Autumn Winds Support Thread

For those who wish to keep a personal journal on their progressive victory, this is the section. You must be registered to post.

Re: Autumn Winds Support Thread

Postby drbob1a on Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:08 pm

It sounds like a great plan! Addressing the things that drag us down, whether they're porn/MB, weight or alcohol or whatever is a great step. I'm working on weight again this summer, too...
8 years, I'm so grateful!

Bob
drbob1a
Your humble servant.
 
Posts: 11080
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:37 am

Re: Autumn Winds Support Thread

Postby Autumnwinds on Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:53 am

I am making good headway with the diet thus far -- definitely feeling less bloated and (strangely) more energetic without the constant presence of carbs mindlessly ingested throughout the day. That's good of course, yet -- as always happens when I remove a heavy stone like that from my pocket -- I find myself worrying about floating away into oblivion. Who am I, what are my priorities, am I living the life that I ought to be, and does any of it mean anything anyway? In a way they are good questions, but also helium-filled and perhaps overly "think-y" when I've still got work to do and people to take care of. My anchor is -- or should be -- my values.
Autumnwinds
New Member
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:36 pm

Re: Autumn Winds Support Thread

Postby TAD on Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:01 am

More energy comes with the territory of losing weight. It's good that you are making progress on your diet. They are very tough as you know.

Tad
TAD
Senior Member
 
Posts: 430
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:09 pm

Re: Autumn Winds Support Thread

Postby Autumnwinds on Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:41 pm

I haven't crossed any lines as yet but am a bit worried about a couple of recent developments. Out of the blue, seemingly, I was approached in a suggestive way by two complete strangers at different moments in the past week, both young men around 25 who seemed to have a hookup on their minds. One was a clerk at a market, the other just a random stranger that I struck up a conversation with at a bus stop. I'm not claiming innocence here. I certainly interacted in a flirtatious manner that must have indicated that I was open for business, but given that I'm twice their age and only slightly slimmer than I was a few weeks back when I started my diet (aka, far from a model) I'm not exactly getting hit on very often these days. Again, nothing happened other than 2 minutes of banter, but I've found myself unable to shake thinking about one of the guys -- the bus stop guy, who lives somewhere near me (thankfully I don't know where). It's extremely unusual that our paths will cross again -- it's a huge city -- but still I went out for a longer walk than usual with my dog with that guy on the brain. Even in my most out of control days in years gone by, this wasn't something I did much of. In my 20s and 30s and 40s there were scads of opportunities for hookups, but -- given I was in a committed relationship -- wasn't interested in anything more than a fleeting "god, that would be hot"/fantasy kind of way. There were only 2 exceptions over 20 plus years: an old friend from high school (straight) who surprised me decades ago by making a pass, and a waiter last summer -- I was very drunk, very much initiated the interaction in question, and felt awful afterwards. That event more than anything started my grim out of control period that sent me back to these boards.

I spoke with my husband about both incidents this past week -- honesty is part of my deal with him now, and that helped, and I'll also be checking in with my therapist. The problem though resides within me; I've been around the block enough times with this addiction to know that I'm sending out loud and clear messages (albeit silently) into the universe about wanting to have a binge, this for the first time in almost 9 months. Why would I want to do such a thing? I think this is one of those not deserving the successful life I have moments. My marriage, thanks to work here this past year, has recovered and is blossoming in many ways, including sexually. Work is going well, with the creative projects I've taken on opening all kinds of doors in good and healthy and life-affirming ways. My relationship with my kid and with other folks I take care of in life -- from my elderly mother to other family members-- is going well. And yet some part of me wants to say, "this isn't the real you, AutumnWinds. You may not have done MB or P for 9 months, may be drinking less and even now starting to eat better, but in your heart you are a wild, out of control, animal. Habits of decades online don't die in just a few months. Your real nature is this."

To which I respond -- hogwash. This isn't about some deep flaw in my essence, though God knows I do have many flaws, but an anxiety response stemming from success in all the realms I've listed. I'm scared I'm going to screw it up, how could I deserve a quiet and happy life? So some part of me just wants to roll the dice and get it over with already. I'd be expressing fear and anxiety certainly, some anger at being controlled by my recovery (again hogwash -- it has actually set me free), and some weird kind of grief/missing my addict self. I'd also be pushing away my husband and kid as we get ready to go on our summer vacation, a time of renewal that last year unfolded under a cloud. I have to keep working at this and staying honest and present.

