Fasting, Recovery, SLAA

Fast Reflections Day five


Friday was a very special day. every Friday I host a SLAA Skype meeting at 8 PM NZ time. but this Friday was different. I was supposed to meet one of my sponsees so that he can take his step5. He is the first person ever to ask me to be his sponsor. and it was going to be the first time I am hearing someone else’s step five. I worked with a couple of friends from the fellowship to stand in for me and host the meeting in my absence.

for the non addicts reading this, step five says: admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. as his sponsor I get to be that human being.

so I had asked him to photo copy is Step 4 inventory and give it to me prior to us doing Step 5 so I can review it. also I read chapters 5 and 6 of the AA big book as well as the reading on Steps 4 and 5 from the SLAA big book to prepare. I was praying and hoping to be helpful. I also talked to my sponsor about it and asked a few questions to make sure I am ready.

I met my sponsee at the agreed time and place and started going through his work. as we started talking we realized that there is a bit more work he needs to do on his step 4 before we proceed further with Step 5. I was praying in my head the whole time asking God to channel through me what would be helpful for him at this moment. we went for a walk till it was close to sunset and then head somewhere eat dinner. we chatted and had lots of fun talking about our addictive patterns and identifying with each other stories. It was really good. given that we didn’t go through all his inventory and he had a bit more work to do, we finished earlier than anticipated. It was clear that he is still willing to keep working the program. I was pleased for that to be the case.

after I said goodbye to him I called a friend who was hanging out in town close enough to where I was. so I met up with him and a few others and spent a couple of hours talking, laughing and singing by the viaduct. it was such a lovely evening. then I drove home, had a bit of chat with my mom and wife, tried to join my wife in watching a bit of TV but then I was too beat to follow what’s going on. so I went to bed. 🙂

more reflections to come

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Fasting, Recovery, SLAA

Fast reflections Day four


I had a bit of a rough night with the kids and woke up a few times to settle them. I was really exhausted when I finally got up to eat breakfast. my plan was to finish eating and go back to sleep. but I ended up doing something better.

background: I had mentioned that my father is a sex addict. in my search for SLAA or SA material in Arabic I found only some and relatively poor translation. one of the hopes was to find a fellowship in the Arab world but I wasn’t so lucky. since then the thought had been on my mind to do something about it. also I met an Arab sex addict a while back when I first came to the fellowship. so while on the plain to wellington the other day I emailed him about starting a fellowship in the Arab world. when I woke up I got a reply from him and we decided to talk on skype.

so that is what I did after breakfast. I had almost 40 minutes with him on the phone discussing what we could possibly do to start a fellowship in the Arab world in Arabic using translated material. there is of course a number of obstacles that we need to overcome but it was still an uplifting reality to be having this conversation first thing in the morning.

I then was able to help my kids with their breakfast and get them ready for preschool before I started work. I was able to take a lunch break nap since I am not eating lunch. (In case you weren’t here earlier I am fasting).

Thursday nights I have a Face to Face SLAA meeting that starts 7:45 and finishes at 9PM. the Sun sets at 8 pm. I went to the meeting and managed to get myself a glass of water when the time came. I wasn’t that hungry but I was certainly tired. I enjoyed being at the meeting, enjoyed the catch up with fellow addicts discussing their recovery.

I got home, kids were already asleep, I had a nice warm meal with my wife, did a few things to help and had my famous sugar free Avocado Chocolate Milkshake and went to bed!

More reflections to come

 

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Recovery, SLAA, Step 9

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.

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SafeTrip, SLAA

#SafeTrip3 – Day Four – I am home


Just realized that day three and day four posts are less than 12 hours apart. hehehe.

