Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Something I must remember

"Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads."--Erica Jong
There was a time when we didn't believe we had any talents. We couldn't imagine we had any purpose or any gift to give to the world. But it's true: We all have talents, many of them. If we each haven't yet discovered ours, we soon will. With time and the Steps and friends, we will be encouraged to recognize them, to celebrate them, to cultivate them, to dare to give the away.
Utilizing our talents fully, which is part of life's bigger plan, may lead us to new jobs, new friends, to places presently unknown. The prospect of new horizons may excite us. It may also elicit dread. We can trust that, just as we are given no problems too big to handle, we are given no talents too great to develop. The strength to move ahead will always be available if we have faith. And the progress offers us faith.
I will look for my talents today. I will also look for talents in my friends. I can celebrate them, and soon the way to use them will become clear.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Happy Day after Christmas

This is a note I sent to my support group this morning.

Today is a new day. And isn't it wonderful? God has blessed us all with a brand new day of opportunity.
We could wake up and say... "another sh*tty day in paradise" or we can say, "I'm alive and I'm working to get to know myself better and overcome the obstacles in my lifeand I'm happy to have that opportunity."
I choose to say the latter.
For those of you who had a grand day yesterday. I'm glad. I join you. We had a group of about 40 people from non-Christian faiths over for a traditional Christmas meal. We celebrated all the traditions -- eating too much, opening gifts, and enjoying one another's company. Today I have the "wonderful opportunity" to clean up. LOL
For those of you who had a bad day, a hard day, I can empathize. I was the lone Christian in a room of 40 chattering people, my family is 600 miles away, and they wouldn't have really gotten together anyway. My dear mother has been dead for 12 years now, her mother, my dear grandmother dead for 13. I miss their presence in my life and I miss the congruity they brought to our family -- a congruity that is now gone. I feel only individual closeness with individual members of my family. And with some, I offer only obligatory love. With myself, I'm still working on becoming comfortable.
Yet, today is a new day. It will likely present its challenges to all of us. It's amazing the little ways this addiction likes to creep into our minds. But today will also present us with opportunities for growth. I choose to focus on those ... just for today.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

A suggestion

Someone on one of the list servs I belong to said a therapist had asked her to write a letter to herself from God. This seems like such a good challenge. I think it is one I'll undertake.

Not counting days anymore

2004 is almost over. Wow! What a year. I can't believe all that has transpired and how my life has changed. I guess we read a lot about how people go from top successes to beggars on the street. I certainly have learned that addiction can kill a person and rob them of everything good in their lives. I am one of the lucky ones who recognized it right away and was not afraid to say, "I need help."

I took a step yesterday toward further healing after feeling for some time that I've just be sort of floating. I asked someone to be my "temporary" sponsor in the SLAA program. He agreed and I think this will be good. I know I will have to look for a permanent sponsor, but for now, I can at least know that I have someone to depend on, and someone to whom I should rely. Even though I know that I have gotten better since I first started seeing a therapist, and then since I first started going to support group, I still always feel the sting of setbacks and want to move past all this to a state of peace and sanity. Of course, I know it's not easy and I have to be patient.

The first thing my sponsor asked me to begin working on was Step 3, which reads "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God." Well, I'm Miss Control Freak and this is a biggie. I guess even the first two steps were big too. Those are:
1. We admitted we were powerless over sex and love addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

But this third one will be the challenge. For one thing I'm not doing a very good job of praying ... and if I don't talk to God, then I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to be in tune with his will for my life.

I'm still "dabbling" around more than I should. I talked to G. this morning online and didn't exactly say, "I'm never going to see you again." I didn't cross my bottom line of "making plans," but I also didn't hint that there would never be another plan. Why? What was I feeling? These are the questions I have to stop and ask myself. It feels good to flirt, to be wanted for a little while. But then I go through periods of obsessing that are far from worth it. And this is where I have trouble "letting go" -- is God really going to let me keep doing this to myself? Doesn't he want me to make some effort to try and control my actions? I feel responsible for my own actions. God has supplied me with the knowledge I need to make wiser choices ... then I don't use that knowledge. I just get sucked in by the addiction. This seems like such a cop out.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Farewell to a potential lover

This is an e-mail to a man I've never met, but have exchanged e-mails with. The letter I wrote to a man that I was starting my third trainwreck bound relationship with was much worse. The only thing I think I lied about here was when I said that not getting to see each other would have been a great source of tension. The truth is, if we didn't get to see each other often, I'd surely be fucking someone else as well. That's the addiction and how it works. Ugly, but true.

