What Works? - In the Words of Our Members!
You would like to know what helps me against ssa: repeated praying makes me depressive (it is like mourning for me: like God can you help me). Sorry to tell this here but I should be honest. Reading the bible does not help me either. I have been knowing the Bible since I have been a very little child. I cannot relate the evangelium to my struggle. Maybe interpretations do help more for me but the rest is not logical to me why I should read Jesus resurrection or the marriage at Kanah which has nothing to do with my personal struggle.
Maybe you can explain that to me.
What helped me is changing my every-day life: changing many the tasks I am doing. Taking responsibility for my actions. Live a `grown-up`life. Understanding other mens´lives and motives and integrating those things in my life.
Realizing God's love for me and staying faithful to Jesus.
Aim high in life. Aim for a great education and a great job. I've noticed that the brothers who aimed high had to develop social skills that helped them with their struggle. Also aiming high in life ment that the brother is used to doing tough tasks. Thisvalso helped in therapy too since sometimes it involves tough painful tasks.
Everything from a humble prophetic word saying I had a heart after God to deliverance ministry (the quiet version) to Living waters, accountability partners & sheer will power to stay close to God..
Oh.. and Gods great love & grace towards me of course.
Hypersensitivity has to be addresses. It is the primary reason for the walls built around the psyche that impede normal relating which is essential for human flourishing. Being absolutely ruthless with myself when it came to persevering in physical exercise seemed to be a key in getting this hypersensitivity under control. If I can survive that horrible pain then surviving the slings and arrows of what others might think or do becomes a non-event.
Thanks for asking I think that homosexuality has roots in disfunctional way of relating to others especially to individuals of same sex. Often the first man we related to in wrong way is our same sex parent.
As I have a relationship with Father God through His Son's death and ressurection, I am loveable enough(from God) to convert all my wrong relationships with other human beings into healthy and ballanced ones. This is because God gives me completion and love, I am not afraid of being abandoned from others,friends or relatives or parents, I am not afraid that people may not like me or use me. I am related to God's love and this gives me freedom to choose my relationships, to optimize them , not to give myself to others with no terms. Faith eliminates fear, and freedom is the key for healthy,ballanced relationships.
Homosexual feelings get reduced and I fill my heart with the joy of having friends, having loving parents, gaining respect from men, connecting my manliness to other heterosexual men, this is the way that I build my new heterosexual identity.
The reason I left the "gay life" is because I love Jesus, my wife and kids, more than
to have a trick. I believe the truth that Jesus could set me free and bring healing
to my unhealthy thinking and be obedient to Him.
Also, the benefit from walking away from same sex attraction is a sense of freedom,
peace, and love that is unconditional.
Will You Still Love Me Now?
Some people look at same-sex attractions only from the sexual side. If you forget the emotional aspect of them, you might get nowhere very fast. You will most likely try “not to do” something and give up with much frustration instead of finding out about that huge desire in you that yearns for love so much it hurts. It might realize that it’s looking for it at the wrong places, but this is all there is for now.
When I enrolled in Homosexual Anonymous’ online-program, I did that with little conviction. I kind of “stumbled” over H.A. and had never heard of such a thing before. Neither did the thought ever cross my mind that the state I was in had something to do with the way I lived my life or that somebody would seek not to live that way. But, be it like it was, I messed up big time and when I found out about this program, I thought why, you did it your way for so long and look at where you ended at. You might just as well give that new thing a try. And so I did.
Go to a weekly church service they suggested. Have you any idea of how long I had not been there? What the heck. I am the kind of person that is very result-oriented, so when I decided to register I thought I will do everything I can from my side to give it a real shot.
Read the Bible on a daily basis they said. I had never read the Bible just like that ever before, so that was kind of weird to me. But what the heck. Let’s go for it. Where to start? Psalms sounded good. And John. Wasn’t that the one Jesus loved? Sounded good enough for me. And to this day I believe that was the best choice I could ever take. Once you’ve been there, the pain expressed in some psalms take on a different meaning for you. You realize this guy had been where I had been. Likewise with John. There are the Gospels – and then there is John. The one who sort of drops out from the rest. The one who talks about love, light, darkness. I craved for that.
