Where is my welcome home party


If you’ve been reading my blog recently you would have probably come across my SafeTrip series which is a daily journaling of my first trip overseas since I got sober.  I was so glad to finally make it home sober. It was not easy being overseas. I don’t think I missed the acting out itself, but I missed the act of pursuing a fix. You can read the series if you wish for more details.

I got home and honestly wished I didn’t. I was happy the trip was over but I wasn’t happy with the welcome that awaited me. Wife was moody, complaining and whining and I was exhausted. We eventually got to talk and when we did I found myself snapping with as much self-constrain as possible. Judging her by my journey and by my strength. Allowing myself to sound self-righteous. Then she went ahead trying to respond to me and rather than being defensive she started explaining why she is doing what she is doing. That didn’t make me feel better. It made me feel stuck. I wished I could tell her “all the things you are complaining about are changeable if you do something about them, either accept them and stop complaining or get into action. I am doing something about my life why can’t you????!” of course I didn’t say any of that, I felt so tired by then and told her I have to sleep cause I am exhausted.

The night was miserable. Then I woke up tired, and what did I do? I took it out on my 4 year old son. I yelled at him for the first time in his life. I yelled three times in the span of two hours. I was the kind of father I judged and disapproved off, I hated myself. I had no patience. I believe self-pity was a big player. Why is she pregnant? Why does she have to be so negative about life, why can’t she (do you see where this is going? there isn’t a single “I” in my questions, cause I am just a victim, sounds familiar?). I had thoughts like “I can’t change her, but I can change the fact that she is my wife, God Grant me the courage” as if divorcing her is the answer. Typical addict thinking.

My wife then emails me this quote by Baha’u’llah: “O My servants! Sorrow not if, in these days and on this earthly plane, things contrary to your wishes have been ordained and manifested by God, for days of blissful joy, of heavenly delight, are assuredly in store for you. Worlds, holy and spiritually glorious, will be unveiled to your eyes. You are destined by Him, in this world and hereafter, to partake of their benefits, to share in their joys, and to obtain a portion of their sustaining grace. To each and every one of them you will, no doubt, attain.”

When I read through it, I felt at peace. For things contrary to my wishes have been ordained by God. Yes I don’t like them but if God is the one who decided I should experience them then I should do so. And He also promised me days of blissful joy. I also had a great deal of help from my sponsor who helped me look at my side of the street. I had a good outreach call with another SLAA member who related to what I was going through. Then it hit me. a bit part of the frustration was that I have been sober now for over 90 days, I was overseas on a trip and I didn’t cheat, I AM ENTITLED to a different reality, I deserve better!! Don’t I? Of course the answer is NO, I am not being sober to get recognition from others! I am being sober because otherwise I am dead, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Others might benefit from me being sober, but I am the one who needs my sobriety.

 

#SafeTrip Day Five – I am home


Day five was the last day of my trip. It was meant to have a full day workwise with a lot of meetings but it all freed up last minute with the exception of one brief meeting in the morning. Free days are not always the best for addicts like me, and free days overseas with a hotel room all to myself and all the possibilities around me is an even worse place to be, so I was a little scared.

I had a good breakfast, I went for my meeting which was enjoyable and brief, got back to my hotel room and took a nap because I was a bit tired. I then did a bit of light shopping and got back to my hotel room to pack and check out. I always hated packing. It emotionally bothered me on many levels. It also was one where I am always distracted by constantly checking my phone and emails to see if someone messaged back or if I could have a last minute act out session in my room. This time it was different. I found myself at peace, I enjoyed folding my clothes one piece at a time and arranging them in my suitcase, I could even go as far as to say that packing was the highlight of my day. I felt so organised and at peace.

After I checked out I took a cab to visit my wife’s parents who live where I was. It was a last minute arrangement because I was not supposed to be free but since I was, I called to check in and they were happy to have me. I enjoy spending time with them and catching up, telling them stories about my kids and answering their questions about my wife’s health and wellbeing etc.

