Recovery, SafeTrip, SLAA

Back to sobriety – Day4


Today is kind of the fifth day already but I basically wake up in the morning to recount the events of the previous day. I woke up a little while ago after 6 hours of good sleep. I would have liked to sleep a bit more but it looks like my body rested enough for me to be up. over the last five days this is becoming a ritual where I wake up just in enough time before my kids so I can type my post and reflect on the day that passed. My faith tells me “Bring thyself to account each day” and the program tells me “continued to take personal inventory”. so it must work because I feel a lot better today. I remember my first withdrawal, there will be lots of ups and downs. I will just enjoy that this moment as I type this, I feel good.

Yesterday was my Son’s 5th birthday. after I posted my day 3 account the kids got up, we had breakfast and hit the road. we needed to run some errands. I got some paperwork done, we went to book a flight for my father who will be joining us in NZ shortly after we return, we went to choose the cake for the kids (one for each child so that the younger girl doesn’t feel left out even though it isn’t her birthday) then got back home. we ordered lunch, ate and I left the kids to my parents to go get the rest of the stuff.

Alone in the car driving off, the first thought that hit me was to go to that mall with the good looking toilette cleaner. I DIDN’T! just sharing that I am still an insane sex addict. I drove to the places I needed to get the stuff for the party, party hats, balloons, paper plates, cups, napkins etc. then went to get light refreshments and drinks and so on. I was so glad to be soberly shopping for his party. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the drive in crazy Cairo traffic in the hot afternoon summer to do anything but act out if I wasn’t sober.

I got home, the kids were napping which allowed me some quiet time. not long enough for me to take a nap but I still managed to spend the day without snapping at the kids. I did use my stern voice occasionally but I was much calmer compared to the previous days and given that I had not had a nap which always affects my level of patience with my little ones.

The party was a blast, my kids had so much fun and the family members who joined us enjoyed a great deal. we held the party at my Grandma’s house with a small family gathering that ended past midnight (kids were delirious and sleepy at the same time). we got home tired and Happy,

I was still able to say my prayers which is the main reason I am making progress. I am also making contact with other addicts, and trying to find ways to connect to the program.

see you in my next post. 🙂

 

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SLAA

Back to Sobriety – Day3


Withdrawal still sucks. or maybe it is the environment. maybe there is way too many gay sex addictŘł 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.

 

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Recovery, SafeTrip, SLAA

Back to Sobriety – withdrawal sucks


A special thanks go to my friends N and D who messaged me within minutes of my previous post to check on me and offer help to keep me safe. I owe you much more than I could put in words in here. THANK YOU doesn’t do it, but you know you were a sign of God’s love and grace to me at that point.

I think it has been about 48 hours since the last time I masturbated. I just hope this round of withdrawal isn’t as intense as the first time. I hope the fact that I didn’t have sex with anyone else counts for something. but I got to say. so far I am experiencing scary symptoms that I remember clearly from the last round.

  • I am so aware of all the good looking men around me and triggered by them
  • I was in a taxi the other day and the compulsion to put my hand where he could touch it as he changed gear was baffling
  • I am becoming very impatient with my kids over the last couple of days.
  • I have a very strong compulsion to control things around me
  • I am growing resentful of my parents for not following my plan

on the positive side, I have been saying my prayers, three days in a row now. I have out reached a few times, and I did run the SLAA Egypt Skype meeting. I also received a first enquirer through the SLAA Egypt website, a sex addict who has been searching for recovery. we got to talk on the phone and we will be meeting to discuss recovery. he is also very keen to help establish the fellowship in Egypt. these are all opportunities that keep me sober. Also I talked to 3 of my sponsees and shared with them where I am at with my shaky recovery and sobriety asking them to make a call around the sponsorship relationship. they all offered a loving and caring hand and none of them decided to fire me yet. giving me an opportunity to still be of service and connect to the program.

I have the desire to act out. but I don’t want to act out. or maybe I want to act out but I know I don’t need to act out. I have no idea how to put it, but you addict reading this will know exactly what I am talking about. I will be checking in again regularly while in Egypt. thanks for keeping me company.

 

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Recovery, SafeTrip, SLAA

I can’t figure it out – (my acting out plan)


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

 

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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

 

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SafeTrip, SLAA, Step 9

Dear Brother, I am sorry


I wasn’t putting this off but I certainly wasn’t rushing to get to it. and now that I am starting and though it was a spontaneous decision I still feel a flood of emotions go through me.

Dear Brother,

it is funny I am writing this in English as you wouldn’t really understand this had you been alive and reading it. the fact that you passed on gives me the freedom to write in whatever language I am comfortable with. I am sure you know I am in Egypt now; our baby sister isn’t baby any more. she just got married. I MISS YOU. your picture on my phone, on the walls and everywhere around me is a constant reminder of how empty your place is.

you weren’t always there. even though you were always present. you still are. in our minds, conversations, thoughts and most certainly hour hearts and emotions. I still think that one day you will call me, or open the door and show up. you will introduce me to some random strangers you just met and called them friends. you will make silly jokes that I don’t understand. or will act funny why you really want to smoke a cigarette and don’t want to do that in front of me. I still feel it might happen. part of me is not willing to accept that this is it, that I won’t see you in this physical realm any more.

I am also sure that you know that I have recently identified as a sex and love addict, I am working an imperfect recovery, had 11 months of sobriety up until last week and now I am not sure if I am still sober or not but I am still working the program. and you my brother are on my step 9.

throughout your life I had issues with you, was embarrassed to bring you around or introduce you to my friends. judged you harshly despite your willingness to do every bit possible to gain my approval. I was (and largely still am) consumed by my plans, my selfishness and my lack of capacity to regard you or consider your feelings.

I am writing to say I am sorry, truly sorry for every time I hurt you, caused you sadness or ignored your feelings. I am sorry for my uptight, self-righteous attitude. sorry for being condescending, arrogant and foolish.

I learned much through your death, learned that you really spent your time where it matters most. spent your time loving people, serving them, caring for them. you are deeply missed by everyone who got to know you for just a little bit. if you can offer any sign that you got this message I would be eternally grateful.

I love you

 

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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.

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SafeTrip, SLAA

SafeTrip4 – Day 5


I forgot to set up my wakeup call and my alarm so I got to Sleep in a bit. got up a bit after six. I was a bit late for a call with a sponsee that was supposed to happen at six, but he was very forgiving about it. we talked while I ironed my shirt then I got out of the hotel for my morning walk, then I had a call with another sponsee. I love talking to my sponsees, carrying the message of recovery does keep me sober.

I got back to my room, showered and started packing as I needed to check out before I get to work. I got my luggage sorted then went down to have breakfast with my colleague before we both headed to our meeting in another hotel.

it was a day long training with some interesting segments and some “needs improvement” segments but overall it wasn’t a complete waste of time. the training was supposed to finish at 5 pm Singapore time and my SLAA Egypt Skype meeting was supposed to start the same time the training finishes. luckily I was able to reach out to the members and tell them that I will be a little late. also I was able to get access to the hotel WiFi.

after I got out of the training and said goodbye to most of my colleagues I went to the hotel lobby and started the Skype meeting. Thank goodness for the tower of Babylon no one understood what I was saying. so while I was still surrounded by a lot of people I still had privacy speaking in Arabic.

when I finished I went back to my original hotel where I used to stay, I had stored my luggage there. I was so sweaty and sticky so I sneaked into the hotel spa (which technically I should only access as a guest of the hotel) but never mind that. I got in there, took a fresh towel and had a nice shower and changed into fresh cloths. afterwards I went to drop my luggage at the apartment I will be staying at for my last night then headed to my friend’s house who was having a nice BBQ in the park. I had good food and good chat then I got back ‘home’. I said my prayers, put my cloths to wash and I am now typing this.

I would really like to remain awake till I put my cloths in the dryer but for all you know, I might collapse before the load finishes washing (20 more minutes to go)

 

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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

 

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