Steps 6 and 7 – a lifetime process

Step Six “were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character”

Step Seven “Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings”

Step Seven prayer:

I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad.
I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character
which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.
Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding.

After completing step five I became increasingly aware of my character defects. it wasn’t the beating up session I expected it to be. you can found out more here. I have since been wondering, what does it really mean to be Entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. the instructions were short but clear, as long as there is nothing I want to hold on to, there is nothing I refuse to change then I am ready.

I had to look clearly at myself and what I have become through the addiction, then look at my recovery process and what I have become through the grace of God being sober. The answer was clear, I don’t want to hold on to being dishonest, selfish, proud, self-seeking etc. I couldn’t fathom how they’ll be removed, but that is not my job, I just need to be ready for God to remove them. and I felt that I am.

I recited the prayer above with my sponsor. I will probably include this as part of my prayer routine. I need be reminded that I am in fact not perfect, I do have character defects and I need God’s help to remove them. I need Him to remove my shortcomings not so that I become a perfect person, (cause I will never be), but so that I can be of service to mankind.

now, I need to make a list of all persons I had harmed and become willing to make amends to them all. see you in step 8

SafeTrip, SLAA

#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.

Recovery, SLAA

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.

Recovery, SLAA

Where is my welcome home party

If you’ve been reading my blog recently you would have probably come across my SafeTrip series which is a daily journaling of my first trip overseas since I got sober.  I was so glad to finally make it home sober. It was not easy being overseas. I don’t think I missed the acting out itself, but I missed the act of pursuing a fix. You can read the series if you wish for more details.

I got home and honestly wished I didn’t. I was happy the trip was over but I wasn’t happy with the welcome that awaited me. Wife was moody, complaining and whining and I was exhausted. We eventually got to talk and when we did I found myself snapping with as much self-constrain as possible. Judging her by my journey and by my strength. Allowing myself to sound self-righteous. Then she went ahead trying to respond to me and rather than being defensive she started explaining why she is doing what she is doing. That didn’t make me feel better. It made me feel stuck. I wished I could tell her “all the things you are complaining about are changeable if you do something about them, either accept them and stop complaining or get into action. I am doing something about my life why can’t you????!” of course I didn’t say any of that, I felt so tired by then and told her I have to sleep cause I am exhausted.

The night was miserable. Then I woke up tired, and what did I do? I took it out on my 4 year old son. I yelled at him for the first time in his life. I yelled three times in the span of two hours. I was the kind of father I judged and disapproved off, I hated myself. I had no patience. I believe self-pity was a big player. Why is she pregnant? Why does she have to be so negative about life, why can’t she (do you see where this is going? there isn’t a single “I” in my questions, cause I am just a victim, sounds familiar?). I had thoughts like “I can’t change her, but I can change the fact that she is my wife, God Grant me the courage” as if divorcing her is the answer. Typical addict thinking.

My wife then emails me this quote by Baha’u’llah: “O My servants! Sorrow not if, in these days and on this earthly plane, things contrary to your wishes have been ordained and manifested by God, for days of blissful joy, of heavenly delight, are assuredly in store for you. Worlds, holy and spiritually glorious, will be unveiled to your eyes. You are destined by Him, in this world and hereafter, to partake of their benefits, to share in their joys, and to obtain a portion of their sustaining grace. To each and every one of them you will, no doubt, attain.”

When I read through it, I felt at peace. For things contrary to my wishes have been ordained by God. Yes I don’t like them but if God is the one who decided I should experience them then I should do so. And He also promised me days of blissful joy. I also had a great deal of help from my sponsor who helped me look at my side of the street. I had a good outreach call with another SLAA member who related to what I was going through. Then it hit me. a bit part of the frustration was that I have been sober now for over 90 days, I was overseas on a trip and I didn’t cheat, I AM ENTITLED to a different reality, I deserve better!! Don’t I? Of course the answer is NO, I am not being sober to get recognition from others! I am being sober because otherwise I am dead, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Others might benefit from me being sober, but I am the one who needs my sobriety.


SafeTrip, SLAA

#SafeTrip Day Five – I am home

Day five was the last day of my trip. It was meant to have a full day workwise with a lot of meetings but it all freed up last minute with the exception of one brief meeting in the morning. Free days are not always the best for addicts like me, and free days overseas with a hotel room all to myself and all the possibilities around me is an even worse place to be, so I was a little scared.

