Two Young!!!

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The last time I blogged, I wrote about putting my program down. Now I am a strong believer in if you put your program down, you will be in a heap load of pain. This is true for me in the sense that I relapsed (on the sex stuff). The interesting paradox, is that the lessons come after the pain and I guess it was a risk worth taking. I learnt so much in the last month! Whereas before I was too afraid to stop doing the work, because I thought I was going to die.

I learnt to sit with a feeling. I learnt that I am not going to die when life gets unmanageable and I learnt that when life gets really bad, all I need to do is pick up my program. I have my ex girlfriend to thank for that – or my qualifier as they call it in this 12 step fellowship. We came into recovery together. We broke up after a year and in a desperate attempt to not relapse on drugs I started working a program like my life depended on it. The result was entering into a group, which made top lines a priority (my top lines were going for walks on the beach, doing comedy classes, socialising, talking to people… the list goes on!). For any normy, this would sound like day to day activities. If you are an addict like me, writing out these things as a good behaviour goal, stops me from either compulsively over working or spending the entire day in bed without showering.

It’s interesting, because I started this blog post before I lapsed and now I am finishing it after and the shift is fascinating. I had so much hope and strength in my bones before and now I feel slightly defeated. I am only on day 1 (well tomorrow will technically be day 1) – When I first entered this program, I relapsed that many times, that I was well aware of how each day felt leading up to day 30. Day 1,2 & 3 are all ok, because the high of acting out hasn’t quite worn off yet. Day 4 & 5 whatever pain you were trying to mask with acting out hits like a ton of bricks, compounded with guilt, shame and remorse. In my opinion, if you survive day 4 & 5, you can survive anything. By day 10, some normality starts to enter your life again and you feel like life is actually possible. And by day 20, you start to feel really good. – Well this is my experience anyway. It is by day 20 that I start to feel so good that I forget the pain and 20-23 I forget the pain to such an extent that I become cocky with my recovery – I think I start to glow when I feel that good and all of a sudden people just start coming out of the woodworks (temptations!) – If somehow you can sustain abstinence through this period, the drive to get 30 days outweighs the temptation and, somehow I tend to be able to white knuckle it there. Once I hit day 45 I feel absolute relief. So that is my goal – 90 days, but I will begin by aiming for 45 and doing it one day at a time. I have done 9 months of sustained sobriety, so I am happy to do it again, plus I have therapy in 21 days… pointless doing therapy while acting out.

So why the relapse? One could say it’s from sober dating someone without a secure attachment style. I wish that was the reason, but that was the slip, not the relapse. Last Monday, I unlocked some major childhood trauma in a brain spotting session with my therapist. My dad used to punish me by locking me in the cupboard, until I stopped crying. This happened when I was only 5 years old and cripples me in every area of my life today! The fear of getting things wrong, being punished and abandoned, causes me so much anxiety in work, relationship and even food, I had to sit with this feeling this week. I slipped with this girl, by going too far into physical intimacy. After the slip, I simply recommitted to my program and it was a great solution. I did a meeting every night, started working through the “Facing the Shadows” workbook – Patrick Carnes and picked up my 10th and 11th step.

What got revealed was my pattern of preoccupation – ritualisation – sexual acting out – despair, then the cycle repeats itself. I thought I did a sterling job of arresting it in it’s first cycle, but I spoke to my mom on the phone last night and we spoke about the abuse. She brought up that my dad did it to me when I was going through my terrible two’s… My heart sank, it still sinks and I well up (and I’m still in the fogginess of acting out – so I don’t even want to imagine the pain that is on its way) – I can’t help but picture a two year old girl being thrown into the cupboard and left there. My heart hurts!

I don’t really have that much more to say about that, because it’s still really raw and painful. My life makes sense though, why I am so full of fear and have such high expectations of myself. Why I always want to hide and any expression needs suppression… I was 2 years old, how the hell was I supposed to know what was right and wrong!?!

