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

 

Standard
SafeTrip, SLAA

SafeTrip4 – Day 6 I am home


so I did fall asleep shortly after I published my last post. I woke up at three in the morning to find the lights on, I went to put the laundry in the drier, turn off the lights and get back to sleep. I got up a bit after six, got the dry laundry out, got dressed and called my sponsor as I took my morning walk.

Most of the call I chatted with my sponsor about the male grooming session I had, he asked question to help me examine my motive of doing this. a lot of it was how I feel rather than how it looks. I will certainly do it again but I will always make sure I investigate the place I investigate the place I am going to and bookend before and after.

I got back to the place I am staying, showered, got dressed and got in a cab to go to the SLAA retreat. what a blessing that there is a retreat on the day. I couldn’t spend more than three hours but I am glad I went anyway. after I left the retreat I went for a final round of shopping. if had a lot of disposable income I would rapidly turn into a shopoholic. I really enjoy buying new cloths hehehe.

finished my shopping, got back to the house, dumped my stuff and went for a walk to the food court to eat my first meal of the day, (yeah I didn’t have breakfast and lunch at the retreat was Pizza and I am avoiding carbs) I again went out without my phone, just got my wallet to pay for food and buy a few more items that my wife had asked for. when I returned I had a slow and leisurely time packing my stuff. I only needed to leave the house at about 7 pm, and generally I would still be packing and not yet dressed until 5 minutes before i have to leave. this time i was fully packed and had a cab booked by 6 PM.

Got to the airport, and went straight to the lounge, had a bottle of water and started watching a movie on my tablet. when it was time I went to the gate, boarded, and I fell asleep before take off. i didn’t even put my seatbelt on. (lucky they didn’t notice. they woke me up for the first meal and I denied it and went back to sleep. It was a 10 hour flight and I probably slept for 7 hours in total.

I got home, had a nap then spend time with the family, then we had guests over for dinner, all happy and well. I am showered, I said my prayers and i will finish typing this and go to sleep.

thanks for keeping me company. my next trip is to Egypt in 3 weeks. i might post something before then.

Standard
SafeTrip, SLAA

SafeTrip4 – Day 2


after I wrote to you yesterday I carried on with my work calls/emails for a couple of hours, had a shower, packed my stuff and left the apartment I am staying in to go check into the hotel. I am staying in a hotel for a few nights cause I am here on work visit. after I checked in, I went to a male grooming saloon, I checked it to make sure it is not a dodgy one and to make sure I am not putting myself at risk. I bookended before and after the session with another member from the fellowship.

Got back to my room for a quick shower and to change before I go out again. As i was packing my bag to head out I saw my compass. I immediately rememberred that i didn’t say my prayers. so I looked up the directions and said my prayers. 🙂 I am so grateful for that reminder.

when I finished i carried on with the errands I needed to run with various government agencies and embassies. again I was really lucky in being able to get so much done in so little time. I am a very lucky man in general. it shows in most of my dealings. my wife was talking to me and said “you don’t need to buy lotto”! my answer was “of course I don’t, why waste time and energy in the pursuit when my life is full of winning”

later in the afternoon I went shopping for a suit for my sister’s wedding next month. I was looking for a suit for a bit now and i didn’t find something i like within my price range. but this time i was lucky again, found a really affordable and really good looking suit. I still need shirt, shoes and tie but hey, i am a lucky guy so i will find them i am sure.

paid for the suit, got to my room, dropped the suit off and just rested on the bed for a bit after a long day of walking. I had only 15 minutes of down time before i had to head out to dinner with my sister in law and her family. when we met it was a great catching up session but the food could be improved. so I left happy but not full. got to my hotel room, orderred room service, ate and slept.

I had a really good sleep, I was in bed just a bit after ten, I got up briefly at 4 then went back to bed till 5. at 5:30 I wend down to the Gym for a bit, did a bit of cross trainer which i didn’t like it, so i took it outside and started walking in the dark till 6:30. Had a nice walk and a good outreach call. got back to my room, took a shower, ironed a shirt and started to get ready for work.