Finally, and most important, hooking up with either of those guys or anyone else, or even given the matter more than a passing thought, erodes my ability to be the kind of man I want to be, and to have the values that are most important -- improving the world in small ways each day. I become so preoccupied and selfish when I act out -- it's an unquenchable thirst, a dark tunnel with no exits -- and gives me no opportunity to be that imperfect, but still good and caring man.
Autumnwinds
New Member
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:36 pm

Re: Autumn Winds Support Thread

Postby Autumnwinds on Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:35 pm

Feeling a good bit stronger and less vulnerable triggered now than a few days ago. Honesty with my husband is so important -- like oxygen. I have made progress with the diet but also have been cheating a bit, and at least at moments drinking more than usual (gulping). Have made some resolutions going forward about numbers of drinks -- 2 glasses of wine max on weekend nights, none on week nights. I think in hindsight the overdrinking may have contributed to the impulse (not acted on!) to have a fling or in some other way depart from my agreements here and in life. But in sum still good movement in a better direction.
Autumnwinds
New Member
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:36 pm

Re: Autumn Winds Support Thread

Postby drbob1a on Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:51 pm

I'm glad you were able to think thru the downward spiral that seemed to be starting-identify causes and start to deal with them! Hang in there and keep making good decisions.
8 years, I'm so grateful!

Bob
drbob1a
Your humble servant.
 
Posts: 11080
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:37 am

Re: Autumn Winds Support Thread

Postby Autumnwinds on Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:00 pm

I've been away from here for a while now, and am back not because of a slip or even a strong impulse in that direction (thank god) but just to record some regret and shame over my behaviors of a year ago this time. Looking through photos of family and friends from that time, though everyone (me included) is smiling, is uniquely painful. I remember what was going on the gaps between the photos, the crescendo of acting out that didn't become open knowledge in my marriage until mid-November. I look back and recall specific moments from that time and marvel at my stupidity. It is such an amazing thing to NOT be living a double life, to be honest with my husband and open about who I am: what you see is who you get. But a year ago I was as deep into the quicksand as I have ever been. So while celebrating the progress (almost 10 months sober), I still need to acknowledge where I was then, and who I am to be.
Autumnwinds
New Member
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:36 pm

Re: Autumn Winds Support Thread

Postby drbob1a on Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:20 pm

I'm so glad you've stayed sober, and so glad that you and your husband were able to work things out and you're still together. After today's sober reflection, go out and celebrate tomorrow!
8 years, I'm so grateful!

Bob
drbob1a
Your humble servant.
 
Posts: 11080
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:37 am

Re: Autumn Winds Support Thread

Postby Autumnwinds on Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:34 pm

I’m just about a week shy of a milestone: on November 21st I will complete a year of sobriety. I’ll be posting here a couple of times in the coming week I’m sure as I try to absorb what that one-year anniversary means, but first need to acknowledge the obvious: I did not do this alone. My addiction was a solitary thing, but recovery has been a team effort. The key member of that team has been and continues to be my husband, both as the holder of the parental control software that polices my phone and computers even now and as the embodiment of the loving, forgiving new opportunity this year has represented.

It hasn’t all been roses.

Letting him help me required letting him in, and having him know the extent of my past betrayals and failings. Up until last November I always held back the full extent of my behaviors, tried to “have it both ways” by letting him know that I did have “some struggles” with sex addiction without ever admitting the full story. That minimizing tendency died last year at this time, and for a bit there it looked like our marriage might die too. What saved it was both his expression of continued love and support (he had to work at it hard, both in our daily lives and in weekly couples therapy), and my commitment, new and unbroken since that day, to have my sexual life unfold exclusively when we are together. This pledge of sexual abstinence — no masturbation or sexual behavior of any kind outside of our relationship — has been the vital core, the pillar of this recovery.

My therapists (both individual and couples) and those of you here in this recovery community (special shoutout to you, Dr. bob and hope(less)) have also been critical to this transformation. You supported me through the horrid events and disclosures to my husband, and gave your blessing to my pledge of sexual sobriety. You’ve been there for me when I’ve felt doubting or triggered, and warmly embraced my successes. Hearing about your successes and radically simplified and improved lives in recovery has also been crucial. Finally, you helped me then and now by encouraging me to also focus on the big picture — namely, what values are most important to me as a man, husband, son, brother, friend and father?

For this I can only say, thank you!
Autumnwinds
New Member
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:36 pm

Re: Autumn Winds Support Thread

Postby drbob1a on Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:21 pm

I'm SO glad that you've maintained your sobriety this year. And glad that you're seeing the benefits in your marriage of honesty and single-minded commitment. I thank you for your gratitude, but it's been your hard work and your committing yourself to your support group that's made the difference. YOU are the star in this story. I'm also glad you came back, because the green book suggests that big milestones, like a year, can be a time of temptation. Hang in there!
8 years, I'm so grateful!

Bob
drbob1a
Your humble servant.
 
Posts: 11080
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:37 am

Previous

Return to Recovery Journals

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron