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

 

 

Step 9 – First challenge


I didn’t think I will be posting another entry so soon. But here I am.

You all probably know that I completed step 8 and that I am moving to step 9. My first homework was to prioritise the list. I needed categorise which amends are going to be direct vs indirect. Which amends will be made immediately vs deferred. I thought this was an easy task. I prioritised my wife, parents, sibling and children. They are all to be direct amends and as soon as possible. Then the list went on.

I was hoping to make amends to my wife first. I talked to my sponsor about it and the challenge appeared clear. Before my wife and I got married I had told her that I have same sex attraction. I remember at the time telling her “I am bi sexual, and I had a boyfriend”. It took her a while to get comfortable with that fact. And then we got married. I progressively started referring to my sexuality as “gay” rather than “bi” as I really have no attraction to women whatsoever.

Anyway, if you’ve read one of my earliest posts “I am a Sex and Love Addict” you’d know how I came to SLAA in the first place. my wife pretty much knows as much as that blog entry, she knew about my journey, the support group I wanted to start and the fact that I identified as a sex and love addict after my first SLAA meeting. I have been going to meetings since and I am working the steps so she knows when I am in a SLAA meeting, when I am talking to my sponsor, having outreach calls or even out of town for a SLAA camp. She noticed that I have changed and she attributes this to my recovery. The one thing she doesn’t know, is the extent of my acting out. She doesn’t know that I was unfaithful.

I want to do this right. I want to be rigorously honest yet at the same time I was planning to make amends to my wife without completely revealing the details. I have considered that telling her I was unfaithful qualifies as one of the things “when to do so would injure them or others”. Today on my call with my sponsor he questioned my logic. He doesn’t want me to mention too many details but certainly feel that if I were to hide the fact that I was unfaithful then I am not being completely honest.

I don’t know what to do. The only decision I made was to move my wife to the deferred amends and pray about it. I am outreaching and sharing with others asking for Experience, Strength and Hope and if anyone who reads this has something to offer I welcome your thoughts.

#SafeTrip3 – Day Three


Good lovely morning everyone. The sun is out and it is a beautiful day. What is even more beautiful about it is I am flying home in just over 4 hours.

I drove to work yesterday and got there early enough to get myself settled before my first meeting. I had a good few meetings with my boss and colleagues. I had a call with my sponsor. He sounded a bit different than usual, almost made wonder if he had too much to drink. But it was still a helpful call.

There is a gay guy in the Sydney office that I met years ago and kept in touch over time. I made sure I contact him whenever I am in town with the hope of acting out with him. Yesterday I happened to stumble upon him in the office, I asked him out for coffee. We had coffee and chatted, I was very thankful to be sober and thankful I never acted out with him. He appeared uninterested and not that interesting. If I wasn’t sober I would have humiliated myself being flirty and suggestive, then hated myself for not getting what I wanted. This time I was just me, with my integrity and self-respect intact.

The rest of the work day went well. while at work I checked the blog notifications for people who liked my post. I got a like from OAPlascencia. As per my habit I go check people who liked my blog and try and read through their blog to know a bit more about them. this time the blog was full of beautiful words in stories or poems accompanied by pictures romantic in nature between two men. I found myself unable to read through cause it was about to feed my fantasies and trigger me.

After work I went to visit friends briefly and then went to a meeting. I am not a big fan of the SLAA H.O.W. meeting structure. But anyway, I got to share under the new comers’ category because it was my first time to this meeting. They then assigned someone to talk to me after the meeting to make me feel welcomed. It was nice.

After I finished the meeting I found myself wandering the streets of Sydney in my car. I was really hoping for company, connection. Didn’t necessarily want to act out, didn’t fantasise about sex or being touched but I did want to be with someone. Maybe I was trying to avoid feeling alone or lonely. I took a while driving everywhere before I eventually decided to turn on my GPS and head to the hotel. At the hotel I found a family stuck outside their hotel room. A young boy, a mother and a grandmother. They spoke my mother tongue. I called the reception for them to send someone and help them in. While waiting for the hotel staff to come I had a nice chat with them and even played a little with the young boy, he was my son’s age. It was nice, I got my company.

