Recovery

Stop coughing! It sounds annoying


Imagine hearing someone with a bad cold coughing ,and telling them to stop it because you are annoyed by their cough. Now let’s change the bad cold to depression, wouldn’t it be the same if you tell them to stop being grumpy, or irritable or moody or dramatic or whatever it is that they are doing simply because they are depressed?

So that is what I keep telling myself so I can remain present, remain supportive and remain empathic towards my wife as she goes through her depression.

I am not a saint either. If someone has a bad cold and coughing but they keep wearing light clothing in the middle of winter, they are not increasing their fluid intake and getting a good dose of vitamin C I’d be annoyed at them. I mean I get it, you have a cold but do something about it so you can get better.

So I am at that very delicate spot of wanting to be there for my wife and at the same time I really need her to do something about it because I refuse to accept the symptoms of depression as the new norm. I am happy to put up with them for until she recovers from the illness but for God’s sake, do something that helps you recover. Now, how do you say that to someone who is depressed without making it worse? Man it is so not easy. But today I managed to do some of that. I have been praying and sharing with other addicts to keep my motives and actions in check.

I don’t just want her to start popping anti-depressants but I also don’t just want this to be life for the foreseeable future. Either ways, I am powerless over her choices. I can’t make them for her nor can I force her in any direction. I have to practice acceptance.

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Food, Recovery, SLAA

Living a lie


One thing about being an addict, I always felt like I am living a lie! There wasn’t a time where I could honestly call my feelings authentic. I am not saying that I never had authentic feelings, nor am I saying that I was never authentic in my interactions and experiences. I am just saying that I doubted everything I felt. I couldn’t trust my feelings. couldn’t experience them to their fullest. I always felt like I was acting. when something nice happens I felt the obligation to act happy, then I felt guilty about being happy, cause I don’t deserve to be happy, I am a bad person, and bad people should be miserable. Then when I was truly miserable, I felt that it was all my fault, had I been a good person (i.e. not acting out on my addiction) then I wouldn’t have been miserable and as a result I always felt like I don’t have the right to feel miserable cause it was just me to blame.

Now, in recovery, I am a sex and love addict in recovery. I am a compulsive overeater in recovery. I am happy some of the time, sad some other times, frustrated, angry, ecstatic, pleased and all sort of other emotions some of the time. and regardless of the emotion, there is no judgement (well, most of the time) I just try to experience my feelings and sit with them.

Today something really pleasant happened to my wife, she came and shared it with me. I was so genuinly happy, we connected with each other as we both experienced our feelings without judgement. I was briefly reminded of what it was like before and felt immensely grateful for where I am at today.

Thanks for reading, and if you relate to what I wrote, know you are not alone.

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Recovery, SLAA, withdrawal

Another day has come and gone


My wife had one of the girls sleeping with her. I slep a bit later than I should last night. Woke up to find that my other girl had a fever and had caught cold. I managed to hold her close and help her sleep an it longer. Then got up, had a bit of breakfast and I spent time with my son and my daughter. Managed to put the little girl for a nap. Then played snakes and ladders with my sons and flew paper planes. It was lots of fun. 

My wife arrived with our middle daughter. I started packing as … well a bit of background…. It is school holidays and the kids are home full time. So my wife and I (we are separated at the moment and she lives elsewhere and I have the kids with me) anyway my wife and I agreed she’ll have them one week and I will have the other till the end of the school break. Today is the start of her week. 

So I packed, said goodbye to the kids and hit the road. I am house sitting at a friend’s place. I went first to pick a friend up from the airport and hand out with her and show her the city. We had a simple meal together and then eventually sent her home to where she is staying. 

I dropped off by home to pick up some items I forgot. The two older kids were still up so I gave them long hugs and head out. Hung out with my friend and her partner and chatted for a bit.  Now I am lying on a bed in my sleeping bag. Will say a prayer after posting this and go to sleep. 

22 days sober 5 days full withdrawal 

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Recovery, SLAA, withdrawal

You again


I decided today 22/12/2016 to start a period of withdrawal and get back to recovery. I really don’t want to do this but hey first day just passed. 

Maybe short daily posts to check in will be beneficial for me. I will do them from my phone before I go to bed. Nothing fancy. 

Summary of the day is as follows. Rough night with one of my kids. Okay day at work. A couple of outreach calls. Picked the keys to the house I am sitting next week. Had dinner at home. Went to a SLAA meeting. 

Now I will shower, say some prayers, message some recovery partner and go to bed. 

