The Accidental Withdrawal


Withdrawal is a topic that came up over and over in SLAA meetings, it is even something experienced lightly for a very brief period when I first started working the program.

I have been sober for 9 weeks now. It is fair to call out that I am not doing a full withdrawal as part of my program. I can’t believe I am sharing this on a blog but, well, it is a relevant piece of information and this is a recovery blog about a sex addiction anyway. So here we go. I am still enjoying sex with my wife on somewhat regular basis, once a week or thereabout.

So I found myself going through an accidental withdrawal for just over two or three weeks.  I actually don’t know the exact count but it felt like 2 to 3 weeks. It wasn’t planned it just happened that my wife and I haven’t had sex for a while. Either busy or tired or not in the mood. I was HORNY… Surprise? Not really. I was aware that these are withdrawal symptoms and I thought I’d pull through to experience what it is like.

Two nights ago I was watching a Stand Up comedian on YouTube, innocent right? Then the guy starts talking about Channing Tatum’s movie “Magic Mike”, which is a male stripping movie. I looked up the movie on YouTube and then Daniel Radcliffe’s gay scene from the movie “Kill your darlings” shows up as one of the recommended Videos! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

I played it of course. It was not a porn kind of scene but it was hot, it aroused me, and got me hocked on all sort of videos on YouTube for over 10 minutes, I knew it was my addict at play. I didn’t watch porn but I explored all these gay relationship clips I could see without feeling that I am compromising my sobriety. It was HARD (as in difficult, this wasn’t meant to be anything else)

Next morning, a normal day took place, I was busy with this and that, kids, house, blah blah, then I went to my SLAA face to face meeting, then got home, kids asleep, AND the wife asked for me. We had sex. And it was almost like it was all okay after that. I know it wasn’t my addict who had sex with her. It was intimate, it was fun for both of us, and it was her who initiated it. But I also know that my addict got something out of it because of that release it offered. It scared me to think of what sobriety would look like if I didn’t have sex with my wife on regular basis, or if I wasn’t married for whatever reason. yes having a wonderful sex with my wife is an amazing by-product of sobriety but I don’t want it to be the main one, I want to be me, whole and complete without sex, and then have sex offer the high it does to normal people rather than have sex offer a rescue for a miserable addict who is desperate for a fix.

Like if you like, share if you think it might help someone, and certainly comment and share your thoughts and feedback, but be kind, I am in early recovery.

A spiritual high


I originally planned to name this post “the Sims turned me on” but then I thought I highlight a focus point more worthy of mention rather than search for the catchy title

That being said, the Sims did turn me on. Who would have thought? Certainly not me.

So yesterday started fabulously, it wasn’t a normal day, it wasn’t just another day, it was a REALLY good day. I had an outreach call with another SLAA member, I said my prayers and I started work and then I sent a very grateful message to every SLAA member on my phone book sharing with them how happy I am to be sober, how thankful I am for their support and fellowship. So all cool, right? I also got the most amazing replies to my text.

Then at some point in the afternoon I started playing the Sims game that I recently installed on my phone. I started building houses, getting people to move into them and comes the next task, get two Sims to be romantic and get into a relationship. Guess what I did? I got two men to be in a relationship! I thought that is innocent, right? They are cartoon character, nothing was sexually explicit and they were fully clothed. YET, I got a chemical high from getting these two men to talk, shake hands, and get closer towards their relationship. I was aroused! I wanted to masturbate.

I have been sober for 2 months, and then the thoughts came to my head to help me get my fix, such as: “I could have a shorter sobriety duration for masturbation and just go get off now”. I obviously knew that was an insane thought. So luckily enough I didn’t.

So now I was faced with a decision to make, I knew I had gotten myself into a “shot of whisky in a glass of milk” situation (refer to the AA Big Book for details). I knew that I had to uninstall this game. But I didn’t do it right away.

Last night, we had a study group as part of my religious group and we were sitting reading the Holy Writings and reflecting on the life of one of the Central Figures of our faith. During this meeting I felt a sense of a spiritual high that I didn’t experience for a really long time, tears were trapped in my eyes and I was in AWE. I knew at this moment that I am feeling this way only because I was sober. And I knew at this moment that it is worth the pain and that I am so thankful to have been sober.

Cravings chased me again later that night after bedtime but well, I pulled through! This morning I uninstalled the game and I talked to my sponsor about it.

I am grateful the day passed, I am grateful I am still sober and that I am here to tell the story.

 

Step 4 – Sexual Conduct


It is a find day over here, I am sober and I am thankful to God for that. I am feeling clear minded so I thought I’d share some thoughts. if you’ve been following my blog you’d know that about two months ago I started working on my Step 4, I am still working on it and I am making progress. The way I am approaching this step with the help of my sponsor requires going through a number of worksheets, first resentment, then Fear, then sexual conduct and finally people we’ve harmed. My resentment list wasn’t very long but it took a lot out of me to complete, the fear list was relatively easy to compile. Now that I type this I remember that I finished typing the list but I am yet to recite the prayer as prescribed. I have been continually praying though, so I should include the portion around specifically asking God to remove my fears.

