Recovery, SafeTrip, SLAA

Back to Sobriety – withdrawal sucks


A special thanks go to my friends N and D who messaged me within minutes of my previous post to check on me and offer help to keep me safe. I owe you much more than I could put in words in here. THANK YOU doesn’t do it, but you know you were a sign of God’s love and grace to me at that point.

I think it has been about 48 hours since the last time I masturbated. I just hope this round of withdrawal isn’t as intense as the first time. I hope the fact that I didn’t have sex with anyone else counts for something. but I got to say. so far I am experiencing scary symptoms that I remember clearly from the last round.

  • I am so aware of all the good looking men around me and triggered by them
  • I was in a taxi the other day and the compulsion to put my hand where he could touch it as he changed gear was baffling
  • I am becoming very impatient with my kids over the last couple of days.
  • I have a very strong compulsion to control things around me
  • I am growing resentful of my parents for not following my plan

on the positive side, I have been saying my prayers, three days in a row now. I have out reached a few times, and I did run the SLAA Egypt Skype meeting. I also received a first enquirer through the SLAA Egypt website, a sex addict who has been searching for recovery. we got to talk on the phone and we will be meeting to discuss recovery. he is also very keen to help establish the fellowship in Egypt. these are all opportunities that keep me sober. Also I talked to 3 of my sponsees and shared with them where I am at with my shaky recovery and sobriety asking them to make a call around the sponsorship relationship. they all offered a loving and caring hand and none of them decided to fire me yet. giving me an opportunity to still be of service and connect to the program.

I have the desire to act out. but I don’t want to act out. or maybe I want to act out but I know I don’t need to act out. I have no idea how to put it, but you addict reading this will know exactly what I am talking about. I will be checking in again regularly while in Egypt. thanks for keeping me company.

 

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Recovery, SafeTrip, SLAA

I can’t figure it out – (my acting out plan)


if you’ve already read the mess that is me you’d know by now that my sobriety is heavily questionable. I didn’t have a written down bottom-line list and my sobriety definition was basically around nothing of sexual nature outside my relationship with my wife, which rules out masturbation. certainly rules out flirting with a taxi driver or responding to an ad on Craigslist.

I wrote a long list in my previous post about what I am going through but let’s get one thing very clear. I am struggling because I am losing my conscious contact with a power greater than myself. I haven’t been praying. and I am snapping back into self-reliance.

after the first few ejaculations I wasn’t really that welling to remain sober. I was zigzagging between serenity and insanity. I would really like to go act out. I might as well. but I am struggling.

I can’t work out how to act out and still be productive at work, present with my kids, restful and looking after myself with proper sleep. I can’t figure how to go meet someone for sex and treat them as a person not a bag of meat to rob myself against. I can’t figure out how to go embrace another and completely shot out every bit of emotions associated with this act AND at the same time not cause them any hurt or not be selfish. I can’t figure out how to act out and remain rigorously honest. I can’t figure how to keep the level of wholeness and integration I gathered and treasured over the last few months however little it might be.

I met a man through that hooking up app.. we didn’t touch. well we shook hands for greetings, but that was it. he sat a distance away and I was telling him my recovery story and how I have been struggling lately. I had another chat with another guy from the app and we spent a night chatting about sex addiction, its impact and the wonders of recovery. Yet if the chance to be in bed with either of them presented itself I probably would have had this same conversation fully naked in their arms. how hypocritical. I have been deluding myself into a false sense of control it is insane yet I keep doing it. guess what, powerlessness and unmanageability because I am a sex and love addict. I am even typing this as I exchange messages on the app. CRAZY. I do want to get back to the program, sobriety, my sponsees, etc. but I also want to go off with some random stranger.

for all the times I ejaculated, I had a momentary sense of calm that got me thinking of how this would have been if someone else was in the room and I say Hell NO I can’t do this, run to my phone, clear the cash, uninstall the app then two hours later I am installing it back. GRRRR

by the time I post my next blog entry I am not sure what state I will be at or how the quality of my recovery will be. please say a prayer for me

 

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Recovery, SafeTrip, SLAA

The mess that is me


Just ten days ago I was sober for 11 months. that is probably not the case anymore.

