My 15 Worst Excuses *

The following fifteen excuses and lies would be comical if they weren't things I actually thought during my early days of recovery. I hope that this list can be a good "Lie Detector" for you if you are just starting the program. For the guys that have been sober for a while... well, you will probably get a good laugh. Although they speak for themselves, I wrote an explanation for each one: *

1.  I just need to read my scriptures more and attend the temple more... that will get me over my addiction.

While attending the temple and reading the scriptures are good things to do, what I really needed at the time was to learn about my addiction and work the 12 steps under the coaching of someone who had been through the same specific addiction... someone who could meet with me in person and call me out on my lies.

Addiction is a special form of insanity, and I was caught in the cycle for years. I tried reading my scriptures and attending the temple... but my addiction stayed the same. I needed to try something new (on top of the basics)... Something specific to my problem.

If someone has cancer, they don't only see a general practitioner, they go to an oncologist. By working the twelve steps and attending group meetings (along with the basics of the gospel) I was still drawing closer to God, the master surgeon, but in a more direct and honest way. I had to place myself in a specific operating room where He could fix me.

2.  I don't want to go to group meetings because I might see someone who I know, or people might wonder where I am every Wednesday night and I don't want to explain.

What a silly excuse this was. If I saw anyone I knew at the meetings, that would mean they have my same problem!... so no big deal right? I actually did meet people who I knew at the additcion recovery meetings, but our encounters have always been happy and filled with understanding.

Knowing that I'm not alone was one of the biggest helps to me. Over time, I have told family members about the program, and them asking where I was going was a great way to spark the conversation. Other members of my family have found recovery as a result of the 12 steps. All good things, nothing bad.

3. Addiction recovery meeting isn't a required meeting like sacrament is, so I don't really need to attend as frequently.
 It isn't required by law to go to the doctors when you are sick either!...but it is still a good idea if you want to stay alive. If I want to stay alive spiritually, then I better be willing to do everything I can to show my willingness.

4.  If just going to meetings is enough to keep me from acting out, then I don't need to do the 12 steps or find a sponsor.

Ooh. That is a dangerous thought for me. Satan tries to lie to me as soon as I have some abstinence under my belt. He "whispers" in my ear and tells me that it was "no big deal in the first place", and that "all I came here to do was to stop looking at pornography". What I really came to the addiction recovery group for was to become spiritually whole again. I cannot become spiritually well if I'm not doing my part.

Back to the doctor analogy, it's like going to the doctor for the scheduled checkups, but not taking my medicine! People who get organ transplants have to take anti-rejection meds for the rest of their life. God has given me a new heart, and I need to take his prescribed counsel to keep my "new heart" from dying... for the rest of my life.

5.  I'm not really addicted; It's totally natural for guys to look at pornography.

The natural man is an enemy to God. Not all guys look at pornography and lust! The narrative that all men think about sex all day long is a complete lie. As I have found sobriety my thoughts have turned to helping others; I don't think about lust all the time like I used to. I even get better grades in school now that my mental resources are cleared up for more important thoughts.

6.  I got into this by myself, I can get out of it by myself in 28 days or so, like any other habit.

Addiction is not just a habit. There is no set amount of time that it takes to "get over" an addiction. Addiction is like an allergy, it always will have a powerful effect on those of us who are addicted. I worked for years to get into my addiction, although I have been sober for years I am still an addict. I have an addictive type personality and I am a compulsive person by nature. One day at a time, God gives me a spiritual reprieve as I ask Him for it.

7.  I'll stop doing it on my own, and then tell my wife and bishop about it once its all in my past.

How many times did I try this one!... too many. It is a self-justifying lie that is very attractive to one in addiction. I thought that my bishop wouldn't disfellowship me if I told him that "it used to be a problem".
After the 100th attempt I started realizing that I can't get out of it on my own. Realizing this helped me accept Step 1 and admit that I of myself am powerless over my addiction.

8.  I will be justified in the last day, because the temptation to look at pornography is too strong these days to withstand. 

1 Corinthians 10:13. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  Part of the escape that God has prepared for me is the addiction recovery program.

