Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Feeling sad and looking back

A year ago today I wrote this: My State of Mind

A few days later I wrote Emotions vs. Thinking, which I consider to be a reflection of the beginning of my deepest level of understanding of myself to date.

It is interesting that I had forgotten what my therapist had said when I told her I felt insane. What I wrote in My State of Mind is almost identical to how I feel today. I have had such difficulty after returning to work. I have trouble concentrating, I can't focus and I wonder how in the world I'll ever hold down a full-time job. It is not that nothing has changed within me in a year, I can look back to where I was a year ago and realize that at many levels, I'm not nearly as "insane" as I was then -- stuck in the middle of an affair that was driving me crazy and moving to a new place, not knowing what it was I wanted or needed to do, trying to please too many people and having no clue how to please or take care of myself. I know there has been growth, and I know that for some reason that growth has had to be very, very slow.

I dropped my husband off at the airport last night for him to go on a three day business trip and drove back to lay in the arms of another man. I was exhausted from the drive through the snowy conditions, but I had already told this man, who travels to our area once a month, that I would see him. My codependency far outweighed my sexual addiction in this scenario, though I would say my love addiction was in full-swing. I couldn't seem to bring myself to have conversation with him, though he's a great conversationalist. Instead, I simply engaged him sexually -- honestly deep down wanting to be finished and to go home. It is not that I dislike this person nor is it that he gives me a high. I was just there ... going through the motions, not uncomfortably, but without feeling. I ultimately faked an orgasm so that he would stop his efforts to bring me there, and two silent tears fell from my eyes, as I pulled him to me and asked him to hold me. I felt comforted there in his arms, as he slowly drifted off to sleep and I got up, kissed him goodnight, and went home, feeling empty and uncovered.

Today, I have chosen not to beat myself up over the events of last night. They serve as a reminder that this addiction is no longer serving me. Yes, I am still drawn to it -- because it has become a way of life, but it has no return. Or I should say, the only return is emptiness and pain, a far cry from elation and euphoria. In AA,they say recovery messes up a good drink. That's for sure.

Happy to be on the journey.


Angela said...

Thank you, Rae, for your honesty here. I needed to read this today.

The Traveler said...

I read it. I let it sink in, and let my response flow through me - thoughts, feelings, compulsions to react. Then I read the back links. Then I came back, and read the title, again.

And you know what struck me most of all? You said YOU FEEL SAD, in today's title.

And it struck me that this is perhaps new. The compulsion relapsed, yes. But YOU FEEL SAD, today, you are really feeling how it affects you, afterward.

Did you feel sad, before, in this same way? It seems not, as you say the recovery process has changed you, sort of ruined your relapse.

So my point here is that you are undergoing a monumental task - to re-engineer an entire person - one who was severely damaged in very invasive ways as a child. So it's a huge task, to re-build, and to learn things now that you never learned as a child. Tediously slow, almost invisible progress.

It has to be this slow, to make the new foundation sound.

I think there is a difference, a growth, a layer of new foundation showing through, even in the face of a relapse.

You feel SAD.

You FEEL sad.

YOU feel sad.

A warm hug to you, Rae. Take another step. You may have tripped, but you are still moving forward, on the journey of finding yourself.


vicariousrising said...

I had a dream last night that I slipped and drank. I've had these dreams before, but I always tried to hide it in the dream and I always felt doomed to continue drinking.

But last night I announced my error and committed myself to getting back on track, to proudly start counting days and expressed relief that I was stopping after one slip and not after fully immersing myself in my addiction. I recognized that it was a much better place to start from than being where I was over 2 years ago.

It was the first time I cognitively understood what was meant about not making a slip become a real stumbling block in recovery. Before, particularly in rehab, I was aghast when counselors would sometimes intimate that slips were inevitable and not to be scorned.

Anyway, I hope I don't ever experience a slip, but I do see that acknowledgment, acceptance, learning and moving on from it is the way to go.

Is it weird to say I am oddly proud of you? Anyway, I am.