Fighting Lust with Intimacy *

Often when we hear the word intimacy we apply it in a sexual context. In my recovery process, though, I've learned that we addicts need to work on our non-sexual intimacy. A quick Google search defined the word intimacy as “a close familiarity or friendship”.

I was once told by a fellow recovering addict that one key part of recovery is learning the difference between intimacy and lust and then trying to work on replacing lust with intimacy. I've found this to be the case in my recovery as well. However, I've found that it not only applies to people we may have trouble lusting after, but also our fellows in recovery.

Bonding before, after, and even outside of meetings when appropriate has been an irreplaceable key in my recovery and the recovery of those I know who are in a strong recovery space in their lives. I personally do not believe that I can reach a good recovery space without reaching out and forming intimate friendships with fellows in recovery (and then sustaining those friendships).

After all, the very first step to recovery is admitting that you alone are powerless over your addiction. I know that we often (and correctly) interpret that to mean that we need God in order to remain sober, but God has given us this wonderful tool of friendship and support in one another, that we all too often leave in our toolboxes. Why? Why do we (men especially) have such a difficult time reaching out and learning to be intimate with one another?


I personally believe that a large part has to do with social influences that teach us as young boys, that being vulnerable, especially with other men, is a feminine trait and therefore should be avoided. We are taught from the time that we are very young to avoid being overly intimate with other men (again please understand the way that I’m using the word).

Simply put, addiction thrives in isolation, while recovery thrives in connection. Sexual addictions are just Satan’s counterfeit for connection. Doesn't it make sense that if we are trying to stop using the counterfeit that we should instead engage in the real thing? It is my prayer that as I attend my PASG meeting this week that I will be more cognizant of my words. I pray that instead of coming in late and leaving immediately after the meeting is over, that I will face my fear of being vulnerable and try to connect with a fellow recovering addict.

 I hope that I can continue to foster these relationships outside of group. I hope that I can be a help in the recovery of some other man and make others feel welcome in the meetings that I attend. I hope and pray that as I do this; I will lean on a friend for support when my moment of temptation comes (because it always does). Furthermore, I hope and pray that my friends will do the same.  Finally, I hope and pray that you will join me.

I can testify to you, that as I've done this in my recovery I've experienced the best and longest period of sobriety in my life time. I know that as we use the tools that God has given us in faith, that He will strengthen us to carry loads that we would not be able to carry otherwise.

* From CB, a trusted friend

1 comment:

Robert S said...

When a woman sees another woman after a long time, it wouldn't be weird for her to say, "that outfit makes you look SO CUTE!" Would it be weird for a man to say, "dude, that shirt makes you look so handsome" ? Yes. Yes it would. I totally agree, though, that the way culture teaches men to be isolated (or "manly") is not good for their lust resiliency.