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Letching Gray
04-20-17, 02:31 AM
I hope I'm doing this right.

Originally Posted by Hermus View Post
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.Yea, who the heck wants to go through this process if there's no assurances where we're headed, where we will come out.

The AA and Affiliated 12 Step Program Literature contains Promises.

The AA Promises
1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our
experience can benefit others.
6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8. Self-seeking will slip away.
9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
12. We will suddenly realize that our Higher Power is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us -sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.
Alcoholics Anonymous p83-84
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous with permission of A.A. WorldServices, Inc

FOR SLAA
S.L.A.A Promises

1. We will regain control of our lives.

2. We will begin to feel dignity and respect for ourselves.

3. The Loneliness will subside and we will begin to enjoy being alone.

4. We will no longer be plagued by an unceasing sense of longing.

5. In the company of family and friends, we will be with them in body and mind.

6. We will pursue interests and activities that we desire for ourselves.

7. Love will be a committed, thoughtful decision rather than a feeling by which we are overwhelmed.

8. We will Love and Accept ourselves.

9. We will relate to others from a state of wholeness.

10. We will extend ourselves to nurture our own spiritual growth and that of others.

11. We will make peace with our past and make amends to those we have harmed.

12. We will be thankful for what has been given us, what has been taken away and what has been left behind.

Letching Gray
04-20-17, 11:01 AM
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Something I find amazing in these steps is the assurance, the reality, of a spiritual awakening as the result of doing them.

As a newcomer to AA, I often felt overwhelmed when I read these suggested steps to recovery. But, it wasn't necessary. Taking time to learn about them and to do the steps were key for me, and no one does them perfectly.

Hermus
04-20-17, 11:10 AM
I hope I'm doing this right.



Yea, who the heck wants to go through this process if there's no assurances where we're headed, where we will come out.

The AA and Affiliated 12 Step Program Literature contains Promises.

The AA Promises
1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our
experience can benefit others.
6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8. Self-seeking will slip away.
9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
12. We will suddenly realize that HP? (is HP ok here?) is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us -sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them. Alcoholics Anonymous p83-84
Reprinted from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous with permission of A.A. WorldServices, Inc

FOR SLAA
S.L.A.A Promises
S.L.A.A Promises

1. We will regain control of our lives.

2. We will begin to feel dignity and respect for ourselves.

3. The Loneliness will subside and we will begin to enjoy being alone.

4. We will no longer be plagued by an unceasing sense of longing.

5. In the company of family and friends, we will be with them in body and mind.

6. We will pursue interests and activities that we desire for ourselves.

7. Love will be a committed, thoughtful decision rather than a feeling by which we are overwhelmed.

8. We will Love and Accept ourselves.

9. We will relate to others from a state of wholeness.

10. We will extend ourselves to nurture our own spiritual growth and that of others.

11. We will make peace with our past and make amends to those we have harmed.

12. We will be thankful for what has been given us, what has been taken away and what has been left behind.
POSTED BY SLAA
LABELS: S.L.A.A PROMISES

Now in principle I'm willing to recover, but number 7 of the SLAA actually freaks me out more than it sounds like a promise. A committed thoughtful decision, sounds like signing a contract with a new employer. According to Robert Sternberg's triangular theory of love consummate love (which is the ideal) involves three elements: commitment, passion and intimacy. I don't necessarily fear commitment, but without intimacy and passion it is what Sternberg calls empty love. :eek:

aeon
04-20-17, 11:54 AM
Now in principle I'm willing to recover, but number 7 of the SLAA actually freaks me out more than it sounds like a promise. A committed thoughtful decision, sounds like signing a contract with a new employer. According to Robert Sternberg's triangular theory of love consummate love (which is the ideal) involves three elements: commitment, passion and intimacy. I don't necessarily fear commitment, but without intimacy and passion it is what Sternberg calls empty love. :eek:

To love is an action, and actions, when we are present and engaged, are always born of considered choices.

In no situation is this more true than the interplay of Storge, Agape, and Eros.


Cheers,
Ian

namazu
04-20-17, 12:12 PM
Thread reopened after review.

Please remember that the Meditation and Spirituality section is a place for sharing your own experiences and practices that have helped you manage your ADHD or other conditions (including addictions).

It is not a place to proselytize or preach, nor a place to belittle those for whom the path you've chosen failed. (Share, don't sell.)

Letching Gray
04-20-17, 07:00 PM
Now in principle I'm willing to recover, but number 7 of the SLAA actually freaks me out more than it sounds like a promise. A committed thoughtful decision, sounds like signing a contract with a new employer. According to Robert Sternberg's triangular theory of love consummate love (which is the ideal) involves three elements: commitment, passion and intimacy. I don't necessarily fear commitment, but without intimacy and passion it is what Sternberg calls empty love. :eek:

I hear you. Had the same thoughts. Amazing.

