Today I have plans to act out ... to meet a married man for sex in a hotel. He seems very loving and sensual. Likely we'll enjoy each other. I don't feel the usual struggle. I know I'm wasting my time and this is time that I could be using to move forward. But I'm not. I'm where I am and I just want to have sex with strangers and numb the pain of being close to my stepfather who sexually abused me for 10 formative years of my life, the pain of moving back to a place I consider home and still feeling isolated because that's where my addiction takes me, the pain of ... who knows what. It's easier just to take a big ol toke from this weed I smoke -- sex.
WARNING: This post contains numerous ugly truths that may be potential triggers for sex addicts, PTSD suffers and recovering alcoholics. It also contains some ugly reminders for all who suffer from the disease of addiction. I am not proud of any of this. --- This morning I woke up at 5 a.m. I got up and gathered my recovery books, and 12 Step Prayer book and went outside to pray and meditate. By 6 a.m., I was in the midst of a call to a recovery friend, talking about a very harrowing recollection I’d had the night before of one of the instances of sexual abuse from my childhood. By 6:45 a.m. I was taking a refreshing walk around the neighborhood, feeling blessed to be energized. By 7:30 a.m. I was on the computer, engaged in intrigue, much like what I’ve been engaging in for days. By 9 a.m., I’d only stopped my acting out long enough to feed my husband breakfast (he had gone to work at 5 a.m. and returned to take a shower) and drink a banana smoothie for myself. By 9:30 a.m. I was engaging over the phone with someone who I had discussed meeting in person. When that was done, I was right back to the computer and ignoring reminders from my HP to end my intrigue with a 23 year old boy who had approached me. I told the boy my conscience wouldn’t allow it … he pleaded and .. By noon, the 23 year old boy with a bright future ahead of him was standing naked in my house. By 1:30, I had spoken with another potential victim of my addict, who turned out to be a man who lived directly across from my bus stop when I was growing up. His children are older than me. Even after learning all that (except for my identity) he still was insistent that he wanted to have sex. At least I had the good sense to turn that down. By 3 p.m., I was making up lies for how I could be out of town tomorrow night to meet a man an hour away. By 5:30 p.m. I had asked another man to meet me for a beer at a bar 45 minutes away. We barely intrigued as we drank pitchers of beer together, and enjoyed a relatively good conversation. After he asked me to order the third pitcher of beer, he began to tell me the story of how two years ago he was involved in a five hour standoff and shooting with local police and was released on probation and a requirement to attend four AA meetings per week. “Let me put it this way,” he said. “I had 8 days until tonight.” I told him I was in another 12-step program and had been sober for three months until Sunday. Then I told him, “I gave you your drink … now I should make you give me mine.” We both passed on that one … as I had to come home to my husband, who was sleeping on the couch. He never asked anything and now at 10:30 p.m., he is now in the bed sleeping soundly, unaware of the truth.
Just like alcoholism, this disease is progressive. There are those who can get their fix off a single encounter. For me, it never ends with just one. The bingeing cycle is no different. I pray that today has been enough, and that tomorrow will bring me silence and sobriety. I pray for forgiveness and offer thanks for another day to grow one day at a time. I realize this post focuses on the problem, not the solution ... but that day is coming.
Sometimes the disease gets me, and sometimes it’s the depression. Today my anxiety roared out of control. Although I didn’t have a full blown anxiety attack, I went through an episode that would have caused a sane person to shiver. I was unloading boxes with my husband and he was trying to steer me to do the things he wanted done, rather than work on what I was trying to get done. I gradually began to feel anxious and got irritable. As the anxiety spread, I had to hold back the urge to scream loudly through clinched teeth. Finally he went to the other room, but it was already too late, I was in full blown mode. I couldn’t gain my composure and began to cry, feeling afraid of myself and my ability to keep things together. I tried to shake it off by continuing to work on the unpacking project, but it didn’t work. By this time I was feeling like I had cheated my husband … that he did not deserve to have been brought into a marriage with someone who was losing their mind. I decided to lie down and walked by the office door to tell him that I was going to rest for awhile. On one hand I didn’t want him to see me crying, on the other hand, I really needed him to comfort me. He barely glanced at me, as he said, “OK” to my statement I was going to lie down. I knew I needed something from him. I went back to the door and said “Can I talk to you?”