I met my colleagues for breakfast and the day started. I managed to find a few minutes of alone time to type this. 🙂

thanks for keeping me company

 

Standard
SafeTrip, SLAA

SafeTrip4 – Day 1


it is kind of day one and a half. so the flight was uneventful, i sat on an aisle seat in the middle section of the plane so i don’t have to interrupt anyone or be interrupted as people want to go to the toilette. when I landed in Singapore I was welcomed by two of my good friends who live in Johor Bahru, Malaysia (it shares boarders with Singapore) we had a nice short road trip to there house. we had a nice chat and caught up, then it was bed time. I slep relatively well.

I was up at 5 am which is the usual time i wake up in this part of the world do to Jet Lag. showered, said my prayers and started doing work. then when everyone was up we had a really nice breakfast together followed by a leisurely walk in their neighbourhood. then my friend drove me back across the boarders to Singapore.

I had some errands to run that involved embassies and government agencies and phone providers. To summarize it all, i was very lucky, i got most everything done within the time frame I had anticipated.  finished, got back to the place I am staying in by 4 pm and I was hungry. I plugged my phones to charge (yes i have two of them) and left the house phoneless, with just some cash in my pocket. i took a slow walk to the food court, had a meal cause I had eaten nothing since breakfast then a bit of shopping and walked back to the house. it was probably the first time in a long time I left the house without phones. then i had a nice down time relaxing before i hit the road again to attend a meeting.

I made it to the Monday meeting, it was good to see some familiar faces and a lot of new ones. more people are attracted to recovery. I caught up with a friend after the meeting then got back to the house and slept.

I had a good four hours of sleep and woke up at 4 am. Had a couple of calls with sponsees and recovery partners, did a bit of work, then had a call with my sponsor while walking around the stadium for half an hour, I did about 5 thousand steps during that time. now i am sweaty and sticky doing a bit of work, typing this, then i will go have a shower, say my prayers and get on with my day 🙂

Standard
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.

Standard
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 🙂

 

Standard
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

 

Standard
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)

 

Standard
Fasting, Recovery, SLAA

Fast Reflections Day 16


usual stuff at night, I am used to it by now (who am kidding, I need more sleep)

In the morning, after breakfast my wife said: “Honey I think you should go to a meeting”. she said it in the nicest way possible. she talked about how she notices that I missed and that she misses the impact it has on me and on the family. she was very sweet about it. And I did really miss the meetings.

there is a meeting on every Tuesday evening that I could go to. but I was wondering if staying away from home for so long will be an issue with the kids and my wife. so she said “let’s play it by ear and I will let you know if we need you to come home early. otherwise, please go to the meeting”

it was really nice to hear that. the day went really well, I five phone calls with 2 of my sponsees who needed a lot of support, I had a productive day at work and the time flew by. in the afternoon, I called home and asked how things were, and all was well. I am free to go to the meeting.

the meeting started at 7:30 and sunset was at 7:38 so that meant no dinner for me before the meeting ended. but it was worth it. I really needed the meeting.

by the time I got to the meeting I was really tired. and really happy. I had a quick chat with someone in the room about working the program. his version of working with a sponsor was asking someone to be his sponsor, when the person said no, he kept calling him anyway, and he still calls him “unofficial sponsor”. it was an interesting concept, but as my sponsor always reminded me, we don’t have monopoly on recovery.  when the meeting started, he happened to be the chair person. it was a topic meeting. he chose the topic “working the program”. it was really cool. in the process I was gracefully made present to my character defect “EGO” I was trying really hard to practice humility.

the meeting ended, I rushed home, had a very nice meal cooked by my mom, then spent a bit of time with my wife and baby girl before I went to sleep. I took my laptop with me to bed to write this but I fell asleep right away. so I am writing this a day later. but you won’t judge me for the delay would you?

would be nice to hear your thoughts 😉 any of’em

more reflections to come.

 

Standard