Addiction recovery is a continuous process. No matter if it is day 1 or day 2,290 of our recovery we must choose daily to surrender to God, confess to others, accept accountability, take responsibility for what we do and share our story.
Hmm, those steps would fit nicely into a book – perhaps in an acronym of some kind ;)
Even 8 years into my own recovery I am still engaged in the process and today I took responsibility for something I did 10 years ago. The following letter began as a letter to my 4th grade teacher about a writing assignment I lied about completing (sort of as a joke as a co-worker asked me if we as Christians should apologize to teachers we lied to).
But it turned into yet another growth experience—by writing a different teacher about a different lie.
We will never arrive at perfection, but each day we can do the next right thing.
What’s your next right thing?
Hi Mr. ——,
This may be the most random email I’ve sent in my entire life but I was actually in Mill Valley’s 2003 graduating class. I am writing to apologize to you.
Have you ever had one of those memories that no matter how many years has passed it stays with you? An act in your life so profound that it altered the acts that followed? This apology is due to you as a result of such an act.
In 10th grade I was viewing adult content on a classroom computer after school. I accidentally printed a page of this content to the library (as you know back then that’s how printing worked). You of course found this page of content before I could get there to intercede it. You phoned me to the library to ask me about it (my user ID ever so lovely printed on the page).
The result of our meeting was my somehow lying my way out of some serious trouble.
The reality was I had a severe addiction to pornography stemming back to the age of 10 and viewed it after school as often as I could. I had become really good at being the good girl and really good at keeping my bad behavior a secret. Even ‘getting caught’ by you was not enough to stop me from what I was doing, but only made me that much more careful.
By the grace of God and solid accountability, I have been sober for nearly 8 years. I am now the Director of a non-profit ministry for women with sexual addiction and am about to release a recovery book with a Christian publisher.
But with any addiction, there’s a step that requires making amends. Of taking responsibility for the destruction we made and for any hurt we caused people along the way. While what happened nearly 10 years ago has probably been long forgotten by you, it hasn’t been forgotten by me. I take responsibility for putting you in that situation and then of course lying to you about it. And I ask for your forgiveness.
I understand this note comes out of left field and also apologize if it is unwelcome.
I simply hope that you are doing well.
Blessings to you.