Note: This is a 3 part email sequence, all the 3 parts have been compiled in this blog post. Each email is separately labeled.
Let me ask you something...
Raise your virtual hand if In the last year, have you heard a message about the importance of community on a...
... 🙌🏾 🙌 🙌🏿 (apologies if your skin tone wasn't included).
If we extended that to the last 2 years, or 5 years, it would be hands up all over the place.
Messages of community are RAMPANT. And for good reason.
But to kick this thing off with the punchline...community is terribly overrated.
"What happened to you Sathiya? I thought community was the bedrock of recovery. Connection is the opposite of addiction, therefore we need to plug-in to community, right?"
Absolutely. 100%. Still stand by all of that.
But I equally stand with the statement that community is overrated.
Just like "being present" and vulnerability (oh no he didn't!).
I'll have to tip those sacred recovery cows in another sequence.
Back to community.
Let's do a little language break down...
Overrated = something that is given more value than it is actually worth
Something of TREMENDOUS value can still be overrated.
I went on a cruise with my family recently to celebrate my parent's 65th birthdays and 40th wedding anniversaries. It was a blast and I got my brown man tan on like none other.
One day at dinner we got into a discussion about butter vs margarine (super deep stuff, I know).
In my opinion, margarine is overrated. It's not useless, although my wife would argue that it is as margarine is literally one atom away from the molecular structure of plastic.
Based on research, margarine can actually play a useful role in your health.
But it's not the be-all, end-all in my savory opinion. Some of my family members disagreed. That's ok, I think our relationship can handle the conflict 😂.
My wife and I are butter people. So do we think margarine is alright? Sure. In fact, margarine has helped my mom reduce her blood-level cholesterol. It clearly has value.
But it's not everything. In my opinion, some of my family has overrated margarine.
And in the same vein – I am concerned that some have overrated community in their recovery efforts.
Look, the research is overwhelming. You and I NEED community. Whether you're addicted or not.
We're social creatures, and the more alone we are, the more we struggle in nearly every facet of life.
But I'm witnessing some people plugging into community and checking the box.
"These guys are just like me. They get me. I feel like I belong. I should be good to go."
That is the foundation of your recovery. Not the end.
There is still plenty of work to do.
So should you be in a community? Absolutely, non-negotiably, yes.
Is community alone enough to help you fully recover? Maybe.
In the second part of the blog, I'm going to explain why community is underrated (gotta give the critics some ammunition. Haven't been called a hypocrite/heretic in a while 😉 ).
(That's mostly a joke).
In the meantime, let's a do a quick self-eval.
On a scale of 1-10 how content are you with your current recovery community?
What would be required for your rating to reach a 10?
If it's a 10, what can you do to ensure it stays a 10 for a very long time (other than thanking Jesus because you clearly have struck absolute gold)?
PS. If you're impatient like me and can't wait to read part 2 below, then we are going to get along just fine! And also – I did a podcast episode on this which explains my thoughts in more detail. Enjoy!
Bro, buckle up. I'm about to give you some life-changing insight.
Life cannot exist without tension.
Your favorite song has a beautiful entanglement of tension and resolve. A dynamic in music that keeps us listening to the very end.
Usually the difference between the few songs that make it big and the millions of songs no one has ever heard is failure to optimize this interplay.
Speaking of the millions of songs no one has ever heard, you can find my debut album "Deeper" on all major streaming platforms!
(That's a joke. Yes the album exists, but there are better ways to spend your previous time. There's a reason none of that text was hyperlinked.)
Your body has tremendous amounts of tension. Your skin is in constant tension holding everything together. Without the tension, you and I would be saggy pieces of pigmented flesh (some more pigmented than others. Just saying.)
Ever seen a water strider on a pond? Those insects that seem to miraculously walk on water? The reason they are able to do that is because the water has surface TENSION.
Without tension, life as we know it ceases to exist.
And it is for this reason that I am confidently sending you an email titled "Community Is Underrated" when yesterday I sent you an email titled "Community Is Overrated".
I'm not trying to be cheeky. Well..okay maybe a little bit.
But for the most part what I'm trying to demonstrate is that we must be able to hold truth in tension.
This is essentially the mark of a mature man.
I am deeply saddened, and to be frank – downright agitated – by all the men who still think they can fix their multi-decade sexual issues on their own.
It reflects poorly on us as humans, and us as men.
Because if it were anything other issue... we would be SO quick to recognize the ludicrousness.
Imagine Jim, your long-time friend from high school, is in 100k of credit card debt.
It was all fun and games back then. But now, Jim is a father of 4 children, husband to a supportive wife, and clearly struggling to support his family.
