A Reality Check

I decided to talk about something that is near and dear to me, living. As each new day passes I thank my higher power for another day free from my addiction because I know that that’s all I have. One day at a time. This then gets me to think about being alive. I do a reality check. I remember that today I’m alive. By the grace of God I’m alive. If I had stayed in my addiction three and a half years ago today I would have joined others as a statistic, another dead addict. I know my addiction wants to kill me, wants to suck the spiritual life right out of me. That’s the reality I live with each day. I’ve come to respect my addiction because I know its power. I know what drives it. This is why I do a reality check each and every day, just to remind me where I stand. I’m an addict, my thinking is not normal. Sure my obsessions have lessened as the years have gone by, but I’m still on my toes watching each and every minute carefully because I don’t know when my addict may rear its ugly head. I’ve already been blindsided in the past. That proved to be a very valuable lesson. So just for today, for this moment I enjoy my reprieve from my addiction, diligently watching ever so carefully for what the next moment offers. You might say I’m a little rigid, but I know from experience and from the experience of my fellows that reality is that this disease really does want to kill me. So be careful and watch your footing as you walk your paths and be alert to the pebbles in the path, it could be your addiction playing a trick on you.

11 thoughts on “A Reality Check

  1. This is an amazingly powerful post for me. Reality check, “I am Ally and I AM a sex addict.” And my addict wants me dead, just that simple. If it is not a physical death from dangerous and unsavory partners it WILL be a spiritual and emotional death from the shame and guilt of my actions. Sober I could NEVER act the way my addict does and this is why I have a daily battle with this disease, my sober self wants to continue to grow in balance and peace and serenity and my addict just wants a high that is no longer attainable. Maybe it was at one point but it isn’t now.

    Even tonight as I type this my addict is screaming at the top of her lungs to act out, tonight is a white knuckle night for me. I have made my calls, I have done my reading, I have prayed to be relieved of this obsession for some reason tonight my higher power wants me to sit in my cravings, in this withdrawal, again. My reality is to my very core I am an addict and I have yet to learn how to deal with “Life on Life’s Terms” and when life gets to be too much like it feels right now I just want to numb out. For tonight instead of numbing I write, I pray please let me make it through tonight.

  2. The reality is, is that I am an addict and will be for the rest of my life. What I choose to with that will determine how long I will be here. If I choose the easiest path I will die sooner than I should as my addict with kill me in a half second. If I choose the more challenging route I will live longer and be happier with the positive things I have accomplished.
    That is the reality of my addict. I am sober today. I am working my program…. BUT DAMN this is not easy….

  3. For me, the Corollary to living one day at a time is living in the moment. In other words, my obsessions are strongest when I am dwelling on my past/feeling anxiety about what is to come.
    The thing about living in the moment is that it can be painful. My sex and love addiction is a drug that allows me to avoid feelings. Feelings, especially anxiety is something that hurts, that I do not like.
    Thanks to this program, however, I am learning to feel the emotional pain and turn it over; to accept the possibilities of a negative event in the future by trusting in a higher power and allow him to control it.
    The thing I am also learning is that the more I am present, the less anxiety and pain I feel in the long run. It’s not a “quick fix” like my addictive behaviors, but it is a long term fix (but only if I stick with it on a daily basis).

  4. When I think of a “Reality Check” the first thing that comes to my mind is the phrase “Check Please.”

    When I was acting out in my addiction there was no reality, there were no consequences, my addiction was “All you can eat!” When I finished with my frequent feasts of acting out….. well it was “dine and dash” I never paid the price, at least that was what I thought.

    What I did not know was that in reality, my self esteem was paying the bill and my addict was getting fat, cording itself on the havoc it caused, not only to myself, but to those I loved and cared for. The price I paid can never be fully known but my program has given me a new perspective on life.

    You can say I have been born-anew. In order for this new me to grow and live, I had to accept that parts of me had to die. That is a reality. I had to accept that I may never be the same to people who I used to think mattered to me (but found out they didn’t) and that is a reality too. I also had to accept that I may not mean to same to people who I cared very much for and still do, that people in program grow, and that is a reality too.

    Realty is the feast I crave now. And program is the currency I use to pay the check with. I have read and heard how this program has saved the lives of many of our brothers and sisters here. For me, this program allowed the mercy killing of a part of me that needed to die so that the part of me that needed to live would get its chance.

  5. Reality Check

    I friend in recovery suggested that I list the consequences to my acting out when I feel like picking up and using, that maybe it could act as a stop sign.

    -My family- my husband can only take so much he will kick me out of the house and take custody of our two amazing sons.

    -My sons will lose their mother if not in an ugly divorce but to death or disease.

    -My own sanity, which is already questionable. If I continue to act out with all the knowledge and tools I have from recovery I know I will have a psychotic personality split I can not have all this information and love from SAA and still act out and be whole person. Right now I still feel like two people.

    -I have already been physically hurt from this disease, a violent “date rape” at 21, even in the last year acting out partner assaulted me physically, abusive partners because I feel that is all I am worth and STDs, yes more than one. The next step must surely be death.

    -The corrosion of my soul and spirit. I often think of this disease as a major dark storm that covers all the light in my life and I am really tired of things being so dark.

    -Self respect, this one is already tenuous but if I act out the self loathing and self hatred shoves all the other feelings way out of the foreground.

    -My job, I have acted out with coworkers and it makes the work place very tense, if I use my work as a feeding ground for my disease I will lose my job.

    I know that my brothers and sisters in recovery would never shut the doors of SAA on me but IF I continue to act out I will feel like a failure and not have the strength to keep walking through the doors. If I could not go to the meetings acting out or not my life would be very dark.

    My reality check is I have a whole lot to lose for a few moments of “pleasure” and stress release.