Read some useful literature they said. So I read my way through all that ex-gay literature. Don’t get me wrong – that is very useful and important.
And yet I forgot one thing. You might already guess it. I covered my spiritual side and the scientific knowledge of what this is all about – the reason.
Sounded alright for me. I knew now what was the right thing to do and to believe in – and why.
Well, that kind of worked for a while. That was easy, I thought. You just give up the sex stuff and BOOM you’re done. What’s all that fuzz about then?
Then one of my best friends came over from the USA to pay me a visit like many times before. Years ago we had sex with one another, but after we dropped that we stayed (or became) best friends.
To cut it short: We spent awesome days together here in Munich, Germany. I found my soul mate. Somebody who struck a cord that nobody else struck. I dreaded the day he had to leave.
One evening, we were in my apartment (thankfully he stayed at a hotel). He took place at a chair and myself at the couch. I asked him to come over and tried to sound as innocent as I could. He looked me in the eyes and asked “Why?” – and stayed where he was. We both knew why. Had he done it, I’d have probably gone for it. Yet, even though he still embraced the gay life himself, he loved me enough to respect my decision and protect me from myself.
Then came the day he had to fly back to the USA. I took him early in the morning to the train who went to the airport and afterwards went to my job.
The same day I had a business meeting outdoors. It was a cold and rainy November day.
I left the office and went to join the customers.
Almost there, I walked through an empty street and felt the rain on me. What I also felt were there tears streaming down my face.
I went into the doorway of a house nearby and collapsed.
There I was – knowing the truth in my mind, but it somehow hadn’t reached my heart yet. So while I was sobbing like a baby I told the Lord that I cannot stand this any longer and that I needed Him badly. This was eating me up and I did not know what to do. I needed someone in my life that filled that huge void in me. Whoever the Lord sent me, I would accept him.
Nothing happened. I pretended I was alright and kept on going, expecting to crush down anytime soon.
Then one day I got home from work and the phone rang. “Hi, my name is John”. I stood petrified. Without any further explanation I knew this was the one God sent me. And as I later learned, it was the same for John. Sort of the lame helping the blind to walk. John later said sometimes the Lord scans the earth to find two that go together well.
And the Lord continued to bring wonderful people into my life. André, Bill, Christian, Mark R., John O., John J., Doug, Mark E., and more. Men that showed me what a true friendship is all about and that sex actually kills it.
God also helped me mend all those broken relationships during the time where I left nothing but burnt earth behind me.
He showed me that I need not be alone just because I did not have a gay lover.
Many times after I came back to Him I struggled as I knew that my past life was not what brought me to where I wanted to go and yet had no idea of where the present way would lead me. I had to give up everything. That might sound like not a big deal for some, but this was all I had and all the people I knew. That helped me cope with my pain and giving it all up meant jumping off a cliff not knowing if someone would catch me. I had to give up things, behaviors and attitudes that were my security blanket. Once I even felt deep love for a man in my heart. I did not “go for it” and tried my utmost to stay on the right path (which I did, just for the record). I knew I had to give up this “love”, even though it tore me apart. It hurt like nothing before and I was a 100% sure I would not survive that – neither physically nor mentally or emotionally. But I hold on with the little faith that was left in my heart to God. Over and over again I heard very clearly a voice in my heart saying “I know that hurts. Will you still love me now?” And each time I said “Yes, I will still love you. It will kill me I suppose, but I will still love you”.
And God has been faithful. He led me out of this situation to true freedom like He led me out of so many valleys.
How could I ever deny my God that has always been good to me?
I will love Him no matter what.
Apart from the basic of christianity I would say:
(In particular order)
*Acceptance from others
*Support network of HA Tft, people I can really trust.
