View Full Version : Sex and love addiction part 2


Hermus
04-15-17, 06:23 AM
Since the last one is now closed I'm starting a new thread here.

When I talked to fellow Sex and Love Addicts in rehab, where I got for alcohol addiction, the things they were telling me rung a bell. I decided to go to Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous from rehab and could very much relate to what the people there were telling.

Before leaving rehab I got the advise to be abstinent for a year, which I wanted to try. But it definitely is hard. A few days ago I contacted a girl I knew from my time in active addiction to try to arrange a date. I thought I had all precautions in place, but my counsellor pointed out that it wasn't wise to go dating with someone from that time. Since then I'm trying to focus on the idea of being abstinent again. But it isn't easy.

All different kinds of thoughts come up that make me anxious and depressed about abstinence.

It seems like I have been asked to deny my sexuality, which to me seems like a fundamental aspect of being human.

Not being able to date feels like a punishment for my addiction.

Another major concern in this respect is that I have been involuntarily abstinent for many years before my sex and love life went out of control (I think it's what they call sexual anorexia in SLAA). I just wasn't able to engage in talk with women and would be very avoidant when I found someone attractive. It caused me a lot of pain and anguish back then. Someone in another topic mentioned that your body would cycle down when abstaining and that's exactly what I'm very worried about. I'm afraid that by abstaining I will return to this avoidant state and will not be able to engage in dating and sexuality in a healthy way in the future anymore. Being permanently single is something that runs in my family and I really don't want to go the same way as my uncle and cousins did. Is there a risk that abstinence will lead to avoidance again?

Pilgrim
04-15-17, 10:05 AM
I found that if your really interested in the opposite sex that's not a problem. Really developing the drive to consummate the relationship became an issue for me, ironic when I couldn't think of much else.

Hermus
04-16-17, 05:24 AM
I always had to be around others. I love being by myself now. Love it, and loneliness is not nearly as overwhelming as it used to be.

Yeah, I started to experience that too. And then all of a sudden things happened and I went into withdrawal again. Actually every time I interact with a nice and attractive girl nowadays it causes craving, which leads to suffering.



I am not clear on this one, Hermus. Can you explain what you mean a little more?

Sexual anorexia as defined by Wikipedia:

Sexual anorexia is a pathological loss of "appetite" for romantic-sexual interaction, often the result of a fear of intimacy to the point that the person has severe anxiety surrounding sexual activity and emotional aspects (i.e. an intimate relationship).

For me it didn't mean that I was not interested in sexual interaction. It meant that I wasn't able to engage in it, because of some deep-rooted beliefs that I was unworthy, that there was something wrong with my sexuality, that I was unattractive etc. Those thoughts created a lot of suffering that outed itself through denying myself the fulfilment of sexual desires. If I was talking to someone attractive what would happen is that I shut down, disconnected on a mental level and avoided any intimacy that could develop. The suffering that I felt because of that was not less severe than the suffering I encountered when I was actively engaging in sexuality.

It might even be two sides of the same medal. I believe there is something wrong with me, so I don't engage in healthy sexuality. And then when I have overcome that and found someone I have romantic and sexual feelings towards I cling to her like she's my lifeboat. Since having someone, because of my mindset, seems like such a big deal, I just don't want to lose what I've got. Which creates its own suffering of course and ends up in pushing her away, exactly causing the situation that I fear the most. Does that make sense to you?

Fuzzy12
04-16-17, 05:30 AM
Herms it seems to me that back then your abstinence was not voluntary whereas now it is. Now you are in control abd you can start dating again whenever you want to. It just seems from shat your counsellor said now it might make your life more difficult. However this doesn't mean that you cannot date or that you are unable to. It just means that right now would be a good time to choose not to date.

dvdnvwls
04-16-17, 05:37 PM
I'm speculating now:

I think with sex and love addiction, the name is much less accurate than with drug or alcohol addiction. Misusing a substance is much simpler to understand. With SLA, you abused and misused yourself and other people. Not in the sense of coercion or violence, but in the sense that entering into consensual sex or a consensual relationship can be done for some wrong or mistaken reasons. Those reasons can over time become habitual, leading to serial or parallel unfair and unhealthy treatment of self and others. Sex and love were never the problem; it's removing those wrong reasons for sex and wrong reasons for falling in love.

I think it might be uncommon for an alcoholic to later develop a healthy relationship with alcohol - I think the attraction to misusing it is so strong that few could overcome that, and it would be prudent not to try. But I think with SLA it's quite different - I think reworking one's own reasons for entering a relationship or agreeing to sex (and recognizing good and bad signs in others) is truly a viable goal.

In other words... We know that the right time for a drink will never arrive. But the right time for a relationship probably will - however, not now while the wrong reasons are likely to take over, and not with someone who was willing to agree to wrong reasons before.

Hermus
04-17-17, 01:34 AM
I'm speculating now:

I think with sex and love addiction, the name is much less accurate than with drug or alcohol addiction. Misusing a substance is much simpler to understand.

I can understand where you are coming from. I guess you are arguing from the neuropathological model of addiction, where either the brain of an addict is wired to respond to the use of a substance in the 'wrong' way from the outset or where the consistent overuse of said substance will lead to changes in the brain that lead the addict to respond to a substance in the wrong way over time. This model, while still being adhered to in some part of the clinical world is hopelessly outdated. Addiction in my point of view can better be seen as a maladaptive response to life circumstances, in which addicts due to circumstances have not developed healthy ways of emotional regulation, have maladaptive cognitive schemas etc.

With SLA, you abused and misused yourself and other people. Not in the sense of coercion or violence, but in the sense that entering into consensual sex or a consensual relationship can be done for some wrong or mistaken reasons. Those reasons can over time become habitual, leading to serial or parallel unfair and unhealthy treatment of self and others. Sex and love were never the problem; it's removing those wrong reasons for sex and wrong reasons for falling in love.

This presupposes that I simply wouldn't know that it would be wrong to cheat, or to keep in touch with women even though it has already caused a lot of pain in the past, or worse that I would lack the empathy to care about what I'm doing to another person by those behaviours. Neither is right. When partaking in those and other addictive behaviours I mostly know very well that it is wrong, and feel a deep sense of guilt towards the other person for the hurt I cause. Yet, it is almost impossible to overcome this behaviour on my own.

I think it might be uncommon for an alcoholic to later develop a healthy relationship with alcohol - I think the attraction to misusing it is so strong that few could overcome that, and it would be prudent not to try. But I think with SLA it's quite different - I think reworking one's own reasons for entering a relationship or agreeing to sex (and recognizing good and bad signs in others) is truly a viable goal.

I agree that entering a healthy romantic or sexual relationship is something that can be done over time. It is very much a process of learning to distinguish healthy from unhealthy intentions and acts, and to learn to act on healthy intentions while not act on the unhealthy ones. Actually it is not really that much different from substances. While 12 step groups generally have adopted the idea that an addiction to alcohol or substances cannot be overcome, there are a lot of researchers who claim it can. The difference is that the use of substances is unnecessary to lead a life that is whole and complete, while the need for sex and love is a much more basic human need. In the case of substances life is at stake when trying whether or not someone can use them again, so I would not advise addicts to bet on that.

In other words... We know that the right time for a drink will never arrive. But the right time for a relationship probably will - however, not now while the wrong reasons are likely to take over, and not with someone who was willing to agree to wrong reasons before.

I agree with this last part. Although it is about more than having the wrong or right reasons.

I hope that this clarifies things. I didn't open this topic to discuss whether SLA does or does not exist. For me it is a painful truth that it does and that it has caused a lot of suffering. So I hope we can agree on not discussing that issue further here. If you still have doubts about the existence of SLA I would ask you to open a separate thread on that.

dvdnvwls
04-17-17, 02:03 AM
I don't doubt its existence. I don't think I completely understand how your corrections and clarifications are not just restatements of things I already said, but I'm sure that's due to my lack of knowledge of what it's really like to be you.

Hermus
04-17-17, 02:05 AM
I don't doubt its existence. I don't think I completely understand how your corrections and clarifications are not just restatements of things I already said, but I'm sure that's due to my lack of knowledge of what it's really like to be you.

My understanding was that by saying the name is not accurate you meant that the condition doesn't exist as a condition. Thanks for clarifying. :)

Letching Gray
04-17-17, 04:05 AM
The difference is that the use of substances is unnecessary to lead a life that is whole and complete

Yep

while the need for sex and love is a much more basic human need.

Why is sex a "need"? What does that mean, sex is a need? What happens if someone refrains from sex entirely?

Hermus
04-17-17, 04:06 AM
Yep



Why is sex a "need"? What does that mean, sex is a need? What happens if someone refrains from sex entirely?

What that means is that sex is, always has been and always will be a part of human life. Not only is it necessary for procreation, but we all have a natural drive and needs towards physical affection. I don't completely subscribe to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, but physical intimacy is at a much more basic level there than the use of substances (if the use of substances is part of it at all). That isn't to say that temporary abstinence won't ever be a healthy choice, but in the end whereas abstaining from the use of substances is a perfectly attainable and healthy goal, in sex and love there is good reason to focus on eventually being able to enjoy healthy sexual and romantic relationships. But if anyone chooses to go for lifelong celibacy as a goal that's fine to me. :)

Fuzzy12
04-17-17, 06:24 AM
I guess it's more like a food addiction, like binge eating, where you need to relearn a healthy relationship with the object of your addiction rather than abstinence.

Letching Gray
04-17-17, 02:13 PM
What that means is that sex is, always has been and always will be a part of human life. Not only is it necessary for procreation, but we all have a natural drive and needs towards physical affection. I don't completely subscribe to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, but physical intimacy is at a much more basic level there than the use of substances (if the use of substances is part of it at all). That isn't to say that temporary abstinence won't ever be a healthy choice, but in the end whereas abstaining from the use of substances is a perfectly attainable and healthy goal, in sex and love there is good reason to focus on eventually being able to enjoy healthy sexual and romantic relationships. But if anyone chooses to go for lifelong celibacy as a goal that's fine to me. :)


physical intimacy is at a much more basic level

By physical intimacy, you mean a back rub? :D

I'm raising the issue because what I assumed, or took for granted, my sexual desires, was something I couldn't imagine living without, might not be so indispensable afterall. I'd never really thought about it in this context. Why was sex addictive?

Could someone who just really loved sex actually live happily, contentedly, without sex? I would rather have stuck a hand grenade in my throat than to be in a position where I was seriously questioning the role of sex in my life, but in withdrawal, living by myself, not working, having decided to work on this demon 24/7, I ended up challenging everything about my sexual history, assumptions, long held attitudes, everything.