I came to Egypt on a visit with my 5-year-old and my 3-year-old, leaving my wife and baby back where we live. I arrived with my two kids after a nearly 30-hour journey on the 14th of June. I was beat. my sister got married on the 20th of June. that was the primary reason I came down. today is the 2nd of July.

I will put down in bullet points some of the things I have been experiencing, feeling and doing. not in any particular order.

  • there is a ten-hour time difference so jet lag was rough on me and the kids. I had little sleep
  • because of the messy schedule (mine and the kids) and living in a house where my sister is planning her wedding. I got distracted from saying my prayers.
  • my parents and my sister were all sickly and exhaustingly creating dramas and thriving on it.
  • Egypt was hot, dusty to a level that needed adjusting to.
  • my stuff was cluttered out of a suitcase I felt so unsettled
  • my sister was my first child, I pretty much raise her, it was unbelievable to watch her as a bride! I was overcome with emotions.
  • I didn’t have much time to spend with my sister cause before the wedding she was busy preparing and after the wedding she was, well, married and then she left the country with her husband 4 days later.
  • I have been working since the 23rd of June, from midnight till whenever (anywhere between 7 am and mid-day)
  • I haven’t been able to make out reach calls to other addicts.
  • I haven’t been able to keep the SLAA Egypt Skpye meeting going due to lack of privacy, kids’ demand and poor connectivity.
  • I was only able to attend the NZ Skype meeting twice and not even fully.
  • I wasn’t able to talk to my sponsor for the first 10 days for the trip
  • given my working hours I have been functioning on 1 to 4 hours of sleep every day and not even at one go.
  • work was very busy and full on.
  • I have been checking out ads on personal websites
  • I have installed and uninstalled a proximity app for gay hook-up nearly five six times
  • I have been emailing random strangers and even talking to them on the phone (nothing sexual or explicit) but they are of those sits/apps
  • I have ejaculated a few times some are involuntary as a result of a prolonged state of arousal and some is self-pleasuring.
  • I am off my Low Carb diet and eating sugars like crazy.
  • I am still not saying my prayers consistently

hmmm I will write something else in another blog post shortly

 

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Recovery, SLAA, Step12

Step 12: We tried to carry this message


Step 12: We tried to carry this message to sex and love addicts and to practice these principles in all areas of our lives.

You might already know from my earlier posts that I was a phone counsellor and my plan was to work on my counselling skills so I can help others and eventually open my own counselling practice.

Shortly after I came to SLAA I was able to clearly see that counselling as profession is no longer what I am going to do. To refresh your memories I had at that point of early recovery decided to stop working as a phone counsellor and I also said goodbye to therapy. I knew at that moment that what I needed to do was to focus on my recovery. I haven’t lost sight of my desire to help others but I knew that it will have to take a different form from what I had originally imagined.

I found a sponsor, set my sobriety date and started working the steps. Recovery story is really fun, I am enjoying working on my recovery and I love how my sponsor helped me work the program. One of the things my sponsor always stressed was his view on sponsoring others. His criteria is that an addict need to be sober no less than six months and is well into his 9th step before attempting to Sponsor others.

I was really eager to sponsor others to help them work the program, but I adopted my sponsor’s view or criteria for becoming a sponsor. So I waited. When I was close to six month sober and by then I had started my step9 and made progress on it. During one of the face to face meetings I raised my hand when the chairperson asked “for those who are willing to sponsor to raise their hands” and on that day I was approached by my first sponsee. I had met him for the first time at that meeting. We talked and I agreed to be his sponsor. And we started working together.

Given that this was the first time I sponsor someone through this program I decided to focus on the one sponee and not raise my hand again. And I did that for a few weeks till I got a better feeling of how my relationship with this sponsee goes, and how much time commitment it requires of me.

A few weeks later, in one day during outreach calls with other fellow addicts I was told almost the exact phrase “I would like you to be my sponsor but you are not available”. While I stopped raising my hand, I had never actually told anyone that I am not available. I answered to these two members that I am in fact available. And then my sponsees increased from 1 to 3. I felt that it was appropriate based on the progress of my recovery as well as the time required of me with my first sponsee.

I started working with my three sponsees and continued to make progress. I made sure I always remind my sponsees of the same thing my sponsor reminded me off. That I am not doing them a favour, I am working on my recovery by doing my step 12.

