Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Avoidance through suffering

I have really given a lot of thought to this idea that I get something out of suffering. For one, if I am a victim and have suffered, there's less chance that I'll be held accountable for my actions. (Character defect number 1 is dishonesty, number 2 - avoiding responsibility for myself and my actions.) Also, if I am suffering, people feel sorry for me and give me attention, which in my twisted mind means they love me.

There is no serenity in living in that manipulative, maladjusted mindset. I have been blessed, beyond my wildest dreams. Yet, I am without a doubt stuck in my own suffering mindset.

I was listening to an OA speaker tape this morning and a woman was sharing about how she believed in a Higher Power who could and would do great things for other people, and maybe even a few good things for her. However, when it came to the big stuff, the removal of her compulsions, she simply didn't believe she was worth her Higher's Power's time and love. She had lost her virginity as a young teenager and felt it was unforgivable. Her shame and guilt blocked her from her Higher Power. It really resonated with me. I see my Higher Power doing amazing things in my life, but there is still that weak, scolded child, who grew up to do countless unspeakable acts of adultery and didn't even feel guilty while doing them, who thinks she's really not worthy of the grace of recovery. Opening myself to true acceptance of God's grace means letting go of that victimhood, that suffering. I admit that I honestly am not sure where to start. It's yet another layer of the onion.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Remember R?

Yesterday I went to an all day retreat sponsored by Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA) and for the duration of what was a very excellent keynote address, a man whose back (not his front) looked exactly like R sat in front of me. The image from my angle was an exact duplication of the man I spent a year in a torrid affair with, whose memory reminds me of just how painful and scary this disease can be. The man who sat in front of me yesterday even wore a shirt that was identical to my favorite shirt that R. had. Occasionally he would raise his arms up and they didn't look like R.'s. I could not stop looking at the man. I tried to assess what I was feeling. Even now I am not sure, though I know it was neither longing nor rage. I honestly had very few thoughts. I just sat there and looked. At times, I thought of what it felt like to touch R., but not in a sexual way. I contemplated asking the man if he would sit in front of me for a while after the retreat so I could have a cathartic conversation with R. I could not, however, think of anything I would want to say. I wondered if this was my Higher Power's way of saying, "The storm has passed." I resist that notion, though I'm not sure why. Perhaps it is because of one of the core addictions the speaker said all addicts possess.

The four core addictions behind the perception problems of all addicts, according to our speaker Lilliane D. are:

1. Security (the feeling that nothing is enough, we are not enough, we can't get enough of anything)
2. Power and control
3. Sensation (the need to always be "high" on something, to be stimulated in some way)
4. Suffering (the state of being victimized, abandoned, hurt, used or otherwise in pain)

It is number four I was thinking of when I said perhaps it is one of these that prevents me from believing that the storm has passed. Perhaps I was trying to get high on the euphoria of looking at that man who had the physical characteristics of my former lover. I didn't get high. I didn't get low. I just sat there looking. I can see I'm still trying to sort out my feelings about it all. For now, I accept it just is.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What I Want

Some people have a Bucket List. I decided today to make a list of things I want.

I want to:

Comfortably tie my shoes while standing up
Not be the exception
Laugh like there is nothing to fear
Cry because I know what I am feeling
Be paid for my true talents and passions
Accept people as they are, and me as I am
Feel confident and at ease in social situations
Hike in the mountains
Visit South America
Enjoy shopping in clothing stores
Remarry my husband on our 20 year anniversary
Fall in love with reading all over again
Be drug free
Write a book
Be a vessel of love, hope and peace.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

About this time

About this time every month I go crazy. I get obssessive, I get irritable, sometimes I get seriously inclined to act out. It's called PMS. The fact that I've rejoined OA and am not medicating with food at the moment is making PMS all the more gingerly wonderful. I hung up on my husband today. I'm isolating. I don't want to go to my meeting, I want to tell people to fuck off. Other than that ... I'm doing pretty good.

Seriously, I'm grateful to have an OA sponsor, to be abstinent from compulsive overeating, and to see God's hand at work in my life.

How about some recovery talk you say? OK ... I'm doing what I don't want to do. I'm not trying to be perfect. I'm showing up. I am working on striking a balance in life today -- and not doing so well, but not beating myself up over it.

I'm also grateful to be sleeping better. In fact, I think I'll sleep right now.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another one of us joins the blogosphere

I write this blog for the reason I express right on my banner -- it's my own brand of therapy. Rae's Confessions is the place I have come to tell the truths I've been too scared to share elsewhere, or the things that I simply cannot sort out. For a woman who has a difficult time finding safe places, it's amazing that out here in the middle of nowhere, amongst strangers, I find my peace.