I wrote it all down. It was an exhaustive inventory--(it wasn't pretty. It was a long, long ugly list of betrayals, of myself and others, desperately needy and selfish plunges into satisfying my urges, what I thought I had earned, what I wanted, when, how, with whom. It revealed the pathetic attempts of a lonely, frightened, hurting little boy living inside an adult body, to be taken seriously, to be loved, to find comfort, to be a powerful male and to exact revenge. It painted a very clear picture of an entire lifetime obsessively and compulsively demanding, non-stop, what couldn't be found in someone else/in sexual behavior.

It wasn't self-destructive as much as self-annihilation. And I had one last chance to stop the whole thing, to stop me, before I lost everything including the lost but real me I sensed somehow was still residing within all the painful sick external actions. I didn't believe I could ever again dedicate my every waking second to try to get better and for me, that's what it took.)

Hermus
04-17-17, 02:45 PM
By physical intimacy, you mean a back rub? :D

I'm raising the issue because what I assumed, or took for granted, my sexual desires, was something I couldn't imagine living without, might not be so indispensable afterall. I'd never really thought about it in this context. Why was sex addictive?

Could someone who just really loved sex actually live happily, contentedly, without sex? I would rather have stuck a hand grenade in my throat than to be in a position where I was seriously questioning the role of sex in my life, but in withdrawal, living by myself, not working, having decided to work on this demon 24/7, I ended up challenging everything about my sexual history, assumptions, long held attitudes, everything.

I wrote it all down. It was an exhaustive inventory--(it wasn't pretty. It was a long, long ugly list of betrayals, of myself and others, desperately needy and selfish plunges into satisfying my urges, what I thought I had earned, what I wanted, when, how, with whom. It revealed the pathetic attempts of a lonely, frightened, hurting little boy living inside an adult body, to be taken seriously, to be loved, to find comfort, to be a powerful male and to exact revenge. It painted a very clear picture of an entire lifetime obsessively and compulsively demanding, non-stop, what couldn't be found in someone else/in sexual behavior.

It wasn't self-destructive as much as self-annihilation. And I had one last chance to stop the whole thing, to stop me, before I lost everything including the lost but real me I sensed somehow was still residing within all the painful sick external actions. I didn't believe I could ever again dedicate my every waking second to try to get better and for me, that's what it took.)

Actually I wasn't that much of a beast. I did long periods without sex as I explained. It was terrible, because I constantly was self-conscious and confronted with my feeling of being unattractive, unworthy etc. Then it all changed and I got sexually active again. Had some periods in which I had a lot of sex for a year. Three different girls I've dated and slept with. Although it would offer a temporary boost to my ego, in the long run it did nothing.

So yes, I know that sex is not a solution to my problem. I already have experienced that. But it doesn't mean that physical intimacy is not an important human need. Maybe that would be an important accomplishment, if I could focus more on real intimacy instead of just mechanically having sex. It all was appealing then, but as a girl I dated jokingly said: "We don't have sex, we have porn". While it was a joke the sad thing is that to a large extent it was true. Did all kinds of crazy acts, but I'm not even really thinking back to that as a positive thing. There wasn't much feeling involved. The thing I look back on with a smile were the moments that there was true intimacy involved. The really weird thing is that this doesn't even have to involve intercourse necessarily. One of the most beautiful things I think is actually just cuddling (does that sound effeminate?).

aeon
04-17-17, 03:13 PM
One of the most beautiful things I think is actually just cuddling (does that sound effeminate?).

Absolutely not. http://www.sympato.ch/smileys/Yaisse.gif


Cheers,
Ian

Letching Gray
04-17-17, 04:56 PM
But it doesn't mean that physical intimacy is not an important human need.

In-to-me-see, intimacy. I would not say sexual intimacy isn't great. I wouldn't say it is wonderful. There's a difference between physical and sexual intimacy, too. But, my point is this: without water, nourishment and air, we die. Without physical/sexual intimacy we can live, no?

The really weird thing is that this doesn't even have to involve intercourse necessarily.

That's what I'm saying.

One of the most beautiful things I think is actually just cuddling

It is beautiful. Is it a "need"?

My point in my previous comment, well I never made it clear. What I wanted to emphasize, was that my life was such a mess, I wanted to be willing to go to any lengths, including questioning everything I assumed about sex, to get sober. I'm not saying the conclusions I reached were correct, more that I think our culture is good at convincing me I can't live w/o a lot of things.

Letching Gray
04-17-17, 05:38 PM
Correction. I wouldn't say it isn't wonderful! DUH!

Hermus
04-18-17, 01:07 AM
In-to-me-see, intimacy. I would not say sexual intimacy isn't great. I wouldn't say it is wonderful. There's a difference between physical and sexual intimacy, too. But, my point is this: without water, nourishment and air, we die. Without physical/sexual intimacy we can live, no?

Probably you would not object too much if I asked you to spend a month in solitary confinement? It will be taken care of you have water, food and sufficient air. Just no contact with other living beings, no way to distract you, no light as well. At the end of the month you will get out and be alive. So you will have all your needs fulfilled there, right?

Hermus
04-18-17, 01:13 AM
In-to-me-see, intimacy. I would not say sexual intimacy isn't great. I wouldn't say it is wonderful. There's a difference between physical and sexual intimacy, too. But, my point is this: without water, nourishment and air, we die. Without physical/sexual intimacy we can live, no?

Since nobody will be let in, even physical safety will be offered. So apart from fulfilling your needs you will even have some luxuries granted there. Isn't that great?

dvdnvwls
04-18-17, 02:26 AM
Yes, sex is biologically a need. It's a matter of survival. It's how humans exist.

Of course there's some nihilistic level at which there's no such thing as a need, but I don't think we need to be concerned with that, do we?

Some people voluntarily give up sex for philosophical reasons. I doubt the validity of those reasons, but I respect that for those individuals it has been a valid or even a necessary choice.

There are also those who just don't want sex because they don't want sex and that's that. Again in my ignorance of their situations I wonder whether they are being honest with themselves, and again I respect their choice because I have no reason not to.

In my opinion, anyone who says they need sex despite others' philosophy and despite others' lack of desire, must be respected simply for being a normal human. I don't believe they have any justifications to make to anyone.

Letching Gray
04-18-17, 03:02 AM
Probably you would not object too much if I asked you to spend a month in solitary confinement? It will be taken care of you have water, food and sufficient air. Just no contact with other living beings, no way to distract you, no light as well. At the end of the month you will get out and be alive. So you will have all your needs fulfilled there, right?

Hermus, I remember raising that same point with a therapist in treatment, "isn't solitary confinement like the worst torture for people?" In reference to working on recovery even if no one goes with us. She didn't answer. Left me to think.

I wouldn't like to be confined or restricted in any way for any length of time, period. I love to come and go as I please. Love being able to mix with whomever I choose. Have, and enjoy having, the most unreal sex life I never could have imagined.

Not my point. All I'm trying to isolate, to challenge, is this: Is engaging in sexual behavior a must, a true need, a requirement to live a fulfilling life? I don't define this as something that would be easy, or pleasant, or without extreme pain. Not saying that. Also, I'm not saying we must be secluded, that we can't have friends, that we can't exchange hugs, lots of loving hugs, and other types of physical contact with our loved ones and friends. Not saying that at all.

Just this, in its most simplistic form: Is participation in sexual activity something that I must do? Is it absolutely necessary? (Not covering procreation here. If we want civilization to continue through reproduction, is not the issue. We've done a pretty good job populating the globe.)

Letching Gray
04-18-17, 03:20 AM
I was torn during early recovery. I liked someone but I wanted to be sober no matter what, and I had just returned home after over a year away. I truly did not know what to do. But, I told myself with all the sincerity and commitment in me, that if I had to stay in my bed for good and never get up and go out and do anything other than to remain right there for the rest of my life, I would. If it meant that to stay sober from my sex and love addiction, my life would be confined to staying in bed, my bed, the bed I sit on now, many years later, I would do it.

Sobriety has made me into someone/something I stopped dreaming of when I was little. I had dreamed of being good, of helping others 24/7-365. Being a leader by example, trying full time to encourage and be supportive to anyone in need. I am not that person, but Hermus, honestly I really am not what I was and I have made enormous strides becoming a loving helpful person, all by simply not doing what I used to do and could not stop doing. It has taken every ounce of strength, of faith, of my mind-reading and listening-to get here. But, I've been trying to show loving-kindness to others, seeking nothing in return, and people have demonstrated their love and appreciation to and for me I longed for all my life.

Hermus
04-18-17, 03:36 AM
Hermus, I remember raising that same point with a therapist in treatment, "isn't solitary confinement like the worst torture for people?" In reference to working on recovery even if no one goes with us. She didn't answer. Left me to think.

I wouldn't like to be confined or restricted in any way for any length of time, period. I love to come and go as I please. Love being able to mix with whomever I choose. Have, and enjoy having, the most unreal sex life I never could have imagined.

Not my point. All I'm trying to isolate, to challenge, is this: Is engaging in sexual behavior a must, a true need, a requirement to live a fulfilling life? I don't define this as something that would be easy, or pleasant, or without extreme pain. Not saying that. Also, I'm not saying we must be secluded, that we can't have friends, that we can't exchange hugs, lots of loving hugs, and other types of physical contact with our loved ones and friends. Not saying that at all.

Just this, in its most simplistic form: Is participation in sexual activity something that I must do? Is it absolutely necessary? (Not covering procreation here. If we want civilization to continue through reproduction, is not the issue. We've done a pretty good job populating the globe.)

You seem to think that human needs are only about survival. I would challenge that. Survival and really living to our full human potential are two quite different things. There are human needs that go beyond the absolute basic necessities to survive. If those other needs are not met we will survive in less than a human state and will develop all kinds of neuroses.

I simply don't think that the idea of repressing one's own sexuality is healthy from a mental perspective and a lot of psychologists agree with me.


"Nothing inspires murderous mayhem in human beings more reliably than sexual repression. Denied food, water, or freedom of movement, people will get desperate and some may lash out at what they perceive as the source of their problems, albeit in a weakened state. But if expression of sexuality is thwarted, the human psyche tends to grow twisted into grotesque, enraged perversions of desire."

Article on Psychology Today: Sexual Repression: The Malady that Considers Itself the Remedy

"Many experts who have studied the affects of sexual repression on the human psyche over the years have concluded that repressing human sexuality can cause all kinds of neuroses and health problems."

"But even today, it is widely recognized that repression of sexuality is unhealthy and quite likely to lead to health problems ranging from anxiety and aggression, and on a more serious note, there is also the likelihood that the person might seek inappropriate outlets for their sexual urges."