Two things come to mind. I remember it dawned on me, "Well, i haven't exactly had a ton of success so far doing it my way." LOL

And passion is different than souped up sexual energy. I never knew the difference. The fools gold of addictive trappings and the opportunity for a mature, passionate give and take relationship based on my own intact and emerging integrity, were blurred by my urgent neediness, my cravings for love and approval, for the opportunity to have an other make me feel whole and like a man.

I had done enough research to know that if I didn't change, I'd forfeit what possibilities remained to love and to be loved. That's just me.

Letching Gray
04-21-17, 12:57 AM
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

IOW, to begin to work on my sobriety through this program, I must start out conceding there is something other men can do to their heart's delight, but I can't cause I don't have enough determination, enough guts, enough power? I can't control; my drinking? Is that what you think? Honestly? Do you have any idea who it is you're talking to, pal? Huh?

I see. Well, go s..... you. I'm tougher than anyone you ever seen and I'll show you who has whatever it takes to be sober.

Twelve years later. S.... you. I had some bad luck. I can do anything you can do, only better.

Three years later. I told ya. S.... you. I'm here because my wife is driving me crazy.

One year later. Excuse me. I can't stop drinking no matter what I do or try. I give it my all. I swear today is it. I vow never to drink again every time I drink. I promise, every single
day.
Can you help?

I seem to enjoy getting the tar whooped out of me.

Letching Gray
04-26-17, 10:33 PM
Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

well duh. i used to believe that. that's exactly what happened. this god fella took the desire to drink away and i never even asked him to. years later, drinking wine to help me to sleep, eventually led to the out-of-control drinking that compelled me to try aa. now, you are telling me to believe in the same power that once delivered me? i don't think he hears me anymore. what the heck.

maybe god changed. uh, maybe i changed how i viewed this guy? god, where the heck have you been? i gotta believe you can help me to get sober when i've been begging you night and day for years for your help and gettin silence in return. huh? maybe i was praying to a god i didn't know anymore. maybe i was so sick from my childhood that i began to lose sight of the you that helped me the first time? maybe your'e not so mean as i began to believe. maybe you weren't just dying to see me fail, like i came to expect. maybe you still really loved me and could love others thru me? that's all i ever wanted since you loved me, when i experienced your love. you put love in my heart and i could not believe it, what was happening to me. i'd never known anything like that was possible. i never knew you were. never knew anything about you and you engulfed me in love and i thought i was in heaven.

is that why i couldn't find you anymore? you became my mom and dad. i couldn't see you too good for a long time and thought you rejected me.

Hermus
04-27-17, 06:13 AM
I hear you. Had the same thoughts. Amazing.

Two things come to mind. I remember it dawned on me, "Well, i haven't exactly had a ton of success so far doing it my way." LOL

And passion is different than souped up sexual energy. I never knew the difference. The fools gold of addictive trappings and the opportunity for a mature, passionate give and take relationship based on my own intact and emerging integrity, were blurred by my urgent neediness, my cravings for love and approval, for the opportunity to have an other make me feel whole and like a man.

I had done enough research to know that if I didn't change, I'd forfeit what possibilities remained to love and to be loved. That's just me.

I understand what you are saying. I also talked about this with some fellows at SLAA. What they explained and what I can understand now is that there will be room for plenty of passion and intimacy, but within the limits of a healthy committed relationship. Which is very different from what I first understood it to mean.

I have started on my fourth step. Have done quite a lot of writing already, but I'm not even close to finished. I mention all my ex partners and infatuations, and the relationship I had to them. It is not a pretty picture, but I can see some patterns emerging and am glad that that part of my life is over now.

One thing is becoming very clear to me that wasn't so clear a few weeks ago. My past relationships, infatuations interchanged by periods of sexual and emotional anorexia, have caused a huge amount of suffering. I really don't want these unhealthy relationships anymore. Even if it would mean being without a partner for the rest of my life that would be preferable to the suffering I caused to myself and my partners in the past. Not that I strive for a lifetime without romantic and sexual relationships all of a sudden, but there is no need anymore to be with people that I find unattractive, that are emotionally unstable and with whom I can't have a healthy relationship based on mutual commitment and respect.