An hour after I got to my in-laws was the First SLAA NZ Skype Meeting. I was hosting the meeting as the secretary and I had a friend who was serving as the chairperson. I told my in-laws that I have a confidential conference call, I need access to their internet and I need privacy. They were happy to offer the space and because the expectation was set before I showed up there was nothing uncomfortable nor awkward about me stepping away for the meeting. The meeting went well, there was a really small number of participants which allowed us longer time to share. I felt like this was my reward for staying sober throughout the trip. It was lovely. 🙂

After dinner I took off to the airport and when I checked in I was given a middle seat on a three seat row. I asked for an aisle seat but it wasn’t possible. I was slightly scared of being between two men, or sitting to close to a man that could be a trigger. So I asked if they could look into a seat change later if possible. They did at the gate, and I was given an aisle seat and no one was sitting immediately next to me. How fantastic is that.

I am home now, so happy, end exhausted. I was over the moon to see my kids but slightly resentful towards a few things my wife did. I need to remember that my sobriety wasn’t my doing but rather it was an act of God’s divine care. And to keep attracting His bounties I better show love and forgiveness to those who “wrong” me. I will finish this, say my prayers, and have a bit of time with my wife.

THANK YOU! for making it this far. For reading my highs and lows, for connecting with me and letting me hear your voice, hear your experience when you identified with mine. THANK YOU! for being part of my miracle. For being a sign of God’s love for me. THANK YOU!

#SafeTrip Day Four


Thanks again for everyone who read this. Thanks for everyone who pressed a like or sent me an email or a message to cheer me on, give me words of encouragement, offered tips and tools to consider and most importantly kept me company and reminded me I am not alone.

I am 95 days sober today. The number 95 is of special significance to me. Part of my daily prayers as a Bahai is to repeat the phrase “God is the all glorious” 95 times. This is the first trip that I prayed every day and didn’t miss except the day I flew in. I feel in constant communion with God today. He was keeping me company every minute, lifting me up when I couldn’t hold myself and sending signs and messages in all sort of forms. Words can’t express my thanks and gratitude to the All Merciful the All Loving.

Yesterday was a wonderful day. I had breakfast, had a reasonable start of the day timing wise. Had a couple of really good meetings with colleagues. They ran for double the time they were schedule for because there was so much to cover and my colleagues and I were engaged in a meaningful and productive conversation. I had a nice catch up with an ex colleague who’s now a dear friend. Then got to the hotel.

After a little bit of down time, I met with a dear friend of mine, he and I have one of the long lasting friendships I had. We caught up, had dinner, then he came with me to the face to face SLAA meeting. The meeting was inspiring and I was able to share and hear others share. After the meeting I caught up with another friend who was also attending the SLAA meeting. That other friend was someone I acted out with in the past. Then we became good friends. When I found out about SLAA I shared with him about it, and he related to it. And now he is going to meetings. We had a nice catch up while he grabbed a late dinner, and then we ended our meeting with prayers. I felt so at peace. Then I went to bed.

I woke up at 4 in the morning needing to answer nature, then I managed to get back to sleep. In that last hour of sleep I had a very strange dream. Kids where playing on a street within a large house, and so many times a car would come driving by and hit one of the kids’ toy cars and break a piece of it. Not sure if that means anything. Then all of a sudden I found myself scolding one of the drivers trying to push him out of the house and just before he left I acted out with him. It was so quick out of the blue. In the dream I had messed up my day, missed very important appointments etc. I woke up with a racing heartbeat. I was in shock. And I was so happy it was a dream, was so happy I woke up.

I am safe, happy, loved and looked after by God, showered, said my prayers and writing this. Will have a relatively free day today then I am flying back home tonight. I will be writing about that tomorrow when I reach home.

#SafeTrip Day Three


Really? Just three days? Why does it feel like I have been on the road for eternity? Could be because I am still sober? Sitting with time?

So hey, again, Thanks for reading and thanks for all the support that you offered in response to my daily post or in reply to my tweets. Also some of you have been emailing me and messaging me using other forms to keep me company. YOU ARE PART OF MY MIRACLE. And thanks to God, I am still sober.

Yesterday was bizarre. I had breakfast, got back to my room and got dressed and ready to go. Taxi didn’t quite know how to get me to the office despite having the address given to him in Korean, he put on his GPS and refused to follow the GPS instructions which is bizarre. it was okay for me to judge as an observer that this guy is lost cause he refuses to follow the steps offered by the GPS to get him to the destination. How stupid is that? If you want to get to a place and someone who has the map tells you turn right you’d be dumb not to. … Wait, but isn’t that what all of us addicts do when we relapse? We are not willing to follow instructions and we are asserting our will.

