Saturday, February 10, 2024

The Jesus Concept of a Higher Power

I am an addict in various programs of recovery. But the most problematic, the most egregious cast me by the fortunes of Divine Providence into the fellowship of SPAA, Sex and Porn Addicts Anonymous.

Inside the bottomless pit of that abyss of hopeless enslavement to edging, when I admitted to myself my utter powerlessness over mastery of this disease...I took Step One. The first of the twelve steps of the ladder I climbed to freedom out of the abyss.

Dr. Bob and Bill Wilson co-founded the movement that constructed the manual of suggested instructions on how to work these twelve steps.

Simple, but not easy, but for those of us who had no choice but to live or die, die literally and figuratively, who chose life---the 12 step work incarcerated these addictions in a maximum security prison, an Alcatraz so to speak.

The continual working of the steps provided to me the security of that prison by a spiritual growth vibration of frequencies of alert living in the moment. The bad vibes rear their ugly heads not withstanding. 

Onto another branch of the tree.

I cannot comprehend how, with a limited capacity to  comprehend. The Higher Power for this man grows on a tree, it's a Pinecone. The Higher Power for this woman? The Universe itself. No Higher Power exists for this other man, an atheist who nonetheless has been clean and sober for decades.

Based on a variety of personal experiences, my conception of a Higher Power is a Risen Lord Jesus Christ. A man who thirsted grasps thirst. A man who grieved the death of a dear friend grasps grief. A man who suffered physical torment grasps physical torment. A man who grasps glad joy grasps the gladness of joy. In these manners, my Higher Power intimately grasps my humanity because, in my conception, He IS truly human, and truly God, and His Divinity empowers capacities in me of which I am not capable.

The working of the 12 Steps had granted access to this Power which has brought and is bringing a life to me "beyond my wildest dreams." 



Sunday, January 7, 2024

Counting One Day at a Time

 

Last night, today, an awful damaged rotator cuff pain, and yes, as a seventy-three-year-old 12 Step recovering alcoholic, drug addict, food addict and sex and porn addict, I do my best to keep a clear head. But the level seven on the one to ten pain scale demanded relief measures. So, I swallowed the pain killer pills; got skyrocketed into a drug like high. And it drove me to a place of reflection about my body. Deprived of level headedness, I laid in bed, and my body embarked on its craving for a happy ending massage. Radical honesty. It’s emphasized repeatedly in the AA Big Book as an absolute prerequisite in order to recover from addiction. What’s my radical honesty now? I don’t care how much numbing myself with pain killers endangers my SPAA defined sobriety status ---no looking at pornography, no masturbation, and no sex outside of a committed relationship.

However, I lock and jail these addictions, a day at a time, and the counter statistics echo the handiwork of a Miracle Maker, the concept of my Higher Power--- The Triune God. No alcohol: 6 years, 11 months and 18 days. No marijuana: 209 days. No SPAA slips: 88 days. No compulsive eating: 88 days

This Power greater than myself abounds also in the following communities of recovery and their meetings in which I participate. Overeaters Anonymous, Sex and Porn Addicts Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. Although not often, but as well… Narcotics Anonymous.

If I had gone out to get the happy ending massage, if I had consented, since addictions are progressive, I would have been in deeper pits of black tar sex addiction than ever those pits of black had been in past decades. $25,000 on American Express during one week end at Mustang Ranch in Nevada. Pitiable and incomprehensible demoralization. The abyss. But by the grace of God, no. A grace unmerited and without which I would have probably overdosed myself to death or committed suicide. Instead, today, I listened to member shares at AA and SPAA meetings… and learned and empathized.  I prayed for 15 minutes, I listened to an online Catholic Mass, I danced to exercise music for twenty minutes, and I practiced Spanish for 15 minutes. By the way, my body DID NOT want me to practice my audio daily Spanish lesson. My body rarely does. But I do sense the good type dopamine of feelings of self-fulfillment engendered when I find myself talking in Spanish with an Ecuadorian, mostly being understood and mostly understanding. (A Californian, I have lived in Ecuador a decade)

When I work the SPAA program, thus decreasing the frequency and intensities of my objectifying women…I then can experience whatever it’s like to getting to know a female human being as the human being she is. 

Sunday, December 17, 2023

The Journey Moves Moves Towards Recovery

As of this writing, I have 60 days of back-to-back SPAA defined sobriety. The relapse excuses? There are no excuses. I went to my pre-programmed always-works-never-lets-me-down escape valve. I watched porn and masturbated. But indulge the writer as he writes about circumstances, compares, and offers estimations of progress despite the book cover of defeat.  For about four months, I had had absolutely no access to my monthly pension money. I had been unsuccessfully, desperately seeking resolutions while my supply of savings dwindled to a one month capacity to meet minimum financial obligations. I felt like I was in a bed of quicksand in a night so black not a glimmer of light could be seen. At that point in time, I lost about seven and a half months of back-to-back sobriety. But I did not lose the progress of that change in mentality, what’s called the psychic change sufficient to bring about a radical change in attitude and outlook upon life. When I first started the porn free living journey, I would act out on account of, what now, but not then! Seem miniscule triggers---being lonely after the good vibration fellowship of an AA meeting.  Or just because it was a Monday.