  6. Reality Check – I had one tonight. Just when you think things are going along great you get a reminder of who you are. Tonight I got a reminder of who I am: an alcoholic and addict. But that is ok. I was anxious and nervous and I got a thought that popped into my head about wanting to have a drink. I know that this is a blog for SAA, but for me all my addictions run together. Having a drink can be just as dangerous as acting out and vice versa. Having the thought startled me. But I knew what I needed to do, call another person in the program and talk about it. I needed to take the power away from it. And I needed to talk about why I was nervous and anxious to take the power away from that. By the time I got off the phone the idea had gone away and there was no longer an issue. It is great how the tools of the program work like that. The reality for me is that I need this program because I never know when something like that is going to hit me in the face again. But as long as I keep myself in check by using the tools that I have been given, I should be safe, one day at a time.

  7. What a reality check!

    I am doing well in recovery, changing attitudes, behavior, becoming teachable and learning to feel. My sponsor and therapist tell me I am changing tremendously. I feel like I am finally getting sober.

    Today I was in the bubble like no other day since this new sobriety has begun. I planned a trip to a massage parlor and arranged the unaccountable time to do so. As I was driving there, a new place I had never visited before, I kept repeating to myself that I was in a bubble. I knew the only way out was to make a call but I didn’t want to be talked out of my bubble.

    The place was on a busy street in a place I was not familiar with. I looked for the address and had trouble finding a parking place. Had I found one I was seconds from acting out. I would have.

    For some reason I drove away, a little afraid at how close I had come. I quickly made a few calls that weren’t answered but the key was that I made the calls. I then called my wife to let her know that I finished early and would be heading home. This took away my unaccountable time as I would now have a hard time explaining where I was. A friend called as I was driving home and listened as I told him the story.

    I made it out of the bubble but I am still not sure how or why. I do know this. My belief that I would never again act out was quickly shattered. I was brought to the realization that the addict in me lies doormat and can pop back at the most unexpected time. Unless I have built the foundation of recovery I do not stand a chance of escaping the bubble. Today I withdrew some of the savings I have put into my recovery bank account. I must remember that I need to keep making deposits or the day will come that there is nothing in the bank to withdraw and the escape from the bubble will not be possible.

    That’s my reality check for today. Hopefully the future reality checks will be different than this one and that I will always have enough in the recovery bank account to escape the bubbles that I now know will surface from time to time.

  8. Interesting. As I do often I just pick a month and the topic that comes up is what I share on and usually it has some relevance. Tonight the blog does not disappoint. Reality Check is good. When I first looked at it I did not quite get what it was trying to say, but now I think I get it. I can think about my disease and what my disease wants to do to me. My reality is that my disease wants me to act out. My disease wants me to be alone, act out, use drugs, be miserable, and eventually die. So how does it go about this. It works in very sneaky ways. It has me start to feel sorry for myself. It has me feel lonely and unappreciated. It has me feel overwhelmed. It lurks around when I am not watching and when my guard is down it will attack. So, I need to be there to not let it attack. I need to remember that if I start to feel lonely that I have my Higher Power to keep me company and I have the fellowship to reach out to. If I start to feel sorry for myself I need to do a gratitude list to remember that I have a hell of a lot to be grateful for and a great life. If I start to feel overwhelmed I need to slow things down and take them one step a time. I have the tools and I can use them to keep my disease at bay. I know the reality of my reality. And I know what I need to do on a daily basis to keep my reality at bay. One day at a time I am creating a new reality for me that is peaceful and serene. It takes work and I don’t always put in all the work that I need to and as a result I feel the difference. But I always know what I need to do when that happens. And when I put that work in, things turn around pretty quickly and I am where I need to be. So for today, I can keep my old reality at bay and work on putting my new reality on the path of my recovery.

  9. My reality tonight is that I am very very tired. I had a great day. Step work with two sponsees, my home group, and lunch with my new assistant and then dinner with my brother and his wife from out of town but now I am very tired since I have been on the go since 7:30 this morning and it is now after 1:00 am. Time for bed. But I wanted to check in and do my post because I am trying to get back on track with this commitment. Because that is my reality.

  10. The reality of it all can hit me hard when I least expect it. I know I have an illness. This is a fact. Sometimes in recovery I get to feeling comfortable and at ease with my recovery. It takes a jolt of reality to make it all come clear to me again.

    I am lucky to have a soul mate that has supported me in this addiction. She has actively been seeking her easement through COSA. This has made events around the home place a bit touchy and sometimes aggressive. I know this is all part of the healing process, both hers and mine. Our arguments seem to grow more commonplace and it gets frustrating for both of us. Just when I think that the situation is going out of control or damaging beyond any repair, it rights itself. After a particularly frustrating argument we went to bed. I couldn’t concentrate on going to sleep because of the stress related to the conversation we had had. I believed that damage was the result of our talk. Then the reality of it all hit me as she came into my room and said that she loved me. She said that, at least, we were talking about it. She gave me a meaningful smile and a kiss. Next time I will be there for our conversations again. I know it will help us both.

    I say to all of my brothers and sisters…. stay tuned to the reality of it all.

  11. I had an interesting reality check in the last 2 days. I found an old notebook that I had written over 20 years ago, at the height of my addiction. What a powerful insight it has given me. I had written down the misery and pain that I was experiencing, the pain I caused my friends and loved ones, the disasters I set myself up for every day. All of the nasty stuff was there, the impaired thinking, the lying, cheating, acting out – the bizarre risks I took every day. I didn’t see the truth of my life then…buy I see the miserable reality of it now. Thank God I can sense now a different path, a possibility of happiness and peace . The reality is – we are all fortunate that we have come to a place where we see the hopelessness and sorrow of the addictive life, and can ask our H.P to guide us to a better one. I am indeed thankful.

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