Fasting, Recovery, SLAA

Fast Reflections day 12


I can’t believe, there is only one week to go before the fast finishes. no wonder it is called fast.

last night I woke up at three in the morning not sure why. I took advantage of that and decided to take my son to pee before he wets his bed again for the third night. I lifted him up from his bed and as I took a step I kicked my shin in his bed from so hard, I almost fell face down with my son in my hand but I manage to lean against the wall instead. it was so painful. anyway I kept it to myself and took him to the toilette. on the way back to place him back on his bad, I kicked the bed with my other leg hurting my other shin so bad. in so much pain I went to add get some ice. long story short it took me a while to get back to sleep. I am laughing as I type this.

I managed to eventually fall back asleep till 6:30 am when my mom woke me up to have breakfast. kids woke up shortly after we finished eating and the mourning routine started. I took my mom with me to go drop the kids off to their day care etc. after we dropped the kids we went to the hospital and spend a good hour with my wife and baby. my new born baby girl recovered well and her jaundice levels normalized. she is feeding well and happy. and she is to leave the hospital the next day.

I got home to do a bit more work and get the one last thing sorted before my baby can be discharged. getting an infant capsule fitted in the car. we had borrowed a capsule from a friend of ours but I couldn’t fit it in the car. it uses hooks that don’t fit my car. so I needed to last minute go and find a new car seat. I ran from one mall to another till I finally got the capsule. after that I got back to the hospital to take care of my baby while my wife takes a nap. I had a blissful 90 minutes of having my daughter sleep in my arms. she is so adorable.

then I got home to spend a bit of time with the kids before I had to disappear for the SLAA.NZ Skype meeting. My mom and my mom in law were able to help put the kids to sleep while I host the call. I was glad I got the Skype meeting going because it was probably the only meeting I could attend this week.

when I finished I had a late dinner with my mom and my mom in law followed by a lovely chat and good laugh before we all got to bed.

while I type this my daughter kept rolling off her bad onto my lap and back on her bad, she is so cute. I am such a lucky father.

more reflections to come

 

Standard
Fasting, Recovery, SLAA

Fast reflections day 11


another exhausting day. my 4-year-old wet his bed for the second night in a row. I woke up at 4 am to change sheets and wash him up. I am wondering if that is because of the new sister. my 2-year-old was also unsettled in her sleep so I pretty much had very little sleep and I am not a good person when I don’t get enough sleep.

while I was planning to work mornings only this week, my job allows me flexibility. I decided to push work aside to the afternoon and went with my mom in law to the hospital after we dropped the kids off at day care. we spent a bit of time with my wife and baby then went to run some errands. I got home to do some work and then took my mom to pick the kids up and go to the hospital so the kids can spend some time with their sister and mom.

when we got back from the hospital we spent a bit of time playing then showering the kids, feeding them dinner, hoping to put them to bed early. IT TOOK TWO HOURS! I am fasting, I am tired and really grumpy. I wasn’t the best farther. actually I was a terrible father. I snapped at the kids.

I am really tired AGAIN (I bet you are tired reading that I am tired). but well. I love that I get to sleep and have another day tomorrow

More reflections to come.

 

Standard
Fasting, Recovery

Fast Reflections Day 10


after the rough night I told you about in my previous post I just went on with the day as per usual. I woke up a bit late today as my mom got up early to prepare breakfast for us. I tired to go back to sleep for a bit before the kids got up. I probably clocked half an our of extra rest.

I started working shortly after the kids got up and started having their breakfast and I wasn’t the most productive. wasted a lot of time. I was tired and unmotivated. but well I did get a few things done. I stopped work just past midday and went for a short nap then took a shower and got on my way to the hospital. I spent most of the afternoon with my wife and the baby.

there is really very little that we have control over. too many variables around us. controls is an illusion indeed. so my baby has jaundice, really strong. she needs to go through phototherapy. also she needs a bit more food that what she is currently getting through breastfeeding. as she is too lethargic to suck properly. the nurse was very sympathetic, and attentive. we got a pump for my wife to start expressing her milk and give the baby more milk that what they get by sucking. the story brought back the painful memories of our first child’s jaundice and breastfeeding challenges. we had so many issues with him that it was too painful, I didn’t want to have another child as a result (and look at us having three).

I have strong opinions about breastfeeding, jaundice and infant care. I had asserted many of these opinions with health professionals and with my wife when my first was born. it was terrible. combined with my wife’s post natal depression, it was a recipe for disaster. this time I was able to recognize the “self-seeking” character defect and the desire to be right and to control everything around me. I tried so hard to detach from these ideas and let things flow. I tried as much as possible to just be present, and support my wife through what she is going through.

I kept identifying her feelings and acknowledging them, then I asked how can I be helpful? she said, you are doing it! you are being helpful. I felt so privileged to have the chance to be the husband she needed at that point of time. and felt so blessed to have such family.

