Monday, December 14, 2015

Better Than Tinfoil

from Google somewhere
My counselor scribbled something in her steno pad before she asked me, “Do you have any plans in place in case you start to trigger?”

I shook my head. “Not really. I’ve been reading my S-Anon literature and even been reading the Big Book but aside from a bad dream a couple of nights ago, I’ve been doing really good. It's hard to believe that time of year is upon us again. Five years since finding out Devin's a sex addict. Time just flew by and I've been doing great lately.”

And I was. Maybe it’s because I expected the worst but hoped for the best. Perhaps it was the passage of time. I’m not sure. But last week when the anniversary of disclosure week was upon us, it was present but it wasn’t present. I really felt good about Devin and I. We were, and still are, on a healthy path. We've been communicating well. We've been sticking to our own recoveries and been working on our marriage and doing things as a couple. Just doing great overall. I can't complain. No. Really. I can't. All really is going well in our corner of the world. (And it's nice not to be in the mindset of waiting for the other shoe to drop - what a nice change from a few years ago, huh, long time readers?)

Devin and I talked about disclosure week before it arrived. I told him to be on the lookout for me being extra sensitive or snarky (who me?). Or if I was withdrawn, don’t be afraid to ask why a few extra times, cause you know us ladies; sometimes we don’t like to answer the first time we’re asked.

There was a moment when I had to take a step back and dive into my recovery work, reflect on where we were rather than where we had been, but when that was finished…maybe thirty minutes…I was right as rain again.

That’s just as it should be too. It’s been five years since that dreaded week that I found out about his sex addiction. That's a long time. I shouldn’t be focused on what happened during that week. I should be focused on how far we’ve come as a couple and the fact we are celebrating ten years of marriage. How awesome is that?

The traditional ten-year gift is tin. Does that mean we should’ve exchanged tinfoil? I’m thinking no. Instead, we decided to look at Christmas lights. It was beautiful. Much better than tinfoil. 

How about you? Have you done anything holiday related yet?













Monday, November 23, 2015

Quotes of Steven Wright


from Google
Since most Americans will be talking about Thanksgiving and things they're grateful for, I thought I’d go a different direction. I mean, c’mon, I bore you guys with gratitude talk all year long because it’s part of my twelve-step program. Instead, let’s highlight the comic genius of Steven Wright with some of his best quotes:
  • I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Borrow money from pessimists -- they don't expect it back.
  • Half the people you know are below average.
  • 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

  • 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

  • A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

  • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

  • If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.

  • All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand.

  • The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  • I almost had a psychic girlfriend....but she left me before we met.

  • OK, so what's the speed of dark?

  • How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

  • If everything seems to be going well, you've obviously overlooked something.

  • Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

  • When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

  • Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

  • Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.

  • I intend to live forever...so far, so good.

  • If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

  • Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

  • What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

  • My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."

  • Why do psychics have to ask you for your name
?
  • If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

  • A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
  • Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

  • The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.

  • To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

  • The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

  • The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

  • The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.
  • Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have film.

  • If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

  • If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?
To my American friends, Happy Thanksgiving and to all my other blogger buddies, be well! I think we'll put our tree up this weekend, anyone else excited about the upcoming holidays? How about shopping? Mine is just about done. We decided to make it a more "economical" Christmas this year so I didn't have much to shop for.

As a side note, my blog will "go quiet" for a bit. I will be taking a break from blogging until after the New Year and focus on my writing. You may see me from time to time but perhaps not. Everyone enjoy your holidays. Merry Christmas and here's to a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Monday, November 9, 2015

And She's Back!

*From someplace on Facebook*


The past week has been one filled with lots of self-reflection. I can happily say that I’m in a much better place than I was just a week ago. I’ve found my serenity again. I think I needed to be on that slippery slope for a bit to appreciate just how far I’ve come and to recognize my own stagnation.


Helping others during their time of need is great for me. It lifts my spirits and feeds my soul. But it doesn’t keep me focused on myself and if I’m not focused on myself, at least part of the time, I can slide back into dark places and bad habits. And, yes, perhaps even addiction.

So, I'm thankful for that scary place I was in because it brought me to where I am today:

from Google images

I'm more aware of what I have than what I don't have…or what I think I need I'm in need of. And diving back into my recovery books has helped me see that again. It's like a crack on the head with a hammer that I needed. 

But most of all, I'm thankful to all of you. Your kind words and support last week meant the world. Really. I came back and read them several times and was genuinely touched by how caring all of you are. Thank you! You guys are the best!


Monday, November 2, 2015

Slips Are Still Possible…For Me



Insanity crept in

My plate wasn’t too full to blog last week. My mind was. Funny thing about being an addict, it doesn’t seem to matter how long I’ve been sober, there will be times life will test my sobriety and as I wrote this last week, I was in that time.

I’m emotionally hurt. A damaged soul who, even with the proper tools at hand, can’t always right the ship immediately. It can take some time to process the hurt and even longer to recognize the pain even exists. And in this case it had for some time. It’d been building for weeks.

Days ago, I couldn’t have put my thoughts into coherent sentences. My mind was too muddled and confused. I wasn’t sure why I wanted to drive fast, sit on the edge of the seat on roller coasters (literally), and take crazy chances. I just knew I needed to be reckless. I wanted to fill a void but didn’t know why. I craved to feel some kind of rush and that’s dangerous for an addict.

After reflection, I know the whys (there are several) and I have to figure out how to emotionally fix it. It doesn’t matter that common sense tells my addicted brain how stupid and irresponsible it would be to act out. Will I? Probably not. But that doesn’t stop my brain from fantasizing about numbing my pain by getting high. What a relief it would be…at least temporarily.

What I find fascinating is that if you saw me strolling down the street, you’d never know. I look fine. I look normal. I smile, I chit chat with my co-workers and hold the door open for strangers. But inside I’m tormented. I’ve thrown up my white flag of surrender.

The chinks in my armor are showing. The cement wall of my recovery has become a sheer curtain. I can reach through and ruin my sobriety in an instant.

I’ve done the right things to keep me on the sober path; I’ve reached out to a program member, I’ve talked to Devin about the seriousness of the situation, I’m journaling, I pulled out my affirmation cards (those things are so awesome) and am going to hit up an NA meeting.

The insanity lifts a few days later

I was sitting in the car dealership waiting for my repair to be finished when my phone rang. Unknown number. Normally I would’ve ignored it. My gut (God) told me to answer it. It was a program call. A newbie in distress. God put her in my path for a reason. I listened to her as I drove to the tobacco store to start my newest addiction. Vaping. It’s better than cigarettes. And it’s definitely better than drugs, folks.

We shared many of the same experiences, past drug addictions being one of them. She recently suffered a relapse and hearing her utter those words scared the ever-living shit out of me.

Relapse. How easy it is to fall back into.

I was grateful to have been sitting in the parking lot of a tobacco store and not downtown trying to score blow, speed, meth, or whatever else I could get my hands on at the moment. It very easily could’ve been my next stop; I was feeling that low.

Not only did hearing her tale scare me, it humbled me. It sobered me. More than any meeting I could’ve sat through.

So, I did what I would’ve told any sponsee: go back to the basics. I took care of me: I read (a very funny read by the way); I studied program material; I worked on my sequel; I watched mindless comedies and reality television; I took some time off from chores and cooking and accepted help from Devin and the kids. Most of all, I talked to Devin. I shared why I felt such tremendous pain. And that was healing. 

Funny. I was going to forgo counseling for a while to save some money. Think I’ll skip the hair salon instead.

Grey hairs are better than a black soul.

I’m looking forward to a much better week. You?






Monday, October 26, 2015

….



Elsie had a bit too much on her plate to blog this week.

Regularly scheduled blogging will resume next Monday.

Maybe.

Monday, October 19, 2015

I Needed A Laugh


Sometimes life throws us a few curveballs at once. Sometimes those curveballs hit us right upside our heads.
  • My migraines aren't going the way I hoped but I've got a backup plan so there's always hope. 
  • Devin was letting his slips get inside his head but he's on a better track too.
  • I may have to face the fact that it's time to cut ties with certain family members and that hurts my heart. No optimistic twist on this one.
So to this I say: Sometimes all you can do is give life the middle finger and then laugh. That's what I choose to do this week. Let's laugh together, shall we?

I love me some Modern Family!








And who doesn't love Beverly Goldberg from The Goldbergs? She's hilarious!









Here's to a better week everyone!


Monday, October 12, 2015

Saying You're Sorry

Facebook 
Apologizing to someone can be one of the hardest tasks we accomplish. Especially when that someone is close to us. And when we’re navigating through the recovery of an addiction, the people we hurt along the way are usually those we love the most.

As Devin faces Step Nine,

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

he’s had to put a lot of thought into exactly whom he apologizes to and what that apology entails. He’s made a living amends (a genuine change in behavior) with the kids and me, along with telling us how sorry he was for what he’d done to each of us.

Now he’s faced with a new conundrum: the opportunity to apologize directly to his friend, Joe, who lives out of state. Devin had an affair with Joe’s wife and I was the one that let Joe know when I was spiraling out of control after disclosure.

It’s been nearly five years since I told Joe and he took the news of the affair and Devin’s addiction much better than I expected. He even said to me back than that he forgave Devin. And that he empathized with him.

Devin wants to let Joe know just how sorry he is that he hurt him so deeply. How sad he is that he betrayed their friendship and his trust. But he doesn’t want to reopen that wound and cause them harm after Joe and his wife may have healed from the damage in their marriage.

As much as I want to force my opinion down Devin’s throat, I won’t. I’ve said my piece and am giving him the space he needs to think about it. Thankfully, he’s got a few months before he makes the trip.


Have you ever had to make a tough apology?

Monday, September 21, 2015


A couple of weeks ago one of my blogger buddies, Graham, sent me an article he saw online written by Brian Whitney, a sex addict. It really got me thinking. I love when someone's writing can make me do that. It made me realize that while we’re all different, couples going through sex addiction can share many similarities. 

The first thing the article said to be on the lookout for is lying. About everything. Yep. Devin fit the bill. He lied to me about the tiniest of things not just the biggies. As Devin worked on his sobriety, the lying continued. It was so engrained in him, he had to make a conscious effort to stop. 

Cheating was the next thing Whitney discussed. Sure, lots of guys cheat, but does that make them sex addicts? In most cases the answer is no. Some are just narcissists. But others are addicts. You have to look for additional signs. In Devin’s case, cheating occurred as his addiction escalated.

Next on Whitney’s list was the lack of long-term relationships. Here is where Devin differed from the author. Devin’s first marriage lasted eleven years and he never cheated on her. (Yes, I wondered why but that’s a post for another day). After the marriage failed, Devin found online dating and the seed of the addiction was planted.

Excessive masturbation was another red flag. All I can say to this is: Ding, ding, ding! I wasn’t aware how compulsive the behavior was until after disclosure of his sex addiction. He hid it that well. And it’s still something he struggles with when he’s not in a healthy state of mind.

Whitney also warned about kinky stuff in the bedroom. This was never an issue with Devin. I was more into risqué stuff than he was. For him, it was more of a fantasy than reality. I don’t think he wanted to picture his wife, the one woman he didn’t objectify, in that light.

The article also warned about secrecy regarding cell phones and computers. Again, this one hits home when it came to Devin. His phone was never in the house. It was always on the charger in his truck and I didn’t have a key. While his computers weren’t locked down, he did click out of whatever he was looking at when I walked in the room. It took a long time, and his descent into his addiction, before I started catching him closing out porn sites. Thank God those days are over. It took months for me not to trigger when I heard the click of his mouse.

The next warning Whitney discusses is someone who is extremely confident and controlling sexually. Devin doesn’t even come close to this description. His low self-esteem carried itself into the bedroom along with other areas in his life. He was far from confident and continues to be his own worst critic.

Another thing to be aware of is flirtation. I’m not sure Devin fit this bill except when he was at the worst in his addiction. From what I read in his emails to other women, he did not so much master the art of flirtation as he did being just plain blunt and crossing boundaries. And trust me, there are plenty of women out there who don’t mind what kind of attention they’re getting as long as they’re getting something.

Another indicator you're involved with a sex addict Whitney warns against is manipulation. Devin was a master manipulator and was able to turn things around on me in a matter of seconds. Before long I wouldn’t know if I was coming or going and was more than willing to take the blame for whatever was wrong.


Lastly, the article says if you think you’re partner is a sex addict, they may just be. I have to agree with Whitney. Most people don’t wonder if they’re spouse is an addict. Whether it’s porn, masturbation, and/or multiple affairs, if you’re questioning the compulsiveness of it, go with your gut because it’s probably right. 


What have you read lately that really got you thinking?