Something unusual has been happening to me and I thought I’d write about it for what it’s worth…
I’ve been posting on here how a big step in my recovery was when I decided to reveal the truth about my porn addiction. I have been completely unashamed to tell anyone and everyone who I felt God wanted me to share with about my experience. But, telling others has it’s drawbacks as I am now finding out.
There was a group at my church who wanted to start a Celebrate Recovery program. I was asked to be a part of it and to be a co-leader. The main leader is also a recovering addict but she has been in recovery longer than I have. As I openly shared with her the process of my recovery, she was sizing up my recovery. I didn’t know it at the time, but all along I was being judged by her because she questioned my recovery (mainly because I think she questions her own). Eventually, I began to notice an attitude shift coming from her. She started holding me more at arms length. As time went on, I started noticing that she was trying to suggest other people to fill in my position–I could tell she was trying to get me out of leadership.
While this was going on, I was also meeting with a leader from another Celebrate Recovery in town. He was also suggesting that I should step out of leadership. I believe that he and the other leader had been discussing my situation together. His reason was that I hadn’t experienced enough time in recovery. It had only been about four months. But, I’m a pretty intense person and when I set my mind to something, I really pursue it. I’ve been working very hard on my recovery. I’ve been following the steps, spending all kinds of time in prayer over it, spending a lot of time searching my heart for answers and blogging. It’s been a priority.
The attitude I’ve been getting from these two people has been very hard to deal with. I know I can’t change people. I know I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. But, it has been really intensely hurtful to be judged wrongly by these two people who I am looking to as mentors. It seems like they see me as trash. I’m not valuable until I’ve had a year of recovery? The only reason for them to think that is because that is how long it took THEM. But, is everybody the same? Can God not do a work in someone in less time than it takes others? Who has the right to judge? Am I being unreasonable here?
I guess I look at it like this… I have been really excited about doing something to help others with the struggles that I’ve experienced using the answers I’ve found. But, I’m being pushed away because I haven’t fulfilled some magic timeline. Imagine a new Christian who begins to experience God’s grace and they want to go out and tell the world. But, the leaders of the church tell them that they can’t be involved because they haven’t been Christians long enough–in fact, the leaders are doubting whether they are actually even really a Christian. He feels he is having a genuine experience, but the leaders are telling him that he shouldn’t be so sure. Is that okay? Don’t you think the new Christian would just give up on it possibly?
These people have hurt me. I don’t know how, but they got to me. At one point, the leader of our group suggested to my Pastor that I’m living a double life. She accused me of taking trips to Santa Barbara to cheat on my wife. The truth is, I’m commuting to school weekly. I drive down there, go to my class, and then immediately drive home. I can’t believe this accusation!!
I’ve never done anything to these people except be willing to help. I don’t know why I’m being treated like this–honestly I can’t think of any other time in my life when I’ve ever been disrespected or falsely accused in this manner. And that it’s coming from two people at the same time is bewildering to me. For some reason, these supposed Christians are acting just like Satan–the accuser of the brethren.
The moral of the story is this… If you know someone who’s in recovery, support them. Your encouraging words go a long way. But, your doubt and accusations go a long way to send them backwards as well. I can’t figure out why, but these two make me want to give up. Not that I’m going to, but those are the feelings I’m feeling because of them. Who are they to do that to me? I JUST DON’T GET IT!
Writing this post is making me so angry. I need to go take some time to pray. Any thoughts about this from any of you?
One more thing, it might be wise to be a little bit careful about who you tell and how much you tell them. It could be that they will use it against you. And although, at first, you might feel like you could care less about what people think of you–I’ve found that it can sting a little bit. So much so that I’m deciding that I’m not going to be helping start our Celebrate Recovery which is something I’ve really been looking forward to. That sucks!!!!!!