Four years ago, on February 14 (yes, Valentine's Day) of 2018, Neil and I shared our story with the world about how our marriage had survived addiction, and specifically Neil’s lifelong battle with pornography addiction. This decision wasn't made lightly, and it was something he ultimately had to decide he was willing and ready to do. Today we're reflecting back on that decision and talking through how we decided it was the right thing to do, and how it ties into the 12th step of any 12-step program. If you've ever wondered why we chose to share such a personal thing, this should answer a lot of your questions. And if you've ever felt God nudging you to openly share a struggle or something deeply personal that may help another, but you're afraid and not sure if it's the right thing, hopefully this episode will help bring some clarity to what's right for you, and IF it's the right thing, understanding how it will help others.
This week’s episode is also brought to you by Hello Fresh. Go to hellofresh.com/mintarrow16 and use code mintarrow16 for up to 16 free meals and three free gifts!
[01:11] – What is anonymity? How does this create a safe space in a recovery meeting?
[04:09] – The 12th step in the 12-step program is to embody the principles and carry those lessons out into the world.
[05:41] – Neil says that he was initially very sensitive about others possibly knowing of the pornography addiction.
[08:20] – Did anyone in Neil’s family know about the addiction? Neil talks about who he gradually opened up to.
[10:52] – Hearing how people are impacted by other stories inspired Corrine and Neil to share their own story.
[13:47] – When Corrine and Neil first started talking about breaking anonymity, Neil was hesitant.
[15:48] – Neil shares his feelings and thought process of how to decide if he should tell his story or not.
[17:58] – There are different levels of the 12th step. Not everyone needs to break anonymity if they don’t feel called to do that.
[19:50] – Listen to Neil touch on the vulnerabilities of talking about addiction as a personal story.
[22:47] – Neil says that this moment gave him the push to finally want to share his addiction journey.
[25:34] – Corrine gives her perspective of the same moment. How did it impact Corrine?
[28:26] – When Corrine and Neil published a blog post to finally share their journey, what initial response did they receive?
[30:50] – Neil talks about transparency and social media. He says he chose to show their reality.
[33:15] – How do Corrine and Neil feel when people mention the addiction journey to them in-person?
[36:47] – Neil focuses on being a whole person and embracing his journey.
[39:46] – Does Neil ever feel pressured to avoid a relapse? Neil talks about living in the solution, not being naive towards his recovery, and putting himself first.
[41:51] – Corrine reiterated that breaking anonymity can happen on different levels. She gives examples of how people approach their own vulnerabilities.
[43:48] – Whatever someone else thinks of you is none of your business.
[45:45] – Nothing is beyond repair for God.
[47:11] – Corrine offers her realization of sharing the journey. Does sharing personal stories serve a larger purpose than we imagine?
[50:01] – Neil gives his final thoughts on what sharing his story meant to him.