Tag Archives: obsession

Reality Check


I really pride myself on having a good brain and a strong intellect, so the most galling thing about addiction is that it’s in control of me. It doesn’t matter how smart I am, as the addiction controls my mind. I hate it. It’s humiliating how much I am able to trick myself to get an addictive hit.

I just had a rather sobering phone call with my sponsor, and I told her about my client. Well, she doesn’t know that I work part-time as an erotic masseuse, so I didn’t tell her how I met him. I had to fib, and say I met him in a café. Yes, I know it’s not great to lie to your sponsor, but I am not ready to open up to her about that part of my life, and I don’t know if I ever will be.

Today we’ve been emailing and texting back and forth non-stop. Again, nothing sleazy – mainly about our tastes in music. And, damn, he has good taste in music. But still…..all these emails and texts. It’s so fucking intense. It’s exhilarating, and intoxicating. This cannot be a good thing. Already I feel myself getting obsessed with him. When he doesn’t respond to a text or email within ten minutes, I sit there waiting all impatiently, not being able to concentrate on anything else.

I asked my sponsor if she thought that all the contact we’ve had today seemed too intense, and she said that if I have to ask that question I probably already know the answer. Hmmm.

God, why am I so dumb? How is it possible that every time there’s a horrible disaster after I’ve rushed into getting involved with a man I tell myself I’ll be more cautious the next time….but then I go and do the same fucking thing again.

It’s just so hard to take things slowly. I am so lonely, and I desperately want to have a meaningful connection with somebody.

Thankfully I’m leaving tomorrow morning to go visit a friend in a different state, so there won’t be so many opportunities for contacting this guy.

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Tongue


Call my name, here I come

Your last ditch lay, will I never learn?

Caramel turn on a dusty apology

It crawls all over me, you turn all over

It pains me, please just leave it

For four months I never once saw the Arab despite the fact that we work at the same company. This was fine by me, as I had decided he was a cheap sleazebag. Then I accidentally saw him while out running one day, and I was reminded of just how attractive he is, and I plunged into romantic and sexual obsession.

And, then, all of a sudden, he was everywhere. I saw him at work on Monday and I also ran into him in the supermarket on Wednesday! I was sick, and running a fever, and was standing in the wine section, trying to decide whether it was a stupid idea to buy a Malbec given that I couldn’t smell or taste anything. And then, all of a sudden, the only thing in front of me was a sea of red. My reactions were kinda delayed since I was sick, so it took me a few seconds to figure out that somebody had shoved their red shopping basket in my line of vision.

Yeah, it was the Arab, and he was on his cell phone, and before he turned the corner into the next aisle, he kinda slightly stuck his tongue out at me in an “aren’t-i-a-cheeky-chappy” kinda way. I have no idea if you can even visualize what I mean by that, but it was fucking annoying. Because, uh, no, you’re not a “cheeky chappy”, Mr. Arab. You’re an absolute wank. We were supposed to be going out on a date this week, and yet you didn’t get in touch to finalize anything, which is actually fine, since it’s pretty clear that we don’t have similar values. But, c’mon, when you blow a lady off, you sure as hell do not come up to her in the supermarket and stick your shopping basket in her face!!

Ugh, sleaze bag Mr. Arab: keep your tongue firmly in your mouth where it belongs, and just be glad I don’t have a gun like Thelma and Louise here:

But, you know, let me not waste another second writing about this guy. He’s not worth it. The obsession is over.

Black & White


catsThe more I learn about addiction, the more I learn that behaviours I thought were unique to me are quintessential addict behaviours. “Black or white” thinking or “all or nothing” thinking would be a perfect example here.

Between the ages of maybe fourteen and twenty-one, I suffered intermittently from bulimia. It started, I think, as a way to deal with living with my extremely controlling and verbally abusive mother. She knew I had a problem, by the way, but did absolutely nothing to help. I would binge in secret when she went to bed, but she soon noticed that the snack cupboard was running low. One of the few times she ever really acknowledged my bulimia was to announce in a disgusted tone one evening that “I’m off to bed now, and you’d better not be stuffing your fucking face”.