If I am not utilizing this tool as I should, then I am not showing God that I am thankful for His miracle...and I will not be able to bear it and I will fall. Without the 12 Steps, group meetings and my sponsor, the temptation will overtake me, guaranteed. God has prepared this escape for me, and I better take it... My life depends on it.

9.  I'll be able to get sober after I'm married. The married guys in the program have it easier than I do.

As a guy who has lived in recovery both before marriage and after marriage, I stand to say that there is no difference in how hard it is (or easy it is) to live in recovery. It is not easier when you are married; Intimacy in marriage is so different than addictive acting out! ... they are not even close to the same thing at all. Lust comes with an open appetite that one woman would never satisfy. Love, on the other hand, comes with an open heart.

Pornography is Satan’s horrible imitation of intimacy, just like all of his other imitations, it is a polar opposite of the real thing. Most of the men who attend addiction recovery meetings are married anyway, so that alone disproves the theory.

10.  My bishop (or wife) is my sponsor... I don't need to find another one.

To quote from the Sponsorship page on PASG Works: "Ideally a sponsor is someone who has gone through the 12 steps of recovery and is living the program as a way of life. This person should not be your wife, your bishop, or close family member. You should seek out another individual with the same addiction, who is sober, and who wants to coach you through the program.

A sponsor can be a friend for life who you can rely on to give you sound advice on the 12 steps. He is someone who will listen and who you can trust to keep sensitive information private. Most addicts who are living in recovery choose to stay in frequent contact with their sponsor, even though the good times. This trusted sponsor is one of the most valuable tools you will have to maintain long term sobriety."

11.  If it weren't for pornography or masturbation I would be a practically perfect person, so I don't need to do a step 4 inventory. 

I started thinking this same thought when I began my step 4 inventory. I couldn't think of any resentments that I had. I was not being honest with myself. Once I prayed for honesty and willingness, the truth of the matter came flooding onto my spreadsheet. I filled out pages and pages of resentments and fears and harms that I had done to others, they just kept coming and coming.

I had kept these things so hidden in my heart that I even believed they did not exist. Thankfully I had a sponsor who could see right through this lie. He helped me pray for honesty and humility. I'm so glad I was able to "empty the trash" in my soul through the steps.

12.  I can't go to recovery meetings each week because it takes time away from my family.

"Without recovery meetings you won't have a family buddy!" That is something that my sponsor said to me when I told him this lie. How true it is. My recovery must come first, before school, work, family, everything! My recovery represents my relationship with God, and we all know that it is important to put God first in life. If I ever put something above my relationship with God, then I am cut off from His spirit and I start to wither and die. This is serious business.

13.  Now that I'm sober I don't need to go to group meetings.

That is just asking for it! Every guy that stops going to meetings relapses sooner or later... every one. That is my experience anyway. Going to group meetings helps me stay humble and keeps me aware of the dangers of my addiction and self-justifying lies. Hearing the honest sharing from other men in addiction is truly the highlight of my week.

Once someone is living in recovery they need to keep attending meetings to help other people see the hope. Those of us who have sobriety can be "missionaries for recovery" to the new guys... It is our duty to give back according to step 12.

14.  I'm not really acting out if I just look at pictures of girls in swimsuits.

"Yellow light behavior" as some like to call it is ACTING OUT!... plain and simple. Purposely doing anything to arouse lust is acting out. Clothes or no clothes, lust is lust...and it has the same toxic effect on my soul. If I look at these things, I should be calling my sponsor immediately and resetting my sobriety date. It is possible to turn away from these temptations!... I know, because I don't look at anything like this anymore, and that is a miracle. I don't do it with my own will power... It just comes as a result of working the twelve steps and staying honest with my sponsor.

15.  If I keep going to meetings for the rest of my life they won't make me a bishop or a general authority!

 Ha ha ha! I have heard this excuse many times and it just makes me laugh now (even though I thought it at one time). I know multiple men who attend addiction recovery meeting weekly and who also serve in bishoprics. There is no rule in the church that says anything against it. Addiction recovery meeting prepares us to serve more fully in church callings, whether that be bishop or any other calling in the church.

It seems that LDS men with addictions (like me) have some strange desire to be recognized for their elite spirituality... what a dichotomy. Once we are humbled, God will be able to use as tools in His hands to bless the lives of others.

* This post wast borrowed from

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