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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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
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.