Elbow: Guiltless Oblivion

Monday, October 02, 2006

Guiltless Oblivion

Conference was wonderful. It's been so long since I've sat and listened/watched the full 10 hours, which includes both Saturday sessions as well as priesthood at night, and the two sessions on Sunday. But it was worth it. every talk was great and important. I think it was Elder Oaks talk that kind of set the precedence for the mindset that I should have while listening. I've mentioned before that I don't like it when homosexuality is referred to as a disease, and something that is a handicap, but if that's what it is then there's nothing to argue about. If being gay is a handicap, or an illness that only the Lord will take away after this life then there's more to that...

Anyway,the bottom line is that I don't know what I'm doing, and I think the gospel is great, and maybe I am in need of deep spiritual repair.

So thinking about my lack of guilt, and pointing out that I'm obviously looking at pornography and masturbating pretty frequently, I wonder why I don't feel more shame for my sins. And then I was thinking about how on Dr. Phil, there was this guy who was addicted to heroine. He was taking such doses that would kill most people, and he was sober on the show, but didn't want help or didn't "need" anyone to intervene (so he said). It was crazy how Dr. Phil was talking to him, in fact, Dr. Phil wasn't even addressing the addict.

He kept saying to the addict "your mind is altered so much that you can't think clearly for yourself."

And the addict would reply "I'm completely sober right now, so why can't I make the decision if I want to go to rehab?"

Dr Phil replied "Until your brain is not chemically dependant on the drugs, you won't make clear decisions for yourself, and you can't be trusted with making the right choices."


Blogger Kengo Biddles said...

Hey Elbow.

I think you've hit the nail on the head when you brought up the heroin addict. At my worst, I know now that I was so addicted to the chemicals in the brain that I couldn't have made a right decision. You have to "rehab" yourself, "detox" from the porn and so forth.

It will take conscious effort, because I don't know that you're going to be happy just getting off to video...eventually, you may well want to do it yourself, and even then, when you say you're not cheating on your wife, you are. You're lusting in your heart after these images you see, and what you want in your heart is the sin you've committed.

I say this, sadly, to myself as much as you. Be strong, make the change, block the sites you can on your computer in your office, get someone you trust (your wife is ideal, but if you're not up to that, someone else) to help you lock it down to save yourself. I had to do that for a while, and should probably do it again.

You can succeed, you can return up the slope, but you have to want to...and if you don't have the desire, you should pray for the desire. (I do that, unfortunately, a lot).

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look, I'm a heavy drinker. I've had some kind of alcohol most every day for 8 years or so. Most days I have at least two really big drinks, often more. I can do nearly anything drunk that I can do sober. Recently I stopped drinking. I've not had any bad withdrawls or anything like that but I've been quite on edge and find myself easily angered, but feel so much better about life in general. I think that your situation is going to be much the same. Get the monkey off your back and you will be able to see things more clearly. Take the steps to rid yourself of bad habits and you will feel a stronger sense of control, and who knows, you might feel a stronger spirit.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or how about this: You're not an addict. You're not addicted to things. You're gay and you are human. You have physical needs and you are not meeting them. You are living a life divided against yourself. And wishing it away isn't working. Maybe the truth is if you stay on this path you are going to fail, beat yourself up and fail again, until it ends badly or you change.

Since when did God give you only a soul but all the straight people a body and soul that work in harmony?

Maybe it's your faith that's inadequate. Maybe the received wisdom isn't so wise. Maybe god is greater than your faith. Maybe God is a better being than the humans who are interpreting him for you. Maybe there is a way to be both whole as a gay man nd in touch with a real God. Maybe there is a way that's different than self flagelation and harming everyone you touch in the process.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Kengo Biddles said...

Honestly, Elbow, I think that the real gist of the posts here are that we care about you and what becomes of you. While the second anonymous and myself disagree somewhat on the root causes of your situation, we obviously both want your well-being. You're in our thoughts and prayers.

8:11 AM  
Blogger -L- said...

Kengo, I respect your measured disagreement with anon 2. I can't manage it. Anon 2, you're stupid. Elbow isn't harming everyone he touches, and he's doing his best to work through a very confusing conflict between desire and faith. You trivialize that in a way that's disrespectful to both his desires and his faith. He's married and has responsibilities besides his own unmet "physical needs".

Anyway, Elbow, I think I understand the difficulty of being beyond feeling on certain topics. Sometimes that has been a good coping skill... I still want to change but I don't have to be in accutely painful guilt all the time. It has been a good condition to loosen up and just let it go. I'm still struggling (as you can read on my blog), but I'm hopeful that things aren't futile. Mortality isn't figured out in a day or a month or a decade. Just keep going and your insight will grow. Professional help will probably help (as I've said a million times before).

Thanks for all the positive and supportive comments you leave on everyone's blogs. You are so much nicer than me. I'd be ashamed to meet you. ;-)

8:09 AM  
Blogger DCTwistedLife said...

but if that's what it is then there's nothing to argue about. If being gay is a handicap, or an illness that only the Lord will take away after this life then there's more to that...

I personally think its ridiculous to say that its an illness, that will be taken away after you die. You ARE, in effect saying that. I dont believe anymore that God created us to fight this as if its some demon. The larger challenge elbow is to embrace somethig that is different, to love your whole self- including your gay sexuality. Maybe THATS your challenge. Not trying to be "straight" when youre Gay. Repression doesnt work...these feelings arent going to go away. So its best to actually deal with them.

I find the whole concept of everything being exactly THE SAME ("eternal families"... "Male-Female"...) in the afterlife...quite boring, and I dont believe thats the way it is. I think there are GAY people in heaven. Yes, GAY people. Ultimately God is responsible for all the diversity that exists in the world.... And if there aren't Gays in heaven, then I think God's title of "Unconditionally Loving" should be taken away.

I just wish that you could look and see that you can embrace your whole self and still be a great person...

12:01 AM  
Blogger Rusty said...

As a married recovering pornography addict (two years sober), let me say that I can absolutely identify with what you're saying.

There was a time when I had the attitude of, "Screw the Church. Enough with the marriage. I want out." And it wasn't that I had bitter feelings towards the Church per se, or towards my wife. It's that the constant acting out, the repeated exposure to this completely warped world, warped me and the way saw the world.

I'm still married, sober a day at a time, and things are better now than they've ever been. But I sure wish I could undo what I've done, because in a lot of ways I feel I'm still catching up.

I'm straight, and I won't try to pretend to know what same-sex attraction is like. But I do know that as long as you keep acting out, it will make any attempt to address those issues exponentially more difficult.

10:21 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home