Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I came back home yesterday after a short holiday weekend trip with my husband. We spent the entire weekend in the majesty of natural beauty ... and it was fantastic. I did a lot of walking, animal watching, and a bit of people watching. Together we enjoyed much of our time ... other times we fought. I hate fighting, but I'm beginning to get a clearer picture that it is going to continue if I don't continue to work on me.

Last night there was a fight when we got home ... I was very hurt by his cruel and loud words ... but I went to the other room and stayed there. It was my only way of protecting myself. This morning I got up and resolved the 'issue" that started the fight and expressed my hurt and anger at his behavior, without a tear shed. Progress. I'm glad.

One of my faithful readers asked about how "the job thing" is going ... Past job stuff is just sitting there, but I have a committment to applying for at least five jobs this week.

Carry on my friends. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


R. called again today ... I didn't answer the phone. I know what he would say ... "How are you handling all this?" and apologize for hurting me. He left a message saying "I was just wanting to talk to you." Yeah, well not me.

I went and beat the shit of a rock today with a hammer and used the hammer on some crappy gift he gave me once -- a wooden bookmark that he bought me while he was flirting with some woman with a dog.

I'm not good at doing anger ... but I tried to get out as much as I could.

My sponsor in OA told me today that she had only agreed to be my temporary sponsor and I needed to look for someone else. I felt rejected ... but I'm just trying to focus on the fact that if God wanted this woman in my life he would have left her there.

Monday, May 21, 2007


The man who I ended a one year affair with at the end of March called me this afternoon to say he is getting married in two weeks.

I regret that I gave so much of my life away to him, risked so much for him. I put myself in debt because I regretted that I ended our relationship. I put my marriage, my job, at times my life (driving faster than 90 mph to get to him as quickly as I could) on the line for someone who really only wanted someone to say yes. I did this all for someone who would get drunk and berate me to the point I felt like dieing and tell me what a horrible person I was because I wouldn't leave my husband to marry him.

As an added bonus, this afternoon, he described how much money he was going to have to pay to break the lease I established for him, how much he had to pay for taxes and tags on the car I bought him (for which he was supposed to repay me but hasn't paid a dime), and that the rings that he "had' to buy "really set them back." Then to add salt to the wound, he told me for their honeymoon, he's taking his new bride to the place where we had talked of getting married, the place we conceived a child that was never born.

I don't know how to feel. I feel anger mainly ... I want to scream I hate you ... but I hate myself the most. I'd love to blame my disease ... but my disease lives in me.

All this is perfect timing for the fact that I got the call for a job interview today. I hope I can channel my anger and all my emotions into getting the job and doing it well -- forever reminding me that this disease will take everything from me -- from top to bottom -- and will leave me with nothing but a bunch of tears and angry regrets for which I have no one to blame but me.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

My Daily Prayer

Spirit of life, come unto me

Allow me to freefall and float into your deep and warm embrace, sure that I am loved and not alone.

Thank you, Lord, for the hour, the minute, and the day. May I walk it all fully aware of your presence, doing my part as I go.

Just for today, may I know my path and follow it.

May I see both my successes and shortcomings as gifts from you.

Help me to find balance and gratitude, bestowing upon me my portion and causing me to be satisfied.

Release me, if you will, from my fears and compulsions.

Put in my life the people and situations I need.

If I may serve you, oh Universe divine, please show me the way and give me the courage.

Give me the willingness today to accept life as it comes, knowing your will is wiser than mine.

I find in you what I cannot find in me.

You, and all you are, is in me and I am whole.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Change of plans

Well ... I went to SA instead. I was one woman in a room of at least 30 men. It was good to see that much support going on.

But before I left to go to the meeting, I took time to write a note to my husband just thanking him for the many ways he shows me he loves me in every day life. I took some time to think of those things ... because usually I go through life feeling cheated that he is not all lovey dovey with me, that he doesn't openly express his love. That we don't walk down the road all snuggled up. But I wanted to express gratitude for what i did have.

