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.
2 months ago