I relapsed on masturbation and even after I tried to numb out, I am still in tears writing this. I know acting out is not the solution. I also know I am going to be in even more pain soon. I know I wont die though and I know I have the tools to get me through. God has got me, as always! Just needed to get honest. This is my road to recovery. It’s not always going to be strength and hope. I am still going regardless… not sure how, but I am still here.

The Gruesome Truth

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Twelve steps in Sex & Love Fellowship done! 🙂 I totally did them to prove a point, but who cares what the motivation is for positive behaviour, because at least now they are done once completely. I feel really content and I have had the pleasure of experiencing the quietness of mind, even through slippery times.

My major excitement comes at the fact that I can now recommit to the money program. I can address the compulsive need to prove, because that is one of the symptoms, and get to work at setting goals for life and building self worth. For me, through my experience (and now I can say it, because I did put all other programs down, just to work on one) – I need to work programs simultaneously, because really my addiction is forever manifesting and one of my triggers for acting out sexually is financial stress. So I have contacted my money sponsor and tonight I have set the intention to recommit to that program, while running the sex stuff parallel.

Working through Chapter One of Patrick Carnes, “Facing the Shadows” has just smashed through the denial and the cockiness I developed through sustained sobriety. I am a sex addict, who loves to play the victim of crazy lovers or of misplaced love… playing myself a concerto on the world’s smallest violin. When the truth is, I am a hunter, a predator if you must. I am just “a shy little, blonde girl”, so you would never guess it. I got away with this disguise loads in my active drug addiction. I was a dealer, who used to get off on getting away with ‘murder’, because the cops never questioned my involvement in anything.

The truth hurts! While working through the book, I couldn’t stop shaking my head in shame. I know I have a disease, but I am not proud of my behaviour and seeing the beast in it’s vulgarness is confronting beyond words. Thank God I am used to doing my 10th without self-condemnation… that alone has softened the blow. For so long, I chose to turn my back on my past for fear of looking at it. So ashamed of what I have done. Thats what makes recovery hard for my avoidant self. The only way to heal from it is to look at it and learn from it.

Today I am grateful for the determination to carry on. This is more God’s success than mine and I am so appreciative of the fact that I am able to move onto the other side of this pain, where the learning is.

Almost slipped into the River

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I have spoken before about my addiction to love, or intrigue, rather, being similar to being swept away by a raging river… Turns out Patrick Carnes has the same analogy – I am sure his came long before mine hahaha, but it is funny that the description is identical and I have only just started reading his book “Facing the Shadows”.

I haven’t blogged in a few days and the reason for this, is that I have been in a bit of withdrawal from an intrigue – technically I didn’t slip, but I came pretty darn close and the withdrawal feels just as painful. The only difference, this time,  is that I only paused my life for a little bit and I am back on my feet quite quickly – Thank God!

Having been so swept up in this fantasy with this girl, I lost myself completely. What do I like to do?

  • I love to cook – I couldn’t even spice my nut granola for breakfasts while courting this girl.
  • I love to blog every night – this is my first post in three days.
  • I love comedy – We spoke a lot about comedy while we were intriguing, but it was about shows we wanted to see together and about comedians we enjoyed (which was a massive hook, because I felt supported with my dream to do stand up), but the comedy became more about the motive to flirt than the comedy itself.
  • I love music – she’s a musician, so my world became wrapped up in her music and what she played. What music is she in to and how can I use that to my advantage in the art of seduction – all of a sudden we are talking about sex and music is hardly featuring (it became all about how can I use this music thing, to get what I want –  carefully constructed playlists to set a mood to achieve a desired outcome – manipulation at it’s finest)

My program and my self care went out the window… I stopped showing up for myself and all of a sudden this fear of being alone crept in – I have been single for 16 months and 8 months away from acting out sexually – before this girl, I had absolutely NO problem sitting in silence. All of a sudden I am making phone calls to her to fill the empty space – what is that about?

