The Downward Spiral

There is no easy way to say it. I’ve been fucking up left and right. The holidays were extremely hard on me and my recovery. While I haven’t quite had a full on relapse, I am headed there. Here’s a list of my bottom lines (the behaviors I am supposed to be abstaining from to be considered sober) and how I’ve been acting out on them.

1. No sex, dating, or romantic involvement with married/attached or otherwise unavailable men
     Last week I was in contact with Paolo, a former lover. He now has a girlfriend. I saw him online and we had an extremely sexually charged conversation. I told him that I was currently in a relationship. This is a lie that usually helps get me out of trouble, but it seemed to only encourage him. “It’s not cheating if I break in and rape you,” he said. This actually isn’t as fucked up as it sounds, because while we were seeing each other we had talked about rape fantasy. In my head, I tried to justify this. If I just happened to give him my new address, and then just happened to leave my door unlocked at a specified date and time, and he just happened to show up and force himself on me, this wouldn’t be acting out, right? Luckily, my window of opportunity has passed on this one, because he is out of the country for the next month, and when he gets back he’ll be living with his girlfriend.
     There is also SN. I haven’t gone on a date with him yet, but I’ve been in heavy contact with this guy, a dominant, who is in an open relationship with his submissive. We have been speaking daily and have had phone sex. I’ve also watched him masturbate on cam. We have tentative plans to meet tonight, but I will probably cancel. The flirtation with these two guys isn’t new. Looking back on past blog entries, I wrote about both of them  back in August. Making plans to meet them is new, though.

2. No sex outside of a committed relationship
     This is the one bottom line I haven’t broken. It’s a big one. Breaking this one would constitute a full relapse.

3. No reading, answering or posting ads on craigslist personals
     Two days ago I answered a casual encounter ad. I’ve been talking to the guy quite a bit since then. He actually seems like a decent guy and we have a lot of non-sexual things in common. I’m thinking of telling him about SLAA and how I can’t have sex outside of a committed relationship and see if he still wants to meet me. My sponsor gave me the go ahead that I could start dating again in January. I am most certain she didn’t have CL casual encounters in mind as a venue for meeting appropriate people, though.

4. No contact with my qualifier (HC)
     Yep, I blew this one too. I emailed him a few days before Christmas and we have been in contact ever since. I hadn’t contacted him in more than seven months. I have no plans to see him or have sex with him ever again. Our emails are friendly and completely non-sexual. I know where things will lead if I keep in contact with him, and I sure as hell don’t want that again.

5. No spying (online or otherwise) on qualifier or anyone associated with him
    I suck. I do this every day now.

I also have four middle lines, which are behaviors I am only supposed to be engaging in with extreme caution. They are: contact with anyone I have had sexual or romantic involvement with in the past; phone conversations with men that last more than 20 minutes; masturbation; and using pornography. I am doing all of these things daily, and with not a lot of caution.

I feel so lost. I have no idea how to find my way back on track. Things aren’t as bad as they could be, I know this, but they are headed there fast. Because I need a reminder myself, here is a link to the blog I wrote three months ago today, reminiscing on what things were like just before I started my recovery. Today, I would have 6 months of sobriety. Some people would argue that I am still sober, because I am sticking to one of my bottom lines. I don’t feel sober, though. I feel like I am spiraling out of control.

7 comments on “The Downward Spiral

  1. I’m sure that post was very difficult to write, but it was a great step toward getting back on track. You know what to do next- keep talking to your sponsor, go to meetings, get exercise, and fill your time with healthy connections. You can do it!

    • Imperfect says:

      Thanks for your support. I’m hesitant to call my sponsor. I worry that she will dump me for being such a fuck-up. I will eventually have to call her, but I want to have a more positive report. Maybe finish some of my overdue homework assignments first.

      One good, top line behavior I have been doing is lots of yoga and exercise. I’m sure I would be a lot worse off right now if I wasn’t doing at least that.

      • speakerofyearnings says:

        That’s great that you’ve been doing yoga! Did your sponsor ever say that there were conditions for her support (i.e. that you always maintain complete sobriety)? Isn’t this what she is there for (i.e. to help get you back on track when you fall down?) I’m pretty sure she won’t dump you, but she will try and steer you back to your bottom lines, and maybe that is the scariest thing of all. I really think it’ll be easier than you think to share this with her, and I think she’s the best person to help you right now. You know, that staircase can lead up, too, depending on your perspective.

  2. Opheliac says:

    i’m sorry you’re struggling. Regardless of your “fuck ups” i am really proud of you for all the effort you’ve been putting into changing your life for the better. In the end- i want you to be happy and healthy- part of that is not beating yourself up when you have a back slide. I agree with the other comments- you should definitely call your sponser, i am sure things will get better from there. Luvers yew 🙂

  3. lexiconlover says:

    The only one who will dump you for “fucking up” is you. Don’t live in that fear of what your sponsor might do, it’s only fear. She will not. Fear keeps us bound to addiction. Fear and shame keeps us acting out.

    This program requires rigorous honesty for recovery, you know this. I encourage you to come clean to your sponsor. I lost my 25 days. I have none. My middle lines landed me to my bottom lines. So what. It’s progress not perfection. I started over, sometimes relapse is a part of some peoples recovery. That’s okay as long as we learn from it. Be gentle with yourself.

    I am worth it and so are you. You did not come this far to go back to shame and secrecy beutiful girl. You deserve health and recovery. Embrace this. Keep fighting the good fight. Don’t let the addiction win. The healthy part of you knows what you need to do and it doesn’t involve showing your sponsor a pretty report card.

    I love you, thanks for never dumping me even when I’m not “pretty”

    • Imperfect says:

      Thank you so much.

      My sponsor and I are so different. She only identifies as a love addict, not a sex addict. She is so nurturing and I love her a lot. I’m always scared I’m going to scare her off though, or that I’ll just get to the point where she doesn’t know what to do with me.

      I love you too, and you’re doing great!

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