Hermus
04-27-17, 06:38 AM
Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

well duh. i used to believe that. that's exactly what happened. this god fella took the desire to drink away and i never even asked him to. years later, drinking wine to help me to sleep, eventually led to the out-of-control drinking that compelled me to try aa. now, you are telling me to believe in the same power that once delivered me? i don't think he hears me anymore. what the heck.

maybe god changed. uh, maybe i changed how i viewed this guy? god, where the heck have you been? i gotta believe you can help me to get sober when i've been begging you night and day for years for your help and gettin silence in return. huh? maybe i was praying to a god i didn't know anymore. maybe i was so sick from my childhood that i began to lose sight of the you that helped me the first time? maybe your'e not so mean as i began to believe. maybe you weren't just dying to see me fail, like i came to expect. maybe you still really loved me and could love others thru me? that's all i ever wanted since you loved me, when i experienced your love. you put love in my heart and i could not believe it, what was happening to me. i'd never known anything like that was possible. i never knew you were. never knew anything about you and you engulfed me in love and i thought i was in heaven.

is that why i couldn't find you anymore? you became my mom and dad. i couldn't see you too good for a long time and thought you rejected me.

Personally I don't hold the concepts of God and higher power. I have a belief system based on Buddhism that I integrate with the twelve steps. Buddhism replaces God and higher power with the three jewels. We take refuge in the Buddha, the dharma and the sangha. The Buddha is a concept that has different meanings that are interrelated. There is the historical Buddha, Siddharta Gautama, referred to by Buddhist teacher Noah Levine as Sid :lol:. Then there is the inner Buddha, which means the enlightened being that is present in all of us, but that is hidden by the ego. The ego consists of the attachments we have formed during this life, attachments to certain dysfunctional behavioural patterns, to things, to people. The importance of the Buddhist path is to return to our inner being. Our inner Buddha is part of Buddha nature, which permeats and connects all living beings.

The dharma are the teachings of the Buddha on suffering, impermanence, cause and effect etc. These teachings can help us to make an end to our suffering. Then there is the sangha, which is the community of practitioners that together walk the Buddhist path.

My first experience with Buddhism was in primary school. We had to do a lecture ourselves every few months on any self-chosen topic. I chose Buddhism and it fascinated me. Then I started meditating in a Tibetan group, which was quite esoteric. After a while I stopped there. Years later I started again in another group, connected to the teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. I practised there for a while and then quit, but later went back to it.

Before rehab I just used my meditation on a weekly basis to get some peace of mind. I soon realized that it stopped working for me. The more my addiction got hold of me, the less meditation did for me. Nevertheless I kept going. The teachings to me seemed quite theoretical and I could not really understand and accept them. When in rehab I thought about the teachings again and realized the truth of the four noble truths. I started to realize that Buddha had very early insight into the nature of addiction. Not addiction as it is used in Western medicine, but addiction is in the unhealthy attachments anyone has. Those truths are:


Life is suffering
Suffering is caused by craving
There is a way out of suffering
The way out of suffering is formed by the eightfold path


This to me offers a truly liberating spiritual system.

After rehab I started practising again. First with Wake Up, the group related to Thich Nhat Hanh. Then I started sharing about Buddhism and meditation at a NA-meeting. An awesome guy came to me and started talking about the group related to the teacher Noah Levine. I already knew some of the work by Noah and how he found his way out of addiction through Buddhism. So I started visiting the local Dharma Punx group. It soon became apparent to me that this was with I needed in this stage of my spiritual path. From Dharma Punx I started in Refuge Recovery, a recovery group related to Noah Levine. What I've experience so far from this is an increased self-compassion and compassion with others. It is not always easy, but I am following the path and I will see where it takes me. :)

Letching Gray
04-27-17, 07:23 AM
You said some cool things Hermus. Glad your understanding about the joy of sex inside a committed relationship brought you comfort. I think that within that framework, sex is out of this world, or at least it can be for me. I'm still tempted to think "A little bit of Monica in my life. A little bit of Erica by my side. A little bit of Rita is all I need. A little bit of Tina is what I ... A little bit of Mary all night long. A little bit of ..." But that kind of stuff never worked for me. And it almost killed me to learn that lesson. Man, the power of sexual attraction, of sex, is incredible, for me, anyway.

Siddhartha Gautama was amazing, amazing. His dedication, determination, insights, demand for meaning and understanding of the world. He was a unique figure in all of recorded history. It's not like he was forced into personal deprivation, either. He chose to do whatever it took to achieve a purer understanding of this life and this world. Gandhi was an special, special person, too.

Hermus
04-27-17, 07:32 AM
You said some cool things Hermus. Glad your understanding about the joy of sex inside a committed relationship brought you comfort. I think that within that framework, sex is out of this world, or at least it can be for me. I'm still tempted to think "A little bit of Monica in my life. A little bit of Erica by my side. A little bit of Rita is all I need. A little bit of Tina is what I ... A little bit of Mary all night long. A little bit of ..." But that kind of stuff never worked for me. And it almost killed me to learn that lesson. Man, the power of sexual attraction, of sex, is incredible, for me, anyway.