I go to SPAA meetings daily. That is a commitment to myself and to my Higher Power which I mandate to myself to respect.

Daily at our SPAA fellowship ZOOM meetings, I see and listen to shares from members of despairs, of hopes, of slips, of agonies, of reflections and new understandings. I hear laughter and laugh often, and sometimes crying.   I see faces and know people who have become not only friends but teachers. I am reminded, daily, that I am a sex and porn addict. These daily reminders motivate me to work the 12 Step recovery program with earnest endeavor. I am reminded daily of my default tendencies are to lie, to rationalize, to find fault in others and to justify my behaviors. I worked the 12 Steps of Alcoholic Anonymous twice. But the fullest ranges of my brokenness as a human being and its depths, the consequences of their damages to myself and to others---these were not grasped until after I had worked the 12 Steps in the SPAA program.

I thank my sponsor in SPAA for his over-the-top support and guidance during the year long working of these 12 Steps.

 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

The Proof is in the Pudding

 Examine, question motivations for doings? Making progress, but often I summarily barge into action. 

What's this have to do with my sex and porn addiction? Man, it ALL has to do with it! My addictions drive me to counter by almost literally praying without ceasing, to tap into the Power I don't have to NOT indulge in edging.

Integration smacks of the appropriate word. To weave, to absorb opposite/same sex physical sensations---yet to synthesize, to amalmagate.  

To abandon flights of escape from feelings. (although recently I retreated to sleep to escape a self inflicted maelstrom of turbulent emotion)

Living life on its own terms means accepting that the enticing young woman seated in the restaurant next to me is a person with a soul of incalculable worth to God. And that for the sake of my sexual sobriety, it behooves me to give thanks to God for her creation, to pray to God He bless and keep her.

The guys and gals with a day's SPAA sobriety teach to me perhaps the most valuable lesson. I am at risk! I best work this program One Day at a Time.

The word integration occurs again. Integration into the body of the SPAA fellowship, being transplanted onto the tree of life of this fellowship. To become a cell in the tissue of a being of healing nature. If SPAA is not my HP, which it is not, it is part and parcel of my HP.

My sexual sobriety is endangered if I do not carry this message to other sex and porn addicts. So if you suspect you have sex control issues, click on this https://www.sobertownpodcast.com/sobertown-by-drifter for help and information.


Sunday, July 9, 2023

At the Mark of the Sixth Month

Honesty. Not one lie, today, a day at a time, not even to myself. Work the 12 Steps of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Reader reading this post, a fellow SPAA member, chairing at a recent SPAA meeting, asked me to explain how I managed to gain six months of sobriety. SPAA sobriety defined as "No viewing of pornography, no sex outside of a committed relationship, and no masturbation."

Love did it was the gist of my answer, and to me, my Higher Power is Love. My sex and pornography addictions are biologically and neurologically integrated into my mind and body, and they are not calculable. But I'll do the math anyway. They are a thousand billion trillion times more powerful than the power of my will. 

HOWEVER, my Higher Power broke the bond of death, which, admittedly, is an absolutely absurd proposition to make. Logic can't make sense of it. Logic can't make sense of how agnostics and atheists merit the reception of one, two, three, four and more years of SPAA defined sobriety. No matter. We sex and porn addicts in recovery and united in the working of the 12 Steps and united in frequent participation in SPAA meetings work miracles in ourselves through ourselves. I like the expression, God in skin. 

My sick porn mind. I know the woman walking towards me is not a female acquaintance, but she looks very similar. So, I pretend to myself that I'm only just making sure she's not this acquaintance while I look to surreptitiously gawk at her. That's defined as edging. What is edging? A couple examples selected from the SPAA edging document. "Looking in public spaces for people we find attractive, then fantasizing about them, staring at their body parts, or following  them around. We've done this on foot and from our cars."..."Fantasizing---often by replaying our past sexual escapades or pornographic images we've seen (sometimes while having sex with our committed partner)"  

I go to Mass. Three young women seated across the aisle attract me. I struggle to not look at them, to not want to look at them. I'm not paying attention to the liturgy while I engage in this struggle. But I do not edge. It's worth the price of not having paid attention. 

I go to SPAA meetings and don't hardly ever talk. I mostly listen. Time after time I hear stories by people being bare bones honest about their dishonesties and denial syndromes. I realize SPAA is where I belong. 

