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."