Throwing Marbles at a Battleship

I am reading a very informative book, Sitting in a Rowboat Throwing Marbles at a Battleship.  It's an odd name but it makes total sense once you understand the background.

The book answers questions about addiction and recovery that I never really understood before. There are a lot of good books on repentance and the atonement, but this book emphasizes the tools for lasting recovery. If you aren't making progress in your recovery, continue to relapse, or are about to give up, please read this book!  

Here are a couple of paragraphs from the book:

"We Need to Understand that “Repentance from Sin” and “Recovery from Addiction” are Not the Same Thing. They are interconnected, but they are not identical. Addiction is not sin; repentance is not recovery. Sex addiction compels a person to sin, but it is not the same thing as sin. Likewise, just because a man repents of his sins, it does not automatically mean that he has entered recovery from his sex addiction.

This explains the baffling plight of the addict who has repented so many times he can’t count them anymore. Why does he keep going back to the pornography and compulsive sexual behavior? Is it because his repentance isn't sincere enough? Does he not cry hard enough? Does he not have enough resolve or conviction? Is his heart not broken? Is his spirit not contrite? Or is it maybe something else?"
You can purchase the book at Deseret Book or for about $12.00 or you can download your own free pdf copy by clicking here.

Here is how the author viewed his addiction at the start of his recovery:

"I see a six-year-old boy in a tiny rowboat in the middle of the ocean with a handful of marbles. A grey, armored battleship is steaming towards him. He can hear it coming, but he can’t see it very well because thick fog hangs everywhere. He is trying to sink the battleship by throwing marbles at it.

I am the six-year-old boy. My sex addiction is the battleship. Those marbles are my efforts to overcome the addiction on my own. The fog is misinformation, confusion, bias and judgmental attitudes about addiction. It keeps me from seeing two stark realities:
   (1) this battleship is enormous—as big as a football field—and
   (2) I am alone in a tiny row-boat trying to stop it with marbles!

Because of the confusion caused by the fog, I have the idea that if I can just throw those marbles hard enough, I will eventually pierce the hull and sink the battleship. I can even hear some of my marbles pinging off the side of the ship as I throw them, so I’m convinced that I’m causing major damage. Although I tell myself with conviction that soon I will have conquered my “little problem,” it will obviously never happen as long as marbles are all I have to throw."

Here is how the author now sees himself in recovery:

"The picture of my addiction inside my head has changed now. I still see myself in the tiny rowboat and the battleship is still out there. But now, the fog has dissipated so that I can see the enormous size of my enemy and know that this battle is very lopsided. It is nothing like those two wrestlers in the ring. I know that I will lose if I just sit there by my-self in my rowboat with my marbles.

But now I also see a bunch of other rowboats surrounding mine—not many, but enough—and recognize my friends. . . . They have blowtorches and drills and metal-cutting saws. They tell me to stick with them and they will show me where to cut and drill and torch to slowly dismantle that battleship piece by piece.

They tell me, “We know how to chop this thing up, because we've done it before ourselves.” Sure enough, I can see their battleships lying in pieces in the distance. Some are neatly stacked, while others are in a bit of disarray. But it’s clear that their battleships are destroyed and they are now out there helping others dismantle theirs. One of my good friends in the program recently told me with a smile, “It takes an addict to help an addict.”

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