A few days ago after I finished my fear list I had a call with my sponsor. the call started with me saying that I am doing great, I was almost uncertain that I am done with my fear list, BUT, after a couple of questions from my sponsor he concluded that I am done and that I shouldn’t try to make it perfect. That meant I had to move on to the next stage: Sexual Conduct! So as we are talking on the phone I pulled the instruction sheet and started looking at the work required for this part of the step and I found myself in tears. It was overwhelming to think that I will have to write down my sexual history, I don’t even think I am capable of remembering an exhaustive list not to mention scared of seeing it on paper.

The call ended and I didn’t touch my list, I read the instructions but I left it at that. then I got really busy for a couple days and I started to realize that I am avoiding the work and so I decided to be willing and I popped open my worksheet and started writing a list of names of people that I acted out with. It was hard in ways I was not expecting. I expected to feel a bit of shame or guilt but rather I was turned on! the memories kept coming back combined with a number of insane thoughts around what I could have done with that person and what I missed out on with this person and all sorts of sexual fantasies kept popping like popcorn in my head. All I wanted to do at that moment is go act out. I was angry at myself for deleting all messages, apps, contact details of people that I could act out with. Of course I knew other ways to act out but while craving it so much I still didn’t want to throw away the program and my sobriety.

I texted roughly about six SLAA members telling them exactly that” I am working on my sexual inventory and all I want to do is go have sex”, then I left my phone and went and said my prayers after my prayers I came back to my phone to see a few replies, some made me laugh, some gave me hope and others cheered me on to keep going. These messages got me through the next couple of hours. I got to my desk at work and still the thoughts haven’t left me, I know exactly where to go, what to do to add a couple of items to my list. I decided to go to the online SLAA IRC chat room, over there I chatted with a lovely bunch of recovering SLAA members and one of them “heard” me share as I typed away and got it all out that I was so emotional my tears were flowing while sitting at my desk at work, I had to step away and get it together so I don’t have to explain to people around me what is going on.

The tears helped, I felt much better and that got me through the next couple of hours of the day and that got me to my next SLAA meeting. I was so happy to be at the meeting. I was so happy to have remained sober.

More work to go with my step 4 and I will be here again writing about it.

Mourning a loss


4 years ago I attended a large event, there was a party, there were a lot of people, loud music, entertainment, food, etc. I didn’t know a lot of people, then I saw a good looking guy, we started talking, long story short we acted out.

Since then, every year I went to that event hoping I would bump into him. I was also always on the lookout for others with whom I could act out.

So it is this time of the year again. This time it is different. I was actually asked to assist with organizing an aspect of the event. So I have work to do. This year it is different for a more important reason, I am in #SLAA I have been in the program for close to 3 months now, been sober for 7 weeks!

First day started kind of slow, found out that the person I will be working with throughout the week is a cute young man, REALLY CUTE!! That was the first scare to add to my personal history. so I met the guy, we agreed on how certain things needed to be done, asked him what he needed from me then I went off for the rest of the day.

Second day was a really busy one, I had little sleep the night before, was on my feet most of the day, then came the hard part, Keynote followed by the PARTY, there were a lot of people, loud music, entertainment, food, etc. I found myself overcome with anxiety, overwhelmed by the familiar experience. Overwhelmed by remembering past behavioural patterns. I was so tired, so hungry and I had work to do but the only thing I could do is grab a bite at the party and rush out to attend a SLAA meeting. In the meeting I felt so tired, I shared to get it out of my system but I still had much to deal with, I cried on the drive back from the meeting. I then went to the office to take a call with my sponsor and I was in tears.

My sponsor pointed out a few things that resonated but hurt. He said things like “recovery doesn’t mean you won’t have cravings” or “being sober doesn’t mean you won’t find others attractive” or the one that killed me and hit the nail on the head was: “maybe you are mourning the fact that you won’t ‘enjoy’ acting out again if you were to stay sober”. That comment hit home in a way I didn’t like. It is true! I miss acting out. I miss the ability to be loose, the act of losing myself into something I didn’t deserve just because of its thrill or the short term effect it had on me, helping to distract me away from my real feelings and emotions, preventing me from having to deal with them or deal with life. Tears are fighting to get out as I type these lines.

Third day started well despite the exhaustion, things were going smooth until I found myself spontaneously offering the cute young man I am working with a ride home. I enjoyed having him close by for a bit longer, he asked questions and I answered some about career as he is about to start mine and I am a decade of experience ahead of him. I also volunteered advice and enjoyed his interest in what I had to say. I love being around young people and I do that in a number of volunteer efforts to help develop them, but this night I knew that the addict in me enjoyed his company more than anything, the addict in me was getting a high from the close proximity to such good looking young man. And the addict in me freaked me out and scared me as I realized that it is in action.

Fourth and fifth day went alright, in fact the fifth day is still in action as I type these words and I am hoping it keeps going alright. I feel sad having to say goodbye to this young man, I am obsessing over him a little. But I will say goodbye because I am working on distinguishing between willingness and wilfulness. I will pray and thank God for keeping me safe, keeping me sober and giving me what I needed -to do what I had to do – to stay that way.

I am in pain and I am still sober and I am still on the journey