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 6 I am home


so I did fall asleep shortly after I published my last post. I woke up at three in the morning to find the lights on, I went to put the laundry in the drier, turn off the lights and get back to sleep. I got up a bit after six, got the dry laundry out, got dressed and called my sponsor as I took my morning walk.

Most of the call I chatted with my sponsor about the male grooming session I had, he asked question to help me examine my motive of doing this. a lot of it was how I feel rather than how it looks. I will certainly do it again but I will always make sure I investigate the place I investigate the place I am going to and bookend before and after.

I got back to the place I am staying, showered, got dressed and got in a cab to go to the SLAA retreat. what a blessing that there is a retreat on the day. I couldn’t spend more than three hours but I am glad I went anyway. after I left the retreat I went for a final round of shopping. if had a lot of disposable income I would rapidly turn into a shopoholic. I really enjoy buying new cloths hehehe.

finished my shopping, got back to the house, dumped my stuff and went for a walk to the food court to eat my first meal of the day, (yeah I didn’t have breakfast and lunch at the retreat was Pizza and I am avoiding carbs) I again went out without my phone, just got my wallet to pay for food and buy a few more items that my wife had asked for. when I returned I had a slow and leisurely time packing my stuff. I only needed to leave the house at about 7 pm, and generally I would still be packing and not yet dressed until 5 minutes before i have to leave. this time i was fully packed and had a cab booked by 6 PM.

Got to the airport, and went straight to the lounge, had a bottle of water and started watching a movie on my tablet. when it was time I went to the gate, boarded, and I fell asleep before take off. i didn’t even put my seatbelt on. (lucky they didn’t notice. they woke me up for the first meal and I denied it and went back to sleep. It was a 10 hour flight and I probably slept for 7 hours in total.

I got home, had a nap then spend time with the family, then we had guests over for dinner, all happy and well. I am showered, I said my prayers and i will finish typing this and go to sleep.

thanks for keeping me company. my next trip is to Egypt in 3 weeks. i might post something before then.

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 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.

 

#SafeTrip3 – Day Three


Good lovely morning everyone. The sun is out and it is a beautiful day. What is even more beautiful about it is I am flying home in just over 4 hours.

I drove to work yesterday and got there early enough to get myself settled before my first meeting. I had a good few meetings with my boss and colleagues. I had a call with my sponsor. He sounded a bit different than usual, almost made wonder if he had too much to drink. But it was still a helpful call.

There is a gay guy in the Sydney office that I met years ago and kept in touch over time. I made sure I contact him whenever I am in town with the hope of acting out with him. Yesterday I happened to stumble upon him in the office, I asked him out for coffee. We had coffee and chatted, I was very thankful to be sober and thankful I never acted out with him. He appeared uninterested and not that interesting. If I wasn’t sober I would have humiliated myself being flirty and suggestive, then hated myself for not getting what I wanted. This time I was just me, with my integrity and self-respect intact.

The rest of the work day went well. while at work I checked the blog notifications for people who liked my post. I got a like from OAPlascencia. As per my habit I go check people who liked my blog and try and read through their blog to know a bit more about them. this time the blog was full of beautiful words in stories or poems accompanied by pictures romantic in nature between two men. I found myself unable to read through cause it was about to feed my fantasies and trigger me.

After work I went to visit friends briefly and then went to a meeting. I am not a big fan of the SLAA H.O.W. meeting structure. But anyway, I got to share under the new comers’ category because it was my first time to this meeting. They then assigned someone to talk to me after the meeting to make me feel welcomed. It was nice.

After I finished the meeting I found myself wandering the streets of Sydney in my car. I was really hoping for company, connection. Didn’t necessarily want to act out, didn’t fantasise about sex or being touched but I did want to be with someone. Maybe I was trying to avoid feeling alone or lonely. I took a while driving everywhere before I eventually decided to turn on my GPS and head to the hotel. At the hotel I found a family stuck outside their hotel room. A young boy, a mother and a grandmother. They spoke my mother tongue. I called the reception for them to send someone and help them in. While waiting for the hotel staff to come I had a nice chat with them and even played a little with the young boy, he was my son’s age. It was nice, I got my company.

I got back to my room, changed out of my day cloths and had no energy to shower before I went to bed, I had the same feeling I had when I wasn’t sober. Back then I was really tired but I didn’t want to sleep because I might be missing an opportunity to act out. It was weird why I didn’t want to sleep this time because there was nothing planned. I eventually fell asleep with the TV on. Woke up in the middle of the night to switch the TV off and go back to bed.

It is another beautiful morning over here. I have exactly less than four hours to my flight, I am already showered and I don’t have much to pack. Will get dressed, go for breakfast and check out. At the airport I will try to spend some time preparing for the Skype meeting I have tonight, the topic is Anorexia. I need to prepare the script for the meeting and work with the chairperson on it. That will keep me occupied.

I will write to you again from home when I have reached 🙂 thanks for keeping me company