I have so much to say and yet nothing to say. or no words to express it. I thought i will be writing about the retreat and what we discussed/shared or whatever. but I don’t know if i will do that.
I am sitting out on the deck looking at this view, enjoying the sunlight and feeling a bit of drizzle, then joined by two other addicts who came out to have their afternoon tea in the sunny outdoors.
I feel blessed to have come to the retreat, will share more in other posts as I want to spend the time being present with those you came out here 🙂
I am writing this as I am sitting in camp house an hour outside of Wellington New Zealand. staring at the view you see in the picture below and listening to piano Cannon in D.
some of you know that I had a rocky ride with recovery lately, especially if you’ve listened to my latest podcast . So I am lucky to report that I am attending a SLAA Camp this weekend. I shared about attending a similar one last year when I was in a different place recovery-wise. you can read about my last year’s retreat here.
I arrived here yesterday (Friday afternoon) I was still working and luckily the internet allowed me to get the rest of the day in order. then people started arriving. I had seen most of them in last year’s retreat so it was good to see them all again a year later. I felt hopeful. I am really looking forward to be immersed in recovery because I have a questionable willingness to stay focused on it.
we had dinner as a group, Wonderful homemade soup by the camp chef, he rocks that kitchen. and after cleaning up we had a short game of scrabble with a few of the fellows.
the first session commenced at about 7:30, introducing the theme of the camp, “From shame to grace”. the hosting group welcomed everybody, shared some housekeeping points then we started sharing. after introducing ourselves we each shared how shame affected our lives and what we wish to get out of this weekend.
I was the last person to share, I felt dizzy. I felt thrown around with every share. there were bits of me in every share. I talked about how I compartmentalized my life as a result of shame. how I put others to shame to cover my sense of shame, and how I really need to get back to focus on my recovery.
afterwards I joined three others in a game of “500” it was so much fun. we went to bed at 11, I slept really well. woke up in the morning, said my prayers, showered, had breakfast while chatting with the wonderful friends around here then sat quietly listening to the piano my phone while typing this with the view above before me.
the camera doesn’t do it justice.
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.
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.
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
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 🙂