poem, Recovery, SLAA

Maybe …


Maybe it is just the heat, or maybe I feel this way cause I over eat, or do I eat because of the things I can’t defeat

How about just a treat, maybe I will fall standing on my feet, who am I kidding, recovery isn’t an easy feat

All this hard work, all this pain all the energy I could deplete

If I were to give in.

The heat is causing people to strip, shorts and pants barely hanging above the hip! Guys with sexy abs filling me with shame and my tummy size has only me to blame.

Should I diet? Or have one more bite? LCHF or run up a cliff, or maybe some sit-ups and push-ups.

I could go to the Gym, and hope not to lust over he and him. I could make my amends and give up the false pretence. Or I could do the pile of work that has been accumulating, that must be better than procrastinating.

I can’t live life the same way I did. I had a smile I had wit, I had patience my wife couldn’t get. I can’t get lean and pretend to be clean while having sex like a machine. I can’t binge eat and get fat on each treat and be unexplainably depressed I can’t keep lying and watch the time flying I can’t just live life the same way I did and all I feel like doing now is get another hit.

 

Standard
Recovery, SLAA

Step 8 – Made a list and became willing


Step 8 says: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

The first half of step eight is about making a list. Technically the list would have been made in Step four. The people I had harmed would exist somewhere on my resentment sheet or sexual inventory/general harm. Hey that is easy. Copy and paste did the trick. Then as I continue to pray and continue to reflect on my list I started remembering names that escaped step four. The list grew slightly bigger than when it first started. My recovery tells me that I will find a few more names, as time goes by, that I will need to add to the list and make amends to them all.

As I was putting the list together I started thinking of the amends I have to make, how will I make them and when, what will I tell these people. One of the things that I struggled with the most are people that I had resentment towards and the thought of how humbling and potentially humiliating it would be to go say I am sorry. For some names I might not be that ready, but I am willing.

I talked to my sponsor yesterday and we agreed that I have now completed step 8. I will move to step 9, and start making direct amends. I had an outreach call with another SLAA earlier today and he was the first I told that I completed step 8 and moving on to make amends. As I shared that with him I felt my heart racing. Now as I type this I am getting the same feeling. It is probably the public admission that I am about to take my recovery outside the circle of the fellowship. On some level it is a scary thought. But if that is what it takes, I will do it, with God’s Help.

Standard
Recovery, SLAA

The Cute cleaner is just a person


I just finished my F2F SLAA meeting and head to the office to get some work done. On the way up I saw a young man in the darkness of the night walking out of the office building to light a cigarette. He looked cute. I hoped he’d make eye contact, or he’d follow me back into the building.

I go up to the office sit at my desk, and then he shows up. He is the cleaner. oh NICE! I am in the office alone with another boy who I would so much like to act out with or obsess about the possibility of doing so. I decided to bookend it and sent a message to a SLAA member by WhatsApp. Then then young man said: “you are very hardworking”, cause I am in the office late apparently. From his accent I knew he is from China. I had lived in China for a bit and I spoke a few phrases in Chinese so I said hello, we exchange a bit of small talk and he was impressed/surprised that I spoke his mother tongue, or maybe comforted by the familiarity while in a foreign environment. Then we started talking about his struggle with English, and how he moved here to be with his girlfriend and that’s when I thought in my head “Oh Loving God, He is not Gay, Thank you”. Slowly I saw more of the person and less of the Fantasy. He really isn’t that cute “sexually” but he is a wonderful person, he left everything behind to be with his girlfriend. He had wealth and career and now he is just a cleaner to be with his girlfriend. A few minutes later, the girlfriend shows up, apparently they are both in the cleaning business and she was in the office with us, so I am not alone, I am witnessing a wonderful couple work hard to start their relationship that I would have previously ignored with the hope of “getting some”, regardless of what impact that might have had on him, her, or their relationship

How grateful I am to be sober today. Thank you God.

Standard
Recovery, SLAA

The Accidental Withdrawal


Withdrawal is a topic that came up over and over in SLAA meetings, it is even something experienced lightly for a very brief period when I first started working the program.

