Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Passage into a new skin

Thought for today from A Woman's Spirit

We are not unlike a particularly hardy crustacean. ... With each passage from one stage of human growth to the next, we, too, must shed a protective structure.
--Gail Sheehy

Our passage into a new stage of development was initiated by our desire to stop using (sex and love). The values we lived by while using (sex and love) no longer fit us. We need to shed our old skin and grow a new one that reflects our current worldview.

We are now, and always will be, in the stage of becoming, of trying to fulfill our changing dreams and aspirations. What we can accomplish at one stage of life is different from what we can handle at another. And yet an overall design is being shaped by all our endeavors. The more willing we are to shed yet another skin, the more centered, stable, and spirit filled we'll become.

Do my actions fit my values? As I outgrow my values, I will release them. I will relish my growth today and celebrate my new skin.


Sobriety for most of my recovery from sex and love addiction and food addiction as well has been rather allusive for me, as many of you who have been around a while can attest. I know well that it is primarily because surrender, my ability to give up my own will has been the most difficult task of my life. I learned very early in life that trust of any sort was dangerous and could lead to extreme pain. Failure to trust that there is a power greater than myself who can, if I will get the hell OUT of the way, restore me to sanity ... only keeps me in a cycle of self-defeat, just the place my addict wants me to be.

No matter where I am in my recovery I always feel the growth, as well as the deterioration. Sometimes the deterioration -- the progress of the disease as it changes from one form to the next -- feels like it has all the power to win the race in my parallel lives. Above sea level, where I work my recovery, live my day to day life, and am seeing a lot of successes and reasons for hope these days ... I thrive. I have recently made the moves to start and SLAA meeting in my area and I feel so proud about that, so thankful to my Higher Power for the courage and for paving the way. I'm in the process of making positive changes in my career, and I feel so excited about that. But underneath it all, the person I feel I can't trust the most is me. I have felt so vulnerable lately, not trusting the good feelings and just waiting to f*ck them up. I always do. Because I never surrender ... and shed the old skin, as the thought for today above says.

I must maintain a very disciplined life in order to stay above sea level. I must pray, write, exercise, read, have a to do list and a gratitude list, a daily food list, go to meetings, make phone calls and stay very present. As an addict, I am very undisciplined and reject discipline on the principle that I "need" the freedom of my own actions.

It is so hard for me to simply realize that I am sick, that addiction is a disease, a state of constant "dis ease," where I crave the opportunity to feel "normal" yet constantly am aware that I am not. Addiction, for me, is a state of "not enough."

I pray today, just for today, that I am enough and even when I don't feel like I am enough ... that I will open myself to the truth that there is a power greater than myself who is enough.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A good day

I'm glad to report that today was a good day. I met with a woman about a potential meeting spot for a new SLAA group in the area and it looks promising. I am thankful for the willingness to be open to God's leadership in my life. I pray for the continued willingness to be honest.

One of the things that is hardest about living life as an addict -- whether it is as a sex, people or food addict -- is the inability to be consistent. A good day never feels like it will last and enthusiasm feels like it will eventually allude me. But still, I have been consistent in my effort to "stick with" recovery, even when I thought it wasn't doing me a damn bit of good.

As a result, I am seeing the benefits of recovery in my life -- even if they are sometimes only glimpses. Still they give me hope for a brighter tomorrow.

I also wanted to report that it was a great weekend with my husband. We just enjoyed one another's company and did a few things together that made us both smile. That felt really good.

I have a class tomorrow that should help me get a head start on the freelance work I want to do. I am really looking forward to being in a classroom again and learning. In some ways, every day is a new class, a new learning experience. But sometimes it is nice to be in a learning environment. I am taking three classes (some of them, like the one tomorrow is just a one day class) this fall and I'm looking forward to all of them.

Thanks to all of you who read and offer your supportive comments. I really appreciate them and they give me a little more reason to "keep going."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Like friends do

I spoke to R. yesterday. His voice sounded familiar ... but the feelings (neither love nor hurt) didn't churn inside my stomach until they turned to hurt or anger. We just talked and then hung up, like friends do.

I went to a writer's group for the first time last night and absolutely loved it. It was great to be among other creative types and also to hear some really good work. Mostly it was great to have others hear my writing and say ... "Wow" and sincerely mean it. It was a good boost for me.

I'm doing some recovery writing work around my stepfather and that seems to be going well. When I know it is time for me to sit down with it, I feel a little scattered and try to distract myself with other things ... but at the moment, it's at least not sex with strangers. To be completely honest, I do have someone I am talking to daily, developing a friendship with that will likely be sexual during the times that he is in town, which is about once a month.

Whenever I am in these types of relationships I know I separate myself from my husband, not to mention the higher power that guides me in all my life's choices.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Sometimes I think it would be better if I wrote here every day ... but some days I'm too wrapped up in my disease, other days I'm doing my best to run from it. In an old post -- from July 2004 -- I write about my parallel lives, and say that someday I hope me and Rae meet. So, sometimes I don't write here because I am totally out of tune with which life I am leading: the successful business woman (who, by the way, has recently decided to launch her freelance career), or the sex, love and food addict with depression who sometimes can't get out of the house, or only gets out to have sex with a stranger or two.

