SLAA

Ending the Zigzag – Hopefully


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.

 

Standard
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

 

Standard
Fasting, Recovery, SLAA

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

 

Standard
Fasting, Recovery, SLAA

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

 

Standard
Fasting, Recovery, SLAA

Fast reflections day 15


rough night, what’s new. so I won’t talk about it.

today was my first day back at work full time after the birth of my baby girl. (she is SOO CUTE!!) and I had a work commitment early on. so I was woken up by my mom after she prepared breakfast, I started eating, kids joined in etc. then I went to shower and get ready for work.

kids got ready, off they went with their grandmothers to their preschool and I was about to hit the road for work when my wife asked me to say prayers together, so we did. I found myself sitting in meditative state long after she stopped reading her prayer. I enjoyed it so much.

On the drive to work the traffic was heavy at 8 am. I consider my time in the care “me time” it is the time I reflect, listen to music, my books or make outreach calls. so in the middle of my reflection about how tough the weekend has been I remembered how I eagerly called someone else to get a “social fix” or went and acted out for a sexual fix. this time I found myself turning to God and saying “you are my only friend”, “let me know what you want me to do” then shortly after I had a call with one of my sponsees. what a blessing to be able to help someone else.

the day went alright work wise. towards the end I was almost hesitant to drive home. but I did. I got to blissfully carry my baby girl for a while. I played a bit with my kids till it was time to help them get ready for bed. then I had dinner, I listened to my wife play the piano and now I am on the sack ready for another night.

more reflections to come.

I fell asleep without publishing this leaving the laptop on my lap. my wife closed the lid and left it there. in case I needed again she said. #SMH

Standard
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

 

Standard
Fasting, SafeTrip

Fast Reflections Day three


I had a domestic flight scheduled for 7 am to Wellington for a work presentation/meeting. I planned to wake up at 5 am, have breakfast and get dressed and be out of the house by 5:30 am. the airport is a 40 minutes away. what actually happened is I got to say my prayers and get ready while my mom and wife prepared breakfast then I left home at 10 to 6.

I would have made it if I didn’t have to go through airport security. I was almost very confident that I will barely make it until I saw the security queue and I was “Oh no! I didn’t account for the queue” hehehe.

I got the gate door just as they were closing it. so I was just a minute too late. which cost me a $100 bucks to get on the next flight in 30 minutes. I was a bit displeased but it was my fault and I have to pay the price. if there is something I learned from SLAA is that I always tried to get away with my mistakes. I blamed someone else for their inflexibility or their lack of empathy or this and that, but I didn’t blame myself for the act itself. this time I just accepted this to be a consequence of my actions.

It was meant to be rush hour when I get to Wellington but luckily I wasn’t only 30 minutes behind. work wise I didn’t really need to be in the meeting that early but I wanted to so I get to hear what the audience go through before my presentation. so it was alright to be a bit late. when it was my turn to present, I just got up and rolled with it and it went well.

I had a couple of hours of down time before my next meeting. I was able to get a bit of work done and catch up with a colleague regarding an issue. Then I took a short walk to meet employees of a company that I will be working with from now on. it was just me and 11 of them, I am meeting them for the first time. also it is a new side of the business that I don’t know much about yet. I was able to forthright say that “I don’t know much about what you do or how you do it, but I am going to learn, so let’s collaborate”. the guys were wonderful and while they had so much to say they still had a smile on their faces.

I had a nice short walk after the meeting then collected my stuff and got a cab to the airport. I had 3 hours before my flight back to Auckland. I was given access to the lounge so I was able to sit somewhere comfortable and have a nap because I was really tired. I did have a call with one of my sponsees, watched a bit of YouTube and got some work done.

I got home happy, I had a nice warm meal with my mom who waited for me to have dinner. had a nice chat with my wife then I was ready to collapse. I ran straight to bed after brushing my teeth and again I was asleep in no time.

more reflections to come.

Standard
Fasting, Recovery

Fast Reflections Day two


the second day of the Fast started as per the usual routine, I wake up at about 6 am with my mom, get breakfast ready and have hearty breakfast before the sunrise. while we were sitting with my mom at the dining table I heard my 2.5 year old daughter call out. I went to her to hold her and she just laid on my lap and in my arms peacefully for a good half hour with the occasional short conversation. she said she wants me, she loves me, she is not ready for breakfast yet and a bunch of other cute little phrases. I say: what a perfect start of the day.

I had a relatively productive morning and a rather unorganized afternoon. I ran errands with my mom in the morning, got a bit of work done, talked to my sponsor and had a few good meetings during the day. that being said I wasted a fair bit of time that I can’t get back now.

towards the evening I got home to a really settled and pleasant home, wife and kids were in good spirit, my mom was well and making dinner and when I asked if I can help I was given a simple task. I was then able to help encourage my kids to finish their dinner and spend a bit of 1 on 1 time with my son before he got to bed. my daughter was with my wife reading a story, mom is resting and dinner is ready. I had another 30 minutes before the sun sets. So I was able to take some time alone and say my prayers. I felt such a strong spiritual sensation. I was happy, light, peaceful and feeling at ease with life.

I enjoyed eating dinner, helped clearing up with my wife and then we had a short game of Bananagrams before I went to bed. I was so tired that I fell asleep faster than the time it took to close my eyes. I had a very peaceful sleep.

Standard
Recovery

Fast reflections Day one


The fasting month for the Baha’is is a period of 19 days in March of every year. the Fast is both Spiritual and Physical. the Physical fast is the abstinence from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. The Spiritual fast is the focus on prayers and the abstinence from worldly desires. find out more about the Bahai Fast here.

it is fair to say that this is the first time in years that I am sober during the fast. for many years the fast was just a period of starvation because I abstain from food but I am occasionally acting out. Now I hope for the spiritual experience associated with the fast. I will try to reflect on my experience day every day.

the first day offered a couple of experiences that are challenging and at the same time rewarding. I was asked to deliver a presentation that I was very prepared for but I still the closer to it gets to my turn the faster my heart beats. I recognized the fear and prayed for it to be removed. when my turn came, it was good and it was quick. later in the day I discovered something that made me really upset, I recognized the upset to be tied to self-centeredness so I prayed for the character defect to be removed and directed my attention to someone I can help. as per the instructions for Step 11

later in the day I attended the 19day feast. a gathering of friends, spiritually uplifting, and full of joy and good food! it was a good way to end the day.

more reflections to come

Standard