My Life and Loves (Playing House)

24 March 2016

I’m having an abstinent day.  Passed a couple of tests that I’m happy to write about.  First, got off the bus and was looking for a place to hang until the Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) meeting at 8 pm.  Jumped off the 86 at Holland & Wellington and started walking east toward Parkdale.

Thought about heading into the vegan restaurant at the corner.  if I was going to eat – vegan would be the best choice for my health.  I thought about two days abstinent on my meal replacement shakes, and decided to pass on it.

Found a gelateria at the corner of Parkdale & Wellington.  New, modern décor.  All sorts of beautiful sandwiches and gelatos to choose from.  Instead, I browsed the cooler for a drink.  Coke . . . Diet Coke . . . Coke Zero?  No!  A tiny bottle of San Pellagrino, eau avec gaz!  OMFG.  I don’t usually like bubbly water.  Much prefer sugar in my drinks.  Maybe Pellagrino will be the new drink of my abstinent self.  Time will tell.

The proprietor noticed me carrying Infinite Jest under my arm. He recounted being a non-reader as a child.  Until he picked up a book that was lying around a pool hall that he managed at the age of sixteen.  My Life and Loves by Frank Harris. He says it turned him into a reader.  Maybe I will try and find it next.

I now have 90 minutes to kill before my meeting at St Stephen’s, just south on Parkdale Ave.  There is WiFi here, but I’m not sure how long the place will be open.  Probably until 7 pm.  I noticed most of the places along Wellington are shut down around that time.

I see outside the window that car windshield wipers are off.  I guess the mist/drizzle has stopped.  More to come later tonight and tomorrow, I’m sure.  I am boarding number 205 for the 1 am bus trip to Toronto.  Bus capacity is around 50, so Greyhound has to do some figuring about riders and seats. I wonder if everyone was pushed back to the late night bus, or if it is just that busy?  I’m baffled.

I just downloaded the Frank Harris book to my phone, and will read it on the bus.

The Gelato Man, tells me that he came from Macedonia to Toronto in the 1950s.  Came of age selling newspapers on the corner of Pape & Danforth.  Saved all his money and took over a paper route.  Grew it from 60 customers to 140 customers.  He could hardly walk at Christmastime due to all the change that his customers gave him as tips.  Remember when kids delivered newspapers?

My earliest memories of girls are very fond ones.  B., M-K, J. – my early playmates.  Our mothers were friends and I recall being invited over their houses quite a bit.  The mothers sang in the community opera, so there was weekday practicing in the summer months in preparation for outdoor performances at the local park.

It seemed to me that girls were fascinating.  They wore different clothes than I did – mostly dresses and skirts with knee highs or tights over their bare legs.  They had families of dolls that we could be the heads of.  I would be the dad, and they would be the moms.  My younger sister, C. would be the oldest child, and keep the other doll children in line.  We mostly played house – pretending to make dinner for the family.  We all cooked – which was something different than I saw in my own family.  Although Dad did do some cooking, it was mostly breakfasts, specialty dishes or special occasions.  Mom did the everyday, utilitarian cooking.

The girls had wonderful homes with lots of things that we didn’t have.  B. had a playhouse in her backyard.  It had an A-frame shape and reminded me of an alpine ski hut.  Her parents were German or Austrian, hence the Euro-flavoured architecture.  M-K had a pool.  We didn’t swim in it, but I remember being in awe of a house with a pool.  It was the only one I’d ever seen or known.

I remember loving the long hair that the girls wore.  it was the early 1970s and EVERYONE’S hair was long.  But flowing over their shoulders or tying it back – it seemed so different and interesting.

My girl friends were gentle and inclusive.  Everyone took turns directing the play.  Our pretend family would have all the features of my own, real family – except the conflict.  There was no confrontation with the doll-children.  Only smiles and auto-winks when we picked them up to change their clothes.  I enjoyed being nurturing to the dolls and to my partners.  We all got along and could play house for hours on those rehearsal afternoons.

Errors of Commission or Omission?

23 March 2016, 8:15pm

Spent the last couple of hours working in the Big Red Book (Facing the Shadow, 3rd Ed., ISBN 0985063378).  Feeling quite disgusted with myself, it was all I could do to walk past the golden arches on the way to the bus stop on Wellington St.  I’ve stopped there many times to feed the void within me.  Not tonight.  I wonder if something has changed?  Probably not.

I say that not out of low self-esteem, or self loathing.  It’s because I was in contact with a woman from my past tonight.  T. formerly of Toronto, who moved away to British Columbia years ago with her family.  Of course, my initial approach is very light-hearted.  Hey!  Are you her?  OMG!  Hahaha.  But I am really wondering if she is on the outs with her husband, and whether she would fuck me if it came to that point.

