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.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

A Conversion of Promises Becoming

Call it osmosis. Transformation. Call it growing a new skin.

It's turning me inside out and upside down. Before, I actively sought to look at beautiful women. I yearned for the longing stares of mutual attraction. No matter religious faith nor sexual codes of conduct, women were statues of goddesses erected on pedestals in temples of idolatry. Their marble material didn't threaten. Flesh and blood women scared me to death.

Now, women are people to me, imperfect and sharing the equalities of imperfection. Now, not only women, but the whole world about me transforms into a present moment of living vitality. I see what before I didn't notice. Now, I do not seek to look, and when I do, I seek to not look lustfully. 

My lizard drive urges, almost compels my innermost self, the sex and porn addict, to objectify individuals onto the screen of my mind, to liken them as porn actresses in a sex video. I am urged to feed the demand that porn advances towards the enslavement of women in the prostitution trade.

In SPAA (Sex and Porn Addicts Anonymous), we chip against this trade. And in SPAA, a cardinal belief is that we of necessity must fight this fight as a unit. Personally speaking, if I don't go to meetings daily, I am not reminded daily of the disease, and if not, I forget as this disease is incredibly cunning and wants nothing more than for me to forget my abnormality. Phone calls to fellow members belong in this together we stand category. Depression, especially morbid, dark  episodes trigger this writer to act out with porn: a sure-fire temporary remedy not worth the slip. Last depressed episode I had...a phone call to a SPAA brother lifted my spirit, offered sympathy, encouragement and provided perspective. I didn't act out. 

The honesty and vulnerability and wisdom these brothers and sisters share during meetings cultivate nutrients of high-end grade...a fundamental assistance, a lifebuoy to a drowning person.

Meditation and crappy writing practice daily morn and evening assists. Consistent meditation muscles up the pre frontal cortex of the brain,  which thus enables better impulse control, attentiveness and considerate response. Crappy writing helps sweep away pent up emotions of fear and resentment which obscure a clear view out the window of one's mind.

A 12 Step sponsor most considerably assists. My SPAA sponsor's latest project tasked onto me spurs me on to dig deep about my definition of what it means to be a man. The flip side of the coin of the task spurs me on to dig deep about what quality of woman I would seek in a mate. Armed with this intelligence, as a single man, I intend to prospect for a committed partnership not in a mound of garbage but in a mine where diamonds wait to be discovered.  

Thursday, August 25, 2022

The Breathing Lung of Hope

If ever I, myself, needed the understanding and support of those in the tribe of us, the recovering sex and porn addicts, it is now. Truly, if I can speak truth, this need largely escaped me until I joined the fellowship of SPAA. (Sex and Porn Addicts Anonymous)

It's repeated all over the earth. Addicts in 12 Step programs cannot recover alone, on their own resources, but must need have community and fellowship with those who share the particular addiction disease. So, it is.

Particularly in SPAA. This disease murders hope. My hopes of abstinence, when I entertained such hope, dashed countless times over decade upon decade.

Perhaps I can find the words to explain. In my family of origin, a shadow of shame darkened the light in the house. A lock on authentic expression curtailed capacity to learn how to feel. From my perspective, an admonition in the household acted like a curtain in a  movie theater. If the curtain could have been opened, the movie would have been like a world of entertainment. Simple fun. Going fishing. Going to the sleep-over. Going to the sock hop in the 7th grade classroom. Going to see Natalie Wood in West Side Story. But the curtain, for the most part, never opened. 

But, and I am grateful for this, when I reached puberty, I did find a manner to enjoy an endless supply of fun by bringing myself to completion, while imagining having sex with the girls I lusted for in grade school. Sexually acting out rescued my life in those early years, and I am indebted. In later years, most emphatically, I say the interest on that debt drove my subsequent life into a kind of vaguely noticed, but perpetual bankruptcy.

The brothers and sisters with whom I daily meet in our international SPAA Zoom meetings understand. My sentiment is that this understanding breathes forth the hope that gives the finger to sex and porn addiction. We share a common lung breathing hope.

Now. So, it is. Hope, one day at a time. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Upon the Door, Fear knocked.


I cut the rope. I don’t see where I came from. I go into the unknown.

