I feel like the English weather at the moment… subject to change with wet and windy spells.
I did my SAA Step 1 again last Monday (23rd) in front of about 30. Essentially this was at my home group, although there were lots of new people there, including one lady. Since then I’ve remained clean of all my bottom line behaviours, but it’s been an emotional, challenging and uncomfortable few days.
I’ve been feeling and continue to feel sad, which I believe is due to the fact that I am now grieving for the loss of my past, or more accurately, my coping mechanisms. Having now properly done my Step 1, I feel like there is no going back. That old life is over.
It’s not so much the sex stuff that I’m particularly bothered about, it’s the co-dependent sex that I’m really in mourning for. Pretty much all my relationships have been sex based, but underlying the sex addiction has been the co-dependency, where I basically offered and received sex instead of intimacy and affection.
I know what a healthy relationship looks like, because I did have one, once, even though it only lasted about 4 months and we didn’t really spend that much time together. What’s really freaking me out is the thought of building relationships based on…
…and that’s the problem, I don’t know. I’ve always been friends with guys because going out meant going on the pull, ultimately leading to sex. I’ve always been friends with girls because I wanted to have sex with them, mostly. Now that this is no longer an option, I’m left feeling like… what’s the point? and how do you do this healthy stuff?
At this point I should confess that I picked my therapist because she is a good looking woman… Possibly not the best motive for picking a therapist and probably something that I should admit to her at some point. That’s how powerless I was over this stuff.
My lack of direction and confusion has left me looking inwards a lot over the last few days and I’ve felt my mood slipping, to the point where maybe a toe was starting to step back into depression.
The good news is that I continue to attend SAA and Co-DA meetings, as well as seeing my therapist and so this evening I’m feeling like I’ve done enough of the right things to overt disaster. I just keep going back because it works if I work, so I work it because I’m worth it.
I think the root cause of all my suffering is my OCD perfectionism, rooted in my co-dependency. I obsess about the perfect friendship, being the perfect friend, the perfect son, brother, partner etc. and because my expectation exceeds the realms of what is possible, I’m afraid to start because I struggle to comprehend that building relationships takes time. I’m also not well versed in boundaries and so I often end up inadvertently offending people as a way of stopping them from getting close to me.
Whilst this protection mechanism has worked wonders over the years, it’s a real pain in the ass when it comes to forming new relationships.
I’m only just starting to understand what ‘real’ healthy relationships are and I’m sure this is a process that will continue for months or even years before I start to get a firm grasp on things. The situation that I now face is taking the plunge and being open and vulnerable enough to say ‘hey, I would like to be your friend’, and not worry about the fear of being rejected or me cocking it up.
Over the last 36 hours I’ve begun to question my recovery, because although things are getting better, it’s F*&KING tough and life appeared to be so much more ‘fun’ when I was back in the denial stage.
At the moment, all I can do is keep doing the next right thing and just pray that my Higher Power has a plan for me and that right now I am in the exactly the place that I am supposed to be.