*Man-ing up to situations
* Affirmation from men, particularly in the context of male activities, eg sports
*Walking in forgiveness towards male members of my family.
*Getting on with the Fathers Business, ie., serving others and sharing gospel.
*Honesty with self and knowing my limits.
*Applying 12 steps.
These are some of the things that have helped me:
On the Spiritual Side
Reading the Lord Set Me Free by ha.
Started attending a support group
Learning and sharing what I had learned
Attending a Church
Accepting Yeshuah as my personal savior and the One who died for me at Calvary. John 3:16
Applying the Holy Scriptures to my life
Learned/learning the difference between right and wrong
Started learning to love myself, others and Our Heavenly Father
Started learning to be honest with self and others
Learned/learning how to forgive myself and others
Developed a beautiful relationship with Yeshuah, the Holy of Holiest.
Depend on Him more than humans
Read books like The Search For Significance
Went to Spiritual retreats for men
Heard testimonies about other men who had gone or were going through transformation
Listened to Gospel, Praise and Worship & inspirational music
On The Human Side
Developing a positive attitude
Not giving up
Continued working on my goal
Learning about my self
Getting new friends
Having new friends who are supportive
Got rid of porno
Stopped doing drugs for the most part
Continued doing healthy activities like music, dancing, bike riding, gardening
Stopped going to the gay bars
Learned to have healthy relationships
broke up with my same sex lover
cut down on drinking
learned self - control example no longer masturbate
learning to be conscious of my thoughts especially sexual thoughts
learning to be non-judgmental towards self or others learning
promoted my new identity in Christ as a man
identify myself as becoming a new man in Christ no longer gay identiD
Developed healthy relationships with people, family, others
Started learning new ways to behave
Changing my behavior
Learned to make better decisions
Learned to be independent as well as interdependent on self and others.
Started being hopeful
Started being grateful
Started being thankful
Developed friendship with men who are not in ssa life style
What has worked?
1. Love God Fully, accept His Love daily, and demonstrate my Love for Him—faithfully.
2. Then, as a result, Love others fully by actively demonstrating that love thru me to them—Daily.
I have given this MUCH thought because of my analytical nature to test, try, and prove. As a result, I have come to understand that I spent too much time thinking about WORKING and ACTING, and less about truly BELIEVING and BEING.
I had to come to the place where I accepted my identity because of Christ, NOT because of what I had been led to believe, or convinced myself to believe….or could even do to change it.
“For as long as I could remember,
I felt different from everyone else—especially peers.”
This drove so much of my strife, stress, and striving!
The thing that WORKED——that actually changed my beliefs and therefore my behaviors—was realizing that I was created personally and uniquely with gifts, talents, and abilities by God—who created me for a personal and unique purpose—for Him.
Attractions are part of our created make-up…….I had those.
And Visual attractions are highly keen in males…..I had that.
I was WAY sensitive as compared to my male counterparts.
My main divergent gifting/thinking was actually bring keenly sensitive.
I sought the same sensitivity to no avail in males, but always found it readily, even prolifically available in females. This began changing my belief system foundationally——and also my destructive self-talk. That was the point it began to be solidified and confirmed by my male peers (and family members)—I changed. Then, when I then experienced additional ridicule and isolation in church settings……I further began a Journey of resentment, anger, and justification.
God impressed on me, personally--over time as I seriously sought to fully trust Him—that He wanted to use my long-identified bain of sensitivity to actually grow His Kingdom, bless others, and affirm my personal, unique place as an agent of His grace.
Because He demonstrated His love for me with the ultimate gift exchange——His death, for my life—-I could honestly and wholeheartedly embrace my unique gifting(s) to demonstrate His love for me to others.
The WORK that worked….FOR ME
……..was to truly align what I believed about myself in God with what I did. Not unlike a familiar AA phrase “aligning my insides with my outsides.”
This Journey of clarification and discovering my true, called identity has released the gravitational pull and push of Grace in my life. This also released —FOR ME—my self-imposed cycle of shame and guilt that so drove my spiral of acting out and using others.