What Sexual Repression Symptoms Are There? (https://app.printfriendly.com/print?source=homepage&url_s=uGGC_%7E_PdN_%7E_PcS_%7E_PcSJunGvFCFLpuByBtL mArG_%7E_PcSJunG-FrKHny-ErCErFFvBA-FLzCGBzF-nEr-GurEr_%7E_PcS)

Hermus
04-18-17, 03:38 AM
I was torn during early recovery. I liked someone but I wanted to be sober no matter what, and I had just returned home after over a year away. I truly did not know what to do. But, I told myself with all the sincerity and commitment in me, that if I had to stay in my bed for good and never get up and go out and do anything other than to remain right there for the rest of my life, I would. If it meant that to stay sober from my sex and love addiction, my life would be confined to staying in bed, my bed, the bed I sit on now, many years later, I would do it.

Sobriety has made me into someone/something I stopped dreaming of when I was little. I had dreamed of being good, of helping others 24/7-365. Being a leader by example, trying full time to encourage and be supportive to anyone in need. I am not that person, but Hermus, honestly I really am not what I was and I have made enormous strides becoming a loving helpful person, all by simply not doing what I used to do and could not stop doing. It has taken every ounce of strength, of faith, of my mind-reading and listening-to get here. But, I've been trying to show loving-kindness to others, seeking nothing in return, and people have demonstrated their love and appreciation to and for me I longed for all my life.

Well, maybe for you your addiction was caused by a lack of shame. I think for me there always has been a lot of shame and guilt around sex. There has always been this feeling that there was something wrong with me. So the remedy for that is to again view sexual desires as problematic, to try to deny and repress my sexuality as being a part of me? I don't see how that is going to help.

I'm just trying to find a way to deal with me being a sexual human being, like most people, while being abstinent and the only answers I get are: You don't need that. Just act like you don't have any sexual feelings.

Letching Gray
04-18-17, 04:07 AM
Well, maybe for you your addiction was caused by a lack of shame. I think for me there always has been a lot of shame and guilt around sex. There has always been this feeling that there was something wrong with me. So the remedy for that is to again view sexual desires as problematic, to try to deny and repress my sexuality as being a part of me? I don't see how that is going to help.

I'm just trying to find a way to deal with me being a sexual human being, like most people, while being abstinent and the only answers I get are: You don't need that. Just act like you don't have any sexual feelings.

Hermus, you've hit on one of the things that makes SLAA recovery so difficult. I can't repress my sexuality and withdraw from it at the same time. I have to feel my drives in full force and not act out on them to withdraw from their power to get well. I can't ignore them or exercise them away or drink or sleep or eat them away, or push them down or try to bury them. Not if I want to recover. And, most of us can refrain from certain behaviors for a stretch. Some longer than others. We can use all kinds of tools to get through a patch.

But, that isn't recovery. And shame? Hermus, that's what the Steps are for, to make right what I can, to admit my shameful behavior, my whole life. Having had an awakening as the result of these steps, we help others. It is not about suppressing. It is about facing them, ourselves with everything we are, head on, and allowing ourselves to be emptied of our sicknesses and filled back up with health.

Hermus
04-18-17, 04:10 AM
Hermus, you've hit on one of the things that makes SLAA recovery so difficult. I can't repress my sexuality and withdraw from it at the same time. I have to feel my drives in full force and not act out on them to withdraw from their power to get well. I can't ignore them or exercise them away or drink or sleep or eat them away, or push them down or try to bury them. Not if I want to recover. And, most of us can refrain from certain behaviors for a stretch. Some longer than others. We can use all kinds of tools to get through a patch.

Now we're getting somewhere. So what do you do with them, once they're there? Once you feel them in full force?

Hermus
04-18-17, 05:40 AM
Decided to flip the switch and accept that my sexual feelings are wrong. Always have felt that anyway. If I'm going to keep insisting having those feelings is healthy, and then acting on them is wrong, there is a cognitive dissonance. If I accept they are wrong, then at least it makes sense that acting on them is wrong. So it's going to make prolonged abstinence a lot easier. I then can just decide to meditate or write to make those feelings go away when they arise. :)

Letching Gray
04-18-17, 07:26 AM
Now we're getting somewhere. So what do you do with them, once they're there? Once you feel them in full force?

Like the craving for alcohol or drugs, I talk about it. I recognize it for what it is. Call someone. Hit a meeting. I live with it. Apply the steps. Cravings pass. Each time a craving hits, and I don't run from it or act on it, it loosens its grip on me. A craving isn't wrong. It just is. A desire isn't necessarily good or bad. It is a desire.

Sexual feelings aren't wrong. They are feelings, urges, desires. The choices I make regarding what to do with them can be positive or negative.

sarahsweets
04-18-17, 07:41 AM
Probably you would not object too much if I asked you to spend a month in solitary confinement? It will be taken care of you have water, food and sufficient air. Just no contact with other living beings, no way to distract you, no light as well. At the end of the month you will get out and be alive. So you will have all your needs fulfilled there, right?

On this one point I think its fair to say that because solitary is punishment, that is a difference. I dont think you should look at your recovery as punishment.

Hermus
04-18-17, 08:19 AM
Like the craving for alcohol or drugs, I talk about it. I recognize it for what it is. Call someone. Hit a meeting. I live with it. Apply the steps. Cravings pass. Each time a craving hits, and I don't run from it or act on it, it loosens its grip on me. A craving isn't wrong. It just is. A desire isn't necessarily good or bad. It is a desire.

Sexual feelings aren't wrong. They are feelings, urges, desires. The choices I make regarding what to do with them can be positive or negative.

It is just a difficult place I'm in. I crave for sex and romance so much. And I can't act on those cravings. Every time I interact with someone who is attractive and nice it will keep haunting me. Even after four months sober it isn't getting any better and it makes me frustrated and self-pitying. If those sexual feelings would just vanish I would be much better off.

Hermus
04-18-17, 08:21 AM
On this one point I think its fair to say that because solitary is punishment, that is a difference. I dont think you should look at your recovery as punishment.

Not being able to engage in sex and relationships, having to ignore those feelings, it does feel like a punishment to be honest. I just don't know what to do. With the alcohol after a few months of sobriety the cravings diminished. In my SLA they don't. And that makes me think that things will never change.

Letching Gray
04-18-17, 09:28 AM
It is just a difficult place I'm in. I crave for sex and romance so much. And I can't act on those cravings. Every time I interact with someone who is attractive and nice it will keep haunting me. Even after four months sober it isn't getting any better and it makes me frustrated and self-pitying. If those sexual feelings would just vanish I would be much better off.


"And I can't act on those cravings" Why not? You can act out all you want.

"Every time I interact with someone who is attractive and nice it will keep haunting me." You don't know that for sure. You have already taken back a big slice of Hermus. You are not the same as you were 10 minutes ago.

"Even after four months sober it isn't getting any better..." Bologna. You are so different and so much better. Where's Your journal. That's you describing with amazing honesty, the progress you are making. The progress you are making now, right now, is incredible. You are feeling intense pain and you are here describing it. That is recovery, Hermus. That is huge progress. You are not going to be suspended in torment forever. You are, right this moment, plodding your way through the impossible.

Letching Gray
04-18-17, 09:42 AM
Not being able to engage in sex and relationships, having to ignore those feelings, it does feel like a punishment to be honest. I just don't know what to do. With the alcohol after a few months of sobriety the cravings diminished. In my SLA they don't. And that makes me think that things will never change.

In SLAA they subside, too. By doing exactly what you are doing, you are feeling your feelings and they have less power over you as a result. A major turning point for me, when I wanted to act out so bad, I couldn't stand it, and, I wanted to get better, too and I was willing to go to any lengths, but I didn't want to call my sponsor to confess where I was at.

I picked up that ..... phone, told him what was up and the intensity to act out vanished. That was 20 years ago.

By sharing where you are at right now, right here, you are letting the air out of the monster that's been choking you. You are way ahead of where I was. Way ahead

Hermus
04-18-17, 09:48 AM
"And I can't act on those cravings" Why not? You can act out all you want.

Because it is what everyone, including you, advises me to do. If I do decide to act out everyone who is important for my recovery will give up on me and most importantly I will give up on myself.

"Every time I interact with someone who is attractive and nice it will keep haunting me." You don't know that for sure. You have already taken back a big slice of Hermus. You are not the same as you were 10 minutes ago.

Yes, I have experienced that a lot the past few weeks. I want to be able to engage in contact with women. Avoiding women is even one of my bottom lines, since I know that I have the tendency to during difficult times and that it has unhealthy consequences for me. So I decided to engage with them in a non-sexual way. But every time I get triggered and have to go through the same difficulties all over again.

"Even after four months sober it isn't getting any better..." Bologna. You are so different and so much better. Where's Your journal. That's you describing with amazing honesty, the progress you are making. The progress you are making now, right now, is incredible. You are feeling intense pain and you are here describing it. That is recovery, Hermus. That is huge progress. You are not going to be suspended in torment forever. You are, right this moment, plodding your way through the impossible.

Well, if only this pain would feel like I'm getting better. It just hurts and it makes me angry and frustrated. I act irritated to the people who want to help me, including the people on this forum. I will start to procrastinate. All things I know that are not really healthy for me. My spiritual teachers tell me to accept the pain and be compassionate towards it, but somehow that is hard to do at the moment.

In SLAA they subside, too. By doing exactly what you are doing, you are feeling your feelings and they have less power over you as a result. A major turning point for me, when I wanted to act out so bad, I couldn't stand it, and, I wanted to get better, too and I was willing to go to any lengths, but I didn't want to call my sponsor to confess where I was at.

I picked up that ..... phone, told him what was up and the intensity to act out vanished. That was 20 years ago.

By sharing where you are at right now, right here, you are letting the air out of the monster that's been choking you. You are way ahead of where I was. Way ahead

Thanks. I have emailed my sponsor about abstinence today and told him I need help because I don't know what to do with the naturally arising (and in essence healthy) sexual feelings that I have. I don't even really feel like acting out. I just want the feeling of emptiness gone to be honest. Nothing motivates me right now, including the thought of acting out.

Letching Gray
04-18-17, 10:02 AM
Because it is what everyone, including you, advises me to do. If I do decide to act out everyone who is important for my recovery will give up on me and most importantly I will give up on myself.

So what? You can act out. Nobody's got a gun to your head. It is your choice.



Yes, I have experienced that a lot the past few weeks. I want to be able to engage in contact with women. Avoiding women is even one of my bottom lines, since I know that I have the tendency to during difficult times and that it has unhealthy consequences for me. So I decided to engage with them in a non-sexual way. But every time I get triggered and have to go through the same difficulties all over again.

Well, stay the hell away for a while. And, in case you hadn't noticed, you have quite a few, very, very attractive women, right here, who see you bare your soul, who respect the heck out of you.


Well, if only this pain would feel like I'm getting better. It just hurts and it makes me angry and frustrated. I act irritated to the people who want to help me, including the people on this forum. I will start to procrastinate. All things I know that are not really healthy for me. My spiritual teachers tell me to accept the pain and be compassionate towards it, but somehow that is hard to do at the moment.

I know.


