Back to Sobriety – withdrawal sucks


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.

 

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

 

SafeTrip4 – Day 5


I forgot to set up my wakeup call and my alarm so I got to Sleep in a bit. got up a bit after six. I was a bit late for a call with a sponsee that was supposed to happen at six, but he was very forgiving about it. we talked while I ironed my shirt then I got out of the hotel for my morning walk, then I had a call with another sponsee. I love talking to my sponsees, carrying the message of recovery does keep me sober.

I got back to my room, showered and started packing as I needed to check out before I get to work. I got my luggage sorted then went down to have breakfast with my colleague before we both headed to our meeting in another hotel.

it was a day long training with some interesting segments and some “needs improvement” segments but overall it wasn’t a complete waste of time. the training was supposed to finish at 5 pm Singapore time and my SLAA Egypt Skype meeting was supposed to start the same time the training finishes. luckily I was able to reach out to the members and tell them that I will be a little late. also I was able to get access to the hotel WiFi.

after I got out of the training and said goodbye to most of my colleagues I went to the hotel lobby and started the Skype meeting. Thank goodness for the tower of Babylon no one understood what I was saying. so while I was still surrounded by a lot of people I still had privacy speaking in Arabic.

when I finished I went back to my original hotel where I used to stay, I had stored my luggage there. I was so sweaty and sticky so I sneaked into the hotel spa (which technically I should only access as a guest of the hotel) but never mind that. I got in there, took a fresh towel and had a nice shower and changed into fresh cloths. afterwards I went to drop my luggage at the apartment I will be staying at for my last night then headed to my friend’s house who was having a nice BBQ in the park. I had good food and good chat then I got back ‘home’. I said my prayers, put my cloths to wash and I am now typing this.

I would really like to remain awake till I put my cloths in the dryer but for all you know, I might collapse before the load finishes washing (20 more minutes to go)

 

SafeTrip4 – Day 1


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 🙂

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.

Fast Reflections day 17


wow two more days to go. this Fasting month is going by Fast (pun intended)

again usual stuff at night. girl waking up for mummy, boy waking up to pee, girl waking up again for mummy, but on the plus side, no one wet their bed so it was a relatively easier night. but I still hadn’t had enough sleep. so in the morning, after breakfast and after the kids got up, I went back to bed. at about 8:15 am. I didn’t get up for another hour and a half. it was amazing.

I got to the office late but it was alright as I didn’t have any meetings in the morning. work was productive. I had a few sponsee calls. I had a couple of outreach calls. I also had a chance to sit quietly in a room and say my prayers as well as pray for others in the fellowship.

today I also recorded my first Audio Post. to test the water and see how it goes. you can listen to it below. I like to speak, but I need to figure out what to put as an image as I am not ready to have my face on YouTube yet. (you can see the amateur picture in the video, not so cool)

I got home had dinner with the family and washed the dishes while my wife was putting the older kids to sleep. I wished to be the one putting them to sleep but well. I was too tired to be patient enough, she did a better job at it. when I finished I took my baby daughter in my arms and sat on the recliner chair and before I knew it, I was in deep sleep. I so needed it. got up to find that my wife had taken the baby to feed and my mom had covered me with a blanket. lol.

when I got up I had a shower and changed out of my work cloths and I am now typing this. will post it and go back to sleep 🙂

More reflections to come (at least two more)

 

Fast Reflections Day 16


usual stuff at night, I am used to it by now (who am kidding, I need more sleep)

In the morning, after breakfast my wife said: “Honey I think you should go to a meeting”. she said it in the nicest way possible. she talked about how she notices that I missed and that she misses the impact it has on me and on the family. she was very sweet about it. And I did really miss the meetings.

there is a meeting on every Tuesday evening that I could go to. but I was wondering if staying away from home for so long will be an issue with the kids and my wife. so she said “let’s play it by ear and I will let you know if we need you to come home early. otherwise, please go to the meeting”

it was really nice to hear that. the day went really well, I five phone calls with 2 of my sponsees who needed a lot of support, I had a productive day at work and the time flew by. in the afternoon, I called home and asked how things were, and all was well. I am free to go to the meeting.

the meeting started at 7:30 and sunset was at 7:38 so that meant no dinner for me before the meeting ended. but it was worth it. I really needed the meeting.

by the time I got to the meeting I was really tired. and really happy. I had a quick chat with someone in the room about working the program. his version of working with a sponsor was asking someone to be his sponsor, when the person said no, he kept calling him anyway, and he still calls him “unofficial sponsor”. it was an interesting concept, but as my sponsor always reminded me, we don’t have monopoly on recovery.  when the meeting started, he happened to be the chair person. it was a topic meeting. he chose the topic “working the program”. it was really cool. in the process I was gracefully made present to my character defect “EGO” I was trying really hard to practice humility.

the meeting ended, I rushed home, had a very nice meal cooked by my mom, then spent a bit of time with my wife and baby girl before I went to sleep. I took my laptop with me to bed to write this but I fell asleep right away. so I am writing this a day later. but you won’t judge me for the delay would you?

would be nice to hear your thoughts 😉 any of’em

more reflections to come.

 

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

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.