So he reaches out to you for a loan.
And you say...
"Well Jim, I could give you a loan. But I'm concerned because you've been trying to fix your finances on your own for a while and it seems like you're caught in a cycle. I want to help you as best as I can, which is why I think giving you a loan would be an injustice...
How about this – I will pay for you to do a course or get some coaching on personal finance instead?"
For starters – nice work. You're a good friend and you communicated that with incredible kindness.
Secondly – what do you think Jim is going to say?
"Oh yes please! I was actually hoping you'd say that, I just didn't have the courage to ask."
Jim is going to say thanks but no thanks, and probably pursue the next magical money-making scheme he can find.
We all throw stones and say Silly, Jim. Tricks are for kids. Man up and get the help you need to manage your freaking finances.
Ok, maybe just me.
The point is – it's so clear when you're on the outside looking in.
And that's how I feel when men who have been struggling with porn for 20+ years tell me...
"Freedom in Christ is enough. Why should I get a coach?"
Because truth is held in tension. Christ is enough for you whether you have a coach or not. You've done it alone thus far and look where it got you.
Why don't we just have a more honest conversation and find out what it is that makes you so afraid of joining a community and getting the help you need?
For me personally, it was fear of reputation damage. Fear of not being respected. Fear of showing up as less of a man.
I also hear this one a lot...
"God can deliver me in an instant. Why should I do a program?"
This was a word-for-word message I got from Josh, a young youth pastor in the Netherlands.
My response to him was simple – the question is not "Can God deliver you?"...we all know the answer is yes. The question is why hasn't He?
Sure you could argue it's a lack of faith, fasting, prayer, right timing, etc.
What if it's God's way of notifying you that you've been invited into a recovery journey instead of a microwave miracle that builds no maturity in the process?
You can't do this alone. You weren't made to.
Anything valuable always has a risk of being overrated. People get carried away and think it's a silver bullet.
But we can't throw the baby out with the bath water either.
Community is not a luxury. It is a need.
The greater your community, the more likely you are to recover – I know this academically and anecdotally.
In last part of the blog, I'm going to explain HOW to find community and how to get the most out of it once you've found it.
Until then, let me leave you with this...
When God was prepping Gideon to take down the Midianites, he whittled down the army from 22,000 to 300.
Scripture says that God wanted the army to be small enough so that when they had victory, ALL of the glory would go to God without any doubt.
But this is the same God who helped Sampson kill 1000 people with the jawbone of a donkey.
So why didn't he whittle the army down to just Gideon? Surely that would've given God more glory?
Could it be that it is more glorious to fight battles and claim victory together instead of alone?
Nah, that couldn't be it.
Alright my friend, the final email in this series is going to tie everything together and launch you into action mode so you can build a rock-solid community.
Let's quickly recap:
1) Community is overrated
2) Community is underrated
3) Sathiya is a heretic
I am a BIG believer that faith without action is dead. Probably because it's in the Bible (see James 5:17).
Maybe someone at some point has told you...
Knowledge = Power.
That is incorrect.
Knowledge = potential.
Knowledge + Action = Power.
Hopefully at this point, you see the value of community in recovery.
In case you don't, here are a couple honorable mentions that I couldn't squeeze into the last 2 emails:
The question now is – how do you build community?
Good community always consists of 3 things:
I recently held a client event in Florida. It's always fun meeting clients in person, since our work is more or less entirely online.
At the end, the guys started exchanging phone numbers with each other so they could keep in touch.
Many of them were meeting each other for the first time. It didn't matter – we all had a blast together and they wanted the good times to keep rolling.
I just got an email from one of them today saying that they are setting up a time to regularly have calls together and chat about life.
Which brings me to my last point about community, in a recovery context.
You may need a community that is focused primarily on recovery – this is where you can share deeply, the guys get it and aren't going to judge you, plus you can glean from each other.
And you may also need a separate community that is more for doing life together in-person.
Don't be picky. START. It's quite likely God is giving you opportunities to connect RIGHT NOW and you have been ignoring them.
Time to say yes. Don't be a perfectionist and wait for everything to be impeccably aligned.
EVERYTHING we've ever built at DeepClean has a communal component, and that will not change any time soon.
At our last client event in Florida, multiple guys FLEW in for a 2 hour lunch together. That's the power of building community in recovery, and it's a huge part of the DeepClean formula for lasting recovery.
Click here if you want to find out more about it.
In the meantime, don't keep doing this thing alone. Take some action today. Freedom might be closer than you think.
PS. The times always fill up FAST when we send these emails out. Make sure you reserve your spot if you're ready to get proper help quitting porn for good before the chance is gone.
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