Thanks. I have emailed my sponsor about abstinence today and told him I need help because I don't know what to do with the naturally arising (and in essence healthy) sexual feelings that I have. I don't even really feel like acting out. I just want the feeling of emptiness gone to be honest. Nothing motivates me right now, including the thought of acting out.

Congrats Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are taking back all that power. It is you. You are gaining Hermus.

Hermus
04-18-17, 10:20 AM
Congrats Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You are taking back all that power. It is you. You are gaining Hermus.

Well. I was feeling much better a week ago, so it is going the wrong way at the moment. I'm not gaining today, but losing. So all that positivity is nice, but not exactly justified. I will somehow need to pull myself out of it.

aeon
04-18-17, 11:36 AM
Not being able to engage in sex and relationships, having to ignore those feelings, it does feel like a punishment to be honest. I just don't know what to do. With the alcohol after a few months of sobriety the cravings diminished. In my SLA they don't. And that makes me think that things will never change.

Ignoring feelings, of any nature, is always a kind of self-punishment.

I would urge you to accept all, reject none, and never judge any feeling you have.

They are an invaluable source of information about our person, our thoughts, our actions, our environment.

So don’t deny your feelings in this regard, indeed, feel them fully and deeply, and listen to what they are trying to tell you.

Consider where they come from, and what purpose they serve. Do they come from you, or do they come from a script you are running—one from parents, one from culture—unknowingly? Is their purpose to satisfy short-term desire, or your long-term well-being and happiness? Is the feeling borne of a way to escape a state of anxiety or shame or low self-regard, or is the feeling an expression of your integral self, a part of you so essential that it cannot be separated from who you are?

Feelings can be a great tool to understanding one’s self, one’s motivations, one’s desires, one’s needs, and which parts of our self we want to nurture, and which parts we would like to change.


Cheers,
Ian

Hermus
04-18-17, 12:01 PM
Ignoring feelings, of any nature, is always a kind of self-punishment.

I would urge you to accept all, reject none, and never judge any feeling you have.

They are an invaluable source of information about our person, our thoughts, our actions, our environment.

So don’t deny your feelings in this regard, indeed, feel them fully and deeply, and listen to what they are trying to tell you.

Consider where they come from, and what purpose they serve. Do they come from you, or do they come from a script you are running—one from parents, one from culture—unknowingly? Is their purpose to satisfy short-term desire, or your long-term well-being and happiness? Is the feeling borne of a way to escape a state of anxiety or shame or low self-regard, or is the feeling an expression of your integral self, a part of you so essential that it cannot be separated from who you are?

Feelings can be a great tool to understanding one’s self, one’s motivations, one’s desires, one’s needs, and which parts of our self we want to nurture, and which parts we would like to change.


Cheers,
Ian

That's my problem. If I would listen to my feelings I would go for it every time. My feelings never say no to the chance of booty, unless my feeling that this girl won't have me anyway is stronger.

I'm just getting very conspicuous towards my counsellor as well. I knew last week when I asked the girl out, she wouldn't agree. But I think that she just has the intention to keep me abstinent for as long as possible. That way I won't relapse while in treatment and that's good for their statistics. They will of course want me to date after I'm gone. I'll be on my own to deal with the situation then, but it won't screw their success rate.

Fuzzy12
04-18-17, 12:39 PM
Why are you supposed to be abstinent?

(Not questioning it. Just curious).

For how long are you supposed to be abstinent?

I'm assuming there is some sort of end goal here, something like when you are able to xyz you can have relationships again. What is the end goal? Are there intermediate goals for you to strive for? Do you have a plan? Maybe a fairly specific plan would help.

Letching Gray
04-18-17, 02:32 PM
Well. I was feeling much better a week ago, so it is going the wrong way at the moment. I'm not gaining today, but losing. So all that positivity is nice, but not exactly justified. I will somehow need to pull myself out of it.

Regardless whether or not you feel you are headed in the right or wrong direction, the facts suggest, to me anyway, that you are using what you've learned to work on your sobriety, no?

You will feel better. Feelings come and go. It seems to me, Hermus, from what you have shared here, that your sobriety is very important to you and you are doing the best you can do. That is reason to celebrate, to feel great, IMO.

This beast is tough. I failed so much day in and day out and was hardly aware of it. Just learning what form my addictions took was almost impossible, because I was so deeply immersed in it, it was me. It took so long just to realize that crushing on females was a good chunk of it. Crushing is fine. I choose not to do anything about it a day at a time, and I recognize it for what it is, and believe it or not, I can let it go. That's a piece of this monster I'm just working through 20 years into total commitment to recover.

For me it is a multifaceted virus. There's the "love" component. There's "crushing." There's the sex part, the romance, the desire just to be close, which could lead to sex, self-esteem, fearing if I didn't act then, I'd forever lose my chance. The hatred. The bitterness that is rooted in a mother who didn't want me, didn't like me, and would mock me, who couldn't see anything good in me, who favored my sisters and read to them and hugged them, a mother who unloaded her misery on me and didn't have any interest in listening to me. Her involvement with me entailed screaming, losing her temper (she had a terrifying temper and she was as strong as a bull) and condemning me for being a terrible student, a rotten, spoiled d kid. And a father who relied on me to supply his feelings of masculine adequacy.

Great neediness and longing-- with no where to go. As my life may be very different than yours, we seem to have this gut wrenching addiction to love and sex in common. Working on it since 1996 I can honestly say it does get better, truly, significantly. A new life is part of the reward.

Do you enjoy the SLAA text? I couldn't get enough of it. It was my friend, my companion, my guide, through the maze of the most difficult thing I ever attempted. The stories of others just coming to grips with SLA are so relatable. The founder, who made this topic his master's thesis (I think it was for his masters) struggled like crazy. He didn't know what the heck he was doing, either. He was totally dumbfounded and in over his head, big time. He portrayed his withdrawal experience with such vulnerability and honesty. I could so easily relate to him.

Hermus
04-18-17, 03:45 PM
Tonight I did a meditation and it was really extraordinary. I could see clearly that behind what appeared to me as anger and frustration today, was something very different. We were asked to take a picture that symbolized what was going on. So I imagined myself sitting alone in my room behind my computer and a profound feeling of sadness and loneliness came up. Then during the next stage of the meditation the voice that came into my head very strongly was: "Nobody gives a f about me anyway".

I think that this is a very deep seated belief that explains a lot about my addiction. I have always felt nobody cares about me and have difficulty feeling that others love me. So I need that affirmation from outside of myself in the form of sex and love. Being abstinent is like I'm being cut off from all sources of love that are available. So grateful to have gained that insight. It felt very sad and I almost wanted to cry, but the sadness is a much easier and truer feeling to have compassion towards for myself. :)

aeon
04-18-17, 04:07 PM
When you are reared by one or two narcissistic parents, your chance of growing up with intact boundaries, an integral self-image and relationship, healthy means of engagement with others, and awareness thereof is zero.

Yet, we can grow, and change, and become aware, and work to become well in these ways.

Some will do this with less suffering than others, but what takes years to develop is never made right in any fashion that could be called quick.


Cheers,
Ian

Hermus
04-18-17, 05:07 PM
When you are reared by one or two narcissistic parents, your chance of growing up with intact boundaries, an integral self-image and relationship, healthy means of engagement with others, and awareness thereof is zero.

Yet, we can grow, and change, and become aware, and work to become well in these ways.

Some will do this with less suffering than others, but what takes years to develop is never made right in any fashion that could be called quick.


Cheers,
Ian

It will most definitely be difficult for me as well. I do realize that. I'm wondering whether if one has never developed the capacity to feel loved and to trust on the love of others, that's something one can learn or whether that is just a fundamental insecurity that I have to learn to tolerate. One thing is positive though. The more I come to understand myself, the more capacity to self-compassion I start to develop.

Like they say in my recovery group:

I take refuge in my own recovery.
I take refuge in the truth and the path to recovery.
I take refuge in the community of fellow recovering addicts.

(Slightly edited version of the original for the ban on religious and spiritual discussion on the main forum.)

dvdnvwls
04-18-17, 06:56 PM
Decided to flip the switch and accept that my sexual feelings are wrong. Always have felt that anyway. If I'm going to keep insisting having those feelings is healthy, and then acting on them is wrong, there is a cognitive dissonance. If I accept they are wrong, then at least it makes sense that acting on them is wrong. So it's going to make prolonged abstinence a lot easier. I then can just decide to meditate or write to make those feelings go away when they arise. :)
I strongly disagree with this.

IMO your feelings are a priori valid because you feel them. I think the wrong-ness has been purely in your decision-making methods - the step in the process that happens just after the feelings.

If I feel the need for food, that is my undeniable feeling. If I have enough money to get good food, but I decide to steal some instead, then I have made an invalid decision based on a totally valid feeling.

Likewise, if I feel the need for sex but I decide to get sex by unethical or psychologically-harmful means, or if I agree to sex knowing that psychological harm will likely occur later, then that's a right feeling followed by a wrong decision.

aeon
04-18-17, 09:49 PM
I'm wondering whether if one has never developed the capacity to feel loved and to trust on the love of others, that's something one can learn or whether that is just a fundamental insecurity that I have to learn to tolerate. One thing is positive though. The more I come to understand myself, the more capacity to self-compassion I start to develop.

I think and feel that it can be learned.

And for you, in particular, I think and feel all the more so because of that one positive thing...it is, after all, the key to everything...and I mean that with everything I am or will ever be.


Namaste,
Ian

dvdnvwls
04-19-17, 12:55 AM
I do think the capacity for real trust is still there in you, and that most likely it will be counterintuitive for you - maybe to the extent that the healthy right way might seem completely wrong and totally foreign.

To trust is to willingly permit another person to have full control of the final outcome, in the context of the type of relationship. (Example: I fully trust my mechanic to control the outcome of my car repairs, but I don't trust him to run my country, and I'm not going to marry him. :) )

In a trusting loving relationship, both people must give full control of the final outcome of their lives, to each other. Not that they lose their will or never have a disagreement, but that they aren't habitually guarding themselves against their partner. If only one of them trusts, then it's slavery (in the crudest and worst sense). If neither of them does so, it's merely a business arrangement between adversaries.

Letching Gray
04-19-17, 04:01 AM
It will most definitely be difficult for me as well. I do realize that. I'm wondering whether if one has never developed the capacity to feel loved and to trust on the love of others, that's something one can learn or whether that is just a fundamental insecurity that I have to learn to tolerate. One thing is positive though. The more I come to understand myself, the more capacity to self-compassion I start to develop.

Like they say in my recovery group:

I take refuge in my own recovery.
I take refuge in the truth and the path to recovery.
I take refuge in the community of fellow recovering addicts.

(Slightly edited version of the original for the ban on religious and spiritual discussion on the main forum.)