Well, when I got back from the meeting, he had gone back to work, but had left me a lilac stem in a glass, smelling perfectly, and a note that said, "Thanks for writing the lovely note. You are lovely." Needless to say that made me smile and brought tears to my eyes.

See what a little gratitude can do?

The willingness

I sit here tonight, having just finished eating my portion ... meaning the portion I allotted to myself on my food plan, knowing that I have the opportunity and the need to go to a meeting. Which meeting do I go to? I've struggled with both OA and sex addiction issues lately. I went to a codependency meeting earlier in the day. Sometimes I think I am "hiding out in recovery" ... going to meetings, not getting much done.

I mean, after all, I am sitting her on my ass procrastinating. I know where the OA meeting is ... and would need to look up the SA meeting. I can go to both an OA and an SA meeting tomorrow.

What I really want is for my husband to come home and for us to have a great conversation and laugh and love one another. It was after 8 before he came home last night. I use this fact to beat myself up and to justify acting out in my sex and love addiction.

I had the chance to act out today ... and I didn't. I stopped it. I am thankful.

Anyway... I'm doing good about making "just for today lists" and I think except for kidding myself on a couple of them ... I did pretty good today.

I had a happy dream in the afternoon. I was with a friend and we were laughing and having a good time. I want to laugh and have a good time. I don't know what happened.

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.

Better get going. I'm going to the OA meeting. I'll do OA and SA tomorrow, God willing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

These meetings always have something ...

I went to a sex addiction recovery meeting today and heard a woman recount a lifetime of powerlessness over her sexual behavior. To protect her anonymity, though her story is very similar to many female sex addicts, I won't go into many details except to say that from a young age her desire to have men seek after her and lust her was immense and uncontrollable. She always thought that if she tried a little harder, she could stop. If she got more therapy, or worked harder at being a "good person," she could stop. But she couldn't stop. She found herself time and time again back in the arms or lure of someone else, someone where she could get that connection of feeling 'loved.'

As she continued to talk the inevitable was revealed ... her father had sexually abused her as a child ... thus, much like mine and maybe others here, her mind as it relates to sexual relations and intimacy was completely damaged. She saw sex as a way to feel special and loved. I certainly could relate to that.

She spoke of having an affair several years ago with a married man and becoming pregnant with a child she later gave up for adoption, sharing the pain of that experience. This was apparently the the nerve that needed to be triggered in me. Some of you who have been around for awhile know that last year I also became pregnant with R's child and lost the baby before I knew I was carrying it. I have known that I stuffed so many feelings over that miscarriage and the pregnancy itself ... but I didn't realize how strong the emotions of grief and shame were that needed to come out until today. I couldn't wait to get out of the room. I sat there on the verge of spilling over. As soon as the closing prayer was done, I knew I was about to break. I started to sob before I got out of the church and cried and cried in my car before calling a friend and leaving a message sharing my feelings.

I can only think how lucky I have been ... I have acted out in unbelievable ways, reckless ways over the years without my husband finding out ... and getting pregnant was the one where I really could have been "caught." Yet, God gave me another chance ... And how did I use that chance? I continued to have an affair with the same man, until I left him to come to this new city to be with my husband and give a diligent effort to work on our marriage ... and what? I need comfort and I come >this< close to jumping into yet another affair that would totally rob me of my serenity, my self-worth, my ability to think. Granted, I learned some lessons from that ... but I really have to remind myself that this is a disease. I don't get to play around with it. I can resent my stepfather for abusing me, I can resent my husband for not expressing love the way I want him too ... but at the end of the day, I have a disease of addiction and compulsion and I am the only person responsible for working my program, getting honest, and realizing every single day ... this is serious business.

