Step 4 – ink to paper


kind of ink to paper cause I decided to put it on an excel spreadsheet. it is Friday today, and it was Tuesday that I took the third step. the prayer went like this:

God, I offer myself to Thee 
to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always!

I recited this prayer in my head a number of times before Tuesday yet when I recited it on the phone with my sponsor it felt so powerful I got emotional. my sponsor gave me two options, to start on step 4 immediately OR right away (he’s got a sense of humour) so I guess I am at step 4.

there is a fair bet of prep work to step 4. I followed instructions (which is very unlike me) but I am turning my will and my live to the Care of God and he showed his care in choosing my sponsor and my sponsor suggested the instructions so I am following God’s will as I understand it. I finished the instructions by Thursday morning and I haven’t been able to put a pen to paper since.

just a few minutes before I wrote this entry I popped open excel and I built the table in the worksheet and started typing, looks like I am much more comfortable typing than writing. I am hoping there isn’t a specific need for me to actually write it with a pen vs. typing it. (lots of redundant comments in my previous sentences but who cares I am not undergoing review)

I know I won’t finish the list tonight, but I started. I am feeling a bit anxious and getting some butterflies in my stomach every time I approach the step. I need to go home soon so I will stop but then I will come back and keep doing it.

Four weeks ago


It has been 4 weeks since I went to my first SLAA meeting. My life after that was an emotional rollercoaster.

week 1

the meeting was on a Thursday, and that is when I had the “realization”. afterwards I was confused and unsure what to do next, but then guess what, on Friday I went and acted out. (that is the term 12 steps fellowships use for doing the behaviour you are addicted to) then I decided I must get out of this pattern and stop, I need to start my journey. on Sunday I bought the Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous book and started going through it. it was overwhelming! The magnitude of the issue took its toll on me. I started to educate myself and assert my ability to go through this, cause I am powerful resources and I won’t let this beat me.

Week 2

I am still “sober” but I am struggling with every day, every man around me is a trigger, every free hour is a potential for acting out. then I started having weird dreams which was… well weird. I was in touch with on SLA member from the UK via twitter and email and another SLA member in NZ via text and I see him in meetings. Communicating with both of them is what kept me going during tough times I also came across the SLAAOnline MIRC chat room, it was very helpful. and through that room I was introduced to another SLA in the US who’s story has more similarities to mine. then I went on a trip overseas, and while I thought I was in control I obviously was under the illusion of control and I sure acted out.

during my trip overseas I reached out to a few friends, two of which were acting out partners, and the third was someone whom I thought might be a love addict as his story resembled some of the stories I heard. two of them came with me to a local SLAA meeting and promised to look into it more. the third on is going to attend meetings at a later stage. I attended two SLAA meetings while overseas and they were very helpful and I had access to more resources. exchanged contacts with members and they still come in handy when I am struggling.

week 3

The emotional rollercoaster continued and I finally returned home. attending 3 meetings a week and talking to the US SLA Member every other day. learning so much about my powerlessness. I recognized being powerless on a rational level yet I am behaving in a way that says I am still in control, I guess as I keep at it I will be able to align my behaviour with the believe that I am powerless over my addiction

Week 4

On Friday I asked the US SLA member to be my sponsor and he said yes. I am finally ready to start the process. we agreed to talk three times a week, they happen to be the same three days I have my SLAA meetings. call him in the morning and SLAA meeting in the evening. I am partially scared for the days in between but I will rely upon God to help me.

On Tuesday I did the third step with him, something magical happened. I have been studying that “how it works” chapter for the days leading to my Tuesday call with my sponsor. I ready the prayer multiple times I was scared, scared of not being able to follow through, then my sponsor gently reminded me of spiritual progress not perfection. I then recited the prayer on the phone with him. and something magical happened. I was so touch by the prayer my emotions were so strong my tears forced themselves to my eyes and I was barely compose  enough to finish it and not cry.

I have been trying to say my prayers every day since.

I will write more later, 🙂 have a sober day.

withdrawal – Weird Dreams


during my first week of getting in touch with SLAA I had 3 weird dreams. I will write a different post about my first few weeks experience but I will details the dreams here.