I'm always grateful when something I write touches someone else, and was especially thankful to have recently gotten a note from fellow sex addict John F. saying he had been inspired to start blogging after spending time reading what I have shared here.

I'm even more grateful, having seen in just his first few posts the experience, strength and hope John has to share with those of us in recovery from sexual addiction.

So, without further adieu, I invite my readers to take a peak at John's blog "My Outer Circle." I promise you will not be disappointed. I should note that I was having difficulty with opening the blog using Internet Explorer -- but it worked well with Firefox, and showed up fine in my Google Reader.

Godspeed, John! Welcome to our world.

Monday, October 12, 2009

One pound and some notes

I have began to slowly try to care for my body with more exercise and one day at a time am trying to make better choices around food. I'm no where near perfect with either effort, but I'm doing my best to simply notice my feelings and accept my efforts.

Today was weigh in day at the gym. If I go by the "official" weigh in, I lost two-tenths of one pound. If I go by the locker room weigh in, I lost 1.4 lbs. So, essentially, we'll even it out and say that in one week, I lost one pound.

Sure, I should celebrate ... I lost 1 pound! Whoopee!

Yet my feelings and self-loathing messages are hard at work with really demeaning reminders of how many weeks it's going to take me to lose just back to where I was six months ago, and lashing me for every "bad" food choice I made last week, and for the wimpiness of my exercise routine -- even though, for the first time in months I went to the gym four days last week.

The laws of nature go like this -- you get out what you put in. I needed some warm up and build up time for my exercise, and food is still a great soother and satisfier for me. If these things change gradually, they will change for good. Of course, that screaming little child in me wants all this excess fat and flesh gone today and if it is not gone, she's decided we'll hate ourselves.

I'm doing my best not to soothe the uncomfortable feelings with food. I did take a nap, which is another sometimes unhealthy soother, but tonight I'll go to a meeting and be aware of my feelings and offer some love to the screaming, disappointed little girl.


I'm reading Melody Beattie's new book, called "The New Codependency" and finding some rare gems there. It can stir some feelings that are hard to deal with, but it also has some great exercises for moving through those feelings and on to healing.


I received an e-mail last week from a fellow sex addict who had discovered my blog and took the time to read through it from beginning to end. I was touched that someone would spend the time to read my words and I took some time myself to go back and read some of my earlier writings. It was a welcome reminder that while I still struggle, I have come a long, long way. My God, I was crazy before I got into recovery and even a few times since. I am grateful.


Step 1 says I am powerless and that my life is unmanageable. Thankfully there is a spiritual solution. Today, I sought it. I stood looking out my back door and asked God to please give me the willingness to feel my feelings and to surrender my life to his will.


I am resisting the urge to want to run away from my therapist, who wants me to do things differently than I am willing to do them. I am going to show up to this week's appointment and leave it in God's hands.


I continue to feel like the life I am living and the one I am sharing with my husband is quite a mess. It seems so different than what I expected life to be. Again, I'm just going to keep trying and asking for the sincerity I need to travel on this path.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Accepting me, accepting life

Just for today, I've given up hating myself. I am giving up, in this moment, what others think of me, or what I worry they might think of me, and I am accepting myself as a perfectly flawed human being, experiencing life as it is presented.

This decision didn't come to me from reading a book or going to a meeting or attending a workshop. It came from within me.

Within me is a capable, intelligent, loving person, who has been masked in a world of self-hatred, sadness and pain. That person, upon not accepting her imperfections as well as her perfections, her lack of control along with her exceptional skills and talents, delved deep into a sea of self-help books, programs, workshops, searching desparately for that perfect self again, hating herself more for not doing things perfectly in the "new" life.

But I feel myself, my whole self, at last emerging, accepting, and after feeling absolutely hopeless that life could ever be worth living, more than hopeful that I still have what it takes to live and breathe and love and embrace the ebb and flow of life.

I am not bursting from the earth, emerging with grand proclamations, shouting from the rooftops or putting on a fireworks show. I am quietly accepting life as it is, accepting me as I am, listening to the voice inside me, and to the voices that lift me up.

I was given a life, and just for today, I choose to live it, the best I can. Problems, fears and doubts will arise, I am sure. So, will inspiration, love, and support. I welcome them all as a part of my life.