Hi, I’m Henry a recovering sex addict. I have fucking zero days of sobriety.
I can’t believe I slipped back into the old pattern this morning. I had such an awesome weekend on a church men’s retreat. The speakers were great; I participated in the small group discussions from my heart without fear; I had several great one-on-one conversations. I was appropriately high on the experience with a group of amazing men.
I got home and my wife and I did our check-in as we’ve been doing weekly since I disclosed my addiction to her back in September. In the back of my mind was the fact that we had gone out to dinner and to a concert on Thursday. A few months earlier, I received notice that a favorite jazz musician was in town and I asked her if she wanted to go. She replied, “of course,” so I got tickets. I had a great time. It reminded me of other evenings like this in the past. I posted a check-in on FB and tagged my wife. At the end of the concert she saw my post and did her own but didn’t mention or tag that I was there. That stung a little.
Sunday afternoon at our checkin she mentioned that she really wanted to go see Hamilton so she contacted our friends who have the kinds of contacts that can make stuff like that happen even when the show is sold out for the full run in Seattle. I mentioned that I’d like to go and asked if she thought of me in the process. She said, “I don’t feel married.” That really hurt. I understand in my head that I have hurt her deeply through my infidelity. I get why she would no longer feels married to me. But it feels like I went to the hardware store, found the stiffest, coarsest sand paper I could buy, and started to sand the rough edges off my heart. It began to hurt so bad I couldn’t even cry. It was a dry, parched pain.
After the checkin, I tried riding it off on my bike but the resentment grew, the pain intensified. I stayed downstairs watching TV for the evening. This morning I got up and still felt real bad. I tried praying, sitting in my “emotion” chair but neither made the pain stop. I decided to go on a walk and went to change my clothes and then . . . after 135 days of being sexually sober, it was over, reset to zero. Shame rushed over me like an ocean wave.
There is so much shit behind my feelings – resentment, anger, lack of self love, the idea that I deserve to be punished, I’m not worth it, etc. I thankfully was able to go to a noon meeting and talk about what transpired over the last 24 hours. I also talked to a friend about it. Slowly, I’m feeling more normal. I realize my feelings aren’t good or bad, they just are. This morning when I wrote and prayed about all of this, the words were hard to get down. Now, it’s different, the words are running across the page, and it seems like minutes though I’ve been writing this for almost half an hour.
I realize that negative sobriety is short lived. I have to move to a more positive sobriety. A sobriety based on healthy self-love in service of others. Love thy neighbor as thy self. I’ve read that somewhere. Haha
I apologize that this is a bit of a rambling post. I needed to get my feelings out, down on paper. With each word that spills across the page, I’m recovering and I’m feeling more certain about the recovery process. My sobriety is at zero but over these past three months I’ve learned so much that I know I’m not starting over from scratch.
I’m a grateful, recovering sex addict,