I have been sober for 9 weeks now. It is fair to call out that I am not doing a full withdrawal as part of my program. I can’t believe I am sharing this on a blog but, well, it is a relevant piece of information and this is a recovery blog about a sex addiction anyway. So here we go. I am still enjoying sex with my wife on somewhat regular basis, once a week or thereabout.

So I found myself going through an accidental withdrawal for just over two or three weeks.  I actually don’t know the exact count but it felt like 2 to 3 weeks. It wasn’t planned it just happened that my wife and I haven’t had sex for a while. Either busy or tired or not in the mood. I was HORNY… Surprise? Not really. I was aware that these are withdrawal symptoms and I thought I’d pull through to experience what it is like.

Two nights ago I was watching a Stand Up comedian on YouTube, innocent right? Then the guy starts talking about Channing Tatum’s movie “Magic Mike”, which is a male stripping movie. I looked up the movie on YouTube and then Daniel Radcliffe’s gay scene from the movie “Kill your darlings” shows up as one of the recommended Videos! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

I played it of course. It was not a porn kind of scene but it was hot, it aroused me, and got me hocked on all sort of videos on YouTube for over 10 minutes, I knew it was my addict at play. I didn’t watch porn but I explored all these gay relationship clips I could see without feeling that I am compromising my sobriety. It was HARD (as in difficult, this wasn’t meant to be anything else)

Next morning, a normal day took place, I was busy with this and that, kids, house, blah blah, then I went to my SLAA face to face meeting, then got home, kids asleep, AND the wife asked for me. We had sex. And it was almost like it was all okay after that. I know it wasn’t my addict who had sex with her. It was intimate, it was fun for both of us, and it was her who initiated it. But I also know that my addict got something out of it because of that release it offered. It scared me to think of what sobriety would look like if I didn’t have sex with my wife on regular basis, or if I wasn’t married for whatever reason. yes having a wonderful sex with my wife is an amazing by-product of sobriety but I don’t want it to be the main one, I want to be me, whole and complete without sex, and then have sex offer the high it does to normal people rather than have sex offer a rescue for a miserable addict who is desperate for a fix.

Like if you like, share if you think it might help someone, and certainly comment and share your thoughts and feedback, but be kind, I am in early recovery.

Standard
SLAA

Mourning a loss


4 years ago I attended a large event, there was a party, there were a lot of people, loud music, entertainment, food, etc. I didn’t know a lot of people, then I saw a good looking guy, we started talking, long story short we acted out.

Since then, every year I went to that event hoping I would bump into him. I was also always on the lookout for others with whom I could act out.

So it is this time of the year again. This time it is different. I was actually asked to assist with organizing an aspect of the event. So I have work to do. This year it is different for a more important reason, I am in #SLAA I have been in the program for close to 3 months now, been sober for 7 weeks!

First day started kind of slow, found out that the person I will be working with throughout the week is a cute young man, REALLY CUTE!! That was the first scare to add to my personal history. so I met the guy, we agreed on how certain things needed to be done, asked him what he needed from me then I went off for the rest of the day.

Second day was a really busy one, I had little sleep the night before, was on my feet most of the day, then came the hard part, Keynote followed by the PARTY, there were a lot of people, loud music, entertainment, food, etc. I found myself overcome with anxiety, overwhelmed by the familiar experience. Overwhelmed by remembering past behavioural patterns. I was so tired, so hungry and I had work to do but the only thing I could do is grab a bite at the party and rush out to attend a SLAA meeting. In the meeting I felt so tired, I shared to get it out of my system but I still had much to deal with, I cried on the drive back from the meeting. I then went to the office to take a call with my sponsor and I was in tears.

My sponsor pointed out a few things that resonated but hurt. He said things like “recovery doesn’t mean you won’t have cravings” or “being sober doesn’t mean you won’t find others attractive” or the one that killed me and hit the nail on the head was: “maybe you are mourning the fact that you won’t ‘enjoy’ acting out again if you were to stay sober”. That comment hit home in a way I didn’t like. It is true! I miss acting out. I miss the ability to be loose, the act of losing myself into something I didn’t deserve just because of its thrill or the short term effect it had on me, helping to distract me away from my real feelings and emotions, preventing me from having to deal with them or deal with life. Tears are fighting to get out as I type these lines.