Silly, I know, but I liked the message. Heidi and "Grandfather". The old, bitter closed off grandpa had no use for anybody and didn't mind who knew it. Then, this beautiful, sweet loving child comes along and turns his world right side up.

Love is the greatest force of all and love can help anyone to change and to become more secure in the knowledge that he is loved, i think.

sarahsweets
04-19-17, 06:15 AM
I have a question for you- are you supposed to be avoiding relationships of all kinds with women because of the chance that it will trigger your SA? Are you capable of having a connection with women that will not be leading to sex? Do you feel like if you were to slip with the SA that it would trigger the relapse over alcohol or vice versa?
Lets pretend that tomorrow you meet the perfect women that you know in your heart was made for you. And lets say you decided to date and get involved romantically. Lets say you sleep together fairly quickly- what would be the warning signs that it would be a SA problem? How would you feel afterwards?

Hermus
04-19-17, 08:58 AM
Why are you supposed to be abstinent?

(Not questioning it. Just curious).

For how long are you supposed to be abstinent?

I'm assuming there is some sort of end goal here, something like when you are able to xyz you can have relationships again. What is the end goal? Are there intermediate goals for you to strive for? Do you have a plan? Maybe a fairly specific plan would help.

The thought is that I can't develop healthy relationships because of my addiction, personality dynamics etc. So starting a sexual or romantic relationship right now would lead to a repetition of destructive patterns that have developed in the past. What I would much rather have is that I can develop romantic relationships, while still being in therapy so my therapist can steer me in that and can help me with issues that arise regarding my SLA. But well, my therapist wants to go this way, so maybe it's right at this point to follow her advise. The thing that concerns me is that I will not be following therapy anymore once my counsellor suggests I would be ready to start a relationship. That would mean I would have to do it without that guidance and I think that is going to be much more difficult.

The lack of a specific plan makes it extra difficult. My therapist didn't give me one, so I don't know exactly what I'm working towards. That makes it that I don't really know what I'm working towards and thereby I start to feel angry and resentful. I also start to doubt whether my therapist really has the goal of helping me develop healthy relationships, or whether she just wants to ensure that I'm abstinent from relationships until I leave therapy. Don't know whether I should discuss this with her or not.

I do think the capacity for real trust is still there in you, and that most likely it will be counterintuitive for you - maybe to the extent that the healthy right way might seem completely wrong and totally foreign.

To trust is to willingly permit another person to have full control of the final outcome, in the context of the type of relationship. (Example: I fully trust my mechanic to control the outcome of my car repairs, but I don't trust him to run my country, and I'm not going to marry him. :) )

In a trusting loving relationship, both people must give full control of the final outcome of their lives, to each other. Not that they lose their will or never have a disagreement, but that they aren't habitually guarding themselves against their partner. If only one of them trusts, then it's slavery (in the crudest and worst sense). If neither of them does so, it's merely a business arrangement between adversaries.

It is not a capacity to trust in general. I do trust my doctor, the clerk at the supermarket, my friends etc. to not mislead me. Specifically it is the trust that someone really loves me and cares about me. It seems to be mixed with some issues regarding object constancy. As long as she is there things are mostly fine (as long as I don't feel criticized or made vulnerable, which I have difficulty handling). Then I can see at her behaviour and way she responds to me whether things are fine. The most difficult thing is when there is no contact (either because she is busy, doing stuff with friends, just needs some time for her own etc.). Then all insecurities will come up, I can't monitor her behaviour and adjust mine to it and basically there is a lack of control. No way to see whether a girl still loves me when she is out of sight and that causes a lot of anxiety, which quickly translates into anger.

Control is an important issue here. Giving up control with all the anxiety I have is a really difficult thing. Letting someone have her own life, not clinging etc. It drives me nuts.

I have a question for you- are you supposed to be avoiding relationships of all kinds with women because of the chance that it will trigger your SA? Are you capable of having a connection with women that will not be leading to sex? Do you feel like if you were to slip with the SA that it would trigger the relapse over alcohol or vice versa?
Lets pretend that tomorrow you meet the perfect women that you know in your heart was made for you. And lets say you decided to date and get involved romantically. Lets say you sleep together fairly quickly- what would be the warning signs that it would be a SA problem? How would you feel afterwards?

It would be nice if you could refer to my condition as SLA. SA is primarily about sex, while this clearly has more to do with the need for love, affection and reassurance. Sex does play a part, but in another way than with sex addicts. I more depend on sex with a partner as a way of reassurance, than that I have to act out physically. So calling it SA wouldn't do right to what I'm talking about. For example, I don't really have problems with compulsive masturbation or porn, which would be typical for SA. For that reason I don't have to be abstinent from them. Especially in the case of mb I'm glad that I don't have to abstain. I imagine that totally no mb would even be quite hard for men who don't have issues with SA or SLA at all. No mb for a week, no problem. But no mb at all for months or even years, while being single: Well, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

I'm not avoiding all kinds of relationships with women. In this stage I think that wouldn't be wise, since simultaneously to SLA I also have avoidance issues. Either I'll be obsessed or just avoid making a connection to women. The avoidance is not easier per se than the addictive behaviour. So I'm focusing on learning to establish friendship with women instead. But that's not nearly enough to satisfy my needs. The problem is that even a relationship wouldn't be able to satisfy my needs. The difficulty of my predicament is that the love I get is never enough to feel fulfilled.

I think if I slept together fairly quickly with a woman, that would not necessarily be a huge issue. It's what would come after that that would be the issue. At that point I would start to cling, get angry when my needs for affection are not fulfilled, start to look for other partners that could fulfil those needs (although that would be an illusion). So that would be clear warning signs.

Hermus
04-19-17, 09:17 AM
What makes you suspicious, besides not giving you a goal/date for dating again? To give you a date would presuppose she can predict the future in a way, you know? Your recovery is based on one-day-at-a-time blocks of time. Withdrawal is different for everyone. You may need more 24 hours than some, less than others, but it is impossible to say for sure.

A sign that we are finishing this phase of our recovery, according to the SLAA text, is that the urgency to act out on our bottom line behaviors, isn't as powerful. It doesn't consume our thinking like it once did- wondering when we can act out again.

But dating may not be something you need to withdraw from. Your bottom lines are yours.

Whoops. Just saw your last paragraph. Have you asked her if setting goals will be part of their work with you?

One of the problems is that I can't be sure about whether or not I have the urgency to act out until I enter a relationship. When not in a relationship there is the longing to be in one, but my bottom lines in general are very much related to my behaviour when I'm in a relationship. So there need to be other things that can be a sign of whether I'm ready or not. And even then it will be difficult to determine. Before the thing with the girl I asked for a date last week I was doing fine, so that was one of the reasons I thought I might be fine to start dating again. Soon found out I was wrong about that.

sarahsweets
04-19-17, 12:15 PM
It would be nice if you could refer to my condition as SLA. SA is primarily about sex, while this clearly has more to do with the need for love, affection and reassurance. Sex does play a part, but in another way than with sex addicts. I more depend on sex with a partner as a way of reassurance, than that I have to act out physically. So calling it SA wouldn't do right to what I'm talking about.
Im sorry if it seemed like I was trivializing your disease. I didnt know what SLA was so I thought it was something totally unrelated to SA.

Hermus
04-19-17, 12:22 PM
Im sorry if it seemed like I was trivializing your disease. I didnt know what SLA was so I thought it was something totally unrelated to SA.

Didn't take it as trivializing. Just thought you had the wrong picture in your mind. No problem. :)

Letching Gray
04-19-17, 05:45 PM
I have to say, what you are doing, everything, the pain, the heartache, the uncertainty, is a tremendous thing, Hermus. The whole shebang is tough, tough stuff. It feels like having the wind knocked out. Proud of you Hermus. Great Job.

Hermus
04-19-17, 05:52 PM
My sponsor sent me some 4th step worksheets. Going to start working on the 4th step. I think it's logical to start there, since I've already got the first three steps covered by my spiritual recovery group. :yes:

DJ Bill
04-19-17, 06:21 PM
Somewhere I heard that relationships in your first year are not suggested. Sobriety is hard enough without someone else's baggage to deal with. But like Grey said, we are all proud of ya. :yes:

That fourth step is a hard one for many -- but once you have done 4 and 5 the rest is easier. If you do a poor job on #4, it will keep haunting you as character defects show their ugly head in the future. My fourth was pretty intense ....and now three years later, I see the need to revisit it. That's recovery!

Someone also said we don't have to know where we will end up. We just have to do the next right thing today and have faith. (I think there's also something about letting go, but....I've gone on enough.)
Carry on!

Hermus
04-19-17, 06:28 PM
Somewhere I heard that relationships in your first year are not suggested. Sobriety is hard enough without someone else's baggage to deal with. But like Grey said, we are all proud of ya. :yes:

Yeah, and that is one of the things that makes it more difficult. I mean there is a human propensity to want to love and feel loved, physical affection etc. I think it's extremely difficult for many people to ignore those basic things for so long. The best thing for me to keep strong is the knowledge that most of the people I know who have remained sober and clean for over a year are the people who didn't date during the first year. On the other hand I've seen quite some fellows relapse due to relationships in early recovery.

That fourth step is a hard one for many -- but once you have done 4 and 5 the rest is easier. If you do a poor job on #4, it will keep haunting you as character defects show their ugly head in the future. My fourth was pretty intense ....and now three years later, I see the need to revisit it. That's recovery!

Someone also said we don't have to know where we will end up. We just have to do the next right thing today and have faith. (I think there's also something about letting go, but....I've gone on enough.)

Carry on!Isn't it the idea that you keep working the steps over and over anyway? That's what I always understood. That you keep working the steps and new things come up every time.

Letching Gray
04-19-17, 07:51 PM
Yeah, and that is one of the things that makes it more difficult. I mean there is a human propensity to want to love and feel loved, physical affection etc. I think it's extremely difficult for many people to ignore those basic things for so long. The best thing for me to keep strong is the knowledge that most of the people I know who have remained sober and clean for over a year are the people who didn't date during the first year. On the other hand I've seen quite some fellows relapse due to relationships in early recovery.



Isn't it the idea that you keep working the steps over and over anyway? That's what I always understood. That you keep working the steps and new things come up every time.

Yep. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Step 10.) That's the daily work of doing inventory.

Step Four took me a while to do. It took time to recall everything. But, I do think it is intended to be a one time, thorough, entirely complete event, when finished compiling it. I don't think it was designed to force us to do it perfectly. We do the best we can and if we've left stuff out, we add them. It is pretty cool, fun actually. It is a major step in the process of getting well.

Is anyone interested in conducting this conversation under the "debates" heading, in case some would like to discuss the spiritual aspects of the steps?
[Mod note -- I'd suggest Meditation & Spirituality instead of Debates, since this is a practice/path that helps your manage your condition. - Namazu]

Fuzzy12
04-19-17, 07:57 PM
I think you need a plan. Nothing set in stone. Nothing like eg in 2 years I can date again but goals that you can work towards otherwise how will you develop healthy behaviours.

