SLAA

It is only natural for the addict


I was having another chat with my sponsor this morning. she said “it is only natural for the aloholic to drink, so it is only natural for the sex addiction to act out sexually”

It was reassuring to hear these words. after reflecting on what I called “my twisted motives” I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. yet when she said these words I could tell myself that my brain is wired that way, being nature or nurture, it is the way it is at the moment. So rather than being overwhelmed by my brain and it’s “natural” wiring, I am just going to focus on how I respond to its promptings.

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SLAA

My parallel existence


I was at a meeting today and in my share I verbalized (probably for the 100th time) a constant mental obsession that takes hold of me every now and then.

If you know enough about addiction, it is something that is never truly cured. the neural pathways established as a result of a repeated pattern of addiction don’t magically disappear. In recovery I have the opportunity to build new neural pathways, as a result of living a new pattern of recovery, but, the minute my recovery pattern are weak, the addiction patterns are there waiting to be triggered.

The pull to tap back into that pattern is quite strong. it is like a dry groove so thirsty for water to run through it and turn it into a living breathing stream once more. the unfortunate reality is that what runs through these grooves isn’t water, but chemicals that were once indulged by the substance of choice. (for me, it is sex, romantic obsession, or food).

Now, back to what I was talking about in the first place. the mental obsession. I love being in recovery. I love my life when I am sober, but I always have that pull to revive the old neural pathways. I often imagine a parallel existence where I could act out on my addiction, have a bit of “fun” while at the same time my “other self” remains sober and living recovery. I want to defy the laws of physics as well as the spiritual laws and some how still have two separate realities where I can have my cake and eat it. and that my friends is enough proof I am an addict.

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SLAA

Ending the Zigzag – Hopefully


so last post was on the 18th of July that I am still not sober. I got back from my holiday and I still wasn’t willing to get back to sobriety. I started attending meetings, making phone calls and just dealing back with life as I did before my vacation. with one exception. I kept masturbating and I kept talking to gay guys on a gay hookup app. I kind of wanted to keep the person that emerged during the short period of recovery and still get out there and get a hit. (haven’t I repeated this like a million times by now? also haven’t I already realized that it was IMPOSSIBLE?) yet I kept trying.

Lucky I was back to where I spent most of my recovery time. attending meetings and talking to enough addicts got me to slowly realize the insanity of my thoughts. also one thing that was the final straw, I have been talking to the members of the fellowship in Egypt on recover, they go read the literature and come back to ask questions given that I am older in the program. I struggled so much with feeling like a big hypocrite every time I attempted to explain to them concepts that I refuse to apply in my life. I couldn’t share the awareness off and act as if I never knew recovery.

and here we go again. I stopped masturbating over a week ago and I finally deleted my hook up profile and un-installed the app completely 3 days ago. it is withdrawal all over again. but this time is different from my “back to Sobriety” posts as I have a lot more of the tools of the program available to me. I am also back on track with my prayers.

will make this one a short one, thanks for reading. hopefully I will still be sober with the next post.

 

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SLAA

Back to Sobriety – Day3


Withdrawal still sucks. or maybe it is the environment. maybe there is way too many gay sex addictس who are hot and available everywhere. I thought the only thing preventing me from acting out with another man was the fact that it takes preparation, planning that is a bit more difficult than watching porn or masturbating. I was wrong. the only thing preventing me from acting out with another man will forever be my contact with my higher power, and right now, that contact is weak.

4th day in a row saying my prayers now, I am awake during the day and asleep at night. which means, I am asleep when it is isolating and alone and there are candidates everywhere and I am awake where I’ve got company and have my kids to look after and my parents to distract me and all sorts of this and that to be done. this is all good.

Yesterday I went with my kids and my mom, my cousin and aunties to the mall. A nice large happy gathering. then we all needed to do a toilette break. I took my two kids to the men’s toilette and as we went into a booth the cleaner went in to sanitize it for us before we use it. (yes such modern shopping malls in Egypt have cleaners at all times, they clean the toilette after every use) I was happy with that because I am always weary of having my little girl use the men’s toilette for obvious reasons. so anyway, we closed the door and all took turns to do our business. I got some change handy to tip the cleaner. on the way out I noticed that his pants zip was undone, I handed him the tip and whispered that his flyer is open. The flyer wasn’t open by accident. he took the tip and touched my hand for half a second too long while a lingering look stared me in the face. it was a very clear invitation.