I've been waiting for a time in my "busy" schedule so that I could sit down and write you a long letter, addressing all the things you've shared with me and how they've resonated with me, or how I've been interested in them. But, that time has not come yet. I know that you are patient, and I don't have to rush ... but there's another reason I felt it was important to write to you today rather than wait forever for my schedule to clear. Honesty.
I have not been dishonest up to this point ... don't worry. I am a woman, and I do have two legs and 10 fingers and toes and I am married. However, during the time that we have started our conversation with one another, some things have changed in my life, some realizations have come. I want to be honest with you about those.
I started looking for a lover in early 2004 because I felt a void of intimacy and connectedness at home with my husband. I thought I was really reaching out to fill that void with a no-strings attached relationship. Over the course of the time, as I did look, I had brief 'relationships' with two men, and met a few others. Both relationships were extremely painful, because my psyche somehow could not feel a long-term sexual attraction with a man, without the idea that there was some fundamental "caring" underneath. With the first guy, I simply allowed myself to care too much and with the second guy I believed a bunch of bullshit about how much he cared and how committed he was to me and to what we were pursuing together, only to learn that he had at least two other women (that I knew of) being played at the same time. The worst hurt of that was that I felt like such a fool.
That second relationship ended not long before you and I started talking and I think I "jumped" right out there to start looking for someone else to "medicate" the pain of that broken relationship and moreso my broken heart and spirit. As I've taken time to evaluate and question myself, however, I have come to the further realization that neither of these men, nor any of the men who made me feel wanted for a few hours, has filled any void in my life. They have only served to create greater voids, rip apart my self-esteem and forced me to look myself in the mirror and ask "Why are you doing this?" The answer comes back ... escape ... time and time again.
I am not ever going to solve a problem by running away from it. I am not going to relieve the hurt and loneliness in my marriage by running away from it. I'm only going to create a new hurt, and a new secret, and a further distance. I could go deeper than this, but I'll spare you that.
So, all this said. I am sorry that I didn't put my shit together before I even started talking to you. Frankly I don't know that our timing would have ever allowed us to see each other, and if things progressed that could have become a source of great tension between us. But, that aside, I came into the conversation, emotionally unprepared to start it. For that, I am sorry.
What does all this mean? I guess it means that I feel better being completely honest and telling you that I am not planning to continue to pursue an extramarital affair, but rather try to either deal with the problems in my marriage or excuse myself from it and start all over. I am nowhere near close to making that decision. I have to become emotionally prepared and grounded before we get there. BUT, I have immensely enjoyed (although I haven't done much contributing of late) our exchange of thoughts. If you are willing, I'd like to remain friends, open to discussing any and all things. If you are pissed and feel that I've allowed you to waste your time, I am very sorry and don't blame you in the least. And we part with me saying, it truly has been great having these exchanges with you.
Those are my thoughts. What are yours? Feel free to yell.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Day 7

As I count the days that I'm not chatting with men, making plans for trysts ... I realize that my sobriety is far from near. This morning I wrote to G. because I just had to explain WHY I stopped seeing him. I continue to check messages on Messenger, hoping for something. Even today I sent a "How are you?" message to someone I had a fling with -- rationalizing to myself that I really just wanted to know he was OK. That it was all about friendships. I'm checking my e-mail incessantly, I'm wrapped up in my thoughts. In my obsession, I continue to open doors.

One of the people on the SLAA list serv wrote today: "I know how it is when you feel lost and not know what to do next....feeling little and mainly drifting in the mind. This is also a form of acting out, or actually acting "in" since we escape being present by getting stuck in our own heads with obsessive thinking." I identified with this so much. Feeling lost, numb, unsure of where to go.

Listening to 70s and 80s music today. That's been nice. Boss is driving me insane, I think that's one of my biggest problems. He infuriates me and I let him. We are like one huge dysfunctional family in this office. I feel so negative. I want to laugh.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Feeling good

I'm not feeling good in my addiction ... struggling like hell, trying to make Day 6 completely sober. But I'm feeling good blogging again.

Maybe one day I'll write about something more interesting than my stinking addiction.

Thanks to Kim and Gus for your comments.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Still struggling

It's been almost two months since I've written here. For five days I have been "sober" from chatting online with men who might be potential sex partners. I am in therapy still and have started within the last month going to SLAA (sex and love addicts anon) meetings. The meetings have been helpful, as have been the online support groups.

But tonight I sit here ... uncertain what to do. I live my life with my head inside this addiction. There are a million things to do, but I can't seem to find one of them satisfactory.

I'm faced with two dilemmas. One is that after I've declared myself sober, I have an e-mail (not a chat message) from someone who is asking if I'd be interested in a fmf adventure. The addict in me says, "Hell yeah!" The recovering addict in me says run like the wind, you don't owe him anything. The second dilemma is that there is a small part of me that wants to call G., the guy who is the lover I picked up half-heartedly after things went to hell with J. Yeah, big surprise that that happened, huh?

I can't help but wonder what J. is thinking. I just suddenly stopped typing to him last week. I sent one message on Thursday morning and haven't written a word to him since. He's out of my life .... but I'll not say for good, because I don't feel that strong yet. I feel guilty about G. and think I should call him and see him and explain. It's worthless, I know.

That's enough for now.