Siddhartha Gautama was amazing, amazing. His dedication, determination, insights, demand for meaning and understanding of the world. He was a unique figure in all of recorded history. It's not like he was forced into personal deprivation, either. He chose to do whatever it took to achieve a purer understanding of this life and this world. Gandhi was an special, special person, too.

For me I didn't need a bit of Erica, Rita, Tina or Mary. I was happy if I had one of them and then would get hooked on them quickly. To a certain extent I used to be commited, but more like a drug user is commited to his drugs than really to the person. When I perceived I might be abandoned, I would be looking for attention somewhere else. I wouldn't even be that much of a player. I was way too anxious for that, but I managed to often get my fix in the end. I wouldnt even care if I was attracted to someone or whether relationships were healthy.

Letching Gray
04-27-17, 05:39 PM
My cravings were non-stop, overwhelming, intrusive, powerful, uncomfortable, wild and devastating.

It has taken years and years of working the steps, avoiding dangerous situations, prayer, studying the SLAA text, opening up, putting one foot in front of another, living through pain I'd always run from, just breathing--literally, not doing anything other than hurting like mad and breathing. Not running took all my strength. Standing still and feeling the hurtful emotions is the most I could handle many times.

The longing for the touch of a female, not just sex, by any means. To have a female comfort me through my loneliness, worship me through my successes, to be a tender loving source who would always be there just for me, combined with all the other issues surrounding sex and love. I questioned constantly if I could make it through the hell of withdrawal. I had no motive to do anything without being able to look forward to the rush of the next intrigue, to the next flashing chance for ecstasy and wholeness. I was truly frightened. I was fighting to remove my Aqualung, submerged in the ocean depths.

Hermus
04-27-17, 05:50 PM
My cravings were non-stop, overwhelming, intrusive, powerful, uncomfortable, wild and devastating.

It has taken years and years of working the steps, avoiding dangerous situations, prayer, studying the SLAA text, opening up, putting one foot in front of another, living through pain I'd always run from, just breathing--literally, not doing anything other than hurting like mad and breathing. Not running took all my strength. Standing still and feeling the hurtful emotions is the most I could handle many times.

The longing for the touch of a female, not just sex, by any means. To have a female comfort me through my loneliness, worship me through my successes, to be a tender loving source who would always be there just for me, combined with all the other issues surrounding sex and love. I questioned constantly if I could make it through the hell of withdrawal. I had no motive to do anything without being able to look forward to the rush of the next intrigue, to the next flashing chance for ecstasy and wholeness. I was truly frightened. I was fighting to remove my Aqualung, submerged in the ocean depths.

I relate. It is difficult. Having worked on the fourth step and starting to see my past mistakes, makes me come to the source of my pain. The fear of being unattractive, not finding the woman I want and who is healthy for me to be with, fear of being alone forever. It is going to take some time to accept that I am this weird, unattractive guy who is never going to find a woman who is both healthy and attractive enough. But everything better than turning back to the unsatisfactory, destructive relationships of the past.

Letching Gray
04-27-17, 08:57 PM
I relate. It is difficult. Having worked on the fourth step and starting to see my past mistakes, makes me come to the source of my pain. The fear of being unattractive, not finding the woman I want and who is healthy for me to be with, fear of being alone forever. It is going to take some time to accept that I am this weird, unattractive guy who is never going to find a woman who is both healthy and attractive enough. But everything better than turning back to the unsatisfactory, destructive relationships of the past.

I am this weird, unattractive guy who is never going to find a woman who is both healthy and attractive enough.

Did you know that is your illness talking to you? Do you realize that?:grouphug:

Hermus
04-28-17, 01:48 AM
Did you know that is your illness talking to you? Do you realize that?:grouphug:

Maybe, but I just don't know if it's going to happen and when. At least not today.

Letching Gray
04-28-17, 02:59 AM
Did you know that is your illness talking to you? Do you realize that?:grouphug:

That accusation is exactly the kind of thing this monster tells us. Shouts at us. Whispers when we don't expect it. "You'll never make it punk. You never done nothin right. You think you're gonna suddenly be a big shot abstinence hero-type guy? LOL! Who Cares, you jerk? You won't be having any fun! That's all you got waitin for you, you stupid jerk!"

Letching Gray
04-28-17, 03:15 AM
Maybe, but I just don't know if it's going to happen and when. At least not today.

Did you know that is your illness talking to you? Do you realize that?

That's what a therapist told me. Hard to accept, for me, but I think there's truth in there. Our thoughts are powerful. A sweet gal in AA used to say, "i don't have a problem with a higher power. I'm fine with a higher power. It's the lower power that troubles me sometimes." That lp uses my illness to drag me down, to get me discouraged. I think there is something to it.