I had my two kids, what did I do? went out, handed them to my mom so I can go again to the bathroom. I went in, he was cleaning the booth we were using, I walked in and closed the door, pretending that I just needed to pee. while he is in the booth. we exchanged very few words about the fact that he won’t do anything because he is fasting (he somehow finds it okay to plan his acting out while fasting but not do it till after he breaks the fast, not judging, I remember such insanity) but anyway that worked for me. I was probably going to do something crazy in that booth putting myself at a huge amount of not calculated risk (scandal, Jail, you name it, or just the risk of acting out while trying to get back to sobriety). I was Zigzagging so rapidly between resisting the temptation and responding to the invitation. he offered his phone number and I attempted to record it, and we almost got caught so I failed. And guess what the joke is? I attempted to bring up recovery.

I got out of the toilette partially aroused, head spinning, completely not present. the guy was really good looking. I loved him, I wanted to save him, while being naked in his arms in the process. I had my kids waiting outside and a whole gang of family members. I was completely not me. I CAN’T WORK IT OUT. SERIOUSLY!! I thought I was a great parent before I came to recovery, then through the work of the program, I realized what my kids have been missing out on. I was able through working the steps, and through reliance on God to slowly but steadily offer them back the father they deserve, the father I wanted to be. Now I see it clearly. I can’t act out and be that father. I REALLY WANT TO BE ABLE TO THOUGH.

I was shaken for a good hour afterwards, then was able to keep my focus on my kids and the family gathering until my son needed to go to the toilette again. I did try to go to another toilette in the mall, and I asked for direction but you guessed it, I found myself in the same place with the guy there waiting for me to hand me his number. this time it was after the fasting hours have ended. he is still at work and I have my son in my hand. I took my son to pee, the guy gestured that he gave me the wrong phone number (the one I failed to record) and I smiled saying, alright give me the correct one. I didn’t stop or pause as I said that, I was walking with the same pace with my son towards the sink to wash his hands, then dried him and walked away. as if at that point my legs knew where to take me and what the next right step was (pee, wash hands, get out, Simple) but my head still wanted to split out of me and maybe memorize the number by heart using speed memory muscles I don’t even possess. I was shaken again for a bit, I was angry for having my kids and the family. I was angry for having an awareness that stands against what I want to do so bad.

I know why I am a sex addict, I know a little bit about what my addiction could get me into, but I certainly don’t know the full extent of what I could get myself into if I don’t work the program.

Just today I found out about a guy from the fellowship that was named and shamed on the front page of the largest national paper in New Zealand for his acting out. That could be me. The headline would read: “Gay mans has sex in public toilette with a cleaner while having his two kids.”

I will keep posting and please keep reading. I am getting a lot of love and support from friends and people in the fellowship. Even as I tweet the risk I am going through I get a text seconds later from someone who saw my tweet and want to help me remain safe. I have every reason to be grateful despite the trying times.

 

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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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SafeTrip, SLAA, Step 9

Dear Brother, I am sorry


I wasn’t putting this off but I certainly wasn’t rushing to get to it. and now that I am starting and though it was a spontaneous decision I still feel a flood of emotions go through me.

Dear Brother,

it is funny I am writing this in English as you wouldn’t really understand this had you been alive and reading it. the fact that you passed on gives me the freedom to write in whatever language I am comfortable with. I am sure you know I am in Egypt now; our baby sister isn’t baby any more. she just got married. I MISS YOU. your picture on my phone, on the walls and everywhere around me is a constant reminder of how empty your place is.

you weren’t always there. even though you were always present. you still are. in our minds, conversations, thoughts and most certainly hour hearts and emotions. I still think that one day you will call me, or open the door and show up. you will introduce me to some random strangers you just met and called them friends. you will make silly jokes that I don’t understand. or will act funny why you really want to smoke a cigarette and don’t want to do that in front of me. I still feel it might happen. part of me is not willing to accept that this is it, that I won’t see you in this physical realm any more.

I am also sure that you know that I have recently identified as a sex and love addict, I am working an imperfect recovery, had 11 months of sobriety up until last week and now I am not sure if I am still sober or not but I am still working the program. and you my brother are on my step 9.

throughout your life I had issues with you, was embarrassed to bring you around or introduce you to my friends. judged you harshly despite your willingness to do every bit possible to gain my approval. I was (and largely still am) consumed by my plans, my selfishness and my lack of capacity to regard you or consider your feelings.

