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August 29, 2012

Golfing For Recovery


3 Nephi 14:25
 And the rain‍ descended, and the floods came, and the winds‍ blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell‍ not, for it was founded upon a rock.

Last weekend I had free time to golf. I didn’t plan ahead and schedule a tee time so I was at the mercy of which golf course had a time available. The course I wanted to play was full. I decied to head over to my second choice. When I pulled up in the parking lot of the second golf course the wind was gusting. I had the free time to golf and my golf clubs, tees, balls, and golf shoes in the car ready to go, but I was hesitant. My automatic thoughts were, “The weather conditions aren’t just right. It’s too windy. Shouldn’t I just do something else instead of golf? Maybe I should come back later.”

This example is a metaphor for situations in achieving sobriety and being in recovery. I remember several times listening to conference talks about pornography and thinking, “The conditions aren’t right just now. Work is busy and stress is high right now.” Other thoughts were, “Life is too hectic and my wife is too overwhelmed to burden her with my problems. Maybe I’ll tell her next week.”

I have come to realize that there often isn’t a perfect time or set of circumstances. Going back to the golf example, I decided to bite the bullet and golf in the wind. It wasn’t my best round of golf, but I enjoyed the experience of clearing my mind and taking in the beauty of the course.

The same is true of finding sobriety and recovery. Life is full of surprises. There is rarely a perfect time. Through recovery and attending PASG meetings I’ve been taught and picked up tools and coping skills to work through stresses of life.

I realize that I’m not alone in recovery. There are others that understand recovery and are willing to help. Transparency with my spouse is key to rebuilding trust. Just because my mind and body crave something doesn’t mean I need it. Affirmations are helpful in quieting negative and self-defeating thoughts. I must work the 12 steps and regularly attend PASG meetings. Fighting for recovery is easier than fighting against temptation and darkness. Addiction doesn’t bring happiness. There is another way. God hasn’t given up on me. There is hope.