This Imperfect Journey

Today, I realized that I am 9 days away from 90 days. The first 60 days went by so slowly. I felt so many emotions and every day was different. The last three weeks have gone by pretty quickly and I haven’t felt much of anything. I know the reason is because I am partially using again — I’m reading HC’s ads on craigslist.

A program friend asked me the other day if I get upset when I find his ads looking for casual, anonymous sex with both women and men. It occurred to me that I don’t get upset when I find his ads. I only get upset when I don’t find them. When I don’t find new ads from him, I don’t get a hit.

I had a great conversation with my sponsor today. I so badly want her to tell me that I’m not sober because I’m spying on HC again and that I need to start over at the beginning. In my head, if I can’t do something perfectly, I don’t want to do it at all. I told her about a friend of mine, Jessica, who got sober in AA 8 years ago. She went to a meeting and never drank again. I want my sobriety from sex and love to be like that — black and white and perfect. My sponsor told me that that’s not how it works in SLAA.

Another woman I heard speak at a meeting last week spoke about having an imperfect program (in fact, most speakers I’ve heard stress the fact that they did not do it perfectly). She compared her love addiction to alcoholism (she’s also in AA) and said that an alcoholic can put her addiction down and never use again, but a sex/love addict needs to learn how to take small sips from the bottle everyday without going overboard. This is all well and good, but there is still a little voice inside of my head that says, “You suck. Just give up now.”

My sponsor is really great at helping me turn this negative talk around. Another thing I asked her today was, “why the hell am I not over this guy yet?” It’s not like the relationship was significant or long-term. She reminded me that It’s not really him that I need to get over. He’s just a stand-in for my unresolved shit. Duh, I learned this when I first went into therapy over my obsessive relationship with my boyfriend Peter 10 years ago. Then I learned it a few years later with Ethan, then Jonathan, then Anthony. Hopefully I will remember it this time and won’t go through this again. These men really mean/meant nothing to me, once I dug under the surface. They are drugs. I use them to avoid dealing with the real stuff — grief, trauma, abuse, abandonment, etc. from my childhood.

The real stuff is heavy and uncomfortable. My addict is trying to find all kinds of ways to distract me from doing this work. Tonight, I pray for God’s grace and protection. I pray that he will help me to stay away from spying and all other forms of acting out, one day at a time.

Powerless

Late last night I had a slip. I was looking up a friend’s page on facebook. Her name starts with the same letters of HC’s name. While I was typing her name into the search bar, his name and new picture came up. Before I knew what I was doing, I had clicked on his name, and was on his profile. We aren’t friends and his profile is private, so there isn’t much info I can squeeze out of his page except that he has changed his picture. Seeing his picture was all it took, I was off.

I looked at his wife’s page, his mother’s, his brother’s, his wife’s twitter, his wife’s blog. I did a google search for his name, her name, their names together. I went on craigslist and searched for the terms I know he used in his casual encounters ads — he is still posting ads almost daily. I did this for about an hour. I don’t know what I was looking for, but I didn’t find it. Nothing I looked at told me he was divorced/getting a divorce or that he gotten his sexual addiction under control. However, everything I looked at told me, “yep… you’re still crazy.

This man has not been in my life for more than three months now, what business of mine is it what he is doing? I have no right to secretly pry into his life. My sponsor says that whenever I find myself in my addiction, instead of berating myself for being such a creepy stalker, a slut, or whatever; I need to go back to Step 1. What I did last night is evidence that I am indeed powerless over this addiction.

Last night was a slip, but it doesn’t have to be more than that. Today is a new day. I am powerless over my addiction, but God is not.  Everyday I need to remember that I can not do this without God. When I give my will and my life over to the care of God, I will be taken care of.