He came into the bedroom and I tried to tell him what was going on inside my head, but it was too confusing for even me. I just told him that I never thought I’d turn out this way, that I didn’t want to hurt him with my sickness, that I didn’t know what to do and that I was worried I was never going to get better. If all of this sounds hysterical (and not in a funny way), it was. But not nearly as hysterical as it got. At one point, he said “It’s going to be OK, just climb into bed and take a nap,” and I went absolutely berserk. I began screaming and crying at the same time saying that going to bed was not going to solve the problem, that nobody understood that there was something wrong with me, that I was scared I was never going to get better. This is the second time this year that he has had to witness one of these attacks and I feel so badly for him. I do sincerely feel sorry for him that he got wrapped up with someone with the emotional problems I face. I know it cannot be easy.
Of course, I am focusing my attention on him, because I have no idea how to even begin to sort out what was going on with me. If it’s not simply being crazy, I’m not sure what it is. It’s humiliating, demoralizing, and downright scary when you simply lose control of everything – when you want to throw all your dishes through the front window and when you start crying and screaming like a child until you lose your breath.
I had a message on my answering machine yesterday from my dad asking that I call him. He doesn’t really want anything except for me to act as if there’s nothing wrong. I haven’t called him yet. I can’t let go of the thought that the call is going unreturned, but I can’t even begin to make myself call either. I feel numb, paralyzed – not mad, but unable to lie anymore. Some days I feel as if life is falling apart. For a few hours today, that’s what I thought again. I’m feeling better now. I hope it lasts for awhile.
Someone on my Overeaters Anonymous list posted this. It was good to be reminded that in recovery things simply grow.
Subject: The Path of Recovery
Recovery does not happen overnight. It is somethingthat happens over time by being abstinent and workingthe steps. In AA rooms you hear the aphorism - 1 stepa year. Not that you should only work one step veryyear but that the complete internalization of eachstep takes a year. And I have experienced this. Of course there wasphysical recovery and a return to sanity before 12years (thank goddess) but the true deep recoveryreally did take about that long. I was so deep indenial about the food it is no wonder it took a yearfor me to REALLY admit I was powerless over it andthat I REALLY was a compulsive overeater. This was nota diet it was a way of life.The physical recovery in terms of weight loss took 8months but the recovery from anxiety and panic tooklonger. But it did come. This took faith, diligence,desperation, stubborness, support of the group,support of a sponsor and working the steps twice. Ican honestly say that doing a 5th step saved my lifefrom a psychological and spiritual perspective. I wasno longer alone with my dirty little secrets. What arelief! Then I thought I was moving right along with mentalrecovery. But I would have many backslides in thisarea due to clinical depression and a failedrelationship. But that did happen. And it was steps6-9 that helped support this process. As I could seewhat I had done to create the problems and issues inmy life I could stop blaming other, stop being avictim and start really living as an adult. I canhonestly say this took many many years. But it didhappen.The spiritual recovery came about as I cleared up myphysical illness, cleared up my mental and emotionaland realtionship problems. And all along I prayed andasked God for help and this strengthened my faith.Workind steps 10 - 12 deepened my spirituality. Icould see I was not alone and I could see my own innerdivinity.I am a pilgrim on a lifelong journey. Each year I workthe steps in a deeper way. Each year I have a deeperappreciation for the steps, the slogans, and thefellowship. AA and all that it gave birth to is amodern day miracle. And I am a miracle too. I shouldbe in a grave dead from my eating or from my suicidaldepression. But today I am happy, I am self expressed,I am living out God's plan for me.
These are my thoughts as I continue on this therapeutic journey through recovery from sex and love addiction, compulsive overeating and codependency, as well as the lifelong effects of childhood sexual abuse.
Click here to learn how I came into recovery.
PLEASE NOTE: This blog is not intended to represent anything but my own experience, strength, hope and struggles in recovery. I do not represent any particular fellowship or program of recovery. This is my journey and it is a very individual experience.