Isolation and Renewal

Kat and I have been traveling together for over a month now and it has been pretty awesome. I see her lying beside me, she is molded perfectly to the bed mattress. She loves laying on her belly when watching TV or using her phone and she is like a perfectly content cat. Just watching her is calming. It is at these times that I am especially aware that I need to focus on myself and let her return to me. To not force her to focus on me when she is so content with herself.

Traveling has been great in that it takes me away from my usual routine and forces me to have direct experiences that I do not ordinarily have at home or for my work. This trip has forced me to deal with myself which has been quite challenging. 

I really do cause my own misery, my own suffering. Learning to be comfortable with my craziness and to be kind to myself is the only way I can be truly present in my life. The child I created for myself to deal with my fear is what I work on most days. Taking care of this child and making amends to myself is the only way I can be with Kat and those I cherish and actually consciously be there for them. 

I have been told that 12 step can be a selfish program and finally I understand by only working inwardly on me can I make outward progress.

There is a world of difference in my interactions, especially with Kat. There is a comforting familiarity now. I don’t feel like I’m fighting for my life anymore, just working to be that better human. Kat will never heal completely from the scope of my betrayal (who could?), but we are in a much different space than we were at the beginning. 

Each day we have together is one of gratitude. I realize even now that I am at the beginning of this book and am still very early on this journey of awakening and in recovery. Every day I realize how deeply disconnected I was and the havoc I wreaked, and the disastrous consequences. 

Now with the beginning of the awakened heart I can stay with the pain, but also be kind with myself. The irony is that my dark side is right there to relieve me of the pain of insight. I don’t know where Kat and I will be tomorrow or the next day. The challenge is to stay present in the moment and be with myself and with her and not run away. Awareness is strong, progress is slow.

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Anxiety Creating Chaos Surrendering the other half of my addiction #2

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As  I progress on this journey it actually has become more difficult overtime. Over the last 2 months I have seen several of my brothers lose their sobriety and it was a good bell for me. Sometimes I just want to runaway from it all, I just want to close down. Just to be left alone, total numbness. The ultimate denial. The opposite of being present. Denying my connectedness and choosing to numb out rather than seek the noble path of acceptance.

I realize now how crazy I am and how I have these habitual patterns which are a form of acting out that create the need for my drug of choice to calm me. I actually create the chaos through my own choices. I go to extremes, I ruminate in my head constantly. I create a default state of anxiety through my own patterns. One of my patterns is I can’t say no. I also need to help and rescue people . What I do really is neglect myself and then I create the environment for wanting to act out and or feeding negative emotions that are pathways to losing my sobriety such as anger and resentment.

I feel that there is a war inside me, with a side of me which is continually trying to sabotage my progress. My very nature is to create chaos. Without my medication, my shadow side is doing all kinds of things…. I am insane.

The major challenge for me is to be here in the now. To dwell in the present. To not go to the past or the future, to not have random thoughts that take me away. Sometimes I just want to scream, to go into a room and detach. The only thing that saves me from this abyss is my tool kits. Going to my breath. I am fortunate to not be suicidal like my brother, but I understand the desire for peace, to make it all go away.  I think the difference for me now is awareness. I really do feel connected to the great catastrophe. I am an addict and I smile and laugh at myself. I will always be an addict. I think the great surrender is accepting that I am an addict and stop fooling myself.

I am a fixer of sorts. As we know the best fixers are the most screwed up of all. I really need to make the leap and be strong for myself. Ironically, I can only do this for myself. If I can focus on just being present.

I have met the enemy and it is me. Well I have a meeting tomorrow that will be good for me.

 

 

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Reflections on being a sex addict (surrender #1)

As i am now entering my fourth year of sobriety and have finished my longest period of celibacy in addition to my monastic vows I give belated pause to reflect on the term surrender and evolving understanding of my addiction.

Knowing my addiction,  really knowing it, gaining insight from it only happens overtime. What scares me now and takes my breath away is how powerless I am. It is an all consuming power that even now I can feel it’s riptide, it’s undertow. I can’t fight it,  I will drown. I have to surrender to it.

Surrender… what the fuck does that mean??? For me it means so much, so many things. It’s an attitude, it’s a philosophy, it’s a key aspect of spirituality. It’s something I am terrible at….

Surrender #1 – accepting I am an addict. Acceptance being totally aware of who I am and my behaviors and acknowledging them constantly. For me there is not a day that goes by where I am not reminded that I am a sex addict. Sometimes I hate it, but then I laugh and have gratitude for my state of awareness while simultaneously cursing it and then smiling. There is a battle going on inside of me, awareness of both and laughing at myself, being kind. Kindness to myself replacing shame.

This practice, this surrender is really for the first time in my life being my friend. Being my friend has been tough, but it’s worth it😀.

How can I tell if I am surrendering. I can tell you I am never doing enough. The minute I think I am is the minute I lose my sobriety.

Next up: Anxiety Creating Chaos Surrendering the other half of my addiction.

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Sobriety….and wreckage and random thoughts #4


I have not posted in while. So this is just a check – in post. I just passed my 3rd anniversary of sobriety. My technical definition of sobriety includes no sex with others (excluding my partner), no sex with self, no porn. In addition, I have my border plan which means no relationship with the opposite sex unless out of business necessity and no grooming of other women, and no physical meetings with other wonen where I am alone. The other part of sobriety is progressive victory over lust – this really goes to fantasy obsession and objectification.

