Play by play analysis of a “Lost Battle”

Below is an email exchange between me and a client who was trying to analyze a recent “lost battle” (addictive behavior relapse).

His comments are unmarked.  My comments are in (parenthesis).

Client:  Somehow, out of the business that is my life now, I lost another battle.
I woke up extremely early this morning and I could not get back to sleep.

(This is Level 1:The Chemical Spill.  (See The Sons of Helaman Book) The addict brain, with the help of Satan, can set off alarms (mechanically shifting chemicals) that wake you up in order to get a “fix”.  It is wise to remember that this addiction is a legitimate addiction, not unlike heroin.  With all addictions there are withdrawal symptoms.  Waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep is a common withdrawal symptom.  This will go away after about 3 weeks of success.)

 Within what seemed like two hours of idly waiting for sleep to come to me,

(This is Level 2:Feelings.  In an effort to understand why we woke up, or why we can’t go back to sleep, uncomfortable, pre-sexual feelings increase with the help of the Satanic Spin.  Sleep will not just “come to you” in these situations.  You have to intentionally change your brain chemistry.  A burst of exercise will often do the trick.  It is important that you take this course of action before you get to Level 3.) 

temptation reared its ugly head.

(This is Level 3:The Dude Moment.  The first suggestion to do something inappropriate, now that your brain has been massaged into vulnerability.)

I eventually went upstairs

(Level 4:The Retarded Conversation.  “Should I?  Should I not? ….)

and started to surf the internet for bad material

(Level 5:The F-it Moment : You stop fighting it and just…..).

I can’t handle vulgar material for too long before my mind begins to try and purge it, so I turned off the computer and left feeling guilty and dirty.

(At this point, we are in Damage control.  Decisions have to be made in advance in order to maintain the fewest “casualties” in each lost battle.)

I lost a battle with Mr. M before I left for band camp. I had rationalized that after the loss with Mr. P, “If you lose with Mr.M now, there will be no way you can convince yourself you are still worthy to bless the sacrament.”

(This is another visit to Levels 3, 4 and 5 before you can successfully get back to 0.  I assume you can recognize the lack of logic in this sentence now that you are out of the situation.)

I suppose there was some truth in that, since I often question “how far is too far” with Mr.P.

(Question 5-3 from Captain’s Log:  I recommend you move the standard up to a line to above anything you would not view with your mom sitting next to you.  This will put your standards where they need to be in preparation for mission and marriage in the temple.  It seems a little strict, but it will relieve your conscious of all obnoxious conversations about “maybe”s.)

I have not yet gotten to directly searching for the worst of it, but I am getting closer and closer to that point. I think it would be for the best if I restrict the internet better for areas I have access

(Computer/internet restrictions are wise, but insufficient if you are going to beat this stuff for a lifetime.  To win forever, you draw a line in the sand in a very safe place, then fight for it with all ferocity.)

to and be more aware of it’s lurking temptation. I also think that I need to be more diligent with the Text-Coaching program

(Yes, those who answer all the questions in a timely manner tend to succeed faster.)

and not let my guard down at any time, and plan for situations like today’s.

(Yes, most of us can predict with some degree of accuracy where and when Satan will attack. Question 6 from the Captain’s Log  . Planning an activity that will dominate him in advance will greatly increase your success.)

For more information on Levels and the Captain’s Log check out The Sons of Helaman book.

About Maurice W. Harker, LPC

Director of Life Changing Services, Director of Sons of Helaman, Facilitator of the WORTH group, Consultant for the Daughters of Light program.