Good night 

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Recovery, SafeTrip, SLAA

From Shame to Grace Day 1


I have so much to say and yet nothing to say. or no words to express it. I thought i will be writing about the retreat and what we discussed/shared or whatever. but I don’t know if i will do that.

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I am sitting out on the deck looking at this view, enjoying the sunlight and feeling a bit of drizzle, then joined by two other addicts who came out to have their afternoon tea in the sunny outdoors.

I feel blessed to have come to the retreat, will share more in other posts as I want to spend the time being present with those you came out here 🙂

 

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Recovery, SafeTrip, SLAA

From Shame to Grace Day 0


I am writing this as I am sitting in camp house an hour outside of Wellington New Zealand. staring at the view you see in the picture below and listening to piano Cannon in D. WIN_20151128_08_36_26_Pro.jpg

some of you know that I had a rocky ride with recovery lately, especially if you’ve listened to my latest podcast . So I am lucky to report that I am attending a SLAA Camp this weekend. I shared about attending a similar one last year when I was in a different place recovery-wise. you can read about my last year’s retreat here

I arrived here yesterday (Friday afternoon) I was still working and luckily the internet allowed me to get the rest of the day in order. then people started arriving. I had seen most of them in last year’s retreat so it was good to see them all again a year later. I felt hopeful. I am really looking forward to be immersed in recovery because I have a questionable willingness to stay focused on it. 

we had dinner as a group, Wonderful homemade soup by the camp chef, he rocks that kitchen. and after cleaning up we had a short game of scrabble with a few of the fellows. 

the first session commenced at about 7:30, introducing the theme of the camp, “From shame to grace”. the hosting group welcomed everybody, shared some housekeeping points then we started sharing. after introducing ourselves we each shared how shame affected our lives and what we wish to get out of this weekend. 

I was the last person to share, I felt dizzy. I felt thrown around with every share. there were bits of me in every share. I talked about how I compartmentalized my life as a result of shame. how I put others to shame to cover my sense of shame, and how I really need to get back to focus on my recovery.  

afterwards I joined three others in a game of “500” it was so much fun. we went to bed at 11, I slept really well. woke up in the morning, said my prayers, showered, had breakfast while chatting with the wonderful friends around here then sat quietly listening to the piano my phone while typing this with the view above before me.

the camera doesn’t do it justice.

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Recovery, SafeTrip, SLAA

Back to sobriety – Day 6/7


a few minutes after posting on day 5 my cousin finished what she was doing and we got on with the rest of the day. traffic was terrible so we spent over an hour and a half driving in heavy crazy Cairo traffic. I had a great time catching up with her. this cousin of mine is so close to me and was a great supporter during most critical times of our family especially the sex addiction episodes of my father and how that impacted my mother. we got to talk about recovery (not mine but my mom’s) and I was able to share a bit about S-Anon and how 12 step programs work etc. it was a really fruitful discussion. we also talked about our lives, work, kids etc. we had a great time catching up despite the crazy driving.

we got home after the long drive and we needed to leave within an hour as we were invited to a meal at my sister in law’s place. I was knackered. I didn’t have a chance to rest. also I had not had breakfast so I was so hungry, I ate a few bread sticks and got the kids ready then we hit the road again. the food was great, so was the company, but I couldn’t keep going. so I took a corner and wend down for a power nap, a much needed one. then got up to keep up with my kids. we went to the community club and the kids got on rides and we had loads of fun. then we drove home to get the kids ready for bed. my son was running low on sleep and he was really really tired. SCREAMING not crying loudly, literally screaming. it is like he is having a delayed reaction to my struggle (or a timely one as I am still struggling) he is probably sensing something. I wasn’t the best father but I was a much better father than I was the day before. Progress not perfection.

next day I had very little time to blog. son woke up early despite the late night, then my father and I had to leave to get some paper work done. the place where we went was a mosh pit, in my active addiction that was the perfect place to check out people around me, touch and be touched inappropriately in the crowd. this time wasn’t really the case. I am happy to report that I got out without any of that. I did a big chunk of what I came to do.

on the way back I was to take a cab alone as my dad left without me. I had the insane thought of waiting for a young cute taxi driver. but I flagged the first taxi that came my way. the guy was elderly BUT he decided to take another passenger instead. so I flagged the next one and it was a young man. well younger. I did want his hand to touch mine but I didn’t put much effort into it and I didn’t flirt or invite.

the rest of the day was relatively uneventful! time with the kids, visit to the neighbor for a devotional gathering followed by a spiritual discussion around the effect of prayers and God’s grace then back home with bedtime routine for the kids. my son was again uncooperative during bed time but he wasn’t as bad as the previous two nights and I wasn’t as bad either. it took too much to practice what I believe is closer to good parenting.

