Giving it a red hot Go!

Just got to do the Melbourne convention. It was absolutely amazing! I was there the whole day and did loads of service, which is great, because I have never really been involved in service at a convention. I hadn’t discovered my primary fellowship until I found a home in these rooms and it was a beautiful experience for me that went full circle.

The first topic was healthy relationships, followed by healing the guilt and the shame and it finished off with “do you really want to have casual sex?” – For some reason the topics in that order left me with a well rounded perspective. First I got to hear what a healthy relationship looks like, just listening affirmed that I am really on the right track, firstly with the relationship to self, followed by the relationship I have been building with my Higher Power. It was followed by healing the guilt and shame and I got really vulnerable. My experience with this topic, was looking at the core belief systems, which make me feel like I don’t deserve that loving relationship. It got to the root of why I just give myself up so easily. The childhood tape of “I’m not good enough!” and “It’s not ok to get things wrong/make mistakes”. Once that was addressed, it moved up to the surface, to grapple with whether I really want casual sex or not… And the answer is yes, but the realisation is that I can’t have it. And it’s through becoming aware of it and noticing my misconception that Sex = Love = Sex = Intimacy… That I am able to let go of my desperate need for sex and simply have it as a byproduct of a loving relationship – as the program promises.

So after the big bonanza 😉 I have decided to go on a date tomorrow. We are planning to go on a beach walk, but typical Melbourne weather forecast 13 and rain… Hahaha Joys!!! I am busy frantically reading sober dating guidelines, in an attempt not to loose myself in the situation. The truth is a really like the girl. We have been speaking for 3 or 4 months now and I am quite excited.

To answer the questions in the outline: I have spent 9 months sober from acting on bottom line behaviours and I see my addictive patterns as clear as day. I have used withdrawal a number of times and may need to use a pause every now and again, but my pattern is avoidance, so I will need to start to learn to sit with the uncomfortable feelings. I can date soberly, by not having sex or physical contact for 90 days (This is going to be the hard one for me – one thing I have learnt, is that if things turn sexual, I run for the hills and considering I am trying to break that pattern, it motivates me to keep my hands off this time) – I have a sponsor, I’ve worked the 12 steps, I don’t have a dating plan… yet! (Tonight that is what I am working on) – My intention is to get to know her better, do things we both enjoy and see if we can just hang out in one another’s company. I would like companionship and socialisation. My dating history is the same as the stereotypical lesbian with the u-haul story… Sex on the first night, move in after 2 weeks, have a toxic relationship for 2 years and end up in another country hahaha! <—– Hahaha, no wonder I am scared to date!

My biggest character defect is my avoidance (FEAR) – especially by the overwhelm of sexual attraction. The fear is of loosing (CONTROL), which is funny, because if I surrender and practice the third step, I shouldn’t be trying to control anything, so no need for the fear of loosing control… I am powerless. I have a good support network. I have my people – those who don’t judge and support me no matter what. My sponsor knows who I am dating.

My bottom line behaviour – I need to avoid, avoiding 🙂 Running is not an option in this one. If I choose to exit, I strive to do so as an adult (Please God help with this)… My life needs to come first while dating and no relationships for another 6 months… Just because I am prone to falling into them so darn easily.  My top line behaviours are the same as always. Maintain friendships; Do comedy classes; Take walks on the beach; Exercise; Meetings; Step work; Outreach; call my sponsor.

My addictive pattern is to always choose unavailable partners and having sex too early – So one down, one left to tackle. What do I mean by ‘available’? Hahaha, well a good start is for her to be lesbian… I always overlook that one 😉 – Secondly, her not being in a relationship with another person is a pretty good start for me too. She likes me back, which is another huge plus. Being sexual to me?… Kissing counts as sexual. Holding hands could even be dangerous, so that probably needs to be added in there too. Things are not going well, if we end up having sex before the 90 days is over and if we start living in one another’s pockets. The red flags I tend to ignore are the moving too fast flags. Once I get caught in that current, my whole outlook changes to anything goes. “Ah well we’ve broken those boundaries, might as well break em all!”. I don’t normally stay in unhealthy relationship, I normally run. I did become financially insecure with my last partner a bit and moved country and had nowhere to run to, so I stuck around until I got my independence.

I got 3 more pages of questions to answer on the sober dating guideline. The next question talks about balance and, well… I actually need to get some uni work done tonight, so I think that enough time spent focussed on relationships. Glad I have this outlet as a point of expression. Am I going to get it right? – Who knows! At least I will learn a lesson in the process.

Image result for learning to swim cartoon

 

Matters of the Heart

Gentle... spring... by mechtaniya

Today was one of the most excruciating times I have ever faced in recovery. I bawled my eyes dry this morning and as I lay there sobbing in the fetal position, gasping for air… I wondered, what am I doing in Australia? Why am I still so far away from home?

The truth is I love it here. There are just some days, where I feel like I am just holding on (white knuckling it, as they say). I also know that wherever I go, I take myself with me. I am lonely on my own and I am lonely in a room full of people (even if those people are my family).

Today was like something out of a dream, Déjà vu type experience. Granted it felt like I had cotton wool wrapped around my head from crying and like someone had taken a baseball bat to my skull, my head was pounding so hard. I felt like I was looking at life through the lens of my 10 year-old self. I felt as lonely, helpless and innocent as the day my family left me behind. Even the colours looked like they had a sepia effect. It felt nostalgic and raw. Nothing quite like anything I have ever experienced. It was so familiar and yet so foreign all at the same time.

Yesterday, I made a mistake and I took my closest friend’s inventory for her. It obviously didn’t get received well and though, when I was wrong, I promptly admitted it. The damage had already been done. She has disconnected from me. This is one of my dearest friends and the closest person to my heart. Now, I know, and many times I have preached, that the only person who can abandon me is me. I also know, this has nothing to do with her. What it did trigger was the pain I felt when I was young. I blurted something out in anger once and my dad ‘banished’ me. He refused to speak to me and sent me to live with my mom. From that day I have had an overwhelming fear of saying the wrong thing. In fear that I might loose you. I remember the remorse I felt and the overwhelming regret. I wished so deeply that I could have done things differently – that I could go back and undo what had been done.

My core belief became, “I can only get love by doing or saying the right thing” – there are times when I will say nothing at all, for fear of being rejected. My friend pulling away after I said the ‘wrong thing’, was like a scab being torn away and whats left is a gaping, bleeding wound, as fresh as the day it was made. This is the wound that makes me want to run. The pain that has me questioning if I can keep going. This is blood drawn from my veins, leaves me so drained and exhausted that I just feel I need to throw in the towel and give up. If I turn around and walk away, I can go far enough and I can forget the whole thing. I can even forget you, if I try hard enough to. – This is my brain rationalising, at it’s finest!

Today I didn’t run. I called my therapist. She facilitated my pain. I felt heard and validated and so proud of myself for picking up the phone. The second call was to my sponsor. She facilitated solutions, she shared her experience and gave me a good lesson in boundaries. Both calls were effective and God has put two of the greatest women in my life. I am blessed beyond words and I have profuse gratitude toward them and to God. I was met with loving words and nurture, as well as an action plan, so that I may use this pain as a learning experience.

And the rest of the day… well, I felt fragile and I wanted to hide. I went to work and my case manager was onsite, which made me want to dissolve, but I just fronted up. After she left, my client asked me to do something we had never done before. She asked if I wanted to walk to the park, instead of giving her a pilates class. We ran there. Then we ran around the oval a few times. We walked back and all the flowers have come unveiled for this beautiful spring afternoon. The gardens were splashed with the pastel colours of pink and purple and the trees dotted with colour. We turned the corner to see the sky stained crimson, as the sun set. We visited an elderly woman and picked some of her grapefruit after walking the rest of the way home kissed by the warmth of the Melbourne spring. Days this serene are rare in this part of the world. I felt like God was holding me with the gentleness of these conditions. Caressing my soul with the beauty of my physical surroundings. My heart is tender, but still beating… I feel loved, throughout all of the pain. Today was a gift.