I had a good breakfast, I went for my meeting which was enjoyable and brief, got back to my hotel room and took a nap because I was a bit tired. I then did a bit of light shopping and got back to my hotel room to pack and check out. I always hated packing. It emotionally bothered me on many levels. It also was one where I am always distracted by constantly checking my phone and emails to see if someone messaged back or if I could have a last minute act out session in my room. This time it was different. I found myself at peace, I enjoyed folding my clothes one piece at a time and arranging them in my suitcase, I could even go as far as to say that packing was the highlight of my day. I felt so organised and at peace.

After I checked out I took a cab to visit my wife’s parents who live where I was. It was a last minute arrangement because I was not supposed to be free but since I was, I called to check in and they were happy to have me. I enjoy spending time with them and catching up, telling them stories about my kids and answering their questions about my wife’s health and wellbeing etc.

An hour after I got to my in-laws was the First SLAA NZ Skype Meeting. I was hosting the meeting as the secretary and I had a friend who was serving as the chairperson. I told my in-laws that I have a confidential conference call, I need access to their internet and I need privacy. They were happy to offer the space and because the expectation was set before I showed up there was nothing uncomfortable nor awkward about me stepping away for the meeting. The meeting went well, there was a really small number of participants which allowed us longer time to share. I felt like this was my reward for staying sober throughout the trip. It was lovely. 🙂

After dinner I took off to the airport and when I checked in I was given a middle seat on a three seat row. I asked for an aisle seat but it wasn’t possible. I was slightly scared of being between two men, or sitting to close to a man that could be a trigger. So I asked if they could look into a seat change later if possible. They did at the gate, and I was given an aisle seat and no one was sitting immediately next to me. How fantastic is that.

I am home now, so happy, end exhausted. I was over the moon to see my kids but slightly resentful towards a few things my wife did. I need to remember that my sobriety wasn’t my doing but rather it was an act of God’s divine care. And to keep attracting His bounties I better show love and forgiveness to those who “wrong” me. I will finish this, say my prayers, and have a bit of time with my wife.

THANK YOU! for making it this far. For reading my highs and lows, for connecting with me and letting me hear your voice, hear your experience when you identified with mine. THANK YOU! for being part of my miracle. For being a sign of God’s love for me. THANK YOU!

Recovery, SLAA

A spiritual high

I originally planned to name this post “the Sims turned me on” but then I thought I highlight a focus point more worthy of mention rather than search for the catchy title

That being said, the Sims did turn me on. Who would have thought? Certainly not me.

So yesterday started fabulously, it wasn’t a normal day, it wasn’t just another day, it was a REALLY good day. I had an outreach call with another SLAA member, I said my prayers and I started work and then I sent a very grateful message to every SLAA member on my phone book sharing with them how happy I am to be sober, how thankful I am for their support and fellowship. So all cool, right? I also got the most amazing replies to my text.

Then at some point in the afternoon I started playing the Sims game that I recently installed on my phone. I started building houses, getting people to move into them and comes the next task, get two Sims to be romantic and get into a relationship. Guess what I did? I got two men to be in a relationship! I thought that is innocent, right? They are cartoon character, nothing was sexually explicit and they were fully clothed. YET, I got a chemical high from getting these two men to talk, shake hands, and get closer towards their relationship. I was aroused! I wanted to masturbate.

I have been sober for 2 months, and then the thoughts came to my head to help me get my fix, such as: “I could have a shorter sobriety duration for masturbation and just go get off now”. I obviously knew that was an insane thought. So luckily enough I didn’t.

So now I was faced with a decision to make, I knew I had gotten myself into a “shot of whisky in a glass of milk” situation (refer to the AA Big Book for details). I knew that I had to uninstall this game. But I didn’t do it right away.

Last night, we had a study group as part of my religious group and we were sitting reading the Holy Writings and reflecting on the life of one of the Central Figures of our faith. During this meeting I felt a sense of a spiritual high that I didn’t experience for a really long time, tears were trapped in my eyes and I was in AWE. I knew at this moment that I am feeling this way only because I was sober. And I knew at this moment that it is worth the pain and that I am so thankful to have been sober.

Cravings chased me again later that night after bedtime but well, I pulled through! This morning I uninstalled the game and I talked to my sponsor about it.

I am grateful the day passed, I am grateful I am still sober and that I am here to tell the story.