So I said my prayers and went down for breakfast. I sat on a different table with a view to reflect on the sky and the beautiful cloud formation with the sun in the background. I loved it. When I got back to my room there was very little to pack in my bags as it was a really short trip and I managed to travel light. I checked out and got straight to the airport. I could honestly say that I had very few triggers or had no triggers but had thoughts of “it would be nice to act out while keeping my sobriety”. I wonder if an alcoholic ever thinks that it would be nice to have a glass of wine with dinner and stop there. Is that the same thing? Anyway, I didn’t. I knew I couldn’t.

One of the things that kept me going was the Skype meeting. I am hosting a weekly Skype meeting on Fridays at 8 PM NZ time. Last week we had the first conscience meeting. In the meeting we decided that service positions should only be occupied by members who have at least 30 days of continuous sobriety. We are a young group in the program and there is only me and some other guy who have such sobriety. The agreement was that he would be the chairperson and I will be the secretary. If I acted out, I couldn’t be serving on the meeting. And the meeting wouldn’t happen. That kept me sober.

While we are practicing before the meeting we had some technical issues that meant the other member couldn’t chair the meeting and I had to play both roles the chairperson and the secretary. I was very glad I remained sober.

I will keep this short for today, I want to thank you for keeping me company. I am not travelling again for work before the end of the year. I might be going with my family somewhere for the holiday break. Will keep you posted.

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SafeTrip, SLAA

#SafeTrip2 – Day Three


Not sure how to describe yesterday from a recovery point of view but I will tell you what happened anyway.

So I went to work, had a couple of long meetings then I went with a colleague to a costume shop to rent our outfit for the evening function. We ended up dressing up as Julius Caesar and Mark Antony as part of the movie theme Cleopatra. Then I got back to the hotel because I was tired. I tried to nap and I couldn’t so I went down to the pool and did a couple of laps and got back to my room to get ready.

The function was kind of fun, but I wasn’t as into it as I used to be in previous years. Maybe cause I was still tired. And maybe cause was not actively trying to pursue someone or hoping to be pursued by someone. Not sure. But anyway. I played along, had some fun.

At some point towards the end I was really tired, and slightly displeased cause I wasn’t attracting as much attention as I did in previous similar functions. I wasn’t nominated for best costume, I didn’t win any of the lucky draw prises and the event didn’t follow my plan. So I started noticing myself feeling slightly resentful. Lucky for me I didn’t act out BUT I did something else I wasn’t supposed to do. I have been on a sugar free diet for a few weeks and I am not eating carbs either. Last night after a certain point I went looking for the dessert table and just started eating one piece of dessert after another. Then when I went back to my table I felt a milder version of the same guilt I felt when I acted out in the past after periods of abstinence.

I got back to my hotel room, said my prayers and went straight to bed. I didn’t want to sleep but I really needed to. I am not as restful as I would like to be but I will take it easy today. I am looking forward to the SLAA NZ Skype Meeting this afternoon.

Alright, time for breakfast. Thanks for reading.

 

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SafeTrip, SLAA

#SafeTrip Day Four


Thanks again for everyone who read this. Thanks for everyone who pressed a like or sent me an email or a message to cheer me on, give me words of encouragement, offered tips and tools to consider and most importantly kept me company and reminded me I am not alone.

I am 95 days sober today. The number 95 is of special significance to me. Part of my daily prayers as a Bahai is to repeat the phrase “God is the all glorious” 95 times. This is the first trip that I prayed every day and didn’t miss except the day I flew in. I feel in constant communion with God today. He was keeping me company every minute, lifting me up when I couldn’t hold myself and sending signs and messages in all sort of forms. Words can’t express my thanks and gratitude to the All Merciful the All Loving.

Yesterday was a wonderful day. I had breakfast, had a reasonable start of the day timing wise. Had a couple of really good meetings with colleagues. They ran for double the time they were schedule for because there was so much to cover and my colleagues and I were engaged in a meaningful and productive conversation. I had a nice catch up with an ex colleague who’s now a dear friend. Then got to the hotel.