I got back to my room, changed out of my day cloths and had no energy to shower before I went to bed, I had the same feeling I had when I wasn’t sober. Back then I was really tired but I didn’t want to sleep because I might be missing an opportunity to act out. It was weird why I didn’t want to sleep this time because there was nothing planned. I eventually fell asleep with the TV on. Woke up in the middle of the night to switch the TV off and go back to bed.

It is another beautiful morning over here. I have exactly less than four hours to my flight, I am already showered and I don’t have much to pack. Will get dressed, go for breakfast and check out. At the airport I will try to spend some time preparing for the Skype meeting I have tonight, the topic is Anorexia. I need to prepare the script for the meeting and work with the chairperson on it. That will keep me occupied.

I will write to you again from home when I have reached 🙂 thanks for keeping me company

 

 

SLAA Retreat – Day three


So by the time I finished my post last night, the Quiz time had finished. While the quiz was going, one of the members came to me and asked me to search online for the bedtime story, the velveteen rabbit. Once the quiz finished, he told everyone that it is story time. People went off to get in their PJs and grab their blankets and got comfortable in the living room and then he started telling the story. It was really nice to listen to and the way he read it was wonderful.

Shortly after the story I was in bed. I had really deep sleep though I woke up with a bit of back ache. I also managed to sleep till almost 8 am. I had a nice warm shower and got ready for the day.

While I was preparing my breakfast, a gentleman was in the kitchen and started talking to me and we had a chat the turned into a full on conversation. He’s been in the program for a couple of years, he attended a few meetings regularly and then stopped and then came once and stopped again and he decided to show up to the camp. He learned a great deal and felt like he has to keep working the program. While we chatted he opened up and shared about our lives, something touched him in my story and his tears started flowing. It sounded like he felt so lonely and isolated. Feelings I often experience and relate to.

We had our first session for the day which were on steps 10/11/12. The sharing was very helpful. Then we had our morning tea and the same gentleman asked me if we could chat a bit more. We got into a private corner and started sharing again. He was straight, I have same sex attraction, so our acting out activities are not the same. Yet we found a lot of commonalities in our patterns and our feelings. It was a great chat. We agreed to stay in touch and outreach. We live in two different cities but this fellowship isn’t limited by geographical boundaries.

We had a final session before lunch were we each had a chance to get current and thank the organisers of the camp. It was wonderful. I felt like I was on a family holiday. While it was intense emotionally and I felt exhausted at the end of every day, I felt home. I was loved and loving others in return, I was accepted and accepting those around me and looking forward to a future of continued recovery.

I wrote this on the plane back to Auckland, I am now at home, had dinner with the kids and they are sound asleep 🙂 have a good day everyone.

#SafeTrip2 – Day Four


I am sober by a miracle!

So since my last post I had my breakfast and got ready for work and off I went. The work day went well. Many of my colleagues weren’t present because they were tired from the party the night before and decided to work from home.

There is something I forgot to tell you about the work function the night before. We played games and one of the games was to take a few pictures of people at our table doing different funny things. One of them was “a picture of 8 people at the table acting as if they were caught naked”. There was a table that I originally wanted to sit on because it has my boss and a few others that newly became in my team, but it was too full so I ended up somewhere else. The men on that table went to the bathroom, stripped to their undies and took the picture. Also another colleague of mine who I acted out with a few times was in the bathroom at the time, so he joined in the picture. I was so glad I wasn’t sitting on that table.

Anyway, back to my day at work, it was productive despite the last minute meeting cancellations from people who didn’t show up. While I am walking around the office I bumped into that colleague I acted out with. He started talking about the party, showing me the picture and explaining what happened. While the conversation lasted only for a minute and a half I was slightly aroused, so I kept the chat short and continued to where I was going.

I went to the SLAAONLINE.com chat room and shared and I felt comfortable, I was attributing the comfort to having done step five. I am still a sex and love addict, I will get triggered but they won’t kill me. So I am alright.

Later on I attended the NZ SLAA Skype Meeting. It was helpful and I shared. Then when it was over, I took off, ran a few errands then met a female friend of mine for dinner. Great food and lovely company. Then she walked me to my hotel.