Now the real question….
HOW HAS IT WORKED???
God has given me a new love, appreciation, and desire for my wife of 36 years.
God has allowed me the freedom to honestly acknowledge my attractions, but now know I don't have to choose to feed the temptation with action.
God has allowed me to meet some wonderful people that have been just as messed up as I was—and now understand—with me, how the masterpiece God created in me was influenced to become---or be treated---as a mess-up.
God is now allowing my sensitive nature to bridge the gap for many men in my life to better understand, appreciate, and love their wives.
It has also given me the courage to be honest with other brothers about my “hindrances” and they with me as we grow a community of encouragement, affirmation, support…..with full mutual rights to call out each other under Christ.
The AMAZING thing is how it is STILL WORKING and growing in my life!! I now get to see Him and experience Him daily.
This FOR ME is the continuing, successful WORKING......Authentically experiencing the Grace of God in flesh and blood that puts NO emphasis on manifesting behavior(s) of sin but on the unifying, freeing mutual realization that we are ALL BROKEN and act out of that brokenness—and GOD alone holds HEALING for BROKENESS!
Finally——FOR ME----because of my analytical nature to test, try, and prove,
I discovered that it was less about me WORKING for fixing and acceptance in my own power, and more about daily BEING with God and then fully accepting and being accepted by others as a by-product of God's love and grace directing our lives.
Blessings and JOY in your personal and unique Journey,
my world-wide brothers!
Great question, Rob!
My Journey to freedom from SSA has totally been attributed to my renewed and refined daily walk with Christ and then His providing me with wonderful Christian brothers, especially OSA brothers, who love me and accept me.....and then walking together with them in healthy honesty.
God is now using (intervening) so many wonderful resources such as this HA bulletin board group to keep connections strong and growing.
Really, finding and understanding my personal receptors for affection, attention, and affirmation have really given me a new outlook and acceptance of my Identity in Christ. Information from many sources, HA, Living Hope, Setting Captives Free, and Biblical 12-Step have all combined to help me claim my original identity in Christ as a LOVED SON!
The Journey continues.....but I no longer do it alone, and I am getting MUCH better embracing my full acceptance by Christ, rather than withdrawing or isolating.
The BIGGEST revelation to me is that my OSA brothers deal with so many of the same character faults as I do, they just choose different behavior manifestations to compensate or cover.
The FUN part of my recent Journey is that as we are having rigorously honest conversations, we are finding that we are SO much more alike than we are different.....AND before the Cross.... WE ARE THE SAME!!!
Christ died to give me LIFE-----Living in Freedom Everyday.
I am sad at times that it took me so long to really claim it....but so THANKFUL!
Rob, that is the "WHAT" Question that is best answered by me with an "WHO" answer!
Blessings and Grace....for this day, my brothers!
100 ways to stay sober
1 ) Don’t forget the past.
2 ) Don’t overdo any "medication"
3 ) Stay away from acting out places, people, websites
4 ) Acknowledge a total slip will follow the first look, phone call, or turn you shouldn't make.
5 ) Listen and try to help another sex addict today.
6 ) Attend S-Group, AA, or other 12 Step regularly and get involved.
7 ) Help someone today even in the smallest way, not expecting something in return.
8 ) Think about the word "insanity" and "restore" in step 2.
9 ) Maintain a conscious contact with God
10) Ask what you can do for your group.
11) Pause!!! when insanity comes.
12) Ask God to come into your heart and mind in that pause.
13) Get a sponsor immediately!
14) Call your sponsor daily
15) Offer to help your sponsor with some thing
16) Visit a recovery house, or do some volunteer work.
17) Visit a depressed friend
18) Listen to learn
19) In problems, examine your part, first
20) Remember, your disease is incurable, progressive and fatal.
21) Do first things first.
22) Don't become too tired.
23) Eat at regular hours.
24) Use the telephone to call someone in recovery, when upset.
25) Be active - don't just sit around. Idle time will kill you.