By the way ... guess what's on my phone when I get in the car crying my eyes out? A text message from R. -- who I haven't heard from in ages. I didn't respond and just for today, I won't.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Getting Honest

I went to an OA meeting this morning and heard someone share the story of her relapse in that program. She said, "I took my first compulsive bite, and was too proud to tell anyone what I did. I thought, 'I'll be OK tomorrow.' I kept eating compulsively for the next five years." I don't want to continue any of my compulsive behaviors for the next week, much less the next five years, SO I want to put aside my pride and ego, and get honest with my support system here.

I have struggled to some degree or other with my sex and love addiction issues since moving to a new city at the end of March. I have engaged in some online intrigue and posted ads on sites in order to attract people to contact me -- telling myself the lie that if they contact me, I can choose to ignore them later. Telling myself the even bigger lie that I can handle "just a little playing around." Even though I have been going to meetings for sex addiction recovery -- they have not been SLAA meetings, and I have used that group's definition of sober when it was convenient to say I was sober, and my own SLAA definition of sobriety to claim sobriety in that program. This disease is cunning, baffling and powerful and will play every deviate trick in the book to get its way.

The truth is, when I needed comfort -- false comfort having been removed when I began to get abstinent from compulsive overeating -- I sought that comfort by posting an online ad seeking an extramarital affair. Of course there was no shortage of responses ... but I found "just the right one" -- the one I could manipulate and control and sucker into "falling madly in love with me." I started a correspondence that involved me offering my sacred sexual self -- the part of me that was so abused and damaged in my childhood, and that is only starting to heal -- up for grabs, in return for the comfort of expressed love. This correspondence took away my serenity, my ability to be honest with myself and others, and reeled me further and further in toward the same situation I was in just before I made this move --- proving once again, that addictive love is not love at all, as it makes no difference who the person is, just so they are feeding the disease and giving my damaged self a way to damage itself more.

I had the opportunity to tell a good recovery friend the truth yesterday, but I didn't. I chose instead to focus on all that was going right in my life. The result was that last night I made plans to meet this new victim of my disease later in the week. And this morning, after hearing the woman speak about how her pride and dishonesty led her to a five year relapse, I saw the message from God. I was faced yet again with the humbling experience of admitting that I had knowingly sought to use another person to escape building a relationship with myself, my HP, my husband and those who truly love and care for me.

I am thankful for all I have learned in this:

God has all kinds of messengers. In this scenario, there was the woman who spoke at the meeting this morning and the man I was intriguing with. The woman said the words that helped me to connect to the parts of me that have sought and found recovery. The man was yet another reminder that my disease is still with me and will present itself over and over again, and it will do so to the detriment of myself and other human beings who have every right to be treated with dignity, not used.

This was also a reminder why one of the most important tools of recovery is going to meetings -- it is in meetings (and sharing and reading in these online forums) that we give and receive the messages God needs to pass along.

In working the steps and doing recovery work -- though not perfectly -- I am growing. There is progress. When I first came into the program ... I would never have even recognized that I was using the man to fulfill some unmet need for comfort. I would just have said ... "I'm an addict, I'm powerless. There's nothing I can do. I have to act on this compulsion." Likewise, I would have felt "bound" to have kept my promise of meeting him, and then obligated to fulfill his insistence for sex. I would not have seen that by seeking someone else, I was trying to escape the hard work and responsibility it takes to be an adult. I would never have prayed and asked God, "I need your help in keeping the willingness to end this today."

I also saw the need to get honest and be honest every day. It's not a lesson I haven't been presented with before ... but again, I hadn't learned the lesson well enough. This experience gave me another chance to incorporate this core truth into my recovery.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Loving Myself

This morning I woke up in a not so good place. I was arguing with God, feeling needy and depressed, starving for comfort and seeming to find it nowhere. I could see a day ripe for laying in bed all day or one filled with acting out in my food or sex addiction.