I am writing to say I am sorry, truly sorry for every time I hurt you, caused you sadness or ignored your feelings. I am sorry for my uptight, self-righteous attitude. sorry for being condescending, arrogant and foolish.

I learned much through your death, learned that you really spent your time where it matters most. spent your time loving people, serving them, caring for them. you are deeply missed by everyone who got to know you for just a little bit. if you can offer any sign that you got this message I would be eternally grateful.

I love you

 

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Fasting, Recovery, SLAA

Fast Reflections Day five


Friday was a very special day. every Friday I host a SLAA Skype meeting at 8 PM NZ time. but this Friday was different. I was supposed to meet one of my sponsees so that he can take his step5. He is the first person ever to ask me to be his sponsor. and it was going to be the first time I am hearing someone else’s step five. I worked with a couple of friends from the fellowship to stand in for me and host the meeting in my absence.

for the non addicts reading this, step five says: admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. as his sponsor I get to be that human being.

so I had asked him to photo copy is Step 4 inventory and give it to me prior to us doing Step 5 so I can review it. also I read chapters 5 and 6 of the AA big book as well as the reading on Steps 4 and 5 from the SLAA big book to prepare. I was praying and hoping to be helpful. I also talked to my sponsor about it and asked a few questions to make sure I am ready.

I met my sponsee at the agreed time and place and started going through his work. as we started talking we realized that there is a bit more work he needs to do on his step 4 before we proceed further with Step 5. I was praying in my head the whole time asking God to channel through me what would be helpful for him at this moment. we went for a walk till it was close to sunset and then head somewhere eat dinner. we chatted and had lots of fun talking about our addictive patterns and identifying with each other stories. It was really good. given that we didn’t go through all his inventory and he had a bit more work to do, we finished earlier than anticipated. It was clear that he is still willing to keep working the program. I was pleased for that to be the case.

after I said goodbye to him I called a friend who was hanging out in town close enough to where I was. so I met up with him and a few others and spent a couple of hours talking, laughing and singing by the viaduct. it was such a lovely evening. then I drove home, had a bit of chat with my mom and wife, tried to join my wife in watching a bit of TV but then I was too beat to follow what’s going on. so I went to bed. 🙂

more reflections to come

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SLAA

The Cute guy at the meeting


Thursday night is the regular men’s SLAA group in Auckland which I have been attending religiously since I came to SLAA with very few exceptions. last Thursday I was a little late to the meeting. (I am generally there well before it starts). so the meeting had started everybody is sitting, someone is sharing. there were 4 new comers that night and as I walk through the door one of them looked towards the door and our eyes met. first thought “he is cute” second thought “I bet he’s gay”. anyway I sat at the nearest chair, listened to the sharing and shared when I was asked to share.

After the meeting finished, at the informal part of the meeting I met one of the new comers and we chatted, turns out he identifies as bi-sexual he acted out with men and women and he was telling me about how he got to SLAA then the cute guy comes and joins. we had a quick chat, they asked for my number to outreach and I gave it to them. then the two of them started talking about watching a movie.

cute guy: “we should go watch Shame
me: that’s a porn movie really
cute guy: It is about sex addiction
me: yeah I know but I can’t handle it, the guy is really cute and he’s naked a lot
cute guy: and he’s got a big cock too
me: aaaaaa I didn’t need to know that (and in my head “oh dear he is gay”)

I left the meeting that night feeling …. actually I don’t know what I was feeling. I was certainly thinking it would be nice to have sex with him. he is still in active addiction and haven’t made up his mind to “Stop living out a pattern of sex and love addiction” as he put it in his share. DAMN IT!!  while driving home I remembered something my sponsor told me. He said if you are scared to act out then you are relying on yourself and of course you should be scared because you couldn’t keep yourself sober in the past. but if you are relying on God to keep you sober and remain willing the fear will go away. when remembered that I felt a lot calmer and told myself, “I don’t have to worry about a thing, God is doing for me what I can’t do for myself. I will be alright” and that’s that. got home met the family and all is good with the world. then cute guy sends me a message to say “Shame started” AAAAAAAAAAAAa where was that calm I had an hour ago? it vanished. I replied saying “please don’t tell me about it”

I am not scared but I am kind of intrigued partially interested and maybe grieving the loss of my addiction. oh the freedom I would have had if I wasn’t in recovery. but then again I look at the Freedom from addiction that I experience at all other times and I remember that I don’t want to compromise that. God grant me the serenity

 

 

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