Regardless, my HP has proven to me that He's hip. You know? He's cool. I never really trusted anybody w/o getting burned. Him? Well, I've gone through h... and thought He was letting me down, causing pain. I think He has allowed pain in my life, more than I'd like, but, I also suspect, as He's proven, good comes from all things if we remember that He is a good dude, you know?

I have a good bud and when I'd share my pain with her, she often responded, "But, if you didn't go through those things, you wouldn't be who you are."

Hermus
04-28-17, 06:55 AM
That's what a therapist told me. Hard to accept, for me, but I think there's truth in there. Our thoughts are powerful. A sweet gal in AA used to say, "i don't have a problem with a higher power. I'm fine with a higher power. It's the lower power that troubles me sometimes." That lp uses my illness to drag me down, to get me discouraged. I think there is something to it.

Regardless, my HP has proven to me that He's hip. You know? He's cool. I never really trusted anybody w/o getting burned. Him? Well, I've gone through h... and thought He was letting me down, causing pain. I think He has allowed pain in my life, more than I'd like, but, I also suspect, as He's proven, good comes from all things if we remember that He is a good dude, you know?

I have a good bud and when I'd share my pain with her, she often responded, "But, if you didn't go through those things, you wouldn't be who you are."

I understand and my thoughts about it might change over time (or not). The most important progress I've made until now is that I could let go of the idea that I'd rather be in an unhealthy relationship than in no relationship at all. That's a thing I really didn't see that way a few weeks ago. There is a long road ahead, but I'm making progress. :)

Another thing that I notice is that a thing they advised in SLAA is working for me. They don't say to avoid looking at women, but obsessing about it isn't healthy either. Instead the advise I got from my sponsor regarding beautiful and sexy women is: Look, appreciate, look away. That does wonders for me. I no longer need to either nervously look away, nor do I keep watching all the time.

Another sign of recovery that I notice is that I can have contact with female fellows that in the past I avoided because they were triggering. Now I don't particularly feel triggered anymore.

So way to go for recovery! :yes:

Letching Gray
04-28-17, 01:55 PM
I understand and my thoughts about it might change over time (or not). The most important progress I've made until now is that I could let go of the idea that I'd rather be in an unhealthy relationship than in no relationship at all. That's a thing I really didn't see that way a few weeks ago. There is a long road ahead, but I'm making progress. :)

Another thing that I notice is that a thing they advised in SLAA is working for me. They don't say to avoid looking at women, but obsessing about it isn't healthy either. Instead the advise I got from my sponsor regarding beautiful and sexy women is: Look, appreciate, look away. That does wonders for me. I no longer need to either nervously look away, nor do I keep watching all the time.

Another sign of recovery that I notice is that I can have contact with female fellows that in the past I avoided because they were triggering. Now I don't particularly feel triggered anymore.

So way to go for recovery! :yes:

HERMS, THAT IS AWESOME. Really, it is. Happy for you man. Glad you keep gaining insights and continue plugging away. Recovery from SLA is my greatest accomplishment. The toughest and the best thing I've ever done.

Question: What/how would you do now, faced with the same kinds of issues as a week ago? IOW, can you think of a plan/process that may have been helpful for you then? And could you use those ideas to help out in a future set of similar circumstances? Not asking you to answer me. Just food for thought for you, if it might be helpful.

Letching Gray
04-29-17, 02:41 AM
My cravings were non-stop, overwhelming, intrusive, powerful, uncomfortable, wild and devastating.

It has taken years and years of working the steps, avoiding dangerous situations, prayer, studying the SLAA text, opening up, putting one foot in front of another, living through pain I'd always run from, just breathing--literally, not doing anything other than hurting like mad and breathing. Not running took all my strength. Standing still and feeling the hurtful emotions is the most I could handle many times.

The longing for the touch of a female, not just sex, by any means. To have a female comfort me through my loneliness, worship me through my successes, to be a tender loving source who would always be there just for me, combined with all the other issues surrounding sex and love. I questioned constantly if I could make it through the hell of withdrawal. I had no motive to do anything without being able to look forward to the rush of the next intrigue, to the next flashing chance for ecstasy and wholeness. I was truly frightened. I was fighting to remove my Aqualung, submerged in the ocean depths.

It is true. I wanted to be worshiped. Not just by females but by everyone I considered important.

It is a bit of a miracle for me because today I want to be loved for who I really am, vulnerable, mistake prone, weak, etc. and if anyone is ever tempted to worship me--and no one is--you are looking at the wrong lump of clay.

Hermus
04-29-17, 03:10 AM
HERMS, THAT IS AWESOME. Really, it is. Happy for you man. Glad you keep gaining insights and continue plugging away. Recovery from SLA is my greatest accomplishment. The toughest and the best thing I've ever done.

Question: What/how would you do now, faced with the same kinds of issues as a week ago? IOW, can you think of a plan/process that may have been helpful for you then? And could you use those ideas to help out in a future set of similar circumstances? Not asking you to answer me. Just food for thought for you, if it might be helpful.

First of all, it made me realize that there are a lot of things I'm doing right. I reached out to fellows, went to a meeting, talked about what was going on, showed my emotions. So that are the skilful things I did. The unskilful things I did was that I kept engaging in conversations that I knew were triggering, I kept triggering myself by looking at bottles of booze and started to beat myself up over things. With growing self-compassion I think those things can be overcome in the future.


It is true. I wanted to be worshiped. Not just by females but by everyone I considered important.

It is a bit of a miracle for me because today I want to be loved for who I really am, vulnerable, mistake prone, weak, etc. and if anyone is ever tempted to worship me--and no one is--you are looking at the wrong lump of clay.

For me being worshipped was nice of course, but what is/was way more important to me is external validation. The idea that I matter to someone else and do things right. One thing that has helped me tremendously is my sponsor. In my first emails I was looking for his approval a lot. But all the questions that were there just for the sake of seeking validation remained unanswered. So that made me realize that I could do things differently and trust on my own judgement instead. At first I found it frustrating that I didn't get straight answers, but now I'm grateful for it.

Also meditation helps me a lot to build a solid fundament within me that is less easily shaken by the changing tides. Instead of seeking it all in outside approval I turn inwards to check my motivation. At first I thought that that was contrary to the twelve steps, because in step three it says "turned our lives and will over to the care of God as we understood him". I thought this was about not having a will of our own anymore and just doing what is given by some external source. Right now when reading that the word 'care' is more clear to me. It doesn't mean that we can't lead our own lives and make our own decisions, but that there is something outside of ourselves that we can turn to in times of need.

Letching Gray
04-29-17, 02:49 PM
For me being worshipped was nice of course

I was never worshiped, fortunately, and my desire to be worshiped isn't something I contend with these days. But, that's what my ego demands when I don't turn my life over to the care of HP. BTW, I love that language, "care of God as we understood Him." I struggled to believe HP cared for me consistently over time and here it was, yielding all I am to His Care, a foundational requisite to find sobriety, and that seemed ultra-cool.

Hermus
04-29-17, 03:48 PM
I was never worshiped, fortunately, and my desire to be worshiped isn't something I contend with these days. But, that's what my ego demands when I don't turn my life over to the care of HP. BTW, I love that language, "care of God as we understood Him." I struggled to believe HP cared for me consistently over time and here it was, yielding all I am to His Care, a foundational requisite to find sobriety, and that seemed ultra-cool.

I did seek to be worshipped occassionaly. My experience in relationships is that in the beginning women treat me like I'm basically God himself. I'm pretty good at showing the nice and confident guy in the beginning. And then I start to bond and feel insecure. That's where the not so nice elements start to show. That will often lead to a situation where I get more and more frustrated, because I see that I'm starting to treat the other person badly but can't stop.

Hermus
04-30-17, 11:59 AM
Working on step 4 at the moment. How much time should I put into that and how detailed should it be?

sarahsweets
04-30-17, 12:21 PM
Working on step 4 at the moment. How much time should I put into that and how detailed should it be?

As much time as needed with frequent check-ins/ input from your sponsor.

When you think you are done- you wont be because we very rarely get it all the first time, and you'll want to think about things some more.
You need to take this as seriously as your sobriety and in a life or death way.Not being thorough means youre holding on to junk and arent going to move forward. " we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start".
What sort of guidelines were you give or are you using to write your step 4?

Letching Gray
04-30-17, 07:13 PM
Working on step 4 at the moment. How much time should I put into that and how detailed should it be?


If you are being conscientious, which you are, your gut will tell you when you've finished. Listen, the very fact that you are doing a fourth step on SLA, and that you care enough about being thorough that you ask questions about it, IS TOO AMAZING. Do you realize where you are in life right now compared with where you were one year ago?

"Proud" isn't a word that does it. "Amazed" helps. I know, I'm amazed by you, I admire and I'm proud of you, Hermus. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:yes::yes::yes::umm1::umm1::umm1 ::eek::eek::eek::eek:

Hermus
05-01-17, 01:22 PM
Heard someone saying that the goal of the 12 steps of SLAA shouldn't be a healthy relationship with a partner, or with oneself, but a healthy relationship with a HP. To be honest my priority is still to have a healthy relationship with myself first and then with someone else in the future. The most horrible thing I can think of happening is that I will die alone in the end. That I will be in an elderly home without a partner or the memory of a long-term partner, and no children visiting. Just the nurses who pity me because nobody ever visits me and will give me a few minutes of extra time during their daily tasks. Well, and actually right now I feel lonely already. I need someone around for whom I really matter.