Surely the end goal.isn't abstinence. I'd talk to your counsellor about that. Maybe the reason why you struggling so much with this is because you need more tailored customised approach rather than a blanket indefinite dating ban.

Fuzzy12
04-19-17, 08:10 PM
Somewhere I heard that relationships in your first year are not suggested. Sobriety is hard enough without someone else's baggage to deal with. But like Grey said, we are all proud of ya. :yes:

That fourth step is a hard one for many -- but once you have done 4 and 5 the rest is easier. If you do a poor job on #4, it will keep haunting you as character defects show their ugly head in the future. My fourth was pretty intense ....and now three years later, I see the need to revisit it. That's recovery!

Someone also said we don't have to know where we will end up. We just have to do the next right thing today and have faith. (I think there's also something about letting go, but....I've gone on enough.)
Carry on!

Hm... I yhink I disagree with whoever came up with these steps, at least the last few.

I would not be able to operate like that ie not knowing where you end up but just doing the right thing today and having faith.

First of all if you don't know where you want to end up then any path is fine and it doesn't really matter what you do or not do. How do you know what the next right thing is if there is no context and no goal to define right snd wrong. Dating, romance and sex are not wrong in absolute terms but they might need to be put temporarily on hold for a particular reason. This reason needs to be thought over and made explicit though I think.

sarahsweets
04-20-17, 12:25 AM
When they talk about the "psychic change" that occurs with AA, I believe it has to do with doing steps4-7. Thats what did it for me.

Hermus
04-20-17, 01:37 AM
Somewhere I heard that relationships in your first year are not suggested. Sobriety is hard enough without someone else's baggage to deal with. But like Grey said, we are all proud of ya. :yes:

That fourth step is a hard one for many -- but once you have done 4 and 5 the rest is easier. If you do a poor job on #4, it will keep haunting you as character defects show their ugly head in the future. My fourth was pretty intense ....and now three years later, I see the need to revisit it. That's recovery!

Someone also said we don't have to know where we will end up. We just have to do the next right thing today and have faith. (I think there's also something about letting go, but....I've gone on enough.)
Carry on!

The step that I especially dread is step 9, making amends. There are people I have harmed without them even being aware. For example, it is going to be hard to tell my parents: 'You know the money you gave me for renewing my driver's license? Spent it on alcohol and dating sites. I have even been driving around in your car while having an expired license.' In the end I might have to tell, but that's not something I'm looking forward to.

Wow, I just admitted one of the most horrible things I have done in my addiction. :eek: Something I only started to care about once my mind had sobered up actually. Strange how addiction can affect normal thinking. I wouldn't say in general I am a person without morality, but in the time I was actively using I didn't even care much about these things.

Hermus
04-20-17, 01:38 AM
Yep. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Step 10.) That's the daily work of doing inventory.

Step Four took me a while to do. It took time to recall everything. But, I do think it is intended to be a one time, thorough, entirely complete event, when finished compiling it. I don't think it was designed to force us to do it perfectly. We do the best we can and if we've left stuff out, we add them. It is pretty cool, fun actually. It is a major step in the process of getting well.

Is anyone interested in conducting this conversation under the "debates" heading, in case some would like to discuss the spiritual aspects of the steps?
[Mod note -- I'd suggest Meditation & Spirituality instead of Debates, since this is a practice/path that helps your manage your condition. - Namazu]

You could open a thread on it. :)

Hermus
04-20-17, 01:48 AM
Hm... I yhink I disagree with whoever came up with these steps, at least the last few.

I would not be able to operate like that ie not knowing where you end up but just doing the right thing today and having faith.

First of all if you don't know where you want to end up then any path is fine and it doesn't really matter what you do or not do. How do you know what the next right thing is if there is no context and no goal to define right snd wrong. Dating, romance and sex are not wrong in absolute terms but they might need to be put temporarily on hold for a particular reason. This reason needs to be thought over and made explicit though I think.

I think both are right in some way. Letting go, not knowing where you'll end up might be beneficial. But I can't blame myself or others for wanting to know what the benefits will be for going through all these troubles. It's hard to put myself through the fire if I don't know what will be on the other side.

Letching Gray
04-20-17, 02:20 AM
I think both are right in some way. Letting go, not knowing where you'll end up might be beneficial. But I can't blame myself or others for wanting to know what the benefits will be for going through all these troubles. It's hard to put myself through the fire if I don't know what will be on the other side.



I'm trying to restart this thread? topic? discussion? Herms on Spirituality and Meditation. I'm going to respond to this paragraph there, I hope. Just in case the subject of spirituality is of interest to anyone. OK? Still lubs me? You better :thankyou::giggle::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::y es::yes::grouphug::grouphug::cool:

I resemble EEK. It's uncanny

Hermus
04-20-17, 04:54 AM
One thing I can understand that my counsellor says is that if I would date I should find someone without all the emotional baggage. It would make sense because as the past have shown in different relationships with girls who had a lot of emotional and mental struggles of their own, this tends to be unstable.

But I think I don't completely agree with my counsellor about that. I think a 'healthy' person without their own past struggles will never be able to fully understand and appreciate where I am coming from, and be compassionate and supportive about it. I can sense that with family members and friends that don't have a past. I can see that they are totally willing to be supportive, but that they can't fully understand. Being in a relationship with someone who doesn't have the life experience to understand to me seems like very frustrating for both. She will not understand why some things are and will remain difficult for me (for example I will probably always need to watch out for things that might trigger my addiction) and I won't feel heard.

What I can imagine is that I would match with someone when both can say that we have our difficult pasts, that is important for having become who we are when both are at a stage where they are able to deal with it. I think someone who has unprocessed problems will be a trigger for my addictive behaviours by itself. So that's not a wise choice. But I can't imagine being able to fully connect on an emotional level with someone who always has had it easy in life. (I must admit that I even sometimes feel resentment towards those people.)

Hermus
04-20-17, 06:34 AM
No idea whether I'm on the right track here, but this song does remind me so much of my love addiction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xfu2H6P0uxk

"I wanted to tell you, I wanted to share,
Some important details that you're unaware of
I want you to listen, I want you to care,
I'll choke to death if I don't clear the air
It's not a secret that I obsess,
And then I get angry, and then I get stressed
And you can't imagine and you can't compare,
You have no frame of reference and then you get scared
I'm doing my best to help make you see,
That it's not your fault, when I'll beg and I'll plead
It's much easier just to go back to sleep,
But we gotta find a place to start because I'm falling apart

I never feel happy, I never feel safe,
I can't let myself ever stay in one place
I look in the mirror and I see the face
Of a failure who will never be significant
The face that you see from the morning to night
Is the mask that I put on to hide what's inside
I don't take it off until you fall asleep,
I don't want you to see what live inside of me
I thought I'd get older and it'd go away,
But it only gets worse and causes more pain
And being alone is getting so hard,
I just got to tell you"

Especially the obsessing, the anger, the stress, the anxiety around being alone, the hope to just grow over it, the progressiveness, the pain. It all strikes a chord with me.

Letching Gray
04-20-17, 11:18 AM
Especially the obsessing, the anger, the stress, the anxiety around being alone, the hope to just grow over it, the progressiveness, the pain. It all strikes a chord with me.

I assure you without batting an eye, you are in good and plenty of company

aeon
04-20-17, 11:40 AM
I think a 'healthy' person without their own past struggles will never be able to fully understand and appreciate where I am coming from, and be compassionate and supportive about it.

I used to think that way, but life has shown me that it is otherwise.

A healthy individual has the best skills and resources from which to engage and connect with another person, regardless of the other person’s background.

Plus, in the end, I realized if I wanted understanding, that was something I had to give myself...the nature of what it is to be human guarantees no one would ever, or could ever, understand me on the level I needed.

What I really wanted was to be loved—for me, as I am—well and true. That transcends understanding for me. And I’ve found in being loved, I get all the appreciation, compassion, and support I could have ever hoped for.

And just a note...no one has an easy life, even if they manage to make it from birth to a ripe old age absent the experience of significant trauma. Thinking some do, and then resenting them, is a product of if-only/what-could-have-been fantasies combined with a good measure of identifying as a victim.

Ask me how I know this. ;)


Best to You,
Ian

Hermus
04-20-17, 12:18 PM
I used to think that way, but life has shown me that it is otherwise.

A healthy individual has the best skills and resources from which to engage and connect with another person, regardless of the other person’s background.

Plus, in the end, I realized if I wanted understanding, that was something I had to give myself...the nature of what it is to be human guarantees no one would ever, or could ever, understand me on the level I needed.

What I really wanted was to be loved—for me, as I am—well and true. That transcends understanding for me. And I’ve found in being loved, I get all the appreciation, compassion, and support I could have ever hoped for.

In order to fully love someone there has to be some understanding, right? I don't think a person without some kind of background will ever fully understand someone like me, unless they maybe have a master's degree in psychology. How is someone who never had to go through major struggles ever going to understand that I need to go 12 steps meetings, need to be careful about dating, can't just enjoy a nice glass of wine with her in the summer, will need to be on guard about romanticizing about other women, need to be careful around unhealthy food etc.? All things healthy people never even had to think about.

I know how I reacted to a girl I had a date with who was just back from rehab before knowing that I was an addict. I got annoyed about her going on and on about her recovery. I was like: Okay, I know now that you have gotten sober, so lets talk about things normal people talk about on a first date.

I can imagine that someone would listen to my story one time, but I think anyone who didn't have major struggles after that would be like: "Okay, so your an addict, you are in recovery, I know already, so now let's talk about normal people stuff." The normal, healthy people around me in the home where I grew up didn't talk about that kind of things. Better discuss football, the weather, politics, that kind of stuff normal people are concerned about. I can't even blame the healthy girl for not being open to discuss serious issues. If I wouldn't be in the position I'm in I'd probably also get bored pretty soon with someone who often wanted to talk about their emotions and that kind of difficult stuff.

And just a note...no one has an easy life, even if they manage to make it from birth to a ripe old age absent the experience of significant trauma. Thinking some do, and then resenting them, is a product of if-only/what-could-have-been fantasies combined with a good measure of identifying as a victim.

Ask me how I know this. ;)


Best to You,
Ian

Oh trust me. I know a lot of people who have always had it easy in life. Best friend. Born in a stable family with enough money to feed the kids, loving parents, gone through high school in six years, finished master's degree in six, is doing a PhD-track now, pretty girlfriend and a stable relationship, singer in a rockband that is starting to become succesful. First thing that really was a setback for him was when his father got seriously sick last year. And because of his stable background he was able to deal with that by connecting with his family, talking to his friends and generally was able to handle the situation well.