Now the most difficult question.  What do I tell C.?  She had a long and gruesome text to me today, that makes it sound like she is going to pack it in.  How can my truth be shown the light, with that kind of background?  I am scared that the wrong word or implication, or gesture, will end our marriage.  It is tough for me to speed that possibility to fruition by speaking about another woman.  In Ottawa.  From my past.

I also think of D. and I exchanging messages last week, promising to catch up in April.  Me not disclosing to C., after I promised her I would tell her about any approaches and/or interactions with women.

Then there is the unsigned message from I don’t know who.  Saying she heard Electric Light Orchestra and thought of me.  A?  M-A? L?  I deleted it right away and did not tell C. about it. I still don’t want to be open about these people.  Not because I am angling for a repeat performance with any of them.  Because I don’t want to answer for what I’ve done.  Denial runs strong and deep in me.


Failure, right out of the blocks

23 March 2016

I tried ripping the previous page out of my journal – that’s how well I did following my *new* boundaries in the last 36 hours.  On the bright side, I didn’t go on my favourite dating site or sleep with anyone!  On the dark side, I ate all the rest of the food in the house – even after I had my meal replacement shakes for the day.  I was feeling so sorry for myself that I skipped work yesterday.  That led me to stay in bed and ultimately to a couple of trips to my favourite porn site.  Strike Three!

I am on the Rapidbus, in the north part of Hull, and I just saw three young deer in the valley where I will be bicycling soon.  That was a wonderful surprise this morning.

I went to a men’s Meetup last night, and they are a nice bunch of guys.  I hope that we get out and do some of the activities we discussed, as the weather improves.  First one is cycling sometime in mid-April.

C. and I had a long talk late into the night.  I am trying to separate the lying and deceit that I identify as my nature from the addictive/acting out nature that she comes from.  Chicken or egg?  Will separating my behaviours out and dealing with them more 1-on-1 be a help of a hindrance to my recovery?  Can I address that long list of negative behaviours without stumbling on one – and tripping on all the rest?  How do I collect “white stones” when I am failing in some of my stated goals?

Many questions unanswered as of today . . .

Day Zero

21 March 2016

Hello World.

Today is Day Zero.  C and the kids have gone home, and I am making a conscious effort to maintain abstinence beginning today.  The boundaries that I have set for myself are:

Inner Circle (non-negotiable, no activity)

1. No online pornography
2. No “escapist”  masturbation
3. No contact with women online
4. No contact with women in-person

Number 3 and 4 relate to secret contacts, and not with women well-known to both C. and I.

Outer Circle (positive activities)

5. No emotional eating
6. 20 minutes per day of exercise
7. 15 minutes per day of meditation

Number 6 and 7 are minimum amounts of time to be engaged in these activities.

What am I going to be doing with all of my time if I stick to all of the “checks” on my addictive personality?

I DON’T HAVE THE SLIGHTEST IDEA!!   And that is the adventure in this.  🙂

Sex and Food Addiction Recovery

It is a year ago this week that I started my Sex Addicts Anonymous journey.  Actually, I should call it my recovery journey as there are several physical, emotional and spiritual aspects to it.  Not just sex.  Sometimes I see that as the cause of my coming in to recovery, but really I came in because the way I was dealing with life experiences was broken.  My actions/motivations were unsustainable.  They were hurting me, hurting my spouse, hurting my family.  Directly or indirectly, I was channeling negative energy into the universe.  I knew that had to change.  I needed to reverse the polarity of my life.

Staying with the battery analogy, I still don’t feel fully charged.  When things go wrong, I feel dangerously drained.  I try to reach out for energy where I had previously found it – in acting out with sex or food.  These two elixirs of life – sustaining and nourishing when approached with sound mind and body – are dangerous in the hands of an addicted mind with boundary issues.

So, I’ve sought help.  From myself.  From my fellowship.  From my spouse. From my kids. From my therapists and medical practitioners.  From my higher power

This is a work in progress.  I never expect it to be complete.  It will be a daily management issue that someday will come as easily to me as breathing or thinking.  Right now, it’s hard.  I am still in my infancy as far as recovery goes.  When I am sad or frustrated or angry, I have tantrums like a baby would.  I don’t yet “have the words” to express my wants or needs, in a mature and integrated way.

My journey began a year ago.  I hope that sharing it allows for other addicts to gain insight into their own issues and journeys, and that my experience promotes discussion among my readers.