RELEASING MY LIFE OF OBSESSIONS AND FANTASIES
By Allen K
Now and then, as we work our Program, we make what could be described as a
“BRILLIANT DISCOVERY OF THE OBVIOUS”. Suddenly something finally breaks
through as though we’d never thought of it before, even though we’d read
about it, heard about it, maybe even talked and written about it.
This happened to me recently at an SCA retreat. I had felt very secure and
smug in the sobriety of not physically acting out on my bottom line
activities – my Recovery Plan no-no’s – and even making progress on many of
my gray areas. All this over a period of some two years in the Program.
Yet, I was very uneasy about something. I was still living in the totally
unreal world of sexual fantasies which I’ve lived in for most of my life.
Fantasies built around guys who have, even for a few minutes, been
especially supporting and warm; turning them into romantic, sexual gods, and
me into a “service station” for them. And fantasies not only re-living the
shameful, degrading details of the “bad old days”, but also expanding on
them, building them into “if only I’d gone on to do this, and do that –
wow!, that’s hot!”
And, I was still living in fantasies built upon obsessing on Mr. Gorgeous Q.
Wonderful, or even pieces of him – his arms or legs, his butt, his eyes, his
shoes, even photos of him; walking down the street, playing ball, riding a
bike, just sitting there. Obsessing on his physical being without giving any
thought or concern at all as to what might be inside.
I wasn’t only living in these fantasies and obsessions; I was masturbating
to them, encouraging them, feeding on them, ritualizing them. I wasn’t
physically acting out, but I was sure acting out mentally!
The “brilliant discovery?” Well, it finally became clear that this was my
sly, cunning, sneaky Addict’s way of getting to me; of leading me back into
my sexual compulsions. It finally became clear that I, as a sex addict,
could no longer allow these sexual fantasies to even exist in my head if I
were going to get on with my recovery. It finally became clear that SEXUAL
FANTASIES AND OBSESSIONS ARE TO ME, AS A SEX ADDICT, WHAT ALCOHOL IS TO AN
ALCOHOLIC! POISON! One fantasy or obsession leads to another and another
and yet another until the Addict once again has me by the gonads and drags
me back even deeper into the addiction.
It became clear that I had to take action against my Addict; I couldn’t just
sit back and let him go on. At first, it seemed that it would be necessary
to yell at – push – shove forcefully purge my Addict. Yes, that would be
the best way to handle it. After all, my Addict has never been kind or
gentle with me. Why should I be gentle with him! A lot of righteous
indignation and anger toward this Addict who has taken over my life and made
me powerless over my addiction should fit the bill.
But ours is a gentle Program. There has been enough anger and hostility in
my life; I don’t need more – even toward my Addict. Over my months in the
Program, it has slowly begun to sink in that a gentle prodding, along with a
generous dose of God’s help and strength – asked for with faith and hope –
is the most effective way of dealing with my Addict. I have made a decision
to turn my life and will over to the care of God; now is the time to really
live that. My total participation is His expectation, but the manner of
that participation is up to Him.
I know now that each time I start obsessing on sexual thoughts or on a body
or a thing or a place – each time I start sliding into fantasy-land – I must
recognize that my Addict is getting at me again, and it’s time for me to get
to work. It’s time to ask God for help and strength, and to nudge these
obsessions and fantasies out of my head. I know now that I must live in
reality – the reality that is right now. Those things in the past are gone
forever and cannot – must not – be re-lived. Those things in the future,
whether they ever have a chance of materializing or not, cannot be lived in
the right now, I must wait until tomorrow becomes today, and let what
happens happen. The more I try to redo the past or manipulate the future,
the deeper I get mired in my addiction.
It’s working – when I really work it; and it DOES take work. I am
experiencing deep grieving – deeper than when I let go of my toys and
pornography and bottom line activities and construction sites and the sports
pages and underwear ads and an old friend. It really hurts; this letting go
of a mind-set which has been with me for 50-some years. Yes, it really,
really hurts! Sometimes I get so tired of the sadness and hurt; sometimes
it’s so tempting to…. But I know that’s the Addict trying to grab me
again, so the hurting is OK. The earlier hurts have pretty much gone, and
healing has taken their place. That will happen here too – I know that.
And I know that that’s what God’s will is for me. But, it does hurt…