Letching Gray
05-01-17, 01:57 PM
Heard someone saying that the goal of the 12 steps of SLAA shouldn't be a healthy relationship with a partner, or with oneself, but a healthy relationship with a HP. To be honest my priority is still to have a healthy relationship with myself first and then with someone else in the future. The most horrible thing I can think of happening is that I will die alone in the end. That I will be in an elderly home without a partner or the memory of a long-term partner, and no children visiting. Just the nurses who pity me because nobody ever visits me and will give me a few minutes of extra time during their daily tasks. Well, and actually right now I feel lonely already. I need someone around for whom I really matter.

The only problem with your greatest concern is it is based on something that won't happen. With your personality, smarts, honesty, openness, education, ability to express yourself well and with feeling and compassion, you my friend are going to be gobbled up.

Hermus, I don't believe in wizardry or fortune telling, esp, that kind of stuff. I do believe in listening to the deepest part of me in quietness. I've never been wrong when my gut assures me of something. No kidding and being completely serious, though I feel weird as heck saying this, I KNOW YOU WILL HAVE THAT SOMEONE, PERIOD. That's all I know. It's true.

Hermus
05-01-17, 02:13 PM
The only problem with your greatest concern is it is based on something that won't happen. With your personality, smarts, honesty, openness, education, ability to express yourself well and with feeling and compassion, you my friend are going to be gobbled up.

Hermus, I don't believe in wizardry or fortune telling, esp, that kind of stuff. I do believe in listening to the deepest part of me in quietness. I've never been wrong when my gut assures me of something. No kidding and being completely serious, though I feel weird as heck saying this, I KNOW YOU WILL HAVE THAT SOMEONE, PERIOD. That's all I know. It's true.

To be completely honest: In real life I'm quite an oddball. Different people have literally said that to me, adding that they found out I'm a really awesome person. That's one of my greatest insecurities, the believe that attractive women want the cool guy of the group, not the odd one. Who I am on this forum really doesn't say a lot about who I am in real life.

Hermus
05-01-17, 02:36 PM
Admittedly. The last two women I've been intimate with were quite attractive. But then I still had the advantage of the alcohol, which made it easier for me to interact with women and made me less insecure.

Letching Gray
05-01-17, 07:39 PM
To be completely honest: In real life I'm quite an oddball. Different people have literally said that to me, adding that they found out I'm a really awesome person. That's one of my greatest insecurities, the believe that attractive women want the cool guy of the group, not the odd one. Who I am on this forum really doesn't say a lot about who I am in real life.

People love oddballs, including women.

You are right that you are not your real self here. No one is. You are more real here, and you are learning that the real you deserves good things like sobriety. Who you are here is one brave man. Vulnerable, truthful, smart. Being an oddball is a negative? Like Robin Williams? Cosmo Kramer? Charles Bronson? Charlie Sheen? Leonard Nimoy? There's a zillion oddballs who women adore.

Minus the addiction and adding the new you, you cannot know right now how much you are growing into the person you will like and respect and trust. You are shedding the old and taking on a new person you don't know yet.

Hermus
05-02-17, 06:57 AM
My HP arranged that I would walk into my ex today. I was at the university to have coffee with friends and all of a sudden C came walking by. Having to face her was the moment I had feared since rehab. But actually seeing her caused very little reaction in me. My hard didn't jump, I didn't feel elated or sad. There was just another person walking there, who I felt very little towards. So I just greeted her by saying 'Hi C' and walked on.

It made me realize that the feelings and resentments I still have, have nothing to do with who she is now but are only an attachment to things that once were. But now my addiction is playing up a bit again. I fantasize about her doing something she has done multiple times in the past, namely getting drunk and then all of a sudden coming over for sex. I think I wouldn't say no to that after not having had sex for 7 months.

Knowing her it doesn't require more than a short email asking her how she is doing to put the whole wheel in motion again! :cool:

Hermus
05-02-17, 07:50 AM
Seeing my ex does reveal some things about my motivation. One is the plain old sex drive. I would love to just have sex with a woman again, no matter whether that is my ex or not. Another thing is that she was walking there with another guy. I'm not particularly jealous, but if I could compromise my ex and in that way mess with their relationship that would give me so much power and control over their lives. My addiction loves that thought.