So how do I cope with this kind of thing? Well, firstly I took a few days off (it is by the grace of God that this happened on a week where I could afford to do that and uni holidays are on for the next 2 weeks). Luckily my fortnightly therapy session fell on day 3 of the process. We could bottom line this new intrigue. I blocked her on social media platforms. We put together a contingency plan should she be at a meeting I’m at (LEAVE! 😉 ) – After the session I went home and took a nap – It was heavenly! I did some work and then decided I wanted to cook.

I spent 5 hours in the kitchen (which for me is my idea of paradise!) – I cooked a Thai red beef curry, but made a vegetarian version with tofu for my flatmate. I found out that if you pressed the tofu and then marinated it, it soaks up flavour much better – The result was delicious – The reward was getting to have dinner with my housemate (carb free I might add, with Cauli-rice as the rice alternative) – She loved it and that is actually what I live for. I put so much love into the food that I cook and to get to give that to someone and see their appreciation and enjoyment is one of my esteemable acts. She made carb free nut bars, which I had the pleasure of enjoying as a treat today.

My therapist gave me the “Facing the Shadows” book and I have been working on that for part of this morning. I am quite triggered, but that is to be expected. Looking at the ways I have acted out sexually is a really good blueprint to make sure I don’t continue to repeat the same behaviour. Aware of how triggering this process can be, I have made plans to see my sponsor tonight and before that I am going to take a bath. As part of my money program I have to shift my budget from driving to using public transport, so that way I will get my walk in too for the day too.

I’m back on track, but fighting hard for my sobriety. 8 months sober and I can still slip as easily as if I was on day 1. This disease is sneaky and much smarter that I could ever hope to be. I am blessed to be on my eleventh step right now, because it is now more than ever that I need God’s help. Working on that relationship everyday is the thing I need to be focused on. One day at a time, one minute at a time. One foot in front of the other. This morning I started by making my bed and the rest followed – This Helped: A little inspiration

Consumed

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An addict resides inside my head
She lies, still and dormant, you’d think she’s dead
She pulls the wool and blocks my stare
So cunning and baffling, I forget she’s there

She stuns me with her cloak of denial
My purest of intentions, turn black and vile
It matters not if you are the softest thing
She’ll drag you along, on a string

No part of you bothered to consider
She’ll blow you of for a higher bidder
For a more palatable flavour of the week
Passes you up as tongue-in-cheek

You try to love her – she tries to score
She leaves you bleeding on the floor
My power gone, I am all consumed
My body a shell, she keeps groomed

To seduce you and to get her way
I am insane, to think I have a say
She may be quite, but she is always awake
Waiting, whip in hand for my mistake

I tear through everything trying to run
I cry in a corner – what have I done?
The pain scars the faces of those I hold dear
Who were scorned by my reaction as I tore through in fear

Shaking my head, my hands cover my face
My mind beats me down, “you are a disgrace!”
Shamefully I glance back at all the debris
God please help! This is killing me!

Addict Uncovered

If you have been following previous posts, you are well aware of the struggle I have been having with intrigue. I have been yoyo-ing back and fourth for several days, about whether or not I should try going on a sober date or if I should just run for the hills. After much contemplation, I decided to run, for fear of loosing control of myself. Being the all or nothing kind of girl that I am, not only did I run away. I asked to cut contact. She respected my boundary, which I was really grateful for, because I was really kicking and screaming setting that one and battling to hold it in place.

We managed to last 3 days. I went to a meeting last night and she was there. I found it impossible to stop looking at her. So at the end of the meeting when her friend invited me to join them for dinner, naturally all resistance crumbled. I said yes and four us embarked on a Japanese experience, where the conversation flowed beautifully and the sexual tension was laid on thick between us. When the night was over I was left totally stimulated and salivating. So naturally I did the ‘responsible’ thing when I got home… I called her! (Hahaha! Bloody hell!!!)

