Thursday, June 16, 2005

A good question

I am spending some time asking myself this question. Why do I want to recover from sex and love addiction? Sometimes I feel like I don't. Some days I hate my sobriety. Some days I think it is worthless. My previous sponsor once told me that sexual abuse victims have it the hardest, that most of them can never truly recover from addiction because of their trauma. That was very defeating to me. I have used it to fight against helping myself. And on those days I think recovery is worthless, it is because I think I am never going to be able to succeed, so why try.

Why try? Because I spend half my days in tears and agitation now. I am sad, lonely, empty. I want my life back. I want to not just pretend to be full of life. I want to be in touch with my life and know that it's in there. I want to feel. As long as I'm an addict I have trouble feeling anything.

Sometimes one of my friends tells me I think too much, but it's simply out of desperation -- wishing that I could just feel something. Maybe I'm even addicted to the pain and loneliness, because at least it is something.

I wasn't always like this and it's hard to accept that my entire life has been a lie, and certainly hard to think that the rest of my life will be like this. But I am thankful to be realizing that at 36. And I will keep plugging along, asking questions, and being thankful. There's a big wall to knock down between me and myself. The only tool I have is God, his patience and understanding, and his gifts -- which include the program and the people I have met through it.

In case you didn't notice ... the wall went up somewhere between the two paragraphs above. The feelings come and even though I say I want to feel, I shut them off. I can't stand not being in control of them -- and until I accept them, let them come, feel them -- I'll always be here.

A prayer for my brother

Our Heavenly Father,

When the plane lifts off today at 7:10 p.m. bound for Israel it will be carrying some precious cargo. There's a gift to the world on there. He is my brother. The brother you gave me.

Surely those around him will notice that he is strong, but what they can't see is the strength that is buried beneath the brawn. They may see the intensity of his eyes, but they cannot see the sharpness and creativity of his mind. They may see the lifting spirit of his smile, or even feel his presence, but they cannot see all that he carries inside.

Thanks to your precious love, I have seen inside him, and I know, as you know, that inside him is the world -- all its pain, all its glory, all its curiosity, all its fear, all its life, all its death, all its love, all its hate, all its strength, all its weakness, all its happiness, all its anger, all its hope. It all exists inside of him. You have given him a great responsibility, because you knew he is at heart a survivor, a strategist, a person who can carry the load, for those among us who cannot.

The people he encounters on his trip -- the pilot, the passengers and crew, those he meets in Israel, will have no idea of these things. But you will, and I know you will protect and bless him, care for his needs, and remind him at all the right times that he has everything he needs -- and more than anything help him to remember that he has love, the love of many, many people who walk with him. I am one of them, and for that I am truly thankful.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Answers to three questions

What are five things that you dislike about the way you interact with others?
a. I am controlling and manipulative -- I want everything to be my way. If it is not, then I think it is wrong. I become angry when I am not in charge and when I want something to be a certain way, I think of the actions I can take to make them go that way.. I even want to control how people think -- For example, I want people to like me and I will do anything I have to make them like me. Like you, I do not like confrontation. I don't like to leave them to their own thoughts.
b. I am judgemental
c. I am dishonest -- In my life I have lied -- a lot. I have lied to my husband, to my friends, family -- all in order to live this secret life.
d. I am weak -- Even though I always want to be in charge, when I am in charge, I often don't know what to do, which leads to more lies, and an inability to say ... "I'm not sure" unless it is a good manipulation tactic.
e. I sometimes feel inferior and ashamed, which makes it hard to talk to people on an "equal" basis.
Here's an example of manipulation -- I want to say ... Don't worry, I know this sounds harsh, but I have as many things that I like about myself, because I don't want you to think certain things about me. Hell fire, it should be OK for you to think whatever you want. It's not going to kill me. Being dishonest for the rest of my life is.

What are your five biggest pet peeves?
a. People who are rude and unsympathetic, especially those working in customer service.
b. People who are selfish
c. People who think it's cool to blast their bass radios in the car beside me.
d. Repetitive questions when I am trying to think.
e. Women who act stupid in order to get attention.
(Did I mention I am judgemental :) )

What are five things that make you smile?
a. Watching kids laugh and play
b. A good song on the radio that I didn't expect to hear
c. Hearing from an old friend
d. Knowing that someone I love has had a triumph
e. Right now, knowing that I have a lot to look forward to in my new home

Sunday, June 05, 2005

"We each are spinning our individual threads, lending texture,
color, and pattern, to the "big design" that is serving us all. Person by person
our actions, our thoughts, our values complement those of our sisters (and
brothers), those of the entire human race. We are heading toward the same
destination, all of us, and our paths run parallel on occasion, intersect
periodically, and veer off in singleness of purpose when inspiration calls

This came from one of the Hazelden meditations and I thought it was appropriate for what I wanted to share today.

Something else I heard today that made me think of you all was an anonymous quote ... "Our friends are God's apology for our family." Wow! I accept and am forever grateful for the friendship that I have found in recovery. It is a blessing beyond words.

I sat down to write that the final decision about our move back to our home state has been made. As I suspected, we are going. The resignation letters were written and our landlord received notice that we will be vacating our apartment here in July. My husband is accepting a position as vice president of his former company. It is a tremendous opportunity for him, and also a good chance for me to do some starting over.

I have thought a lot about a song someone mentioned recently ... "You've got to walk that lonesome valley, you've got to walk it by yourself, ain't nobody here can walk it for you, you've got to walk it by yourself." It is so true. Sometimes I feel so alone in this journey. Even in making such a major decision, I have felt myself disconnected from my husband -- one because I subconciuously chose to for self-protection and two because he chose to make his decision in the solitude of his mind.

In the whole process of considering this move, the one thing that has caused me the greatest concern is my fear of separating from the support system that I feel right now is still holding me up. When I think of leaving my face to face group, leaving the Northeast where at least four people in this group can get together now and then, I actually visualize a tree coming up from the roots it has planted so deeply. I have felt like I am abandoning people I have grown to love, and that in doing so I am abandoning myself. It is like when I was in a horrible car accident 13 years ago and my leg was crushed, leaving me with only a rod and a bunch of screws and pins to keep my leg and ankle together. I went from a plaster cast, to a hard plastic cast, to an air cast, to nothing. But the day the doctor told me I had to start walking without crutches, I was literally scared to death. I was afraid I could not walk on my own. I feel that way now.

But the fact is ... I am not doing this on my own. I am choosing to isolate myself and feel alone, because it's the only place I've ever known to turn -- inside. Yet, if I open my eyes and see the gift of friendship that God has given me -- I see that I am not the only one suffering from these emotional turbulations. I am not so special, there are others here, facing their own individual feelings about moving, but holding hands in friendship, and walking together. I am so thankful for the blessings of my Higher Power, and the bigger picture that he allowed me to see today.