Fast Reflections Day five


Friday was a very special day. every Friday I host a SLAA Skype meeting at 8 PM NZ time. but this Friday was different. I was supposed to meet one of my sponsees so that he can take his step5. He is the first person ever to ask me to be his sponsor. and it was going to be the first time I am hearing someone else’s step five. I worked with a couple of friends from the fellowship to stand in for me and host the meeting in my absence.

for the non addicts reading this, step five says: admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. as his sponsor I get to be that human being.

so I had asked him to photo copy is Step 4 inventory and give it to me prior to us doing Step 5 so I can review it. also I read chapters 5 and 6 of the AA big book as well as the reading on Steps 4 and 5 from the SLAA big book to prepare. I was praying and hoping to be helpful. I also talked to my sponsor about it and asked a few questions to make sure I am ready.

I met my sponsee at the agreed time and place and started going through his work. as we started talking we realized that there is a bit more work he needs to do on his step 4 before we proceed further with Step 5. I was praying in my head the whole time asking God to channel through me what would be helpful for him at this moment. we went for a walk till it was close to sunset and then head somewhere eat dinner. we chatted and had lots of fun talking about our addictive patterns and identifying with each other stories. It was really good. given that we didn’t go through all his inventory and he had a bit more work to do, we finished earlier than anticipated. It was clear that he is still willing to keep working the program. I was pleased for that to be the case.

after I said goodbye to him I called a friend who was hanging out in town close enough to where I was. so I met up with him and a few others and spent a couple of hours talking, laughing and singing by the viaduct. it was such a lovely evening. then I drove home, had a bit of chat with my mom and wife, tried to join my wife in watching a bit of TV but then I was too beat to follow what’s going on. so I went to bed. 🙂

more reflections to come

It’s all an Act


It is appalling how I never made a career out of it, I am so good at it, and I believe myself.  and when I am not acting, or when I am tired of it, I am ‘acting out’ the addicts reading this will know exactly what that means, and for the rest of you it means I give into my addictive behaviour.

I was in a SLAA meeting on Sunday and one lady talked about how she was playing an actress in her marriage, another guy talked about being a performer and I heard myself speaking through their stories. I am such a performer, I am so good at it. Actually I always wanted to act, and I still do, if an opportunity presented itself, I will take it.  Putting it out there.

So when I first came to SLAA I was humbled by the fact that I knew very little about the journey I am about to start. I am the resourceful one, the one that is always a couple of steps ahead of people around me, I coach them and counsel them. And suddenly I was surrounded by people who had milestones of sobriety and step work ahead of me. I knew I am addict when I sat in that room, I knew I had to work on my recovery, but my first thought was “I better start catching up”

On my second meeting I asked for a sponsor, I approached the guy who raised his hand to be a sponsor, only to find out he didn’t do the steps, he was only two weeks sober, and had been in the program for a few weeks before me. The thought that came to my head was: “these people don’t know what sponsorship means, I better work the program quickly so I can show them how it is done! then start sponsoring them.” Humble, right? ….. NOT

Then comes this very blog, these very words I am typing, “Message of recovery”, or “a place to express myself”, it is still part of the act, I want to shine, and I want to look good. I am the guy who has this wonderful recovery story that will help others start their journey of recovery, but who cares about their journey, I just want to know how many clicks I got on my blog!! I actually do check the number of readers whenever I post a new entry.

Will you stop reading my blog after this? I really hope you don’t, I am learning and growing through recovery, I am still at step 4, I am full of character defects and this is just one of them. So if you want to stick around you might see a different person. But please don’t just be a click or a view figure, make up an anonymous name and talk to me. Share your story or comment on mine.