Then again weeks later I was having a conversation with another member from the fellowship. He had a sponsor but wasn’t making progress and he communicated that if I wasn’t so busy he would have asked me to be his sponsor. We talked about it a bit more, and agreed on a rhythm for our interaction and the sponsorship started.

Finally I got a phone call from another fellow addict who newly returned to the fellowship wondering if I can be his sponsor. That last one took a bit of thinking from me, I need to pray about my motive because he is gay. I needed to purify my motive and make sure that I am not putting myself or him at risk as a result of this relationship.

I will post almost nothing about my sponsees but I do plan to blog about the lessons I get from working with them.

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Recovery, SLAA

My Sober Dreams


Since I started working the program of recovery I had periods where I didn’t have any sexual intimacy due to long gaps between sex with my wife. when that happened I had a fair amount of wet dreams. my wet dreams were all homosexual in nature. it was always bizarre to go through that. I often woke up feeling strange, almost uncertain, have I lost my sobriety? did this happen for real or was I truly asleep? then when it all settled, the blur is gone and I realize I was asleep then I have to deal with the mess in the middle of the night. Lucky my wife never ask me “what were you doing in the shower at 3 am”. I am pretty sure she noticed that I am wearing different PG pants from the ones I wore when I got to bed.

a couple of months ago I had my first Sober Dream. I was back in my home town in my parent’s house, we had a large gathering of guests and while I was alone in one of the rooms someone walked in on me and started to make advances on me. I gently pushed him away and started talking to him about Sex addiction and about the fellowship. I woke up feeling pretty good.

Last night I had another dream. there is a SLAA member that I connect with (I find him good looking but never fantasized about him, also he is straight). we were sharing a bed, don’t know why, but then he moved closer getting a bit “too close” seductively inviting. in the dream I jumped out of bed and objected to what he was about to do. I also got up happy. I sure won’t outreach to that SLAA member about my dream hehehe 🙂

 

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Fasting, Recovery, SLAA

Happy Naw Ruz


after 19 days of Fast, Naw Ruz Marks one of the Bahai Holy Days and the Bahai New Year. there are 9 Holy Days a year that Bahais observe and work should be suspended. during my active addiction I always acted out on days leading to a Holy days with the intention to stop on that holy day. i never did.

so the Bahai Calendar is a 19 Months, each Month 19 days which comes up to 361 days, the 4 (or 5 during leap years) days balance are called Ayyam-i-ha and are placed right before the last month which is the fasting month. these days are of significant spiritual importance to the Bahais. many years I acted out before these days hoping to stop when they come. many years I prayed to stop but I don’t think my prayers were sincere. (did I say my prayers today? i will after i finish this) then I act out during Ayyam-i-Ha hoping to stop during the Fast. but I don’t, then i act out during the fast hoping to stop by Naw Ruz. I still didn’t.

Today 21st of March I am 8 Months sober. which means I was fasting all the days leading to the fast, I enjoyed celebrating Ayyam-i-Ha, I had a wonderful spiritual high from the fast. and now I get to celebrate the Bahai New Year and celebrate 8 months of Sobriety. on top of that 21st March is the Mother’s Day in the part of the world i come from so i also got to celebrate mother’s day with my mom in the morning.

Thanks a lot for those of you who kept me company during these days. and thanks everyone who read this.

I will stop my daily posts for the time being and will get back to my normal pattern of posting when there is something i want to share about.

have a lovely New Year everyone

 

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Fasting, Recovery, SLAA

Fast Reflections Day 19


Today marked the last day of the Bahai fast, the first fast that I had sober for the entire period. and probably one of the most major milestones in my recovery journey.

My last post was talking about the fabulous sleep I had the night before. looks like I jinxed it. I stayed a bit late that night (by a bit late I mean till 2 am) by the time I got to bed my daughter had wet her bed, I had to change the sheets and change her, then she eventually wanted to sleep in my bed. by five thirty both my kids were up because of whatever. the conclusion is I had 3 hours of sleep.

breakfast, then kids out of the house then working from home followed by a trip to the office in the afternoon and a relatively productive day despite my exhaustion. when I got home, my lovely wife offered that I go for a nap and I did, taking the little baby in my arms. I had a good 90 minutes of deep sleep.