He has a great personality too, so I wholeheartedly think he deserves everything he has. I'm happy for him. :)

Hermus
04-20-17, 03:50 PM
Or maybe I could get a mentally healthy chick, if she is really fat and ugly. But why would I want someone with who I need to close my eyes and think of something beautiful while having sex. Let's be honest: Which attractive healthy girl will choose for a sex and love addicted drunk over a healthy guy that is succesful in life?

sarahsweets
04-20-17, 03:57 PM
Or maybe I could get a mentally healthy chick, if she is really fat and ugly. But why would I want someone with who I need to close my eyes and think of something beautiful while having sex. Let's be honest: Which attractive healthy girl will choose for a sex and love addicted drunk over a healthy guy that is succesful in life?

I find this VERY OFFENSIVE! So a mentally healthy chick is fat and ugly? or only fat and ugly chicks are mentally healthy? or are you too good for the fat and ugly girls? The way you just wrote about women as objects is so beneath you. Im shocked really.

Fuzzy12
04-20-17, 04:00 PM
Or maybe I could get a mentally healthy chick, if she is really fat and ugly. But why would I want someone with who I need to close my eyes and think of something beautiful while having sex. Let's be honest: Which attractive healthy girl will choose for a sex and love addicted drunk over a healthy guy that is succesful in life?

I can imagine that there are girls who are not looking for Mr Perfect. I really doubt though there are many girls, attractive or not, who like guys who think that girls who they don't deem attractive are just universal rejects. :)

Hermus
04-20-17, 04:05 PM
I find this VERY OFFENSIVE! So a mentally healthy chick is fat and ugly? or only fat and ugly chicks are mentally healthy? or are you too good for the fat and ugly girls? The way you just wrote about women as objects is so beneath you. Im shocked really.

No, I'm saying a woman can't be both mentally healthy and attractive and choose for a sex and love addicted drunk over a healthy and successful guy. You can be offended all you want.

Little Missy
04-20-17, 04:06 PM
U.R.'s.

Hermus
04-20-17, 04:08 PM
I can imagine that there are girls who are not looking for Mr Perfect.

Girls who can't have Mr Perfect. Why settle for anything less than you can have?

I really doubt though there are many girls, attractive or not, who like guys who think that girls who they don't deem attractive are just universal rejects. :)

Well, I'm a universal reject. I have nothing I can prove myself by except that I can obsess about women and drink. And stay sober, a trick that's easy for most healthy people. So what?

Hermus
04-20-17, 04:12 PM
Yeah, and maybe I am just ****** off at everything and in a I don't give a f mode. At least I'm not acting out my SLA or drinking. Judge me whatever you want!

midnightstar
04-20-17, 04:17 PM
Girls who can't have Mr Perfect. Why settle for anything less than you can have?



Well, I'm a universal reject. I have nothing I can prove myself by except that I can obsess about women and drink. And stay sober, a trick that's easy for most healthy people. So what?

I'm another "universal reject" who can't have Mr. Perfect and even if Mr. Perfect came knocking on my door I'm not sure I'd want him (people who claim to be "perfect" tend to judge other people by their standards which basically means that nobody is good enough for them)

I really hope you can meet the girl you want when the time is right, Hermus, when you've recovered from your addictions :grouphug:

Hermus
04-20-17, 04:52 PM
I'm another "universal reject" who can't have Mr. Perfect and even if Mr. Perfect came knocking on my door I'm not sure I'd want him (people who claim to be "perfect" tend to judge other people by their standards which basically means that nobody is good enough for them)

I really hope you can meet the girl you want when the time is right, Hermus, when you've recovered from your addictions :grouphug:

No, you're not. You've got a job, your cats, you're not getting into rages and writing ugly things on forums. You are doing quite well. :)

Letching Gray
04-20-17, 07:14 PM
we always hurt the ones we love

aeon
04-20-17, 07:16 PM
As for who goes for who, always remember this:

The ways of the heart are a mystery, and we often do not choose who we love.


Cheers,
Ian

Fuzzy12
04-20-17, 08:47 PM
Girls who can't have Mr Perfect. Why settle for anything less than you can have?



Well, I'm a universal reject. I have nothing I can prove myself by except that I can obsess about women and drink. And stay sober, a trick that's easy for most healthy people. So what?

The problem is that Mr Perfect doesn't exist. Not just because alk humans are flawed but mainly because there isn't a single definition of perfect. It differs from.person to person. It eve differs from day to day abd situation to situation for each individual. I can't even imagine someone perfect that I'd like to be with. Even my fantasy crushes used to have serious flaws. Not because that makes them more attractive but because it makes them more real.

I don't think I am perfect and neither is hubby. That doesn't change though that I still think he's awesome...even if flawed.

By the way i also didn't settle because I was too fat and ugly to find anyone better. I'm happy with my choice.

I don't think you are a universal reject and I'm sorry that you seem to think so. I wonder if the problem is that you look at things in too absolute terms, too rigidly, too narrowly.

Fat and ugly - can't be desirable
Struggling with addictions - can't be desirable.

I don't think humans are so one dimensional. There's much more to us.

Regarding the fat and ugly comment I'm sorry but that's just such incredible rubbish. Please believe me that of all the qualities in a person that will make you happy their weight and their appearance are among the least important. If you don't find someone attractive you don't need to force yourself to find them attractive but please know it's not because they actually aren't attractive. Maybe not to you but tp someone else.

Similarly your addictions might be anathema to some women but others will be able to look beyond that and still find you lovable.


Yeah, and maybe I am just ****** off at everything and in a I don't give a f mode. At least I'm not acting out my SLA or drinking. Judge me whatever you want!

You know what's funny? I really doubt anyone in this thread is judging you negatively for the topic of this thread ie your addictions though you seem to think that they make you the scum of the universe.
I would rather judge yyou for your fat and ugly girls comment though.

Hermus
04-21-17, 02:06 AM
There must be something going wrong in my recovery. The more I start to process things and the more things that get opened up, the more insecure I start to feel. Shouldn't I be starting to feel more secure about myself in recovery, instead of less?

sarahsweets
04-21-17, 03:28 AM
Regarding the fat and ugly comment I'm sorry but that's just such incredible rubbish. Please believe me that of all the qualities in a person that will make you happy their weight and their appearance are among the least important. If you don't find someone attractive you don't need to force yourself to find them attractive but please know it's not because they actually aren't attractive. Maybe not to you but tp someone else.

I love this part.

sarahsweets
04-21-17, 03:33 AM
No, I'm saying a woman can't be both mentally healthy and attractive and choose for a sex and love addicted drunk over a healthy and successful guy. You can be offended all you want.

Many mentally and physically attractive women will choose different partners based on how they feel when they are with them. Especially if you are in recovery. You know whats sexy to me? A man that is willing to get real and vunerable; a man willing to make one of the hardest choices he could ever make. A man willing to let down his guard and dig deep to face his demons. Thats far more important then how someone looks in a bathing suit or tight pair of jeans.

dvdnvwls
04-21-17, 04:00 AM
There must be something going wrong in my recovery. The more I start to process things and the more things that get opened up, the more insecure I start to feel. Shouldn't I be starting to feel more secure about myself in recovery, instead of less?
The feeling of one's false security dropping away, and of having to finally be yourself in real life, is a feeling of fear and extreme insecurity. Whatever is giving you that fear and insecurity, get more of that.

Hermus
04-21-17, 04:33 AM
Many mentally and physically attractive women will choose different partners based on how they feel when they are with them. Especially if you are in recovery. You know whats sexy to me? A man that is willing to get real and vunerable; a man willing to make one of the hardest choices he could ever make. A man willing to let down his guard and dig deep to face his demons. Thats far more important then how someone looks in a bathing suit or tight pair of jeans.

And then you show vulnerability, maybe even shed a tear, and they think: 'Wimp!' And run away as fast as they can. It is not a coincidence that in general bad boys have the pretty ladies around them.

sarahsweets
04-21-17, 04:37 AM
And then you show vulnerability, maybe even shed a tear, and they think: 'Wimp!' And run away as fast as they can. It is not a coincidence that in general bad boys have the pretty ladies around them.

Is that truly your life experiences? That you have been vunerable, shed a tear and had women leave? I would be willing to bet that that is very rare. If anything I would say that more women would be likely to appreciate that vs wanting a "bad boy". And the whole "bad boy" thing is also something that I think is a cop out. Many beautiful women who dont return the admiration of their many suitors are simply dismissed as "good girls looking for bad boys" when they are just not finding someone they connect with.

Hermus
04-21-17, 06:36 AM
Is that truly your life experiences? That you have been vunerable, shed a tear and had women leave? I would be willing to bet that that is very rare. If anything I would say that more women would be likely to appreciate that vs wanting a "bad boy". And the whole "bad boy" thing is also something that I think is a cop out. Many beautiful women who dont return the admiration of their many suitors are simply dismissed as "good girls looking for bad boys" when they are just not finding someone they connect with.

Well, my experience is that my mother wasn't available to me when I was feeling upset, dismissing my feelings. There was little room to express how I felt. So I don't know if I'm right, but that's the way I have come to believe the world works.

namazu
04-21-17, 10:17 AM
Well, my experience is that my mother wasn't available to me when I was feeling upset, dismissing my feelings. There was little room to express how I felt. So I don't know if I'm right, but that's the way I have come to believe the world works.
Then you have plenty of room for learning, growth, and change. That's good, right?

Based on how you've described your mother, your mother-son relationship with her is probably not the best model for relationships of any kind, let alone romantic relationships between equal partners.

Add my voice to the chorus of people debunking the notion that attractive women generally or universally prefer "bad boys", and that if you're rejected it's because you're a "nice guy".

(Incidentally, a lot of guys who fancy themselves "nice guys" aren't perceived as such by the women they're trying to woo. Not that they're "wimps" or "effeminate" or anything -- they're just not as "nice" as they think they are when interacting with women or with people in general. Truly, genuinely nice guys typically don't go around making a big show of saying that they're nice guys. They're just kind to people -- all people, of all sexes/genders, regardless of appearance or personal sexual desirability. It's a way of being, not a convenient persona.)

aeon
04-21-17, 10:34 AM
Well, my experience is that my mother wasn't available to me when I was feeling upset, dismissing my feelings. There was little room to express how I felt. So I don't know if I'm right, but that's the way I have come to believe the world works.

If my relationships with women were based on a framework modeled on the relationship I had with my mother, I would have suicided long ago, or I would be in prison for serial murder.

Indeed, there are other ways, and namazu (http://addforums.com/forums/member.php?u=38020) gives sage advice above.


Cheers,
Ian

dvdnvwls
04-21-17, 10:40 AM
I AM an effeminate wimp if there is such a thing, and I'm in a very happy marriage to a beautiful woman. So there you have it.

