Friday, November 12, 2010

Just a sip

I became aware at last night's meeting that I was trying to control everyone and everything around me. I was telling someone else to lead the meeting, then taking over by telling that person everything they needed to do. One member suggested to me that we cut the reading short to accommodate more shares. I said no, then changed MY mind and told the leader to cut the reading short. Some of the men in the meeting were acting silly and I was feeling so chaotic ... I just was ill at ease with myself.
One of the things I am working on in my recovery is humility. A part of that is stepping back from being "the leader." With the help of working the Steps and the revelations of my Higher Power, I discovered I always put myself in positions of authority or leadership so that I can be in control of the outcome of most any situation. In doing this, I also separate myself from other people. I can cause others to feel intimidated. I can appear busy and inaccessible thus leaving me alone. And, oh how my addicted self loves the misery, loneliness and self-pity it finds in isolation. For it is in that isolation where I long for just a small foray into my diseased behavior. I rarely feel any desire to really get fully involved in my disease, but there are times on a regular basis that I feel so uncomfortable in my skin that I just want some release from the discomfort and pain of feelings and emotions -- simple ones even -- that I don't seem able to deal with.
Unfortunately, in sex and love addiction, like all other addictions, there is no such thing as "just a sip." If I go on to one of my old websites "just to see" what people are looking for or engaging in, I am participating in middle circle behaviors that will no doubt -- NO DOUBT -- lead to acting out. It's like an alcoholic sniffing the bottle of whiskey. I cannot begin conversations with past lovers or potential new lovers pretending to just want someone to talk to -- the equivalent of taking a sip of whiskey from a completely full bottle -- without finding myself fully involved, making plans, and eventually feeling deep regret and being forced to start all over again searching for some semblance of peace and serenity in an otherwise chaotic world.
Because of the cyclical nature of addiction, I have to be hypervigilant about maintaining my spiritual condition, identifying those moments when I'm feeling that life is spinning out of control and compelled to stop it by grasping anything and everything that can cause me to feel in control. It's important that I'm fully aware of those impulses, so that I can remind myself to give the reigns to my Higher Power. In order to do that, I need to get quiet and humble and prayerful and let the storm pass. It won't last forever. If I give in to that voice that says ... "Take just a sip, it will relieve the pressure. It's not going to hurt anything," I lose all access to my Higher Power, all access to manageability, and I find myself taking a sip that might never end.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and thank you for the wisdom to know the difference. May thy will, not mine be done.


Eli said...

Nice to hear from you the other day, Rae. I've thought of you often and wondered how you were doing.

I'm involved in leadership in many places. Lately I've been sorting out where it's healthy and where it's not. I know that sometimes I'm at my best when I'm leading others. And sometimes I'm slipping into the hyper-busy role that you describe here. It's a way to get numb that looks good from the outside.

I noticed you refer to middle-circle behaviors. Are you involved in SAA in addition to SA?

Eli said...

I think of you often, Rae. I'm really coming to terms with my eating addiction and how much it grows when I am sober from the other problems in my life. Hope things are well for you.