After a little bit of down time, I met with a dear friend of mine, he and I have one of the long lasting friendships I had. We caught up, had dinner, then he came with me to the face to face SLAA meeting. The meeting was inspiring and I was able to share and hear others share. After the meeting I caught up with another friend who was also attending the SLAA meeting. That other friend was someone I acted out with in the past. Then we became good friends. When I found out about SLAA I shared with him about it, and he related to it. And now he is going to meetings. We had a nice catch up while he grabbed a late dinner, and then we ended our meeting with prayers. I felt so at peace. Then I went to bed.

I woke up at 4 in the morning needing to answer nature, then I managed to get back to sleep. In that last hour of sleep I had a very strange dream. Kids where playing on a street within a large house, and so many times a car would come driving by and hit one of the kids’ toy cars and break a piece of it. Not sure if that means anything. Then all of a sudden I found myself scolding one of the drivers trying to push him out of the house and just before he left I acted out with him. It was so quick out of the blue. In the dream I had messed up my day, missed very important appointments etc. I woke up with a racing heartbeat. I was in shock. And I was so happy it was a dream, was so happy I woke up.

I am safe, happy, loved and looked after by God, showered, said my prayers and writing this. Will have a relatively free day today then I am flying back home tonight. I will be writing about that tomorrow when I reach home.

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SLAA

Four weeks ago


It has been 4 weeks since I went to my first SLAA meeting. My life after that was an emotional rollercoaster.

week 1

the meeting was on a Thursday, and that is when I had the “realization”. afterwards I was confused and unsure what to do next, but then guess what, on Friday I went and acted out. (that is the term 12 steps fellowships use for doing the behaviour you are addicted to) then I decided I must get out of this pattern and stop, I need to start my journey. on Sunday I bought the Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous book and started going through it. it was overwhelming! The magnitude of the issue took its toll on me. I started to educate myself and assert my ability to go through this, cause I am powerful resources and I won’t let this beat me.

Week 2

I am still “sober” but I am struggling with every day, every man around me is a trigger, every free hour is a potential for acting out. then I started having weird dreams which was… well weird. I was in touch with on SLA member from the UK via twitter and email and another SLA member in NZ via text and I see him in meetings. Communicating with both of them is what kept me going during tough times I also came across the SLAAOnline MIRC chat room, it was very helpful. and through that room I was introduced to another SLA in the US who’s story has more similarities to mine. then I went on a trip overseas, and while I thought I was in control I obviously was under the illusion of control and I sure acted out.

during my trip overseas I reached out to a few friends, two of which were acting out partners, and the third was someone whom I thought might be a love addict as his story resembled some of the stories I heard. two of them came with me to a local SLAA meeting and promised to look into it more. the third on is going to attend meetings at a later stage. I attended two SLAA meetings while overseas and they were very helpful and I had access to more resources. exchanged contacts with members and they still come in handy when I am struggling.

week 3

The emotional rollercoaster continued and I finally returned home. attending 3 meetings a week and talking to the US SLA Member every other day. learning so much about my powerlessness. I recognized being powerless on a rational level yet I am behaving in a way that says I am still in control, I guess as I keep at it I will be able to align my behaviour with the believe that I am powerless over my addiction

Week 4

On Friday I asked the US SLA member to be my sponsor and he said yes. I am finally ready to start the process. we agreed to talk three times a week, they happen to be the same three days I have my SLAA meetings. call him in the morning and SLAA meeting in the evening. I am partially scared for the days in between but I will rely upon God to help me.

On Tuesday I did the third step with him, something magical happened. I have been studying that “how it works” chapter for the days leading to my Tuesday call with my sponsor. I ready the prayer multiple times I was scared, scared of not being able to follow through, then my sponsor gently reminded me of spiritual progress not perfection. I then recited the prayer on the phone with him. and something magical happened. I was so touch by the prayer my emotions were so strong my tears forced themselves to my eyes and I was barely compose  enough to finish it and not cry.

I have been trying to say my prayers every day since.

I will write more later, 🙂 have a sober day.

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