It's funny, along the way, I have had a lot of people who read this blog or in the recovery rooms and even my therapists warn me about the dangers of meeting strangers from the Internet. At one level, I always know they are right, at another, I think people would find it interesting to meet all the people I have meet online and in person. I've been lucky that I've never (yet, due to the grace and protection of God) met a real whack job, though I have met a few people who have wanted to do disgusting or humiliating things to me, or vice versa -- wanted me to do those things to them. I have been "fortunate" to have met some very interesting people. A lot of men who are lonely in their marriages, those who are simply wildly horny and as obsessed with sex as I am, and some genuinely nice people who don't know what they are looking for. I've had some amazing conversations, made some good friends, and even been inspired by some of these people I've met. They range from highly successful executives and business owners to blue collar, financially strapped husbands, who just need a little relief from the day to day stresses of life. Some of them, I feel, take bigger risks than me, and I often tell them so. Read my post from earlier this month, where I wrote a letter to one of my "suitors" who had sent me erotic pictures of himself using his real name. He responded with indignation and threatened to use "all his resources" to protect himself. From what? Me? I am not the threat.

A number of you have read my blog for some time ... some of you probably feel sorry for me, others may think I'm a self-righteous whore. You may wonder if I ever think of the wives and the families that are being impacted by my continuing to live in my disease. The answer is yes. It feeds my need to hate myself. I used to think of them a lot more. Now I often only think of the men, and how I use them ... and often toss them away, leaving them feeling rejected and worthless and used. Again, it feeds my need to hate myself. (By the way ... I welcome all comments and questions. Sometimes i can't see my own stuff as well as I can see the stuff of others.)

In the dynamic of my parallel lives, there is a part of me that actually likes many things about myself. This diseased self, I am afraid I will always hate who I am. It reminds me that my mother used to tell me, "Love and hate can't dwell in the same heart." I was talking today to a man I met yesterday. This was our second meeting, and after our first, he told me he felt guilty. Today again he feels guilty ... feels that he has let down himself, God, his family. Like me ... he has the civil war inside his head.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I've felt a little bit of relief the past couple of days from my need to find sexual partners far and wide and have a lot of anonymous sex. I still am corresponding with some potential partners and even had coffee today with someone who could have been a potential partner, but it was far more enjoyable just to talk to him. Sometimes creating this "connection" to the sexual partners is a horrendously tiring effort. Instead getting validation by having a mentally stimulating conversation, without sexual expectations is truly fulfilling.

I shared with the gentleman I met this afternoon ... There are three things that really muck up our happiness in life: 1. Ego, 2. Guilt and 3. Expectation. It certainly is so in my life ... and it seemed to resonate with him.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A letter to help someone else

Dear D,

I have given a lot of thought to the letter I am about to write. I write it out of understanding, not judgment.

You put yourself at a major risk this week when you sent me those erotic photos and video under your real name. (Name removed), Louisiana, to quote you is a "small town." And sometimes the United States is even a small town. As it so happens, you sit on a committee (according to a 1 minute Google search of your name) with a long-time friend of mine.

Had another person, a poser or even worse, someone insane -- been on the receiving end of those photos, or for that matter someone who was actually in (your town), this could have been disastrous for you. I'm pretty certain you probably have a wife, otherwise you would be online at night. Even if you don't ... I know you have a good job, and a good reputation, and if you were telling me the truth, a daughter.

I also know what overwhelming, obsessive sexual desire is like ... feeling like no matter what needs to be done in the "real world," no matter what is at risk, you have to get that "high." It feels like you can't live without it. I can see this in you, because you know all the tricks ... You have perfected it all. You know how to find the woman who can address all facets of your fantasy life. You're good at it and you can't live without it.

I also know what it's like to want to be loved and cared for and also to be hurt and used and demoralized. I know all of this, because it is my life too. I am addicted to sex in the same way that men and women are addicted to cocaine, gambling, whiskey and all other vices. I will do any thing for it, that little taste of heavenly high, but it is ruining my life, my marriage, my sanity. Despite all my efforts of trying to heal from years of childhood sexual abuse, I will always find my way to men like you ... who need to control and own and manipulate, because of their own pain ... and make me feel like small helpless child. Or to men like you who need to be used ... so that I can make myself feel like my abuser. It's what made that slap the other day feel so fucking good. I wanted to use you and hurt you and scream "How could you possibly be like every other fucking man on the earth who tells me he loves me just so he can hurt me?" Over and over and over ... I find men like you, so that I can continue to hurt myself.

I don't expect you to tell me your story ... I just wanted to tell you mine, so you would know I understand, and also to send up a cry for you to please get help before, like so many other men I have seen, you get yourself into a holy horrible mess. I am not one to share with you the successes of such help, because I'm clearly in relapse ... but, getting involved in therapy and more importantly a support group for sex addicts saved my ass four years ago. In all this moving, I have let a lot of things go ... and boredom and loneliness are two of my major triggers for the addiction -- thus you found me, throwing out hooks (online). This group meets in (your town) and is a place where you can find help and other people like you. For a list of meetings in the area ... send an e-mail to (address removed). It's a completely anonymous fellowship. There are others like it: which has online meetings. There is which meets tonight in (your town) at 7:30 p.m. at St. Mary's.

Again, none of this is an attempt to judge you or control you or even tell you what to do. I'm just telling you my story and sharing with you the information I have.

You seem like a very kind and caring man. I am the same. But I am filled with demons that won't leave alone.