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dancing on the ceiling July 3, 2010

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Day 68 of Sobriety – Written June 25 2010

There are so many things that you think you “love” when you are a SLA (sex and love addict).  A lot of it had to do with melding into the person I thought the person I loved would love.  And as I look back  at a lot ofmy interests, they were attached to some guy, that I was dating.  I “loved” college basketball, when my boyfriend was a basketball coach.  I “loved” speed metal when my boyfriend was a speed metal drummer.  Doesn’t every girl wake up to Pantera in the morning? I “loved” obscure writers when my boyfriend was an english major, when in reality I thought they were awful, and wanted to gouge my eyes out reading their 700 page tirades.  Although as a writer this was closer to the me I really was, but feigning love for certain books was excrutiating.  A few things have stood the test of time.  Jiu jitsu being one of them, but there is a part of me that still wants to take a step back from that, because there was a guy that really helped me see this sport, and love it.  Even though, that guy is long gone, I still love martial arts.

Recently I was on a quest to find something that I have loved even before my first crush, and that was dancing.  I remember being a little girl and seeing boy bands of the past and memorizing their dance moves.  I have seen videos of me doing dances with my little cousin.  So I decided to explore my old love.

Surprisingly enough, true love does exist.  I have been taking classes 4 days a week and sometimes twice a day (such an addict).  But I remembered why I loved it so much.  I feel so free when I dance, and although I look like a dork since I have never really done choreography before, I don’t stop doing it.  I think that I have been so focused on perfectionism, that I never let myself suck at anything.  I never let myself stay in the moment of being a student.  I have abandoned so many things because I couldn’t get it the first time, or be successful enough in my first attempt to be impressive.  I am humbled by this new experience, and grateful for this feeling of knowing that I don’t need to do something perfectly the first time.

So I show up to class, and before I walk in I pray that I have the courage to be free, to laugh at myself, and to let myself feel joy and not be embarrassed by my imperfections.

mirror, mirror on the wall… June 9, 2010

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Day 60 of Sobriety – Written June 6, 2010

I can’t believe I made it to day 60.  When people say that it gets easier not to act out when you have had more sobriety, THAT IS NOT A LIE.  The night before I was going to get my 30 days, I was white knuckling it on day 29.  Part of me thinks it was like that because deep inside I thought if I failed that meant this program doesn’t work and I could go back to acting out. But I succeeded and only by the grace of God, did I do it that day.  I literally had to clutch my hands together in prayer all night to keep myself from acting out.  It is hard to act out when you are praying, so AMEN for prayer.

Today was different, if it wasn’t for the fact that I have it marked on my calendar, it wasn’t that bad.  No white knuckling involved.  I think that the main challenge I face is not letting other people’s actions trigger me.  I work in entertainment with a lot of artistic types.  Sex and love addicts run rampant in this industry.  But at the same time I am also a devout Christian, and have an amazing group of friends from church.  Yesterday, I had a BBQ with everyone and there was an intermingling of my work life and my church life.  And I was definitely triggered.

I was triggered by this woman Angie*, a co worker.  Angie is beautiful and petite, wears all the right kind of make-up, and shows all kinds of skin.  She was flirting left and right with a lot of men that are from my church, and it was excruciating to watch, because in a different time and a different place I would be hitting on the same men.  But I refrained from debasing myself and competing with her.  I hated her for that moment in time because she was getting to do all of the things that I wish I could do.  But at the end of the day when all is said and done, I was the woman of integrity that I wanted to be, and I no longer envied her.  I accepted her for whom she was, I accepted where I was at in my life and also my place with the men in my life.  And that, for me, is progress. 

Being truly beautiful is not about how much make-up you have on, or how big your boobs are, or what you can give sexually or allude to intentionally; being truly beautiful is tied to the glow you emit spiritually, and the contribution you make globally.  I commit to you today, that that is the kind of beauty I am going to strive for everyday.

*All names have been changed for the sake of anonymity.

the chase is on June 9, 2010

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Day 57 of sobriety – Written June 3, 2010

“If you chase God the way you chase a man/woman or your career, the life you REALLY want will start chasing you.” – Anonymous

The rate of recovery ebbs and flows.  I don’t feel particularly strong in my recovery right now.  I haven’t acted out, or feel like acting out, but I am exhausted, and emotionally drained.  I am uncovering this black haze that has spread all over my life, and it is frightening, and beautiful at the same time.