I got to my room and decided to treat myself to a bath. While in the bath I started thinking about going to a male grooming studio to do a boyzillian. I have been wanting to do this for a while but recently I decided it is not appropriate given my stage of recovery. When I was doing my step five with my sponsor I told him that I won’t do it. Yet while in the tub I thought it is a very legitimate idea. I started looking for available studios at this hour, called a few until I found one that was open. The way I was searching reminded me of the way I was searching for a fix when I acted out. This time I didn’t waste hours but still the feeling was the same.

When I realized that my addict was at play, I called another SLAA member to outreach, he didn’t answer. So I went ahead, made an appointment and the place happened to be so close to the hotel and very affordable. So I walked over.

The guy had the wax on the burner and the process started!! It was painful! And as the process went on I realized that I am at risk. The guy was obviously gay. He wasn’t making any advances or anything but still it was a risk. I started talking about my wife and my kids, I started praying in my head that nothing happens. And nothing did. So I walked out of that studio with a lot less hair and a lot more humiliation. I felt so humiliated by my actions. Which was probably a good thing, cause I was getting a bit too confident with the sense of serenity I had and the sobriety I am clocking.

The SLAA member called me back just as I left the studio, I outreached. I sent a message to my sponsor and told him what happened, he asked me to read Chapter 3 of the AA big book, reminding me that mixing it with milk doesn’t work. And I went the hotel and slept.

This morning I had an outreach call with another SLAA member that drew a parallel between my overeating the night before and what I did last night. He talked about breaking boundaries trying to figure out what “safe” boundaries can I cross without getting in too deep. He also talked about himself when he did this and how eventually we’ll break a boundary that isn’t safe. It was a very interesting thought. I need to pay attention to it.

I am thankful to have remained sober. I am still feeling humiliated and humbled by my action.

Tonight I fly back home. Will write to you then 🙂

 

 

#SafeTrip2 – Day Two


Yesterday was a long happy and tiring day. I had breakfast, got ready and went to work. Long large meeting took place and I was very present and actively participating. Not anxious over what might be waiting me afterwards nor was I trying to secure a liaison through various means while pretending to be present. It felt great.

During the meeting I met two ladies that I had had resentments towards before. For some reason I forgot about them when I was doing my resentment list. And to my pleasant surprise, I didn’t feel any resentment. I felt comfortable and easy. With one of them we chatted throughout the meeting and exchanged ideas about what was being presented. I talked to my sponsor about them this morning and he suggested that it is worthwhile I do a resentment work on them even though I feel okay now.

After the meeting I had a long catch up with a group of colleagues. It was fun. I had a lot of laughter and enjoyed myself. I was able to just let things be and enjoy the present without a preoccupied mind. When I felt tired I simply excused myself and said goodbye to everyone with no intention but to go to my hotel room and get some rest. It was nice, I felt free.

In the cab ride to my hotel, the taxi driver was very gentle, soft spoken, polite and pleasant. We talked and he looked me in the eye with a smile when it was safe to do so while he was driving. And I was wondering, how come he is so nice? Is he flirting with me? Could he be gay? Normally that thought pattern would lead me into a suggestive conversation to find answers to how interested he is to feed my addiction. But this time it was just a reminder that I am still a sex and love addict. I looked straight ahead at the road while talking to him in fear of using in appropriate looks or smiles through my cunning character defects. As we talked he talked about his 20 year old son, I got to share about my family and the conversation was safe and enjoyable. Then I got to my hotel, thanked him, paid, and left.

In my room, I had a nice warm shower, and had a good sleep. I woke up, said my prayers, had my breakfast and had a nice talk with my sponsor. We discussed steps 6 and 7 and after I hung up with him I started reading these steps in the 12 Steps & 12 Traditions as well as the SLAA Big Book. I feel ready to have God remove all my defects of Character. Will continue to pray about it and will read some more to see what is it I need to do to have completed this step.

After I post this, I will head to work for another lovely day. Tonight there is a big work party. I will be dressed up. Will tell you about it tomorrow.

The Cute cleaner is just a person


I just finished my F2F SLAA meeting and head to the office to get some work done. On the way up I saw a young man in the darkness of the night walking out of the office building to light a cigarette. He looked cute. I hoped he’d make eye contact, or he’d follow me back into the building.

I go up to the office sit at my desk, and then he shows up. He is the cleaner. oh NICE! I am in the office alone with another boy who I would so much like to act out with or obsess about the possibility of doing so. I decided to bookend it and sent a message to a SLAA member by WhatsApp. Then then young man said: “you are very hardworking”, cause I am in the office late apparently. From his accent I knew he is from China. I had lived in China for a bit and I spoke a few phrases in Chinese so I said hello, we exchange a bit of small talk and he was impressed/surprised that I spoke his mother tongue, or maybe comforted by the familiarity while in a foreign environment. Then we started talking about his struggle with English, and how he moved here to be with his girlfriend and that’s when I thought in my head “Oh Loving God, He is not Gay, Thank you”. Slowly I saw more of the person and less of the Fantasy. He really isn’t that cute “sexually” but he is a wonderful person, he left everything behind to be with his girlfriend. He had wealth and career and now he is just a cleaner to be with his girlfriend. A few minutes later, the girlfriend shows up, apparently they are both in the cleaning business and she was in the office with us, so I am not alone, I am witnessing a wonderful couple work hard to start their relationship that I would have previously ignored with the hope of “getting some”, regardless of what impact that might have had on him, her, or their relationship

How grateful I am to be sober today. Thank you God.

I am a Sex and Love Addict


Now that I think about it, sex and sexuality have always been something on my mind. I was chatting with a SLA from the US and he was talking about addiction as a permanent disease, saying “this is it, we can’t go back to that point before we became sex addicts”. When I think about that statement it makes me wonder, even if that is what I wanted, or if that was even possible, I don’t know if such point existed in my life. I don’t recall a time in my life where I didn’t obsess over body parts, sensual thoughts, etc. Could that mean I was born an addict? Or was there something in an earlier part of my childhood prior to my registered memory that affected me in that regard? Is it that I can’t remember it because of how early it happened? or because I blocked it out? I guess I might never know and that doesn’t really matter. I discovered over the years that finding out the reason for why something happened isn’t always a factor in how it might turn out in the future. (This isn’t a general rule though but it applies very well here).

 

Over the years sexuality was a confusing matter, but then eventually I came to grips with the fact that I have homosexual attractions, yet I always wanted to marry and have kids. Forget about the drive behind that desire, the end result is I am married and I have two children. I guess in many ways I coped with my sexual orientation by surrounding myself with female friends and a set of platonic gay friends. It helped me be who I am and express part of me that needed to be expressed. (Not necessarily sexually)

 

Over the years, the number of such friends rapidly changed and my wife and I became surrounded by other married couples with children. The “natural” segregation in many of the gatherings with such friends was, men in one corner and women in the other. I found myself stuck among a group of heterosexual men that I couldn’t relate to, couldn’t be part of their conversations nor am I the least bit intrigued by their interests. Also something about the group of men I hung out with, I missed any sort of intimate connection. A connection that I had with my gay friends and female friends that are no longer around me. I suffered mostly in silence, mostly unaware of the source of suffering, and then the suffering steadily took its toll on my marriage.

 

A year ago I was training to be a counsellor and as part of that I got access to a therapist. We led a journey of search and explorations in various aspects of my personality, sexuality, marriage, career, childhood and much more. Through that search I came to the faulty conclusion that the suffering is because of my inability to express elements of my personality pertaining to my sexual orientation. So I decided to reach out to other men who are in similar circumstances to mine. Married or committed to a female partner and dealing with homosexual attractions. The idea was to start a support group for such men. I decided to educate myself in preparation for this support group. I talked to a number of people, support organisations for Gay and Married men in various countries, research departments for religious organisations that dealt with similar matters and of course therapists. One of the therapists I talked to suggested I look into 12 steps groups there might be something I could learn from them.

 

That suggestion was easily 7 months old when I went to an AA meeting for the first time. In the AA meeting I found out about SLAA. SLAA had meetings in town and two weeks later I went to the first one. I was very nervous. When I heard the sharing of some of the members I was stunned at how much I related, I was sitting among a bunch of heterosexual men and I related to their experience. And the penny dropped, my suffering had nothing to do with my orientation. I am a Sex and Love Addict.