Hermus
05-02-17, 10:57 AM
Step 4 says: "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." That's the step I'm currently working on. What I already know, but what I started to realize more through the steps is that I have been avoidant in the past. I never dared to speak out my feelings towards women and this perpetuated the cycle of feeling isolated, lonely and inadequate. In the end some dating apps or a lot of alcohol made it possible to show sexual feelings, but other feelings were even more difficult.

I think one of my major problems is that I honestly don't know how to express interest in a woman, without sounding off putting. That's a major struggle and something that is going to be problematic for my recovery.

Letching Gray
05-03-17, 12:57 AM
Step 4 says: "Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves." That's the step I'm currently working on. What I already know, but what I started to realize more through the steps is that I have been avoidant in the past. I never dared to speak out my feelings towards women and this perpetuated the cycle of feeling isolated, lonely and inadequate. In the end some dating apps or a lot of alcohol made it possible to show sexual feelings, but other feelings were even more difficult.

I think one of my major problems is that I honestly don't know how to express interest in a woman, without sounding off putting. That's a major struggle and something that is going to be problematic for my recovery.

You are a fan of Larry David? Do you know who played him on Seinfeld?

"The last two women I've been intimate with were quite attractive. But then I still had the advantage of the alcohol, which made it easier for me to interact with women and made me less insecure."

Alcohol masked the insecurity momentarily leaving you scratching your head wondering how to approach the opposite sex. It stole another day from you. You would have had another day to grow.

The most ironic thing you said is that the last two girls were attractive. Can you look at that and not get how wild that statement is? And, do you think they were really drawn to the intoxicated Herms? more than they would be to the clear headed one?

No one knows what to say or how to act around a girl they like at first. And many girls don't want a rehearsed line or two to start things off. They can tell it is just bull, anyway.

Hermus
05-03-17, 02:07 AM
You are a fan of Larry David? Do you know who played him on Seinfeld?

Not really a fan. Just saw the quote and I thought it was hilarious.

"The last two women I've been intimate with were quite attractive. But then I still had the advantage of the alcohol, which made it easier for me to interact with women and made me less insecure."

Alcohol masked the insecurity momentarily leaving you scratching your head wondering how to approach the opposite sex. It stole another day from you. You would have had another day to grow.

The most ironic thing you said is that the last two girls were attractive. Can you look at that and not get how wild that statement is? And, do you think they were really drawn to the intoxicated Herms? more than they would be to the clear headed one?

The fact is that I could let go of the shame that normally blocked me while being intoxicated. One I only met that night. I was flat-out drunk and started to be quite cocky and dominant. I directed her exactly about what was going to happen and what I wanted and she was okay with it. After making out heavily I straight-out told her, more as a matter of fact than as a question: "We're going home". I don't even remember all the details of what happened, but she later told me that she had to laugh out loud about me being so blunt and thought: "Well, this guy has guts. This is going to be a fun night." I could never be that bold and upfront about my intentions when sober.

Second one first approached me through Facebook about a party we were both going to. So I already felt quite safe getting it on and then at a point I just stroked her hair and started to make out with her. Not exactly what she had intended since she was in a relationship, but she went along because as she said I was a great kisser. That kind of move I wouldn't dare to make without having had a few drinks. Way too much chance of rejection. For a long time I even was avoidant when drunk, but it seems like at a certain point I became quite dominant when drunk and that worked for me. (Important note for guys: There is a difference between being dominant and being rapey. A confident and dominant guy also knows how to take no for an answer.)

No one knows what to say or how to act around a girl they like at first. And many girls don't want a rehearsed line or two to start things off. They can tell it is just bull, anyway.

Yeah, I don't know either. And the thing I do when sober is avoiding. 'I don't know what to say. Anything that I say will come out stupid. So instead I shut my mouth and avoid'. Don't know whether I can do the things that work for me when being sober from alcohol.

So yeah, I've got some skills. But I don't manage to unlock them without alcohol.

dvdnvwls
05-04-17, 06:11 PM
Unlocking with alcohol:

Alcohol shuts down your filters, allowing you to say and do things that when sober you would dismiss as bad ideas.

Your feelings and your desires are not bad ideas, but you have had some experiences where you said or did something stupid (which of course we all have done). And you felt so bad about whatever stupid thing you once did, that you created and activated a new filter-setting: "Nothing Gets Through".

So then you're stuck. You can't say or do anything, not even good things, because your filters are in permanent lockdown mode. And you don't trust yourself to change the filters to a more reasonable setting. So... Alcohol. Because alcohol disables the filters and lets it all happen, even the stupid stuff.


Filter reset, while sober, allows you to use other settings, like "Be Careful, I'm At Work" or "This Woman And I Seem Quite Interested In Each Other So Let's See What Happens".

Those other filter settings can be quite nice, once you get used to them again. :)