Progressive victory to me means awareness, the ability to tap into my higher level executory functions of my brain to keep me on the right side of the street. I think breathing has been a key to keeping me out of the abyss and just awareness that I am responsible for  my condition, no one else is. My sobriety date is another tool in the kit. I think though the most powerful tool is not wanting to hurt my beloved Kat and my children and not wanting to hurt myself. I think being my own best friend, taking care of myself, is pretty key right now.

I just returned from Japan with Kat and that place is very triggering for her and for me. Japan for me is shame land and is extremely ungrounding. I am very off when I am in Japan and everywhere is a reminder of my acting out, especially when we stay in hotels. Our last visit was easier as we stayed in a house and were surrounded by family.

With this environment I brought up a past acting out experience implying that it was Kat when it was actually the last acting out partner. My inability to distinguish is a legacy of the wreckage. The lies I created continue to catch up with me and hurt the one I love most. Three years into recovery and some days are really rocks. 

 A major challenge for me is my style of communication which is very dependency and validation oriented. To meet Kat half way, to be the man, to lead and to break out of my child like dependency is a major transformation that I am seeking. That’s the ticket- sounds easy,  but let’s just say I am not where I should be and I need to change my ways at a faster rate. I want to and need to be that man for myself.

Posted in border plan, change, manipulation and lies, married sex addict, mindfulness, sex addict, sex addict covert relationships, sex addict in recovery, transformation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My Default State – Anxiety 


Absorbing my daily mental condition, understanding my emotions and what state I am in, it’s a reality I never acknowledged before. When I wake up in the morning now, the standard default state for me is anxiety, or a feeling of anxiousness. 

In the past I would get my fix. Anything and everything. Now without the fix, and approaching my third year of sobriety, anxiety has become my default state.

In a very real way, the me prior to my addiction has returned. This is how I was before. I think I was always anxious. My parasympathetic system is very activated. I am not unhappy about my present condition. I know that this struggle means I am closer to the middle, to the pure heart and nature inside me, that which I have and was and am becoming. 

Now I finally understand the concept of surrender a little bit. I understand why I choose to go to meetings, why I choose to lift the phone when it is heaviest – because the only way for me to truly heal is to be part of the universe. Not to hide inside myself, but to reach out in a positive and selfless way.

So genuine recovery is a struggle. It’s about being uncomfortable, its about living with all of me,  nurturing my positive seeds and not succumbing to self hatred. 

My abyss is right next to my path of recovery, only a step away. I am grateful for my mental state, for my body pain. I need to face it. 

I am surrendering to something bigger than myself. Rebirth is a messy painful process. I am a sex addict. I will always be a sex addict. But that is just output.  Changing my entire being, returning to my essence, that is the deep work. 

Thank you Kat for challenging me, for opening my eyes that fateful day in Cleveland when Roger Water’s quote spoke to me:

I was faced with a choice: to deny my addiction and embrace that ‘comfortably numb’ but ‘magicless’ existence, or accept the burden of insight, take the road less travelled, and embark on the often painful journey to discover who I was and where I fit.

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Seeking the middle…

or no mud no lotus (my favorite Buddhist saying of the moment),  or just do something – but not that.

I have some really awesome things happening in my life. I do, every minute, every second. I have so much gratitude every day. However, I am still an addict and that part of me wonders, what’s next? Am I good enough? What shit storm is around the corner? I just finished so and so, but I know something else is coming…. unfinished business is a regular culprit of my undoing. Ruminations are food for the addict side of me. It’s total insanity.

What I crave is lasting peace and serenity, or what one of my friends calls the middle. Likewise some of my spiritual guides crave this middle space. Everyone wants the middle. Sure the addict side craves an illusory fix that is temporary at best, but while I am living with my addict side and not acting on it, what I really want is the middle. What does this mean? Peace and acceptance with what is, equilibrium.

I’ve got such a long way to go… (to make it to the border of Mexico, geez I’m easily distracted and some days wish I could run away to Mexico. There’s this gorgeous beach outside Zijuantanejo called Playa Blanca, white beach. Can you tell I have attention deficit disorder too?).

The middle way is wide open, but it’s tough going, because it goes against the grain of an ancient neurotic pattern that we all share. When we feel lonely, when we feel hopeless, what we want to do is move to the right or the left. We don’t want to sit and feel what we feel. We don’t want to go through the detox. Yet the middle way encourages us to do just that. It encourages us to awaken the bravery that exists in everyone without exception, including you and me. – Pema Chodrin. Peace of Mind, Presence, Action

 

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The Wave (another day in the life of a sex addict)

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I could feel the wave coming. Its inescapable pull. The tidal force was stronger than me. Fighting the approaching wave was sure to be disastrous. I could feel the undertow pulling me under. The wave could end me and everything I cherish. I stopped what I was doing. I pushed back from the document I was reviewing. I started to slowly breath in and out, I started to think of Kat. I  called one of my brothers. No answer. I left a message explaining what was happening to me. I stood up and walked around my desk to the couch. I proceeded to sit down and meditate. The wave had passed. I did not fight it. I went back to finishing work and then let Kat I know was coming home. Stopping, calming, and resting are preconditions for healing –  Thich Nhat Hanh

Its been a  long time since I felt the tug of the wave.  I reflected on what may have caused the wave to rise within me.  My shadow side creeped into my consciousness and tried to pull me in. I am exhausted. I have had too little sleep. I have unfinished business. I have a number of anxiety producing matters. I was grateful for the wave. It was a bell. My mind is telling me to take care of myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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