Third day started well despite the exhaustion, things were going smooth until I found myself spontaneously offering the cute young man I am working with a ride home. I enjoyed having him close by for a bit longer, he asked questions and I answered some about career as he is about to start mine and I am a decade of experience ahead of him. I also volunteered advice and enjoyed his interest in what I had to say. I love being around young people and I do that in a number of volunteer efforts to help develop them, but this night I knew that the addict in me enjoyed his company more than anything, the addict in me was getting a high from the close proximity to such good looking young man. And the addict in me freaked me out and scared me as I realized that it is in action.

Fourth and fifth day went alright, in fact the fifth day is still in action as I type these words and I am hoping it keeps going alright. I feel sad having to say goodbye to this young man, I am obsessing over him a little. But I will say goodbye because I am working on distinguishing between willingness and wilfulness. I will pray and thank God for keeping me safe, keeping me sober and giving me what I needed -to do what I had to do – to stay that way.

I am in pain and I am still sober and I am still on the journey

 

Standard
SLAA

I am a Sex and Love Addict


Now that I think about it, sex and sexuality have always been something on my mind. I was chatting with a SLA from the US and he was talking about addiction as a permanent disease, saying “this is it, we can’t go back to that point before we became sex addicts”. When I think about that statement it makes me wonder, even if that is what I wanted, or if that was even possible, I don’t know if such point existed in my life. I don’t recall a time in my life where I didn’t obsess over body parts, sensual thoughts, etc. Could that mean I was born an addict? Or was there something in an earlier part of my childhood prior to my registered memory that affected me in that regard? Is it that I can’t remember it because of how early it happened? or because I blocked it out? I guess I might never know and that doesn’t really matter. I discovered over the years that finding out the reason for why something happened isn’t always a factor in how it might turn out in the future. (This isn’t a general rule though but it applies very well here).

 

Over the years sexuality was a confusing matter, but then eventually I came to grips with the fact that I have homosexual attractions, yet I always wanted to marry and have kids. Forget about the drive behind that desire, the end result is I am married and I have two children. I guess in many ways I coped with my sexual orientation by surrounding myself with female friends and a set of platonic gay friends. It helped me be who I am and express part of me that needed to be expressed. (Not necessarily sexually)

 

Over the years, the number of such friends rapidly changed and my wife and I became surrounded by other married couples with children. The “natural” segregation in many of the gatherings with such friends was, men in one corner and women in the other. I found myself stuck among a group of heterosexual men that I couldn’t relate to, couldn’t be part of their conversations nor am I the least bit intrigued by their interests. Also something about the group of men I hung out with, I missed any sort of intimate connection. A connection that I had with my gay friends and female friends that are no longer around me. I suffered mostly in silence, mostly unaware of the source of suffering, and then the suffering steadily took its toll on my marriage.

 

A year ago I was training to be a counsellor and as part of that I got access to a therapist. We led a journey of search and explorations in various aspects of my personality, sexuality, marriage, career, childhood and much more. Through that search I came to the faulty conclusion that the suffering is because of my inability to express elements of my personality pertaining to my sexual orientation. So I decided to reach out to other men who are in similar circumstances to mine. Married or committed to a female partner and dealing with homosexual attractions. The idea was to start a support group for such men. I decided to educate myself in preparation for this support group. I talked to a number of people, support organisations for Gay and Married men in various countries, research departments for religious organisations that dealt with similar matters and of course therapists. One of the therapists I talked to suggested I look into 12 steps groups there might be something I could learn from them.

 

That suggestion was easily 7 months old when I went to an AA meeting for the first time. In the AA meeting I found out about SLAA. SLAA had meetings in town and two weeks later I went to the first one. I was very nervous. When I heard the sharing of some of the members I was stunned at how much I related, I was sitting among a bunch of heterosexual men and I related to their experience. And the penny dropped, my suffering had nothing to do with my orientation. I am a Sex and Love Addict.

Standard