in a way I never could on my own.

The importance of community and/or having a sponsor to staying sober. Up until this point I have always tried to come up with a solution on my own, and I don't like the idea of having to my problems with others.

Because it is what keeps you honest, and allows you to draw on the strength of others who are also struggling against what you are dealing with.

Since I don't have a sponsor, I think my first step is to understand if there is a group near me where I can attend a virtual meeting.

To refrain from taking in content as well as from going off on my own.

I think that it means we use our will power initially to stop the bad habit, then turn over our will power to God in order to keep us strong. Will power will falter, but faith in the power of a God that also believes in us can keep it going.

The idea that recovery cannot be accomplished alone has always been a fundamental belief of mine. There is nothing that is more true in this program full if truths.

Participating is essential to taking on ownership of my addiction. I need to tell my story and get it out in the air. I need to serve others by fully participating in my group.

I am committed to reaching out to my wife, who is a big part of both my life and my program, and other members of the group, especially if I am triggered and need to surrender.

The most effective boundary that I have put in place with my wife is that I don't take my devices into my bedroom with me at night. My wife and I sleep separately, so my devices go into her room at night. when I adhere to this boundary I have many fewer problems. I also have a truth telling boundary, so if I have any lust triggers during the day, street lust, media triggers etc. I talk to her about it.

As this section says, and I agree, that I don't need to learn how top stop. I've done that many times. The program teaches me how to not start again. This miracle of not restarting comes from God. After a whole hearted surrender of lustful feelings God will assist us in holding the line against lust. The harder I try the more difficult sobriety becomes, but if I turn my will over to God in a sincere surrender He will guide me.

*I can't do it alone. I need to be connected with others in recovery, reaching out to them for help, reaching out to help them, etc.
*I have to stop lusting in any form. That means "taking the edge off" by lusting in seemingly less bad ways, it means street lust, it means lusting over my wife, it means fantasizing about stuff I haven't done, it means memories of things I have done, etc.
*I need to get whatever is inside my head out into the light.

Going to meetings, being engaged in the meetings, doing the meeting after the meeting, calling guys during the week, taking on roles in the group, reading the material, working the steps, sponsoring and being sponsored, etc.

Other guys in the group. I try to reach out to those I think would resonate with what I am dealing with. I try to reach out with those I think I can be friends with. I try to reach out to those who I think might need a call. Etc.

I have a list of them and they involve boundaries around pornography, masturbation, and lustful thinking. More generally, though, I can look at anything for the purpose of lusting, I can't touch my body for the purpose of stimulation, etc. I also have boundaries around when and what for media use.

God isn't going to help me (at least not as much) until I make the decision to help myself, meaning until I make the decision to give up things that are unhealthy. I choose to stop, I choose to change, I choose to give up lusting, I choose to give up acting out, and I have to be willing to live differently, and I have to be willing to get help from others and God. Then I seek God's help, and he helps me. I think I am falling short in some of this willingness (e.g., my willingness to let it go, my willingness to get outside of my head, my willingness to deal with life without my crutch, etc.).

Being part of a group is essential.

We need to be completely honest and open

gives strength hearing others story
Helps to remove the alone feeling

Friends John and Brenda Reber
Our Marriage Counselor Ali Springer
My sister Susan

Do not view pornographic materials. I need to do a lot more work in this area of boundaries.

God will help us if we stop acting out. He will hopefully dull our vision of the triggers that set us off.

Two parts stuck out to me:
1) Working recovery with others: surrounding myself with those who share common values and goals are important towards my recovery. Not everyone shares the same opinion on sexual behaviors. Some - including health professionals or family - describe it to be healthy or normal. Whom I surround myself with can have an influence on me. Working with men who have found tools to work through life in a healthy way, and which aligns with my faith and values are important to me. They are friends, and resources for my personal growth. They can also relate to and understand what betrayal trauma means, which helps me learn how to keep my wife and family safe.

2) We stop relishing the language of lust, resentment, and rage. This stands out to me since I can relate, and what I'm seeking recovery from. I look forward to learning and gaining emotional sobriety.

As I mentioned above, it is essential to me, since it is a fellowship sharing common beliefs and goals. Additionally, they are friends and resources to learn from, and reach out to in times of need. Whom I reach out to during those vulnerable moments (difficult emotions) can make all the difference to me.

Thusfar, I reach out to my sponsor, and some others from group. I also do weekly checkins with my wife.

- I will not view pornographic images or videos.
- I will not view exercise videos with female instructors.
- No aimless internet browsing, or searching for terms which I know lead to provocative or highly triggering images.
- I will not use chatrooms to communicate with female strangers
- No flirting with females (wife being exception)
- I will not entertain lustful thoughts/fantasy
- I will use YouTube and social media for faith, work, or educational purposes only

I am powerless over many things in my life. For example, pain I may encounter, behaviors of others, and the consequences/wounds my behaviors have created to my marriage and family. As much as I may want certain things to be different, I have no control over it. Accepting that is the first part, to recognizing my powerlessness. Turning to God for inspiration on the next right step, is my surrender over what I cannot control. Turning to God, taking the next right step, and being patient, are ways which I start to trust God.