So I got to the office eventually, had a lovely two hour meeting followed by lunch and a walk in the old palace of the king. it was nice of my colleague to dedicate that time to show me around. And the place was right next door to the heart of the city. Then we got back to the office to meet another guy. Walks through the door this young shy Korean boy. He is probably in his 20s. He didn’t speak much English in front of me because he was shy, and he smiled because he was shy. I was trapped. I was flirting with my eyes every possible eye contact. GRRRR I was bouncing between restraining my addict and being my addict at a rate of 500 times a minute. It was exhausting. The meeting ended well, we finished a productive and meaningful presentation according to my colleagues. Then I had an hour to myself to do a bit of work before I had to catch a taxi to the airport again.

The taxi ride to the airport was over an hour long. I was tired had a bit of a cat nap then got to the airport and I was ready for a fix. I went to the bathroom to change into something a bit more comfortable for the trip and I spent a little too long looking in the mirror. I checked in and passed immigration only to find myself in the most crowded airport I have experienced. I was tired and feeling lonely while not alone, cute guys everywhere. I should at least get an idea of what audience is here to ‘meet’ (me thinks)! And the miracle happened. A SLAA member sent me a message asking me how I am, he had been reading my #SafeTrip entries and wanted to check on me. I started whining and complaining about the loneliness and the crowd and the cute boys and then as I was walking I came across a live band was playing the violin and the piano. God gave me music because He knew that is what I needed on top of the outreach from my SLAA friend. I sat down on the floor and literally started weeping. Tissues everywhere. I recorded a WhatsApp message that I heard later and didn’t understand a thing of what I said because I was just a mess. The music helped and my friend had a single goal in mind, to get me to safety. He kept me company for easily an hour via text and voice notes till I felt better. I took the train to my gate and suddenly it was this peaceful place. Not a lot of people. I sat to have a bite before the flight, got online and did a bit of this and a bit of that and when I got on the flight I fell into deep sleep for 5:30 hours then I got to my hotel checked in, showered, and slept again for about 4 hours. I got up said my prayers and started writing this.

I am so thankful to be sober today and to be able to share this with you. . I am staying for two nights in my current destination for a change so I don’t have to rush to the airport. I will be attending a face to face meeting tonight.

 

 

#SafeTrip Day Two


So first off let me put myself and everyone at ease and celebrate the fact that by God’s Grace I am still sober today. 93 Days. And it is only by God’s grace. I didn’t even want to be sober last night but God wanted me to, and the only thing I did is just let it be and not stand in the way.

So where were we? Oh yes, I was hungry and writing my “Day One” blog entry. Shortly after that I said my prayers, then went to have breakfast the minute the buffet opened. Then back up at my room, I ironed a shirt got ready for work, packed, check out of the hotel and gone to the office. Had lovely meetings with a lot of good people in the office. Now that I think about it, I am somehow loved by some individuals in my office. They appeared happy to see me, a couple of them wanted to have lunch with me. That was lovely.

I had only 4 hours to spend at the office before my taxi was schedule to come pick me up and send me to the airport. Meetings were productive and enjoyable and then I hit the road. The taxi driver is an older gentleman that I always rely on to drive me places when I am in town. We had a lovely chat about God’s care, our will vs. God’s will and a number of other topics and fun comments. He is a lovely man. I was dropped off, checked into my flight and I am at the airport again.

I never acted out at airports before, but I always wanted to, I usually turn my proximity app on and start seeing who’s available. And it is like chasing a dream because often times the location of the people on the app wasn’t updated after they boarded the plane. hehehe. so anyway, this time I turned the SLAAONLINE.org chat room on and started talking to other SLAA members online, the time flew by until I had to rush to my gate or I’d miss my flight.

I was sitting in a two seat row with no one next to me. Which was good. I was again looked after by my higher power. Well I am always looked after by my higher power but I was again aware of what my higher power is doing for me to keep me safe. There was a good looking guy a few rows ahead of me. I kept reminding myself not to objectify, he is a human being not the front end of my sexual objectification. That was at the start of the trip. 3 hours later I was so tired and I started thinking, I don’t mind being the front end of someone else’s sexual objectification. I WAS SO TIRED! insane thoughts popped like popcorn in my head. One after the other.