I had a call with my sponsor, finishing this and I am going to bed. oh that means I am One Week Sober 🙂 YAY

 

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Recovery, SafeTrip, SLAA

Back to sobriety – Day5


Recovery is wonderful! the day started shortly after my previous post. Kids got up, we had breakfast and started getting ready to go out. I took my two kids and met my cousin and his family (wife and two children) and went to the Egyptian Museum. it was great fun. then we went out for a meal afterwards and had a good catch up while the kids eat and run about.

I got home, showered both kids and took a shower myself and attempted to put them to sleep for a nap. and I napped. then left the kids to my mom to look after them and I went out at 10 pm to meet two fellow addicts from sexholics anonymous. it was a good opportunity to discuss recovery and share on SLAA and my efforts to start a fellowship in Egypt in Arabic. they asked so many questions, shared what touched them, got current, offered to help keep me company for the remaining time I am in Egypt especially after hearing what I went through with my most recent episode. they are also willing to help review the translations of SLAA literature.

I took a taxi for part of the way there and a taxi part of the way back. I didn’t touch the guy, didn’t engage in inviting conversations, but I was curious. is he? would he? what if he did? …. insane thinking that’s all. but I feel I was only just little stronger spiritually to stick to the thoughts and not follow up with actions.

I got home to find that my son is still up and my father is struggling to put him to bed. I took over then I struggled. he was whining and screaming intermittently till 2:30 in the morning. I was not very compassionate nor patient. I even yelled saying SHHHHH WHAT’S WRONG?? something that I remember judging my wife for doing a couple of years ago when my son woke up upset at night. very humbling indeed. I hope that through my repeated effort to be a loving compassionate father I reduce the negative impact of what my reaction may have caused him.

this morning, I woke up early at the smell of fresh pee. he peed himself, I behaved with a lot less agitation. after I cleaned him up and changed the sheets he fell back asleep just as my daughter woke up. I spent a bit of time with her trying to comfort her from the pain of mosquito bites that bothered her. then I left her and her brother to the grandparents so I go meet my other cousin and run some errands.

my cousin is somewhere finishing the paper work she needs to get done and I am in the car typing this while waiting for her. given how little sleep I had I need to be watchful and remember to rest or ask for help so that I stay sane. more importantly I need to remember to keep saying my prayers which I have been doing daily now.

thanks for your support.

 

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Recovery, SafeTrip, SLAA

Back to sobriety – Day4


Today is kind of the fifth day already but I basically wake up in the morning to recount the events of the previous day. I woke up a little while ago after 6 hours of good sleep. I would have liked to sleep a bit more but it looks like my body rested enough for me to be up. over the last five days this is becoming a ritual where I wake up just in enough time before my kids so I can type my post and reflect on the day that passed. My faith tells me “Bring thyself to account each day” and the program tells me “continued to take personal inventory”. so it must work because I feel a lot better today. I remember my first withdrawal, there will be lots of ups and downs. I will just enjoy that this moment as I type this, I feel good.

Yesterday was my Son’s 5th birthday. after I posted my day 3 account the kids got up, we had breakfast and hit the road. we needed to run some errands. I got some paperwork done, we went to book a flight for my father who will be joining us in NZ shortly after we return, we went to choose the cake for the kids (one for each child so that the younger girl doesn’t feel left out even though it isn’t her birthday) then got back home. we ordered lunch, ate and I left the kids to my parents to go get the rest of the stuff.

Alone in the car driving off, the first thought that hit me was to go to that mall with the good looking toilette cleaner. I DIDN’T! just sharing that I am still an insane sex addict. I drove to the places I needed to get the stuff for the party, party hats, balloons, paper plates, cups, napkins etc. then went to get light refreshments and drinks and so on. I was so glad to be soberly shopping for his party. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the drive in crazy Cairo traffic in the hot afternoon summer to do anything but act out if I wasn’t sober.

I got home, the kids were napping which allowed me some quiet time. not long enough for me to take a nap but I still managed to spend the day without snapping at the kids. I did use my stern voice occasionally but I was much calmer compared to the previous days and given that I had not had a nap which always affects my level of patience with my little ones.

The party was a blast, my kids had so much fun and the family members who joined us enjoyed a great deal. we held the party at my Grandma’s house with a small family gathering that ended past midnight (kids were delirious and sleepy at the same time). we got home tired and Happy,

I was still able to say my prayers which is the main reason I am making progress. I am also making contact with other addicts, and trying to find ways to connect to the program.

see you in my next post. 🙂

 

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