FOOD FOR THOUGHT
by Richard K., SCA-San Luis Obispo, CA
The addict will bite you if you don’t watch out!
One of the major tools of SCA is sharing our experience, strength and
hope in order to further our recovery. I’d like to share some of mine
based on some recent occurrences — read that, SLIPS.
I have been in the program for 6 years now. I had racked up a fair
amount of what I looked as sobriety (now, I wonder). And then something
started falling apart.
When I started in the program I dove in compulsively head first and
pushed to get through all the twelve steps as quickly as possible. The
result was that I didn’t really work any one of them all that well. I’m
still stuck on the 4th step after all this
time. I see now that much of my “sobriety” resulted from being scared of
being arrested again, from being scared of my partner leaving me, from
hiding behind service work (while entertaining the old fantasies in my
head), from writing a lot of holier-than-thou pronouncements while not
following them all that well, from just
going along day by day in sort of a la-di-da fashion. In short, from
doing a pretty good PR job on myself. Fortunately, I did develop a
stronger tie with God, and my understanding and
acceptance of God as my Higher Power. And I was doing service, both in
SCA and in other fields. I still went to my meetings, though less and
less. And I was able, most of the time, to ‘fess up to some of my
activities and talk about them in my meetings. I wasn’t acting out in
the public way that I had been before my arrest.
But, things started falling apart. The addict was biting at me again.
My downfall was surfing cyberspace on my computer. It seems there are
a lot of souls out there who get off on computer sex — wild fantasies,
dirty talk, or whatever. I fell into this very easily and it really
grabbed me. I guess I rationalized it by convincing myself that I was
doing OK in the program. Since I wasn’t
getting any, I DESERVED at least some titillation (sound familiar?).
Onward and downward it went. At times I put a stop to it — almost — but
I always came right back again, and it got heavier and heavier. And I
got increasingly closer to physical contact
with one of the guys with whom I was “corresponding.” I was sinking back
into the white lies. I was leading a double life again. Not as bad as a
few years ago, for sure, but it was there just the same and getting worse
I despaired of having any strength at all. I realized what was going
on, but was powerless to stop it. I just didn’t want to stop it. I
really got a lot out of it. Unfortunately, that included emotionally
pulling away from my partner, friends and the program and having a
painful gut-ache most of the time. I was miserable and felt more and
more detached from reality.
Finally, though, a promise of strength showed through. I was all set
to meet the guy. Who knows what would have developed? I know what my
fantasies were, but in actuality, who knows? However, the night before
the proposed meeting, I had this blinding realization of the obvious that
I sometimes get. I guess I know just Who brings those about. This very
strong feeling came over me: RICHARD… THIS JUST ISN’T RIGHT! Simple?
You bet! And, for once, I listened to that message and canceled the
meeting; but not the cyberspace fantasizing. After all, it was “harmless”
fun. I shared it all at the meeting the next evening.
Next day, I was on the computer generating yet another fantasy, when
my partner came in and saw what was on the screen. I realized then that I
had allowed myself to get hooked by the addiction again, and had become
powerless in the process. Just like when I had gotten arrested in a
tea-room six years ago. Traumatic in a different way, maybe, but very
traumatic just the same.
Needless to say, all hell broke loose here at home. Anger, hurt,
threats, bashing, name-calling … you name it. And I totally
understood that, and accepted it, and felt that I certainly deserved it.
I had let him, and myself, down again.
I finally realized that I just could not get involved with that sort
of thing anymore, whether my partner left me or not. It definitely would
kill me — either physically or emotionally or both.
Next morning, during my meditation, another strong message came
through loud and clear: DON’T GIVE UP! Don’t give up to the addiction
… don’t give up on the relationship, no matter how dismal the
situation appeared to be at the moment … don’t give upon the program
… don’t give up on yourself.
And I don’t intend to …
Sexual Compulsives Anonymous International Service Organization
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