What do I find? Change is my fear. Being different is my fear. Being queer. Being forever ruled not by purpose but by the emotive waves of stormy emotion buffeting me. Being a quitter. My fears tie me down to the way I used to be, to my past.  My fears comfort me. However, a broken record player repeats a truth I grasp, that... “Fear knocked on the door, and faith answered.”

Faith in Jesus Christ. Faith. Blind faith? It’s not blind, my faith. And all of everything lives inside the moment of now.

My job is to cultivate, water, hoe the ground of my faith so that it works, rain or shine.

I choose to feel. (Not to say that I also choose not to feel) The dragon is that I am a coward, a sissy, a fraud who does not have sufficient masculinity to win the heart of a woman.

This is where an Evil One enters the picture. This Liar well realizes my hatred mistakenly directed at God on account of my year after year, decade after decade of being a single man, and the resentment in me about it, and how hopeless and helpless I feel about it.

Faith supplies the reason to believe that my joy, my happiness depends not on any one human being, but on my relationship with He who granted to me His salvation. 


Friday, May 27, 2022

A No Named Cabin Cruiser

 It's chastening to post honestly. I don't want my sexual sobriety more than anything else. I say to myself I need wiggle room, and myself agrees. 

Rome wasn't built in a day is my argument. I argue the Capital of the Roman Empire had been fearfully and painfully growing during hundreds of years. 

And picture the mental constructs of French and English mindsets, perpetually contending. 

Believe not what I say --- that's not what truly counts; what does is whether I do what I say.

Today I kept one of my words and honestly, not just in the technical sense but in a whole hearted sense.

There is something going on. A sense of an orderly retreat in the face of an unstoppable force that releases a hundred different and interesting directions.

Imagine the freedom to be able to say what it is one feels no matter what fear of giving offense nor what fear of appearing foolish or intemperate.

I am struck by the depths of the  soul-searching honesty shared amongst those of us in the SPAA Zoom meetings, that  brother and sister fellowship. Not a speck of judgement.

I am half way, forty five days today in fact, into the ninety meetings in ninety days committment, with twenty days SPAA sobriety. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

Experiences of a Hopeful Nature

If I look at porn, I lose my SPAA sobriety, and recent times past, nothing, nothing on earth wanted I more than to look at pornagraphy. It's my bread and butter.

One goal: Go to 90 SPAA meetings in 90 days; today is 61 of those 90. Here's the stats. 41 days back-to-back sober, day 42 a slip. Next 10 days sober, day 53 a slip, day 55 a slip. 

These "slips", well, put it this way. I tell myself, damn, I slipped, so...all bets are off, I'm going to milk this cow for all its worth, and the slip on a day turns into 3 or 4 slips in one day. 

I intend to continue going to SPAA meetings daily, indefinitely. I now have a sponsor, and have started working the First Step of the 12 Steps contained in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, adapted for sex and porn addicts.

To repeat, according to the SPAA definition of sobriety, if I watch porn, even if I don't masturbate, I slip. If I have sex outside of a committed relationship, I slip. If I masturbate to completion without looking at porn, I slip. 

According to the testimony, also, that I hear said from almost every man and woman in the SPAA fellowship, what's called "edging" leads to slipping.

Edging is akin to taking small tastes of a drug.

During the past six decades, I have been an unadulterated edger, an unhinged girl watcher, a legally permitted whore house goer, a porn looker, and a chronic masturbator. About ten years ago, I charged $20,000 on American Express for a week-end of sex worker services at Mustang Ranch in Nevada. 

So, what's happening now that's different?

I go outside on the street downtown and I'm forcing myself to not look at the pretty women, and although fairly often this not successfully, that's the goal; if that's what it takes to prevent slippages, that's the goal.

Today I went grocery shopping at the Coral Supermarket on Calle Sucre. I knew there would be plenty of foxes walking around the aisles bending over and reaching up to grab. I knew there would be no chance in hell I could avert my eyes. I'd have had to wear a blindfold! So, I took the God Higher Power suggestion to heart, and prayed believing the H would do for me what I could not do for myself, and by golly it worked! The objects of desire, in my eyes, transformed into female people, some more attractive than others but that fact not a deal breaker. 

Do you know, dearest of all readers,  do you know what these and same such experiences spawn inside the core of my being?


And what is hope??

"Hope is the only good thing that disillusion respects."

Marquis de Vauvenargues