(After we were already married, one day she admitted to me that when we met she wondered if I was gay. So I'm not making this up. :) )

Little Missy
04-21-17, 01:17 PM
Well, my experience is that my mother wasn't available to me when I was feeling upset, dismissing my feelings. There was little room to express how I felt. So I don't know if I'm right, but that's the way I have come to believe the world works.

You are working on your Masters and you're viewpoint is that narrow as to how the world works?

My mum told me, "If you think you're going to tell that psychiatrist that your father or I am to blame, you have another thing coming!" And the she gave me the scary face and added, "And I mean it!" :eek:

Hermus
04-22-17, 08:38 AM
You are working on your Masters and you're viewpoint is that narrow as to how the world works?

My mum told me, "If you think you're going to tell that psychiatrist that your father or I am to blame, you have another thing coming!" And the she gave me the scary face and added, "And I mean it!" :eek:

A big part of how we view the world comes from the way we were raised. I don't think you or me are different from anybody else in that respect.

Little Missy
04-22-17, 08:42 AM
A big part of how we view the world comes from the way we were raised. I don't think you or me are different from anybody else in that respect.


I had hoped you could see The Bigger Picture by now. Perhaps in time you shall.

Hermus
04-22-17, 08:46 AM
At the NA meeting this morning I shared some things about my struggles with not being able to date, drink etc. After the meeting a fellow came to me who also had a SLA and four years of sobriety under his belt. My therapist couldn't really give an answer on how I would know I was ready to date (something that in my point of view might be expected of a therapist working with addiction). So I asked the fellow.

The fellow explained that to him it was about trial-and-error. Just trying and being aware of what you are feeling and how the addiction responds to it. Making adjustments on the way when noticing that the addiction is triggered. To me it all sounds very logical and it sounds like I can take an active role in my own process. At first because of what my therapist said I thought that it was about abstinence until noticing some sign or some change or something. That thought was killing, because it would give me no power over my own recovery whatsoever.

Hermus
04-22-17, 08:47 AM
I had hoped you could see The Bigger Picture by now. Perhaps in time you shall.

I can't unlearn in six months the things I've learned in 32 years. :)

A thing that was nice though was that I really was emotional during the meeting and in tears because I was in so much pain. Instead of reacting like I was a wimp for showing my feelings, a female fellow just hugged me and comforted me. She told me that I was doing great by talking and showing my feelings. It's nice to experience that at least for some women it is okay if a man shows vulnerability and emotions.

dvdnvwls
04-22-17, 09:42 AM
I would venture to guess that a large majority of women are definitively turned OFF when a potential mate consistently denies his own emotions. For one thing, it may mean he will also deny hers.

Hermus
04-22-17, 05:36 PM
Had a good talk with two friends about dating and sex tonight. I always had all kinds of believe about what real men should want. A real man should try to have sex with someone new as soon as possible etc. When having more serious conversations about these issues I start to find out actually what I think men should want is unfounded. All three of us have had sex on first or second date, but the three of us all thought that this wasn't all that wonderful and that it felt much better to first establish an emotional connection. Not really corresponding to the 'men want sex and women want love' stereotype. I think changing my beliefs will be a very positive step in the direction of recovery and will take away a lot of pressure on dating and sex.

Hermus
04-22-17, 05:51 PM
Also talked about emotions, crying etc. Something I never really talked to them before. Maybe we are all at a stage in our lives where we grow from boys to men. :)

dvdnvwls
04-22-17, 05:53 PM
Also talked about emotions, crying etc. Something I never really talked to them before. Maybe we are all at a stage in our lives where we grow from boys to men. :)
Yes, or so we hope. For me, it happened many times and continues to happen.

Hermus
04-24-17, 11:02 AM
Still feeling very tired after the last week. It has been a struggle and I believe that I haven't been closer to relapse than I was Friday night. But I stayed sober and I know that it will all be worth it in the end. :)

Letching Gray
04-24-17, 02:25 PM
Still feeling very tired after the last week. It has been a struggle and I believe that I haven't been closer to relapse than I was Friday night. But I stayed sober and I know that it will all be worth it in the end. :)

You ain't kiddin, bro. Glad you remained sober. You have come so far. At the same time, each of us in recovery is only a choice away from returning to what we were. I have heard so many times that if we go back, we start up again where we'd be if we had never gotten clean. Hard to imagine how disgusting I'd be.

Glad you are home, safe, sane and sober.

Hermus
04-24-17, 03:32 PM
You ain't kiddin, bro. Glad you remained sober. You have come so far. At the same time, each of us in recovery is only a choice away from returning to what we were. I have heard so many times that if we go back, we start up again where we'd be if we had never gotten clean. Hard to imagine how disgusting I'd be.

Glad you are home, safe, sane and sober.

What I have read about it is that when we relapse and pick up again, we still have all the things we learned in our recovery. So not back to where we'd be if we had never gotten clean, but I also heard from fellows that picking up after relapse is particularly hard. And it causes a standstill in our recovery. So yes, I'm happy I've stayed sober. It would have been way harder for me right now if I would have relapsed.

Letching Gray
04-25-17, 12:35 AM
What I have read about it is that when we relapse and pick up again, we still have all the things we learned in our recovery. So not back to where we'd be if we had never gotten clean, but I also heard from fellows that picking up after relapse is particularly hard. And it causes a standstill in our recovery. So yes, I'm happy I've stayed sober. It would have been way harder for me right now if I would have relapsed.

Head full of AA and a belly full of beer. They don't mix.

Hermus
04-25-17, 01:42 AM
Head full of AA and a belly full of beer. They don't mix.

Or as they say in NA: A head full of NA and a body full of drugs.:)

Hermus
04-26-17, 03:00 AM
Interesting the way my withdrawal changes my outlook on women and interaction with them. There is an advise in SLAA about when you encounter a beautiful woman. Look, appreciate and then look away. That's what I did yesterday at the concert. I must say that I could enjoy the look of some beautiful women there, without immediately starting to fantasize about walking up to them etc. Something I would normally fantasize about, but rarely really do.

Also just a look and a smile, it didn't mean anything to me in the past because my mind immediately wanted more out of it. Now when such a thing happens I can appreciate it for what it is, without further expectations.

I think those are changes in the way my mind functions that makes me enjoy women more and shows that recovery starts to change things for the better.

Letching Gray
04-26-17, 11:28 PM
Way to go Herms! Not being bound by compulsions/addictions is worth the fight. Happy for you

Hermus
05-03-17, 04:03 AM
I do feel an urge to start dating again. Trying to get the reasons for that clear to myself leads me to a number of different reasons I have. One is that I'm looking for excitement. Dating and finding new love can be an exciting period in life. That's a strong pull for me. Another thing is that I want to prove to myself that I can. I want to show that I can apply the principles I've learned in recovery.

Those all sound like valid reasons to me, but I also know that there are good reasons to wait. First, I want to finish my thesis before putting myself to the test again. If things go wrong that would have serious consequences for my study. Second, I think there is still a lot to learn in the SLAA program. Actually I think it would be wise to at least finish the 4th and 5th step before starting to date. So yeah, I'll wait, as difficult as it is.

Letching Gray
05-03-17, 09:20 AM
The power of the excitement of a new relationship drove me to the depths of despair

Hermus
05-03-17, 09:35 AM
The power of the excitement of a new relationship drove me to the depths of despair

Everything exciting can be too much. Whether that's dating and new relationships or anything else. In my point of view the art of dealing with that is not to deny ourself the excitement, but to learn how to deal with it in a skillful way. I don't think I would want to start a relationship with someone I wouldn't be excited about. Passion is not everything, but waking up next to somebody and thinking: "well, I'm not really excited about her, but being with her is bearable" to me also doesn't seem right. I think the choice of being alone is better than the choice for commitment to a partner you don't feel passion towards and have a deep intimate bond with.

Letching Gray
05-03-17, 10:22 AM
Everything exciting can be too much. Whether that's dating and new relationships or anything else. In my point of view the art of dealing with that is not to deny ourself the excitement, but to learn how to deal with it in a skillful way. I don't think I would want to start a relationship with someone I wouldn't be excited about. Passion is not everything, but waking up next to somebody and thinking: "well, I'm not really excited about her, but being with her is bearable" to me also doesn't seem right. I think the choice of being alone is better than the choice for commitment to a partner you don't feel passion towards and have a deep intimate bond with.

I thought the exact same thing. Don't force me to love her! She's not my type. Nice girl but nothing more.

Recovery isn't about depriving me of glorious, exciting, robust, sensual love. No sir. It is about just the opposite. How to embrace that type of wonder and remain free of trying to find it with every pretty girl I come into contact with is where it's at for me. Not allowing that kind of relationship to get watered down through my addiction to keep finding new experiences just like it, that is recovery for me.

IOW, I couldn't find or maintain that kind of awesome relationship if I was getting drunk every day. I wouldn't, I couldn't be involved in something so good while destroying myself with alcohol. Same thing with a great relationship.

Hermus
05-03-17, 11:39 AM
I thought the exact same thing. Don't force me to love her! She's not my type. Nice girl but nothing more.

One of the things I did do in the past was settling for someone when passion was lacking. I didn't even find some of my partners physically attractive. Believe me, that always shows. And it's insulting to both parties involved. How insulting is it for a woman to realize the guy she has shared the most intimate physical experiences with actually is physically abhorred by her? How insulting is it to myself to have sex with someone I'd rather not be with in that way? It's not everything of course, and not even the most important thing, but it is one of the things that has to match.

Recovery isn't about depriving me of glorious, exciting, robust, sensual love. No sir. It is about just the opposite. How to embrace that type of wonder and remain free of trying to find it with every pretty girl I come into contact with is where it's at for me. Not allowing that kind of relationship to get watered down through my addiction to keep finding new experiences just like it, that is recovery for me.

:yes::goodpost:

IOW, I couldn't find or maintain that kind of awesome relationship if I was getting drunk every day. I wouldn't, I couldn't be involved in something so good while destroying myself with alcohol. Same thing with a great relationship.

Oh believe me, I know this. I have had experiences with awesome, beautiful, kind women. Often when I was drunk I treated them like dirt. Which I deeply regret.

Fuzzy12
05-03-17, 04:32 PM
I do feel an urge to start dating again. Trying to get the reasons for that clear to myself leads me to a number of different reasons I have. One is that I'm looking for excitement. Dating and finding new love can be an exciting period in life. That's a strong pull for me. Another thing is that I want to prove to myself that I can. I want to show that I can apply the principles I've learned in recovery.

Those all sound like valid reasons to me, but I also know that there are good reasons to wait. First, I want to finish my thesis before putting myself to the test again. If things go wrong that would have serious consequences for my study. Second, I think there is still a lot to learn in the SLAA program. Actually I think it would be wise to at least finish the 4th and 5th step before starting to date. So yeah, I'll wait, as difficult as it is.

Sounds like a good plan!!