I landed in Korea and suddenly felt a bit lonely. It is my first time here and I don’t speak any Korean. In the past when I travelled to countries where I don’t speak the language, I managed to connect using acting out. Sex is a universal language come to think of it. So I thought I was “connecting”. the addicts in the room know very well that was an illusion. So anyway I sat in a cab for half an hour, to get to the city. The driver knew hardly any English, he wasn’t even attractive but I so wanted him to touch me. I acted out in taxis before. I know where to naturally put my hand to accidentally touch his. Anyway I didn’t. And he didn’t either. I tried to make conversations so asked him if he has kids because I could sign “baby” in a way that he understood. So he answers “no, single”! and I think “oh poor guy, would you like a release?” I didn’t tell him that but I wanted to. Then I go off wondering, what if Korea gets attacked then they have to cancel all flights and I will be stuck here so it will then be okay to act out. Right? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAa

When I got to my hotel room I was so tired not just physically but I was exhausted by my thoughts . I wanted to cry. I got online and joined part of the SLAAONLINE.org meeting and shared and that helped. I showered, changed and turned off the lights to catch some sleep. 4 hours later I was up before my wakeup call. So I will be tired again tonight. Oh HALT!! God save me.

I said my prayers this morning. I need to get ready and check out because I am flying again tonight. Look forward to my next blog post tomorrow morning.

 

#SafeTrip Day One


So I got on a plane and I was really happy, I felt so loved and looked after by my Higher Power, I received so much support from the fellowship by WhatsApp, Email and Twitter as there was Wi-Fi on the plane. The seat immediately next to me was empty which is good, no accidental touching ‘competing’ for arm rest or whatever. The guy that was sitting on my same row of seats wasn’t typically my type so I was thankful for that. I had it all. I was happy. Started watching one movie after another, I watched “The other woman”. Which talks nothing about sexual addiction but the guy is clearly a sex addict. They just called him a cheater.

Over the weekend I attended a f2f meeting just one day before my trip, the topic was relationship with ourselves. and the aha moment for me was how I filled up my time with anything but me, in the past it was acting out, now it is meetings, outreach calls etc.. while it is good to be doing all that (meetings and outreach calls) I am still escaping myself. So I thought to myself, I shouldn’t rush to a meeting immediately when I land but rather go to my hotel room, shower, and get proper rest. That was the “plan” that didn’t seem like a good idea towards the tail end of my 10 hour flight.

I started getting tired, I had a brief chat with the chap two seats away from me and then he mentioned something about his fiancée and I found myself ticking a box (okay, so he is straight, he wasn’t that attractive anyway). Why did I even have that thought? Then I started getting a number of insane thoughts and the answer was clear. I alone in hotel room is not a good idea. I am going to the meeting. So should I hit the spa for a quick shower to freshen up before I go? I know, right? Don’t worry, I didn’t do that. I basically got in a cab from the airport, dropped my bags at the hotel and took the same cab to the meeting.

in the meeting I was initially overwhelmed a little but then slowly started settling, and then I started wondering, “Who’s here suffering from compulsive sexual activities with other men?” then this cute guy started talking and mentioned the fact that he doesn’t have a girlfriend and I thought, hmmm so that one is out. CAN YOU BELIEVE ME? I promise I didn’t objectify, sexualise nor lust over any of the men in the room but I just had this mess going on in my head.

Got to my hotel room, took the lift and a guy walks into the lift with me. And I wonder, would he look at me? Would he make a move? I AM OUT OF CONTROL!! Oh if you didn’t read any of my earlier blog entries, I am a Sex and Love Addict.

So anyway, I made it to my room alone, I had a shower, I rested for as long as jetlag allowed me and now I am up to do a bit of work and get ready for another day. I will say my prayers right after I post this so I don’t forget. I am taking another 7 hour flight this afternoon to a country I have never been to before, staying only for one night and I have very little down time. Will keep you posted via twitter until my next blog entry.