We spoke on the phone for 2 hours and the conversation got really heated at many points. I was engrossed and totally entertaining the sexual intrigue. I was loving it! And hugely ashamed at the same time (typical of my addict behaviour) – I was frazzled by the end and was practically kissing my sobriety goodbye, when she asked me a question that changed EVERYTHING!  She said to me, “I really want to get to know you Nicole. Do you want to get to know me?” – I felt choked up and searched my brain for an answer… I let out a little giggle as I realised, I had no fucking idea! The only thing that was on my mind was sex! Asking me if I wanted to get to know her was as baffling to me, as asking, “What is the meaning of life?” – Hahahaha… Who Knows?!? – Not me!

It sounds crude and degrading and I really mean no disrespect to this woman, she is pretty cool, I think? 🙂 … It was in that moment and through that realisation of not knowing, that the fantasy was shattered and in front of me standing clear as day I saw my addict self. The light shinning brightly on every conversation we had ever had. How they were laced with ulterior motives and impure intentions. They were all driven by sex and seduction. I was delusional!

Now that I have seen my addict self and I am no longer consumed by her, I agreed to meet this woman for coffee. We went with the purpose of getting to know one another… I must say, it is truly amazing how little substance conversations have without intrigue. I feel like I am learning how to talk, it felt so unnatural – like, you have to think of questions and shit… and what do I really want to know? Smooth pick up lines slip out so easily, whereas this felt like stage fright at a comedy festival… awkward and uncomfortable!

So I’d like to say thank you, God! My Higher Power did for me what I could not do for myself. I was able to move through the fear and instead of being left deprived and wanting, I found myself in a situation that was simply was nowhere near as glamorous as the one I had built up in my head. The bubble has been burst and I am left with reality in all its imperfection… It’s Amazing! The truth has set me free – and I even learnt a little more about me today. Winning!

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Oversexed and Underpaid

 

I have been getting a little too big for my boots I think. I have mentioned it in previous posts, but today I got a real taste of just how bad my sex addiction really is. The beast is caged with no relief… Best not walk too close, you might get your arm bitten off.

I went to a therapy session this morning at 7:45am, with the plans of taking some clients for classes afterwards. My day was going to be hellishly busy, but by the grace of God, it fell apart. Which from a money standpoint wasn’t ideal. After that session, I needed it to though. I was totally over sexed! I am at work now, but I had the whole afternoon to calm myself down. I tried to sleep it off and that didn’t work, so I tried to meditate. After 52 minutes, my heart was still beating through my knees. I never thought I’d say, that I wish it was grief that came up, but it wasn’t. Though we touched on some subjects, which were painful. Around why I have the attachment style that I do, where I believe I am responsible for everyones happiness  and that I feel I can only get love if I perform well. It was actually the sexual arousal and the feelings associated, which I struggled with and to be honest, I am even struggling with now, while writing about it.

So again, with the hopes of bringing the disease out of the darkness and into the light, so that I may suck the life out of it (please God help me hahaha) – I am blogging about it. In the spirit of Honesty, Open-mindedness and Willingness.

If I have to be 100% honest, I have a lot of shame around this, because the intensity of the sexualising feels quite perverse to me, but I am assured it is natural. In today’s session we touched on a violation that happened when I was a teenager. It was a sexual violation and may contribute to the disassociation when anything happens to me from the waste down. My top half, on the other hand is hyper-stimulated, which means that even looking at somebody touching around their ears, while having the conversation about “hot spots” as my therapist puts it, will keep me activated for hours. It’s crazy! Sensory stimulation overload!!! I almost had to walk out the room today. It was quite confronting and I must say, a little embarrassing. Self-containment was definitely an uphill battle.

I know the disassociation used to happen when I was much younger though, so not sure what that is about and almost too afraid to really find out (I’m sure it will come up eventually). The good news is I made it through the day, managing to abstain from acting out behaviours, that include sex with self. I felt highly stimulated writing this, but luckily a client wanted to do a gym session, which  allowed me the opportunity to blow off some steam and get my serotonin fix that way.

Pandora’s box has been opened and I made it to the end of the day. Thank you God and thanks to this program. 7 months down the track and it is still one day at a time, if not one minute at a time. I am grateful and almost sure the lesson will smack me in the face in the next few days 🙂