I started therapy in June 2013. When therapy first started I had a clear agenda in mind, a clear goal that I wanted to achieve through therapy. The Goal was largely to discover myself and build my skills towards being a face to face therapist myself.
Every session, my therapist started by asking me “how would you like to use the time today?” I almost always had an answer to that question, sometimes a clearer answer than others but I always answered the question with something. I had things figured out, I had control in areas of my life and knew of other areas where control didn’t exist. Where I didn’t have control I basically worked to gain control. My therapist continuously challenged the notion of control and highlighted how important it is to me. Reflecting back, my answers were in many ways to drive the session in a direction that gives me access to certain skills and information, as well as self-awareness, to control certain outcomes, and gain control over a given plan.
It was somewhat indirectly but it is ultimately through therapy that I eventually got to SLAA. Check out my “I am a sex and Love Addict” blog post for background.
When I came to SLAA just over six weeks ago I was wondering about the role of therapy in my new found addiction. During the first couple of weeks I got connected to SLA who later became my sponsor. This gentleman always started his phone calls with me by asking “how can I be of help?” and I never know how to answer that question. I am unaware of how to move forward, I don’t know what steps to take and what help to ask for. It was interesting the discrepancy between how I answered my therapist’s question and how I answered (or struggled to answer) my sponsor’s question.
I had one therapy session shortly after I came to SLAA. In that session my therapist asked me “how can I assist you in this journey?” and this time I bounced the question back to her. I shared that I don’t know, and asked “how do you think you could assist me?” She suggested something and we agreed that we will meet a couple of weeks later to attempt that approach. That was three weeks ago. Today was the scheduled session. Half way through the session it became somewhat clear to me that it is time to put therapy on hold. It looks like my therapist saw it too. She asked me, “do you still see therapy to be relevant or would you like to put that on hold?” and I found myself saying that I would like to put it on hold. We managed to spend a few minutes getting closure. I gave her feedback on how our yearlong therapy relationship went. I thanked her for the space she allowed me, for the resources she shared, the transparency she offered in her approach to therapy. She also was able to share words of encouragement and thank me for the feedback and the closure.
This therapy relationship was a wonderful one, it was not something I wanted to end, and I only felt safe to do so because I have my Higher Power, I have my sponsor and I have the SLAA Fellowship.
It should be simple math isn’t it, and I am good at math. so I am working on my step 4 as I mentioned on my last blog and I am making some progress.
Right now I am working on my resentment list. I thought I don’t have a lot of resentment but then occasionally something comes up that I didn’t want to admit or put on the list. like the video guy that ruined my wedding video. as I go through the list and try to get to the exact nature of my wrong it gets hard and emotional sometimes. It sometimes feels like I am letting them off the hook if I were to admit my wrongs. I know it isn’t the case but sometimes it does feel that way.
so there is a person that needs to make it to my resentment list and while thinking about them and about what could possibly by my part in it, I started jumping ahead, and thinking well they are a person I harmed, so they are going to be on my step 8 list, then oh dear does that mean I have to make amends when I get to step 9? HELL NO, they are the bad ones not me, I am not making amends!!
I had an emotional phone call with my sponsor, shared with him how I feel, he validated my emotions and my struggle, reminded me that it is MY inventory not theirs, and looking at my character defects is for me to get well not for them to get away with it. he also reminded me that I am in step 4 and I should now do my best to follow the step 4 instructions. and he also reminded me to remain willing, he discourage me using words like I refuse, I don’t want to etc. yet he acknowledged that I might not be ready now, but I am willing to go through it and trust in the process, trust in God.
kind of ink to paper cause I decided to put it on an excel spreadsheet. it is Friday today, and it was Tuesday that I took the third step. the prayer went like this:
God, I offer myself to Thee
to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always!
I recited this prayer in my head a number of times before Tuesday yet when I recited it on the phone with my sponsor it felt so powerful I got emotional. my sponsor gave me two options, to start on step 4 immediately OR right away (he’s got a sense of humour) so I guess I am at step 4.
there is a fair bet of prep work to step 4. I followed instructions (which is very unlike me) but I am turning my will and my live to the Care of God and he showed his care in choosing my sponsor and my sponsor suggested the instructions so I am following God’s will as I understand it. I finished the instructions by Thursday morning and I haven’t been able to put a pen to paper since.
just a few minutes before I wrote this entry I popped open excel and I built the table in the worksheet and started typing, looks like I am much more comfortable typing than writing. I am hoping there isn’t a specific need for me to actually write it with a pen vs. typing it. (lots of redundant comments in my previous sentences but who cares I am not undergoing review)
I know I won’t finish the list tonight, but I started. I am feeling a bit anxious and getting some butterflies in my stomach every time I approach the step. I need to go home soon so I will stop but then I will come back and keep doing it.