I came to a mother in distress who was in tears and feeling helpless, frustrated and worried and left a happy woman who was smiling while breastfeeding, pumping and holding our daughter to the UV light all at the same time.

Thank God for recovery

I got home, fed the kids dinner, put them to sleep with a little help from my mom in law. and then it was time for me to break the fast with my mom and the rest of the evening went really well. we said some healing prayers for my daughter and my wife and now I am typing this and will be ready to sleep.

more reflections to come

Standard
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

 

 

Standard
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

Angry at my Son and I blame recovery


Here is another one of those eye openers I referred to in my previous post.

Most recently I have been having an increasingly difficult time with my kids’ bed time routine. My son takes forever to go to bed and the last few times I put him to sleep up until the point mentioned in this post I actually raised my voice and threatened of different types of punishment if he were not to stop fussing/tossing/talking or whatever else he does to stall and prolong the process. And I hated myself every time afterwards.

The time I want to mention here was a new low. And it wasn’t even night time, it was nap time. He was really tired and he really needed to nap. Or more like I needed him to nap so that he is well rested and we don’t spend the rest of the day with a grumpy child. We started fine and the pattern followed. This time I hit a new low. I got really upset with his tossing and the subject this time was that the cover wasn’t adjusted properly. I got so angry I snatched the cover while yelling “stop this” and as I placed the cover after snatching it, it hit his face. I had no intention of hitting him, and this is the first time I ever did such thing. Even though the intention wasn’t to hit and the cover hitting his face was accidental and wasn’t too painful, it was a shock to him. And more importantly a shock to me. What happened to me?

Let’s take a few steps back. As a young man, I thought parents around me sucked big time. I arrogantly wanted to have children to show the world how it is done. I knew I was going to be the “perfect” parent. As if such thing existed. I did eventually realize that I am not a perfect parent and that parenting is harder than what I thought it would be. That being said I still pride myself on how I kept my cool. I was always calm and thoughtful about my parenting decisions in the most stressful situations. I could face hours and hours of grumpiness and constant crying but still stay “Zen”. I was the parent described in the book “Scream Free Parenting”. I also made my wife feel terrible about herself as a mother for snapping at the kids. Questioning her ability to mother if she couldn’t keep it together. That was the case before recovery. And so that you know, my wife is on my step 4 resentment list for snapping at the kids.

Now back to the day mentioned earlier. I was feeling miserable the rest of the day. My wife asked me “what’s wrong?” I told her that I hit our son and shared what happened. She gave me a hug and said “I relate.” We chatted about it further and as we were discussing she asked me “could this have anything to do with your recovery? Cause I never saw you so angry!” It got me thinking. Then she added “as crazy as it sounds, it makes you more human. It always amazed me how you never snapped at them”

She was right, and I know the reason why I was so calm with the kids. I was under the influence. I was high on acting out. I had the “perfect” way to process such overwhelming emotions. Now that I am sober I am faced with the real beast within me. My character defects that need to be removed rather than be sexually medicated. I found myself tearing and saying sorry to my wife. When she asked what for, I replied “a whole lot of stuff”. this is not my amends making but this experience will contribute to my amends making process.

As for my son. I have been attempting things differently. I start bed time routine by explaining that I understand he doesn’t want to sleep. Or that he finds it difficult to sleep. I tell him about things that he found once frustrated and now he masters. I tell him that it is okay he finds falling asleep difficult and that he will need to learn to fall asleep. Whenever he fusses and provokes me to get the pattern started I remind him that “dad will not yell at you tonight” and that I will support him to help him fall asleep. It is been only a couple of days but I feel like my relationship with my son is going in a slightly more positive direction than the one it was headed towards prior to this realization.

Standard
Recovery, SLAA

Angry at my mother and saved by recovery


A few things happened this week that were eye openers. I will dedicate one post to each of them. And here is a first.

24th December was the last working day in 2014 for me. We were invited for dinner as a family and we needed to bring a plate and my son was already on school holiday. I had originally planned to work from home that day to help my mom with the food preparation and with looking after my son while my wife is at work.

Two things changed the plan, one I woke up to find my mom not well and still in bed. Two I realized I needed to hand in some receipts at work so I needed to drive to the office. So I told my mom to remain at home and rest, I will drive my daughter to day care, and take my son to work with me. Just as I left the house my mom got up and started to prepare food. I did what I needed to do at work and spent most of the time being with my son. When he got bored we decided to head back home. I got home to find my mom didn’t sit still. Food was almost all ready and she didn’t rest. I went to put my son down for his nap and told her to go rest. I told her that I will take a short nap and go pick my daughter up from day care.

I had a nice short nap, woke up, and found the car is gone. My mom had taken it to go pick my daughter up. I WAS FUMING. How could she do that? despite me telling her to rest and that I will go to pick my daughter up. I could go on about how worried about my mom’s health and wellbeing etc. which is true, but the real reason I was upset is that she didn’t conform to my plan. My arm was twisted. I was not in control.

