Back to sobriety – Day5


Recovery is wonderful! the day started shortly after my previous post. Kids got up, we had breakfast and started getting ready to go out. I took my two kids and met my cousin and his family (wife and two children) and went to the Egyptian Museum. it was great fun. then we went out for a meal afterwards and had a good catch up while the kids eat and run about.

I got home, showered both kids and took a shower myself and attempted to put them to sleep for a nap. and I napped. then left the kids to my mom to look after them and I went out at 10 pm to meet two fellow addicts from sexholics anonymous. it was a good opportunity to discuss recovery and share on SLAA and my efforts to start a fellowship in Egypt in Arabic. they asked so many questions, shared what touched them, got current, offered to help keep me company for the remaining time I am in Egypt especially after hearing what I went through with my most recent episode. they are also willing to help review the translations of SLAA literature.

I took a taxi for part of the way there and a taxi part of the way back. I didn’t touch the guy, didn’t engage in inviting conversations, but I was curious. is he? would he? what if he did? …. insane thinking that’s all. but I feel I was only just little stronger spiritually to stick to the thoughts and not follow up with actions.

I got home to find that my son is still up and my father is struggling to put him to bed. I took over then I struggled. he was whining and screaming intermittently till 2:30 in the morning. I was not very compassionate nor patient. I even yelled saying SHHHHH WHAT’S WRONG?? something that I remember judging my wife for doing a couple of years ago when my son woke up upset at night. very humbling indeed. I hope that through my repeated effort to be a loving compassionate father I reduce the negative impact of what my reaction may have caused him.

this morning, I woke up early at the smell of fresh pee. he peed himself, I behaved with a lot less agitation. after I cleaned him up and changed the sheets he fell back asleep just as my daughter woke up. I spent a bit of time with her trying to comfort her from the pain of mosquito bites that bothered her. then I left her and her brother to the grandparents so I go meet my other cousin and run some errands.

my cousin is somewhere finishing the paper work she needs to get done and I am in the car typing this while waiting for her. given how little sleep I had I need to be watchful and remember to rest or ask for help so that I stay sane. more importantly I need to remember to keep saying my prayers which I have been doing daily now.

thanks for your support.

 

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. 🙂

 

Back to Sobriety – Day3


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

 

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

 

Step 12: We tried to carry this message


Step 12: We tried to carry this message to sex and love addicts and to practice these principles in all areas of our lives.

You might already know from my earlier posts that I was a phone counsellor and my plan was to work on my counselling skills so I can help others and eventually open my own counselling practice.

Shortly after I came to SLAA I was able to clearly see that counselling as profession is no longer what I am going to do. To refresh your memories I had at that point of early recovery decided to stop working as a phone counsellor and I also said goodbye to therapy. I knew at that moment that what I needed to do was to focus on my recovery. I haven’t lost sight of my desire to help others but I knew that it will have to take a different form from what I had originally imagined.

I found a sponsor, set my sobriety date and started working the steps. Recovery story is really fun, I am enjoying working on my recovery and I love how my sponsor helped me work the program. One of the things my sponsor always stressed was his view on sponsoring others. His criteria is that an addict need to be sober no less than six months and is well into his 9th step before attempting to Sponsor others.

I was really eager to sponsor others to help them work the program, but I adopted my sponsor’s view or criteria for becoming a sponsor. So I waited. When I was close to six month sober and by then I had started my step9 and made progress on it. During one of the face to face meetings I raised my hand when the chairperson asked “for those who are willing to sponsor to raise their hands” and on that day I was approached by my first sponsee. I had met him for the first time at that meeting. We talked and I agreed to be his sponsor. And we started working together.

Given that this was the first time I sponsor someone through this program I decided to focus on the one sponee and not raise my hand again. And I did that for a few weeks till I got a better feeling of how my relationship with this sponsee goes, and how much time commitment it requires of me.

A few weeks later, in one day during outreach calls with other fellow addicts I was told almost the exact phrase “I would like you to be my sponsor but you are not available”. While I stopped raising my hand, I had never actually told anyone that I am not available. I answered to these two members that I am in fact available. And then my sponsees increased from 1 to 3. I felt that it was appropriate based on the progress of my recovery as well as the time required of me with my first sponsee.

