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.
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.
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
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
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.
My mom is visiting us for the last few months. This is the first time mom and I are in the same place since I started my recovery. regardless of proximity recovery had a huge impact on my relationship with my mom, it is getting progressively better every day. Now with her being with me and my family it is making it even easier for that relationship to improve.
It is relevant to share that my father is also a sex addict (not sure if I shared that in other posts). I only recognized this only after I came to SLAA. I started talking to my mom about the addiction without mentioning that I am an addict and when she came to visit me I took her to S-Anon (for families and friends of Sexholics). I have been going with her on weekly basis and translate to her and translate her shares to the group. which also helped her find her recovery from my dad’s betrayals. but as a result I was so fearful to tell my mom that I am also an addict. I didn’t want her to consider that I am siding my dad because I am like him. so I kept it a secret.
When I made amends to my mom as part of my Step 9, I apologized for the harm and the character defects but I didn’t mention anything about my recovery or being in SLAA. that also went alright.
I really wanted to tell my mom about me being in the Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous Fellowship. I wasn’t sure how, I wasn’t sure what the impact would be. Yesterday, before I left for work, I told her “there is something I want to talk to you about”. she asked “what?”, I said “later, I am going to work now”. she said “you’ll leave me worried now, just tell me what it is about”. so anyway I sat next to her and told her that I am also a sex and love addict, and it might be hereditary. (not necessarily genetically but through being brought up by a sex addict). she said “I thought you might be, because I researched and there are so many cases where children of sex addicts are sex addicts” and then she went on to assure me that she is not upset. she was proud of me that I am working the steps and that I am focusing on my recovery. 🙂
This morning, also before I get on my way to work, we started talking. the conversation was heading in a direction that wouldn’t make sense if she doesn’t know I am gay. so I had two options if I want to remain rigorously honest, either stop the conversation or come out. I decided to come out. I told her “okay there is something else I need to tell you that might be a shock”, “I am gay”. then I went on to tell her the full story, my ex-boyfriend, my challenge with my marriage, the therapy journey, the support group I wanted to start, and eventually, SLAA.
The minutes that followed were probably the most significant in my life, even more so than that time I held my son for the first time. my mom looked at me and said “I am not shocked, on the contrary, this solved so many puzzles for me and answered a lot of question marks. I always felt that you were very secretive and I never understood what is it you are hiding and why, you felt so distant. now I know why. now I feel like I have my Son. (tears gushed out every time I reach this part when I shared this story today). She hugged me and told me she loved me. I felt so loved, so accepted, so whole and so complete.
my relationship with my mom was instrumental in me feeling “not good enough”. I was often compared with other children in terms of how they perform in school, how tidy they are, how obedient to their parents etc. I always felt that whatever I did won’t be enough, and at some point I resentfully came to terms with this and stopped trying. now with everything that she knows about me, she said “I LOVE YOU” and that she is proud of me.
Thank God for Recovery
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