How can I ever hope to be a faithful partner in a committed relationship if women are little more than sex objects to me? Women have to become people to me, more and more, just plain individual people. I'm staying single on purpose, until this transformation becomes more embedded in me.

My goal towards the achievement of this transformation?  An additional six months of SPAA sobriety. I CAN stay sober for a day! If I can stay sober for a day, I can stay sober for another 182 days. My strategy. Cultivate my personal relationship with Christ. Water it. Till it. I best do this by continuous study and working of the 12 Steps. Continuous participation in SPAA meetings. Continuous outreach calls to fellow SPAA members. Physical exercise. Journaling. Healthy eating. No drugs and no alcohol because I am an alcoholic and a drug addict. No compulsive eating because I am addicted to certain foods. And loving MYSELF! Am I not to when my Higher Power does??

Saturday, May 20, 2023

More Than the Sum of its Parts

The recovery ride has been, especially of late, an emotional roller coaster. 

Mired in a seemingly everlasting tar pit of depression, then---two hours later, not a cloud in the sky! That's porn addiction withdrawal symptoms, par for the course. 

Today I celebrate, rejoice in having accumulated more consecutive days of SPAA (Sex and Porn Addicts Anonymous) sobriety ---  than ever before, 142 days. The definition of SPAA sobriety: "No sex with one's self, no sex outside of a committed relationship and no viewing of pornograpy."   

Some context. I'm 73 years old. Since puberty, at age 13, my now most ingrained addiction began to develop --- to have orgasms. Nothing could stop me. Not conversion to Christianity. Not getting married. Not getting publicly embarrassed. No matter the shame or the cost. The $20,000 I charged to American Express for a weekend with prostitutes at Mustang Ranch in Nevada. 

I lived for the unreality of not living genuinely. Women became to me mostly mere rated objects of beauty, the closer to the ten mark the better, rather than individual human beings. Nothing could stop me during decades of attempting, time after time and method after method, to bring cessation of this activity. 

The castle. It is the bastion of my sobriety. But, I fight outside its walls. The enemy outside called edging. The edging takes place in my mind, its imaginings. Mental replay of past sexual encounter. It's where the true war lies, a war of battles lost and won.  Prayer the principal weapon. "With faith in You Higher Power, I pray You remove from me this desire to edge." Seeking to not look rather than to look. See the SPAA Edging Document.  

One hundred billion trillion times more powerful the disease is in comparison with the power of my will. 

Solutions. (What is working for me)

A steady, growing relationship with Higher Power.

Vigourous and consistent working of the 12 Steps based on the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. 

Daily or mostly daily attendance and participation in SPAA fellowship meetings.

Having a sponsor and a sponsee.

Growth in friendship with other SPAA members by means of outreach calls on a consistent basis.

By doing these actions, and similar, chances for successful recovery over five years augment by 85 percent. See task centered treatment by Patrick J. Carnes, PhD.

Fast forward to a final note: I deactivated my Facebook account because it is a significant source of temptation to SPAA sobriety slippage. 

I temporarily re-activate the account to publish therein this post so FB friends far and near can read it.

This is one manner by which  I can do 12th Step SPAA work. 

"Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to sex and porn addicts and to practice these principals in all our affairs." 

Monday, January 2, 2023

The Trick of Last Night's Edge

The other day I considered. If I thought of God as much as I think about women, I'd be thinking about God all the time.

My thinking about women the way I habitually do IS edging, which in SPAA (Sex and Porn Addicts Anonymous) conceptualization ---activates desire to act out, or, that is to say, "to go all the way." When I edge, I spur my porn addicted self to do just that. All I need do to feel my dopamine hormones rush to heat up my body to act out is to go onto Facebook. It's a major trigger for me. I go there on purpose to do what my Higher Self does not want to do. I want to escape the realities of my human condition, but I can't. I believe that's why I am chiefly a porn addict, a food addict, a drug addict, an alcoholic and a compulsive money spender.  

I plan to have my Facebook account permanently deactivated, after treasured photos have been saved into a flash drive, as for me it is a known acting out location.

Last night, in bed while trying to go to sleep, I fantasized and fantasized, repeatedly, about having sex with a woman who turns me on. I was doing what my addicted body was enjoying. 

At first, I fought the urge. Then, past personal experience reminded me that most every time I struggle against, what against I struggle increases in power. So, I accepted the fantasizing, and I prayed to my Higher Power to remove the desire. I didn't pray as if to pray to a stone wall. I prayed to a living, breathing Almighty God who loved me to death, pun intended, Who listens to me, while believing He would remove my desire to continue these edging imaginations. Soon after, I fell into sound sleep.

This is all I am going to write about this topic for now.