But I kept moving forward, I kept praying to find comfort within me, shared at an impromptu online meeting, was honest about my "need for comfort" feelings with my husband, expecting nothing in return, and responded when he said "Are you going to go for a walk," by going for a walk, rather than getting defensive.

When I got back from the walk, I was willing to make a call I had promised to a recovery friend and we simply talked about what was going on in her life and my share last night at a meeting. And she pulled out the following reading, without me ever saying a word about needing to find comfort. As she read, my prayers were answered. I share it with you in hopes that if you are having a rough day, you can remember that the love you need is there, and that prayers are answered -- our only part is to ask and be open.


May 16, Language of Letting Go

"I woke up this morning and I had a hard time for a while" said one recovering man. " Then I realize it was because I wasn't liking myself very much." Recovering people often say, "I just don't like myself. When will I start liking myself?"
The answer is: start now. We can learn to be gentle, loving and nurturing with ourselves. Of all the recovery behaviors we're striving to attain, loving ourselves may be the most difficult, and the most important. If we are habitually harsh and critical toward ourselves, learning to be gentle with ourselves may take dedicated effort.
But what a valuable venture!
By not liking ourselves, we may be perpetuating the discounting, neglect, or abuse we received in childhood from the important people in our lives. We didn't like what happened then, but find ourselves copying those who mistreated us by treating ourselves poorly.
We can stop the pattern. We can begin giving ourselves the loving respectful treatment we deserve.
Instead of criticizing ourselves, we can tell ourselves we performed well enough.
We can wake up in the morning and tell ourselves we deserve a good day.
We can make a committment to take good care of ourselves throughout the day.
We can recognize that we are deserving of love.
We can do loving things for ourselves.
We can love other people and let them love us.
People who truly love themselves do not become destructively self-centered. They do not abuse others. They do not stop growing and changing. People who love themselves well, learn to love others well too. They continually grow into healthier people, learning that their love was appropriately placed.

Today I will love myself. If I get caught in the old pattern of not liking myself, I will find a way to get out.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My beautiful body

This weekend I went to a workshop in which the speaker, a well-known self-improvement author, walked us through a process of self-discovery. The speaker's general theory, adapted from the theories of Carl Jung, is that anything we can't embrace about ourselves creates difficulties in our lives, and keeps coming up (we keep attracting it) until we "learn the lesson" of acceptance.

So on Saturday we had to face our "shadows" ... those things that we didn't like or didn't want to be called. Of course, my list was a million miles long ... but we had to narrow it down to one sentence that we would never want someone to say about us under any circumstance, and then say it over and over again to a group of three people who were our "mirrors" until we could see that the negativity and "badness" in the words was of our own making. They are just words after all. So ... my focus sentence was "I am a disgusting, fat, ugly loser." These are words that have hurt me in the past tremendously.

Well, after 18 minutes of chanting "I am a disgusting, fat, ugly loser," I still hadn't accepted them as "just words." The other three members of my group made it through their "shadows," so I of course was feeling even more like a "loser."

But the next morning, I got up and went next to the ocean for prayer and meditation. I was still thinking of those words. The first thing I saw was a bird with feet that looked like fern leaves. The divine message that came to me from God was "I give every creature the body it needs to survive." A few minutes later, I saw a seal ... and watched with childish amazement as it went under the water and then came up a few minutes later for air. I thought of its big body and little short fins it was using to propel itself through the water and was again reminded of the fact that it has just the body it needs. A crane flew just barely above the water, looking for food or a landing spot below the water's surface, and a huge bird, maybe a pelican (I'm not familiar with ocean birds) also flew nearby ... its large body and widely expanded wings so close, but never touching the water. I needed the acceptance of my own body ... and I found it in all these animals. Their beauty and the amazement with how they used what they had to go about their day was a beautiful revelation to me.

I too have a body that has protected me over the years in many ways ... it is a body that deserves my love and respect, not my self-hatred. Accepting others judgements of my body is giving away my power and forgetting to appreciate every step of my yet unfinished journey.