I started working with my three sponsees and continued to make progress. I made sure I always remind my sponsees of the same thing my sponsor reminded me off. That I am not doing them a favour, I am working on my recovery by doing my step 12.

Then again weeks later I was having a conversation with another member from the fellowship. He had a sponsor but wasn’t making progress and he communicated that if I wasn’t so busy he would have asked me to be his sponsor. We talked about it a bit more, and agreed on a rhythm for our interaction and the sponsorship started.

Finally I got a phone call from another fellow addict who newly returned to the fellowship wondering if I can be his sponsor. That last one took a bit of thinking from me, I need to pray about my motive because he is gay. I needed to purify my motive and make sure that I am not putting myself or him at risk as a result of this relationship.

I will post almost nothing about my sponsees but I do plan to blog about the lessons I get from working with them.

My Sober Dreams


Since I started working the program of recovery I had periods where I didn’t have any sexual intimacy due to long gaps between sex with my wife. when that happened I had a fair amount of wet dreams. my wet dreams were all homosexual in nature. it was always bizarre to go through that. I often woke up feeling strange, almost uncertain, have I lost my sobriety? did this happen for real or was I truly asleep? then when it all settled, the blur is gone and I realize I was asleep then I have to deal with the mess in the middle of the night. Lucky my wife never ask me “what were you doing in the shower at 3 am”. I am pretty sure she noticed that I am wearing different PG pants from the ones I wore when I got to bed.

a couple of months ago I had my first Sober Dream. I was back in my home town in my parent’s house, we had a large gathering of guests and while I was alone in one of the rooms someone walked in on me and started to make advances on me. I gently pushed him away and started talking to him about Sex addiction and about the fellowship. I woke up feeling pretty good.

Last night I had another dream. there is a SLAA member that I connect with (I find him good looking but never fantasized about him, also he is straight). we were sharing a bed, don’t know why, but then he moved closer getting a bit “too close” seductively inviting. in the dream I jumped out of bed and objected to what he was about to do. I also got up happy. I sure won’t outreach to that SLAA member about my dream hehehe 🙂

 

Happy Naw Ruz


after 19 days of Fast, Naw Ruz Marks one of the Bahai Holy Days and the Bahai New Year. there are 9 Holy Days a year that Bahais observe and work should be suspended. during my active addiction I always acted out on days leading to a Holy days with the intention to stop on that holy day. i never did.

so the Bahai Calendar is a 19 Months, each Month 19 days which comes up to 361 days, the 4 (or 5 during leap years) days balance are called Ayyam-i-ha and are placed right before the last month which is the fasting month. these days are of significant spiritual importance to the Bahais. many years I acted out before these days hoping to stop when they come. many years I prayed to stop but I don’t think my prayers were sincere. (did I say my prayers today? i will after i finish this) then I act out during Ayyam-i-Ha hoping to stop during the Fast. but I don’t, then i act out during the fast hoping to stop by Naw Ruz. I still didn’t.

Today 21st of March I am 8 Months sober. which means I was fasting all the days leading to the fast, I enjoyed celebrating Ayyam-i-Ha, I had a wonderful spiritual high from the fast. and now I get to celebrate the Bahai New Year and celebrate 8 months of Sobriety. on top of that 21st March is the Mother’s Day in the part of the world i come from so i also got to celebrate mother’s day with my mom in the morning.

Thanks a lot for those of you who kept me company during these days. and thanks everyone who read this.

I will stop my daily posts for the time being and will get back to my normal pattern of posting when there is something i want to share about.

have a lovely New Year everyone

 

Fast Reflections Day 19


Today marked the last day of the Bahai fast, the first fast that I had sober for the entire period. and probably one of the most major milestones in my recovery journey.