 

 

#SafeTrip Day Zero


I am sitting at the airport as I type these words, waiting for my flight. I decided to post a new entry to my blog every day to share how I am going with this trip. The first trip since I set my sobriety date. I am now 91 Days sober which is the LONGEST in my aware life. In the past 91 days I wasn’t perfect by any sort of measure but I was progressing with my sobriety and recovery. I was blessed enough not to travel till now, I feel if I had travelled with a lesser day count of sobriety, I will be at a greater risk of acting out, so I am glad my Higher Power put it off till now.

In about less than an hour from when this post goes live, I will be on a plane. I acted out on planes before. The times I didn’t act out, I had every intention to do so, I pursued every “potential” opportunity that presented itself, and it just didn’t work out. This time I know I don’t want to be obsessively searching for AO partners but I still had a thought cross my mind: (what if the guy next to touch me)? Because then it won’t be my fault, right? I didn’t initiate it. Those of you who have been in the program for just a little bit will recognise this to be an insane thought. So here I am putting it out there to recognise its insanity as I read it on “paper”.

The plane ride is ten hours, I will be tweeting away if I could get internet on board then when I land at my destination I will be tweeting how my time is going and then tomorrow morning I will be writing my #SafeTrip Day One post.

 

It’s all an Act


It is appalling how I never made a career out of it, I am so good at it, and I believe myself.  and when I am not acting, or when I am tired of it, I am ‘acting out’ the addicts reading this will know exactly what that means, and for the rest of you it means I give into my addictive behaviour.

I was in a SLAA meeting on Sunday and one lady talked about how she was playing an actress in her marriage, another guy talked about being a performer and I heard myself speaking through their stories. I am such a performer, I am so good at it. Actually I always wanted to act, and I still do, if an opportunity presented itself, I will take it.  Putting it out there.

So when I first came to SLAA I was humbled by the fact that I knew very little about the journey I am about to start. I am the resourceful one, the one that is always a couple of steps ahead of people around me, I coach them and counsel them. And suddenly I was surrounded by people who had milestones of sobriety and step work ahead of me. I knew I am addict when I sat in that room, I knew I had to work on my recovery, but my first thought was “I better start catching up”

On my second meeting I asked for a sponsor, I approached the guy who raised his hand to be a sponsor, only to find out he didn’t do the steps, he was only two weeks sober, and had been in the program for a few weeks before me. The thought that came to my head was: “these people don’t know what sponsorship means, I better work the program quickly so I can show them how it is done! then start sponsoring them.” Humble, right? ….. NOT

Then comes this very blog, these very words I am typing, “Message of recovery”, or “a place to express myself”, it is still part of the act, I want to shine, and I want to look good. I am the guy who has this wonderful recovery story that will help others start their journey of recovery, but who cares about their journey, I just want to know how many clicks I got on my blog!! I actually do check the number of readers whenever I post a new entry.

Will you stop reading my blog after this? I really hope you don’t, I am learning and growing through recovery, I am still at step 4, I am full of character defects and this is just one of them. So if you want to stick around you might see a different person. But please don’t just be a click or a view figure, make up an anonymous name and talk to me. Share your story or comment on mine.

 

 

Acting out and searching for LOVE


Throughout my life I was searching, for the one, the one that will solve all my problems, who will be the source of satisfaction for all my needs. The one who is going to have profound conversations with me about deep topics and at the same time let me be silly and crazy, so we can laugh together. The one who will be there when I need them and leave me alone when I need my space. The one who will let me help them when they struggle and be independent and figure it out when I need them to be. The one who will understand my emotions and relate to them. The one who will have their emotions in check and have it together. The one who basically doesn’t exist anywhere except in my fantasy world even if all I fantasise about materialized in a person, it would still not live up to my expectations (I didn’t always know that). But I was still searching for them anyway.

I don’t know what created the connection between that search and acting out. Could it be the attention I received from my cousin when they touched me sexually as a child? Could it be the older neighbourhood kid who touched me and gave me an impression that I could fit if I let him play a bit? Somehow sometime in the past I thought I could find what I am looking for while acting out. The pattern got strengthened through my behaviour in the following years of teenage and early adulthood.

I am almost always believing in the possibility of finding THE ONE whenever I go act out. This time will be different, this time I will have a great conversation, this time I will establish a connection with somebody and we will be friends and then I will stop acting out ever again. What a fool I am or what an addict!!

Happy to be sober today and to realize that while I still crave for the one which makes me crave acting out I know I won’t find him through acting out so I will remain sober.