Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Addiction Recovery Program: Step 4

I had the wonderful opportunity, on top of the opportunity to be an ARP facilitator, to film a segment for the Addiction Recovery Videos that are coming soon. They will be available to the public online, and I couldn't be more excited!

The LDS Addiction Recovery Program is a 12 Step Program, but it is not like every other 12 step program. This is an inspired program. It is special. It can help people like me and you overcome our addictions, our shortcomings, our heartaches, and find peace. We can grow closer to Christ and develop a real relationship with Him, and God the Father. As his children, we are meant to grow, through adversity, and become righteous characters that can live eternally with Him one day.

The Refiner's Fire is real.

I have experienced it.

To hear my full story, you will have to wait for the videos. (That's assuming they use the footage they shot of me) But for now, let me just share a snippet with you.

I was chosen to speak on Step 4.
At a preliminary filming for LDS Studios, volunteer facilitators were asked to share on their favorite step from the program.
In a room full of facilitators, I was the only individual who raised their hand for Step 4.


Step four is known to be the biggest challenge for people in the ARP. 
It is making a written and moral inventory of your life.
A lot of people face this step with dread, or don't face it at all. It can be a huge obstacle for participants. The daunting process of writing down this inventory scares people into ceasing their progress, or dropping out of the program, or they just prolong it way more than necessary. I understand it is hard for most people, but you may find it surprising that this is my favorite step.

In my "share", I likened step 4 to my gardening skills.
(I'm not a very good gardener)
When trying to keep a flowerbed clean and tidy, you must attentively weed the soil. You can just grab the tops of the weeds and remove them, giving the illusion that your garden is free of these spoils, or you can dig deep and remove the weed from the root. If you just skim the surface, the weeds reappear in what seems like hours! If you remove them from the root, you will enjoy weeks of a fresh garden blooming with healthy flowers. Weeds will attempt to grow again, but there will be a lot less this time, because you've already removed the majority of them. You will have little difficulty removing these new trials, pulling from the roots. This is kind of what step 4 does to our souls.

I talked about writing down some of my weaknesses, or just things I didn't like about myself. It ended up being scribbles on a paper. But it got easier, and Oh, let me tell you, it was SOOO worth it.

You may fear the pain and torture digging up old memories will bring. But I promise you, the pain and torture will significantly lessen after you do your inventory.

Imagine, on a regular basis, every time you are consumed with these angry thoughts. Your past, your addictions, your flaws...it hurts, every single time. Doesn't it?
When you recall how others hurt you, you relive those awful experiences.
We suffer real PTSD, and we experience these symptoms with every crucial deja vu.

Step 4 can cleanse you of this.

It will be TEMPORARILY agonizing to write everything down, but you will be FREE OF IT once and for all.

It will never hurt that way again, I promise.

You may have a little twinge of guilt, remorse, or resentment, until the full process is complete and the atonement has worked fully in your life, but once step 4 is complete, you will feel an enormous relief. A weight will be removed from your shoulders.

I hope you can face step 4 with courage and know that only the fear of what may be is frightening you. Do not let "what may be" stop you from succeeding.