My last post was talking about the fabulous sleep I had the night before. looks like I jinxed it. I stayed a bit late that night (by a bit late I mean till 2 am) by the time I got to bed my daughter had wet her bed, I had to change the sheets and change her, then she eventually wanted to sleep in my bed. by five thirty both my kids were up because of whatever. the conclusion is I had 3 hours of sleep.

breakfast, then kids out of the house then working from home followed by a trip to the office in the afternoon and a relatively productive day despite my exhaustion. when I got home, my lovely wife offered that I go for a nap and I did, taking the little baby in my arms. I had a good 90 minutes of deep sleep.

I got up, broke the fast for the last time with my mom and my mom in law then I rushed to my office room to host the SLAA NZ Skype Meeting. so a lot of the guys are on a retreat in Taupo so I was thinking no one is going to show up to the meeting. the meeting started with 4 participants and half way through it a few of the fellows who were on the retreat got on the call. it was great. and everyone had a chance to share. I love the skype meeting.

I want to thank you all for keeping me company during this special time. I might post one more reflection tomorrow celebrating Nowruz but if not then I will post later about something else.

also tomorrow I don’t have to wake up before sunrise, so if the kids remain asleep I will be sleeping in. it is the weekend

 

Angry at my Son and I blame recovery


Here is another one of those eye openers I referred to in my previous post.

Most recently I have been having an increasingly difficult time with my kids’ bed time routine. My son takes forever to go to bed and the last few times I put him to sleep up until the point mentioned in this post I actually raised my voice and threatened of different types of punishment if he were not to stop fussing/tossing/talking or whatever else he does to stall and prolong the process. And I hated myself every time afterwards.

The time I want to mention here was a new low. And it wasn’t even night time, it was nap time. He was really tired and he really needed to nap. Or more like I needed him to nap so that he is well rested and we don’t spend the rest of the day with a grumpy child. We started fine and the pattern followed. This time I hit a new low. I got really upset with his tossing and the subject this time was that the cover wasn’t adjusted properly. I got so angry I snatched the cover while yelling “stop this” and as I placed the cover after snatching it, it hit his face. I had no intention of hitting him, and this is the first time I ever did such thing. Even though the intention wasn’t to hit and the cover hitting his face was accidental and wasn’t too painful, it was a shock to him. And more importantly a shock to me. What happened to me?

Let’s take a few steps back. As a young man, I thought parents around me sucked big time. I arrogantly wanted to have children to show the world how it is done. I knew I was going to be the “perfect” parent. As if such thing existed. I did eventually realize that I am not a perfect parent and that parenting is harder than what I thought it would be. That being said I still pride myself on how I kept my cool. I was always calm and thoughtful about my parenting decisions in the most stressful situations. I could face hours and hours of grumpiness and constant crying but still stay “Zen”. I was the parent described in the book “Scream Free Parenting”. I also made my wife feel terrible about herself as a mother for snapping at the kids. Questioning her ability to mother if she couldn’t keep it together. That was the case before recovery. And so that you know, my wife is on my step 4 resentment list for snapping at the kids.

Now back to the day mentioned earlier. I was feeling miserable the rest of the day. My wife asked me “what’s wrong?” I told her that I hit our son and shared what happened. She gave me a hug and said “I relate.” We chatted about it further and as we were discussing she asked me “could this have anything to do with your recovery? Cause I never saw you so angry!” It got me thinking. Then she added “as crazy as it sounds, it makes you more human. It always amazed me how you never snapped at them”

She was right, and I know the reason why I was so calm with the kids. I was under the influence. I was high on acting out. I had the “perfect” way to process such overwhelming emotions. Now that I am sober I am faced with the real beast within me. My character defects that need to be removed rather than be sexually medicated. I found myself tearing and saying sorry to my wife. When she asked what for, I replied “a whole lot of stuff”. this is not my amends making but this experience will contribute to my amends making process.

As for my son. I have been attempting things differently. I start bed time routine by explaining that I understand he doesn’t want to sleep. Or that he finds it difficult to sleep. I tell him about things that he found once frustrated and now he masters. I tell him that it is okay he finds falling asleep difficult and that he will need to learn to fall asleep. Whenever he fusses and provokes me to get the pattern started I remind him that “dad will not yell at you tonight” and that I will support him to help him fall asleep. It is been only a couple of days but I feel like my relationship with my son is going in a slightly more positive direction than the one it was headed towards prior to this realization.