I got up, broke the fast for the last time with my mom and my mom in law then I rushed to my office room to host the SLAA NZ Skype Meeting. so a lot of the guys are on a retreat in Taupo so I was thinking no one is going to show up to the meeting. the meeting started with 4 participants and half way through it a few of the fellows who were on the retreat got on the call. it was great. and everyone had a chance to share. I love the skype meeting.

I want to thank you all for keeping me company during this special time. I might post one more reflection tomorrow celebrating Nowruz but if not then I will post later about something else.

also tomorrow I don’t have to wake up before sunrise, so if the kids remain asleep I will be sleeping in. it is the weekend

 

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Fasting, Recovery, SLAA

Fast Reflections Day 18


I had the BEST Sleep so far. as in I actually slept enough. oh and did I mention that I had the best night of sleep? I have enough energy to repeat the same thing over and over again as you can see, oh the wonders of good night sleep. 🙂 alright I will stop.

the funny thing is that I still got up a few times, first time because I had a wet dream and I needed to clean up. I was almost acting out in my dream. Gosh that was a good reminder. I am in fact a sex and love addict. won’t mention much about the dream itself. nothing that exciting anyway. so got that out of the way and while trying to get back to sleep I sensed that my kids needed to go so I took each of them to the toilette for a midnight wee. then I got back to bed. my little girl got up a little later to sleep in my arms. I love my kids and love their little arms wrapped around my neck (occasionally choking me).

in due time I got up to help make breakfast with my mom and mom in law, started eating, kids got up, you know the story…. after the kids went off to their day care and preschool I went to get ready and after I finished I decided not to go to the office and work from home today. it worked out well as we got a call from my daughter’s day care that she has a bit of fever, so I was able to go get her. it was a mild fever so nothing to worry about much. I worked for a bit and since I am fasting and I won’t be eating lunch I took my lunch break in bed. I napped. I KNOW RIGHT? even more sleep. this must be the best day ever.

after my nap I kept working again. at work I got REALLY mad at somebody. I WAS RIGHT. but I was also aware that there are for more important things than being right. I can’t have resentment. and I need to watch for my character defects. the good news is, I was able to vent the situation with other people and see to proceed further without losing it at someone. the only thing that I did to imply that I was mad was telling a colleague that “I find your response unprofessional” and when he kept going on I said “this conversation ends here” and I closed the IM window. I needed to pray about it and direct my attention to someone I can help. Thank God for Steps 11 and 12

after finishing work I didn’t have to drive home, I just had to leave my office. I spent a bit of time with the kids, fed them some of their dinner and then took my mom and went to another family for a community break of fast. we were the only ones who turned up. it was really cool, we got to catch up and have a bit of a quality time with that family. when I got home, I was able to hold my baby girl for a while, change her and hold her some more before I handed her to her mom for a feed and started typing this.

more reflections to come.

 

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Fasting, Recovery, SLAA

Fast Reflections day 17


wow two more days to go. this Fasting month is going by Fast (pun intended)

again usual stuff at night. girl waking up for mummy, boy waking up to pee, girl waking up again for mummy, but on the plus side, no one wet their bed so it was a relatively easier night. but I still hadn’t had enough sleep. so in the morning, after breakfast and after the kids got up, I went back to bed. at about 8:15 am. I didn’t get up for another hour and a half. it was amazing.

I got to the office late but it was alright as I didn’t have any meetings in the morning. work was productive. I had a few sponsee calls. I had a couple of outreach calls. I also had a chance to sit quietly in a room and say my prayers as well as pray for others in the fellowship.

today I also recorded my first Audio Post. to test the water and see how it goes. you can listen to it below. I like to speak, but I need to figure out what to put as an image as I am not ready to have my face on YouTube yet. (you can see the amateur picture in the video, not so cool)

I got home had dinner with the family and washed the dishes while my wife was putting the older kids to sleep. I wished to be the one putting them to sleep but well. I was too tired to be patient enough, she did a better job at it. when I finished I took my baby daughter in my arms and sat on the recliner chair and before I knew it, I was in deep sleep. I so needed it. got up to find that my wife had taken the baby to feed and my mom had covered me with a blanket. lol.

when I got up I had a shower and changed out of my work cloths and I am now typing this. will post it and go back to sleep 🙂

More reflections to come (at least two more)

 

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