 

 

Step 4 – Sexual Conduct


It is a find day over here, I am sober and I am thankful to God for that. I am feeling clear minded so I thought I’d share some thoughts. if you’ve been following my blog you’d know that about two months ago I started working on my Step 4, I am still working on it and I am making progress. The way I am approaching this step with the help of my sponsor requires going through a number of worksheets, first resentment, then Fear, then sexual conduct and finally people we’ve harmed. My resentment list wasn’t very long but it took a lot out of me to complete, the fear list was relatively easy to compile. Now that I type this I remember that I finished typing the list but I am yet to recite the prayer as prescribed. I have been continually praying though, so I should include the portion around specifically asking God to remove my fears.

A few days ago after I finished my fear list I had a call with my sponsor. the call started with me saying that I am doing great, I was almost uncertain that I am done with my fear list, BUT, after a couple of questions from my sponsor he concluded that I am done and that I shouldn’t try to make it perfect. That meant I had to move on to the next stage: Sexual Conduct! So as we are talking on the phone I pulled the instruction sheet and started looking at the work required for this part of the step and I found myself in tears. It was overwhelming to think that I will have to write down my sexual history, I don’t even think I am capable of remembering an exhaustive list not to mention scared of seeing it on paper.

The call ended and I didn’t touch my list, I read the instructions but I left it at that. then I got really busy for a couple days and I started to realize that I am avoiding the work and so I decided to be willing and I popped open my worksheet and started writing a list of names of people that I acted out with. It was hard in ways I was not expecting. I expected to feel a bit of shame or guilt but rather I was turned on! the memories kept coming back combined with a number of insane thoughts around what I could have done with that person and what I missed out on with this person and all sorts of sexual fantasies kept popping like popcorn in my head. All I wanted to do at that moment is go act out. I was angry at myself for deleting all messages, apps, contact details of people that I could act out with. Of course I knew other ways to act out but while craving it so much I still didn’t want to throw away the program and my sobriety.

I texted roughly about six SLAA members telling them exactly that” I am working on my sexual inventory and all I want to do is go have sex”, then I left my phone and went and said my prayers after my prayers I came back to my phone to see a few replies, some made me laugh, some gave me hope and others cheered me on to keep going. These messages got me through the next couple of hours. I got to my desk at work and still the thoughts haven’t left me, I know exactly where to go, what to do to add a couple of items to my list. I decided to go to the online SLAA IRC chat room, over there I chatted with a lovely bunch of recovering SLAA members and one of them “heard” me share as I typed away and got it all out that I was so emotional my tears were flowing while sitting at my desk at work, I had to step away and get it together so I don’t have to explain to people around me what is going on.

The tears helped, I felt much better and that got me through the next couple of hours of the day and that got me to my next SLAA meeting. I was so happy to be at the meeting. I was so happy to have remained sober.

More work to go with my step 4 and I will be here again writing about it.

Step 4 – ink to paper


kind of ink to paper cause I decided to put it on an excel spreadsheet. it is Friday today, and it was Tuesday that I took the third step. the prayer went like this:

God, I offer myself to Thee 
to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always!

I recited this prayer in my head a number of times before Tuesday yet when I recited it on the phone with my sponsor it felt so powerful I got emotional. my sponsor gave me two options, to start on step 4 immediately OR right away (he’s got a sense of humour) so I guess I am at step 4.

there is a fair bet of prep work to step 4. I followed instructions (which is very unlike me) but I am turning my will and my live to the Care of God and he showed his care in choosing my sponsor and my sponsor suggested the instructions so I am following God’s will as I understand it. I finished the instructions by Thursday morning and I haven’t been able to put a pen to paper since.

just a few minutes before I wrote this entry I popped open excel and I built the table in the worksheet and started typing, looks like I am much more comfortable typing than writing. I am hoping there isn’t a specific need for me to actually write it with a pen vs. typing it. (lots of redundant comments in my previous sentences but who cares I am not undergoing review)

I know I won’t finish the list tonight, but I started. I am feeling a bit anxious and getting some butterflies in my stomach every time I approach the step. I need to go home soon so I will stop but then I will come back and keep doing it.