26) Say the Serenity Prayer daily.
27) Change old routines and patterns that are not positive.
28) Don't become too hungry.
29) Avoid loneliness.
30) Practice control of your anger.
31) Air your resentments.
32) Be willing to help whenever needed.
33) Be good to yourself, you deserve it.
34) Slow down. Easy does it.
35) Get out of the "IF ONLY" trap.
36) Remember HOW IT WAS. Your last slip, the feelings etc.
37) Beware of how you will react beforehand. Expect your emotions.
38) Help another in his/her recovery, extend your hand, listen.
39) Try to turn your life and your will over to your Higher Power.
40) Avoid all mood-altering drugs, read labels on all medicines.
41) Turn loose of old negative ideas.
42) If you must go to a situation where there will be temptation, take a sober 12 step buddy with you.
43) Replace old acting out buddies with new SA/SAA buddies.
44) Read the AA Big Book slowly.
45) Try not to be dependent on another.
46) Be grateful and when not make a GRATITUDE list.
47) Don't feel sorry for yourself.
48) Seek knowledgeable help when you are troubled.
49) Review step ONE. "We were" is past tense, if we use our new tools.
50) Discuss a paragraph out of the Big Book with someone.
51) Turn your will over to God, knowing some action is needed by you.
52) Say Thank you at the end of each day.
53) Plant the "recovery" seed and accept the rest.
54) Don't try to test your will power Once a pickle always a pickle.
55) Live TODAY, not YESTERDAY, not TOMORROW.
56) Remember that God alone sets the element of QUALTIY and Quantity of time.
57) Remember your addiction is - cunning, baffling and powerful.
58) Give yourself credit for something good you accomplished today.
59) Love someone else first, then love yourself.
60) Share your experience, strength and hope.
61) Cherish your recovery.
62) Dump negative thinking.
63) Get plenty of "restful" sleep.
64) Stay sober for you - not someone else
65) Practice rigorous honesty with yourself and others.
66) Remember HALT, Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.
67) Forget the old saying "don't do this for one year"
Only God can measure your quality and quantity of time and sobriety.
68) Get a sponsor and use him/her to learn how to LIVE the 12 steps
69) Know that no matter what your problems, someone's had them before.
Don't be afraid to share, as a problem shared is one 1/2 solved.
70) Strive for progress not perfection.
71) When in doubt ask questions. The only stupid question is the one not asked.
72) Live step 11 with prayer and meditation.
73) Balance yourself.
74) Don't use other things obsessively as a maintenance program.
75) Learn to take spot check inventories.
76) Remember the fact that NOTHING will make you act out again.
77) Know that it’s okay to be human, to make mistakes.
78) Be kind to yourself. Don't be hard on yourself.
79) Take the disease seriously! It can kill you.
80) Know that whatever it is that's causing pain - it shall pass.
81) Smile at the worse problem and see what you can learn.
82) Don't give away more than you can afford too.
83) Don't stay inside too much. Get out, go somewhere!
84) Get a home group and attend it regularly.
85) Don't expect life to be all roses, even in sobriety. Without problems there would be no use for our existence. 86) Remember step one begins "WE" You are not alone.
87) Be willing to go to any lengths to stay and be sober.
88) Know that no matter how bleak and dark your past may be, it will get better!
89) Read the Promises in the Big Book page 83 and 84.
90) Don't be in a hurry.
91) Watch out for your EGO.
92) Protect your sobriety at all costs. Keep the light on you.
93) Learn to listen, not just hear. Be open-minded and nonjudgmental.
94) Don't use bad language and dishonor your Creator, Giver of Sobriety, God.
95) If the rest of the world looks bad, check yourself out first.
96) Show gratitude for your clean and sober time.
97) When times get tough.....go to tons of meetings and share!
98) Remember you can cut down any fear, into half or none, by discussing it with another individual.
99) Try to manage your money, budget yourself.
100) Look for those LIVING the 12 steps, not just talking them.