What Can I Do About Me? {book review}

i first heard Steven and Rhyll Croshaw's story while at a Strengthing Family Conference in 2011.
their experience shocked and inspired me.
as someone who is very passionate about promoting healthy relationships, marriages, and families, hearing their story and their incredibly powerful message changed my life.

here is a video of them telling their story in their own words.

if you didn't watch the 8 minutes of video above, here is a short synopsis.
Steven Croshaw has had a pornography addiction from the time he was very young. he saw his first pornography magazine when he was just 6 years old. since then, it had been a constant struggle for him. he tried to overcome his addiction on his own but continued to struggle. after he was married to Ryll, his addiction escalated to frequenting strip clubs and even prostitution.

Rhyll had no idea this was happening.

he finally confessed to Rhyll and they both tried to get help for him. but, like all addictions, it is difficult to overcome on your own and Steven ended up going back to his old ways.

he confessed to Rhyll 3 different times over the course of almost 20 years. it wasn't until he had his final, rock bottom moment of being arrested for prostitution that he finally had the change of heart he needed to truly & completely change his ways.

hearing their story it's hard not to think about Rhyll and what she could possibly be feeling and thinking during all those times. how heartbroken, how devastated, how betrayed, how angry she must've felt each time he confessed and even after, knowing about what he did.
but her faith and strength is absolutely incredible.
for her to get through what to me would be my absolute nightmare is amazing in itself.

i recently read Rhyll's book, "What Do I Do About Him Me?" and learned more firsthand her emotions and frustrations during this trial.
reading their story from her perspective had me in tears many times.
i would literally gasp out loud at some of the things she had to endure, my blood boiling with anger for her having to go through such a difficult tribulation.

but even after all she's been through, she writes with so much heart and conviction that she is truly at peace. 

Rhyll first takes you through her account of her husband's sexual addiction and her own personal road to recovery and healing.
not just learning to forgive her husband, but actually forgiving herself and feeling God's love for her again.

i haven't personally gone through anything close to what Rhyll has gone through.
but i still find so much inspiration and comfort in her words.

One of my favorite quotes: 
"What is frightening and concerning to me about this principle (talking about not acknowledging our own recovery process) is that if we do not learn how to become healthy and recover, we will likely make the same mistakes over and over. [...] 

Women working their recovery, on the other hand, begin to understand themselves better. They learn that whatever the outcome of their marriage, they can choose to be healthy and find a measure of joy. Recovery requires work."

Also this, 
"I don't have to survive in a state of fear because I can surrender to my God. I enjoy a more authentic relationship with God assured that He loves me, He knows me, and He will continue to guide my life.
My willingness to be vulnerable and surrender my life to god, is miraculously--and unexpectedly--the secret to my empowerment and serenity. This may be the greatest paradox of recovery, and raises the questions, 'How can it be?'

The answer lies in acquiring the courage to change the things I can change--the courage to do something about ME."

even if you aren't going through the same trials that Rhyll talks about in her book, i highly recommend reading it and following your own path to healing, whatever it may be.

and if you are in a situation where sexual addiction has become a problem, or have recently been in one,  please pick up a copy of "What Can I Do About Him Me?"and find comfort in the words.
know that you are not alone and that you can find peace again in your life.

[as a side note  sexual addiction doesn't just happen to males but can also happen to females. we hear more about men's problems with pornography or sex than women but the problem is definitely there. and the same principles still apply.]

you can learn more about Rhyll and her recovery here.
and you can also learn about her foundation, SA Lifeline, here

i was given this book to review but received no other compensation for my review. all thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Unknown said...

That video made me cry. So hard! I think this book could be helpful to anyone because we all have struggles and its also good to realize that we can't fix others, they have to get help themselves!

Ian and Bonnie Gutzman said...

Thanks :) I may have to read this one. The biggest roadblock in getting help for these things is that everyone wears smiles all the time and hides their sins and their hurt. No one dares talk about their own issues, because it seems like no one else has the same struggles. And we don't want to admit to being the only weak one. When I open up a bit to others I realize how very wrong that belief is, and just how similar our struggles reAlly are! i just wish we could all open up a bit more and be humble and honest. I think we'd all love each other more, and those struggling would have a much better support system.

Okay...the end. ;)

Meghan said...

What an amazing testimony, I don't know if I would have been able to forgive like that...