Yesterday in a therapy session, out of no where, I uttered words that I have never said out loud to anyone, regardless of how true it may be.  I said, “There is part of me that really hates myself.”  I said those words…I hate myself.  I couldn’t believe it.  I have been so amazing at faking confidence, and high self-esteem, but in the end you cannot run from yourself, or continue to lie to yourself in recovery.

It was painful to realize, but necessary to move on.  I trust God, that these truths needed to be revealed, so that I can fully invest in my recovery.  And I know in time this will change.  I feel it changing already.  Once I said it, a feeling of release passed over me that I will never be able to explain.  And even now, it’s easier.

My life is changing already.  The more I look to God for answers, the more He reveals the beauty of the world to me, for which I am eternally grateful.  Opportunities are opening all around me, and I this is because I am finally seeing the world.  Before I could only chase the objects of my disease.  I am excited to finally be chased by the life I want.

Another day another dollar May 21, 2010

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Day 43/44 of sobriety

Sometimes it is so hard coming to work.  Sitting in an office, smiling politely to co-workers, going about my business as if nothing is different about my day,  this can be excruciating to a recovering addict.  No one knowing the internal struggles going on inside my head.  I feel isolated, and completely alone, especially working in a corporate office, where propriety and decorum are paramount.  In the past this disease has caused me to break down at my desk, sobbing in despair.  Thankfully I work for two amazing bosses, who do not pry, but will give me amazing support regardless of what I am going through.  They take the time to check in with me, as they run a multi-million dollar company.  And for that I am eternally grateful.

I can not share this part with everyone.  When people hear the words “sex and love addict” there is this deviant connotation to the addiction.  The other spectrum of people find it intriguing and would love to find out about the freak that lies within and entice me to act out.  And as I learn more of my addiction I see that for most of my life I have been public about everything, too public.  I relished the scores of hot guys that I associated with, and everything that went along with them.  Now I have to learn how to be private, not secretive, which is completely foreign to me.  Private meaning, I don’t have to invite everyone into my recovery.  Part of me always wants to tell everyone, to prove to myself that the people in my life will reject me.  But for now, privacy is key.  God is teaching me patience, and to be still to take the power away from the self-defeating addict that lies within me.

In the beginning… May 19, 2010

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Day 42 of sobriety

So not REALLY the beginning.  I still can’t believe that I have been able to stay sober for that long.  In sex and love addiction, sobriety is the length of time that you are not participating in your self-assigned bottom line behaviors.  (These are all subject to change as you grow in the program)

My bottom lines are:

  1. No sex until I am married
  2. No masturbation
  3. For the first 90 days of sobriety I am not allowed to go to bars or parties where the primary activity is drinking
  4. No drinking for the first 90 days
  5. If I catch myself fantasizing about a guy I have to redirect my thoughts instead of letting myself get lost in the fantasy.
  6. No intriguing with men that can be potential enablers to my addiction.

These are strict by the program standards, but they are necessary for me to stay clean.  I am also in the process of doing 90 meetings in 90 days, which has been my saving grace for the last forty-two days.  Forcing myself daily to examine my life under a magnifying glass, but also doing it with the support of people suffering from the same affliction.

Many people have a misconception about S programs.  People think that they are filled with sexual deviants and disgusting people, grouped in a room so that they can meet and cavort with each other.  The complete opposite of that is true.  Everyone that I have encountered in the rooms is truly seeking sobriety.   They are mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, brothers, and sisters, who are meeting in secret to recover from an addiction that has ruined their life in so many ways.  And I can honestly say that as a group they genuinely want to heal from this disease, and care enough about people to go through this rigorous painful process of recovery so that they can live in truth.

I know that is true for me.  I have this amazing life that I have not been able to enjoy because I am haunted by my past,  the person I have become in my addiction, and the perfectionist in me that sees myself as not worthy.  Thankfully I have been blessed by a supportive group of friends that have encouraged me in my recovery.  I refuse to give up on my life.  I want to live in my present, instead of my past.  And with each day of sobriety, I will remind myself that life is long, and most of my story has not yet been written.