HC: I really miss you.
Me: Then why did you wait four months to contact me?
HC: I’ve been really busy with work.
Me: You mean you’ve been really busy with work, your wife, your four other girlfriends, and your daily craigslist casual encounters postings?
HC: I’m not married! I don’t have any other girlfriends and I hardly ever post on CL anymore.
Me: Then why is your wife all over the internet talking about how amazing her husband is?
HC: This was a bad idea. I shouldn’t have contacted you.
Me: Why can’t you just answer the question?
HC: I’m hanging up now. Don’t call me back.
HC: I really miss you.
Me: I miss you too, but I can’t see you again.
HC: Why not?
Me: Because when I was seeing you, I was really fucked up. I was acting out these self-destructive patterns and you were a big part of that.
Me: Since I stopped seeing you, I realized I was a sex and love addict. I was really obsessed with you, and spent all my free time thinking about you and looking you up online. I was also seeing other guys but you were the only one that really mattered.
HC: Wait. You were looking me up online? And you spent all your free time doing this?
Me: Yes, which is why I know that you are posting ads almost daily on craigslist. You clearly have an addiction too. Do you want me to tell you about the meetings I go to?
HC: Umm, maybe later. Right now I kinda have to go.
Me: Wait, here’s a list of meetings. These are the ones I go to. I think it would be kind of awkward if we went to the same meetings, so you can go to these other ones.
HC: I’m not really sure I’m into the whole meeting thing. I’m glad it’s helping you, though. At least I hope it is. We can talk about it later though, I have to go.
Me: But I haven’t told you the best part yet.
HC: Jesus, there’s more?
Me: Yes. Not right away, but maybe in six months or a year, once we have both been sticking to our bottom lines, we can start dating again, but this time in a healthy way.
HC: I’m not sure contacting you was such a good idea. I don’t want to go to meetings.
Me: Do you still miss me?
HC: I have to go.
HC: I really miss you.
Me: I miss you too, but I think we’re really looking for different things.
HC: What do you mean?
Me: I’m looking for something monogamous, committed and longterm.
HC: That’s what I want now too.
Me: Really? You’re not just saying that because you want to sleep with me again?
HC: Not at all. I miss you. Let’s go out to diner tomorrow and talk?
Me: Ok, that actually sounds nice. Can I pick you up at your place? I just need to see for sure that you aren’t still living with your wife.
HC: Of course. Come over at 7.
Next day, 1pm
HC: Hi. A pipe burst at my place. There is a plumber here now, but my house is a mess. Do you mind if I come to your place instead.
Me: Sure. See you at 7 still?
HC: Can’t wait.
HC: I’m so sorry, but I’m still dealing with this pipe situation. It’s going to be at least an hour or two before I can leave. You should probably eat without me. I’ll see you at 9 or 10.
The above is just a sampling of what has been going through my head the last couple of weeks. Since HC contacted me more than two weeks ago, I’ve been completely plauged with self-doubt. Maybe I am wrong? Maybe he’s changed. Maybe the reason I’m still so obsessed with this guy is because we are meant to be together. Maybe I should have been honest with him, instead of telling him I was unavailable.
The difference is that the conversations in my head never got as far. I needed to write them down and play them out to see that there is no way it could work between me and him. Even in my fantasies, I can’t turn what we had into something real.
Technically, I guess I am still “sober,” but I have not been doing well. I’m deep in the obsession. It needs to end, because spending hours a day thinking of him and spying on him online, can’t be what my life in recovery looks like. I haven’t been doing nearly as many as my top line behaviors, because this obsession has stymied my progress.
And the sad thing is that I am choosing to do this. I know that if I take a break from combing through craigslist to find his posts, and instead, go to yoga, or write, or pray; afterwards I won’t feel like obsessing, at least for awhile. In that moment, though, I am choosing to obsess. Finding his casual sex ads on craigslist scratches my masochistic itch and the agony of it feels fantastic. So right now, for tonight I am making a different choice.