Weird Dream 1:

there is a large gathering of friends in a hotel venue, my wife and I occupied a hotel room. and she left the room, I was alone in bed in my shorts, covered with a blanket trying to sleep, then a completely naked woman shows up. she is looking around for something in the room, I ignored her and acted as if she is not here and remained in bed trying to sleep, the room door was open facing the bed and a guy was standing at the door then the naked lady jumps on the bed still “searching” for something and that is when I panic, I try to push her away but in that attempt I offered the perfect pose for a picture with me topless and she naked and the guy at the door snapped a shot!! I woke up with anxiety and racing heartbeat.

Weird Dream 2:

I am in some kind of a riverside camp, it is night time, the river is deep, narrow, with really strong current and a short bridge to cross to the other side. the dream starts with me standing by the river side it is dark then I fall in the river and the current starts moving me. I am floating and my shoulders never immerse under water. the current carried me to the other side of the bridge and then I decided to just reach out, and when I did I got hold of a branch and effortlessly pulled myself out of the river.

Weird Dream 3:

I was in some kind of a treasure hunt with a large group of people and they were all after a particular flower for only the one who capture that flower wins. and I was standing just underneath a branch where that flower is. I was aware that the flower is above me but I was more fascinated by watching the race, watching everybody search, then as they approached near me I was suddenly aware that I could win, and I grabbed the flower and I was immediately declared a winner, the prise was a flying toy with remote control I was fascinated by it.

I am a Sex and Love Addict


Now that I think about it, sex and sexuality have always been something on my mind. I was chatting with a SLA from the US and he was talking about addiction as a permanent disease, saying “this is it, we can’t go back to that point before we became sex addicts”. When I think about that statement it makes me wonder, even if that is what I wanted, or if that was even possible, I don’t know if such point existed in my life. I don’t recall a time in my life where I didn’t obsess over body parts, sensual thoughts, etc. Could that mean I was born an addict? Or was there something in an earlier part of my childhood prior to my registered memory that affected me in that regard? Is it that I can’t remember it because of how early it happened? or because I blocked it out? I guess I might never know and that doesn’t really matter. I discovered over the years that finding out the reason for why something happened isn’t always a factor in how it might turn out in the future. (This isn’t a general rule though but it applies very well here).

 

Over the years sexuality was a confusing matter, but then eventually I came to grips with the fact that I have homosexual attractions, yet I always wanted to marry and have kids. Forget about the drive behind that desire, the end result is I am married and I have two children. I guess in many ways I coped with my sexual orientation by surrounding myself with female friends and a set of platonic gay friends. It helped me be who I am and express part of me that needed to be expressed. (Not necessarily sexually)

 

Over the years, the number of such friends rapidly changed and my wife and I became surrounded by other married couples with children. The “natural” segregation in many of the gatherings with such friends was, men in one corner and women in the other. I found myself stuck among a group of heterosexual men that I couldn’t relate to, couldn’t be part of their conversations nor am I the least bit intrigued by their interests. Also something about the group of men I hung out with, I missed any sort of intimate connection. A connection that I had with my gay friends and female friends that are no longer around me. I suffered mostly in silence, mostly unaware of the source of suffering, and then the suffering steadily took its toll on my marriage.

 

A year ago I was training to be a counsellor and as part of that I got access to a therapist. We led a journey of search and explorations in various aspects of my personality, sexuality, marriage, career, childhood and much more. Through that search I came to the faulty conclusion that the suffering is because of my inability to express elements of my personality pertaining to my sexual orientation. So I decided to reach out to other men who are in similar circumstances to mine. Married or committed to a female partner and dealing with homosexual attractions. The idea was to start a support group for such men. I decided to educate myself in preparation for this support group. I talked to a number of people, support organisations for Gay and Married men in various countries, research departments for religious organisations that dealt with similar matters and of course therapists. One of the therapists I talked to suggested I look into 12 steps groups there might be something I could learn from them.

 

That suggestion was easily 7 months old when I went to an AA meeting for the first time. In the AA meeting I found out about SLAA. SLAA had meetings in town and two weeks later I went to the first one. I was very nervous. When I heard the sharing of some of the members I was stunned at how much I related, I was sitting among a bunch of heterosexual men and I related to their experience. And the penny dropped, my suffering had nothing to do with my orientation. I am a Sex and Love Addict.