I had an outreach call with another SLAA Member and when I was done I was still fuming. My mom came back with my daughter and walked in to my room seconds after I finished my call. I told her that I was upset and I needed time alone to say my prayers then I will come and talk to her. She left, I closed the door and said my prayers quietly and meditated. When I finished. I went and talked to her. I explained that the reason I was upset is that I had a plan and things didn’t go according to my plan. I gave her a hug and we were good. And while I didn’t expect nor ask for an apology she apologised that her action triggered my upset.

The above situation resemble many others of similar nature and it always went terribly, with blame, accusations and mom and I really upset for days (or months) so the face that this took minutes was only a blessing of the recovery process.

Standard
SLAA

A year ago today


At this exact hour, a year ago, my brother was hit by a tram in Cairo and passed away almost instantly. That time I was out with a friend having a drink and a chat. It was about an hour after his death that I got a call from my mom yelling “your brother died”! That phrased still rings in my ears every now and then. I felt like a bullet imploded in my stomach.

I flew back home to be with my family. It took me almost 2 full days before I could reach Cairo from NZ so they had to bury him before I came back. Everyone was sad but it was normal to not have him around in family gatherings. We lived in two different countries for years and it was okay that he is not around. He will eventually appear and we will talk and catch up. Or he will call me or I will call him. When I left home six weeks later, I snapped back into life, kids, work, wife and marital problems etc. I lived in the perfect denial.

I decided to host a memorial service for his soul on the 15th of June which marks 6 months on his passing. That was the hardest part of the year. I planning his memorial service was an admission from me that he is gone. Pain takes over me as I type these lines and find myself overcome with tears. I felt so much pain, I was almost not fit to drive, work, or just do normal day to day stuff. 10 days later I attended my first SLAA meeting. It was the perfect distraction. If you’ve been following my blog you’d notice that I may have never mentioned my brother. And you’d know how much I immersed myself in my recovery.

Yesterday I was in a face to face SLAA meeting. I had so much to share and then I talked about my brother’s anniversary and found it difficult to hold back my tears. After the meeting I was approached by a couple of SLAA members, they tried to console me, but I really needed a moment alone. I dashed outside the hall and started weeping. When I came back in I was warmly welcomed and everyone was very nice. Well they are always very nice anyway. then I shared how the year have been with me, how I dealt with his loss so far and just couldn’t hold it back, I collapsed into tears and this friend of mine hugged me and gave me a shoulder to cry on. With however much pain I was going through, this was a magical moment. I was vulnerable in the arms of another man without sexualizing the situation. It was nothing I would have dreamed of before SLAA. And I know that I did sexualize a hug from a close male friend when I had just found out about my brother’s passing.

Just as I was driving off another SLAA member got into my car and we started talking. He shared about the loss of his father and heard me share what I am going through and we connected. I am so glad for the fellowship.

Today I took the day off, spent it with my mom, we went out to lunch then sat somewhere quiet to pray and remember my brother. We laughed and cried and talked. I had a good rest of the day, my kids were so easy to put to sleep and now I am typing this. I will continue to pray and remember him and his soul and continue to cherish the sobriety that allowed me to honour my brothers passing at a level I never knew I was capable off.

Standard
SafeTrip, SLAA

#SafeTrip2 – Day Three


Not sure how to describe yesterday from a recovery point of view but I will tell you what happened anyway.

So I went to work, had a couple of long meetings then I went with a colleague to a costume shop to rent our outfit for the evening function. We ended up dressing up as Julius Caesar and Mark Antony as part of the movie theme Cleopatra. Then I got back to the hotel because I was tired. I tried to nap and I couldn’t so I went down to the pool and did a couple of laps and got back to my room to get ready.

The function was kind of fun, but I wasn’t as into it as I used to be in previous years. Maybe cause I was still tired. And maybe cause was not actively trying to pursue someone or hoping to be pursued by someone. Not sure. But anyway. I played along, had some fun.

At some point towards the end I was really tired, and slightly displeased cause I wasn’t attracting as much attention as I did in previous similar functions. I wasn’t nominated for best costume, I didn’t win any of the lucky draw prises and the event didn’t follow my plan. So I started noticing myself feeling slightly resentful. Lucky for me I didn’t act out BUT I did something else I wasn’t supposed to do. I have been on a sugar free diet for a few weeks and I am not eating carbs either. Last night after a certain point I went looking for the dessert table and just started eating one piece of dessert after another. Then when I went back to my table I felt a milder version of the same guilt I felt when I acted out in the past after periods of abstinence.

I got back to my hotel room, said my prayers and went straight to bed. I didn’t want to sleep but I really needed to. I am not as restful as I would like to be but I will take it easy today. I am looking forward to the SLAA NZ Skype Meeting this afternoon.

Alright, time for breakfast. Thanks for reading.

 

Standard