My bulimia was particularly bad when I was twenty/twenty-one and was having a “year out” from university in France. I can still remember the utter torture and self-hatred I experienced during that time because I was so obsessed with food. I wasn’t overweight at all, but I wanted to lose ten pounds for some reason, and with typical bulimic logic I decided that a normal diet was not for me. I thought I was too fat to wait to lose weight by dieting normally. My bright spark idea was to starve myself completely for one whole week and then – only then! – would I allow myself to diet normally. Of course the one-week starvation never happened. What happened instead is that every night I would promise myself that tomorrow (oh, tomorrow!) would be the first day of The Big Starvation, but I would be lucky if I made it to noon the next day before I broke my vow. My poor body was so undernourished and my poor brain so obsessed with food that I would gorge myself on whatever I could find – usually high-calorie, simple carb foods because my body badly needed the energy. And then, of course, I would make myself puke and utterly hate myself.

This pattern went on for God knows how long. I never cease to be amazed by just how fucking long I am able to cling to a terrible, terrible idea that is clearly not working. You’d have thought I might have cottoned on earlier that the Big Starvation wasn’t really the way to go, but oh no – I kept on trying to starve myself, and feeling like a pathetic failure when I couldn’t.

I never sought any medical help for what I was going through. In fact, I didn’t really realize that I was bulimic until years later. I thought that my problem was just a lack of willpower. One day, however, I’d finally had enough. I’ve always been a feminist, and I began to realize just how much of my beautiful woman’s brain and energy were being consumed by thoughts of food, weight and body image issues. I would be returning to the “Motherland” soon, and going in to my third year of university, and I knew that I’d never be able to study and achieve all my goals if my life revolved around food.

It was incredibly hard at first, but I made myself sit down every day and have three healthy, filling meals. My body and brain were soon properly nourished again, and all my cravings for simple carbs disappeared. I hesitate to say that I was “cured” of bulimia, as I believe that I probably now suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, but I now never diet; I just listen to what my body needs and I never deprive it of anything. If I want chocolate, hell, I’m going to have some. Everything in moderation! As long as I exercise regularly, I can keep all food obsessions away.

Since I have such a chequered history with setting rules for myself that I can never live up to, I must admit that I am a little nervous about my SLAA “bottom lines“. When I broke some of my bottom lines last week when I flirted with The Arab, there was a part of me that said: “Ha! See, SLAA: you can’t tell me what to do!”. I have an urge to rebel against any goals I set for myself no matter how good for me they might be.

Many of the women in SLAA have taken up to two years off from dating, and it is definitely recommended that you have a period of abstinence when you first start the program. I do agree that I shouldn’t be in a relationship right now, but, really, no dating at all this year? I’m scared that by telling myself that I can’t date that I’ll just go ahead and do it anyway. Maybe that’s what this thing with the Arab is all about? Would it really be so wrong of me to go on an occasional date with somebody to learn how to have good boundaries and not rush into a relationship all guns a blazin’?

It’s hard to know. It’s also possible that my desire to “socialize” myself with healthy dating is really just the addict in me using a lot of clever reasoning to justify still being around men.

Handing It Over


letgoThe good thing about getting older is that I’ve learned what my bad patterns and habits are. Unfortunately, there is a huge difference between knowing what they are, and knowing how to stay the fuck away from people/situations that trigger my patterns and habits.

This is just a fancier way of saying that I will still be going on a date with the Arab (which is not good) but I’ve more or less stopped obsessing about him constantly (which is good). When I start to obsess about him, I know I’m doing it, and I’m able to get outside my head a little and observe the obsession, and ask myself what it means.

The only downside to this is that I then start to obsess about the fact that I’m obsessing, if that makes sense. I’ll catch myself obsessing, and then I’ll try to think and analyze my way out of it. For most situations in life, I would say that intelligence and intellect come in handy, but I’ve learned the hard way that both these attributes are utterly fucking useless when it comes to addiction and obsession. You absolutely cannot think yourself better.

A few days ago I found myself on my meditation cushion obsessing about the Arab; and then I found myself obsessing about the obsession, beating myself up for not being able to control my thoughts better. I was disconsolate, but then I decided to ask God/My Higher Power/the Universe – whatever the hell you want to call it – to take this obsession away. I actually spoke the words out loud. There wasn’t a huge flash of lightening, and the obsessive thoughts in my head didn’t – poof! – disappear to be replaced for evermore by serene, happy ones. But my thoughts did quieten down considerably.

This is what people mean by “letting go”, I guess, and by “handing it over to your Higher Power”. Before I truly understood what “handing it over” meant, I always thought it was a bit of a cop-out really. It seemed to me to be just an excuse for bad behaviour, a way not to take responsibility for yourself. I still think that sometimes but, honestly, I’ve reached a point where I don’t really fucking care about the million and one intellectual arguments I could come up with against the concept of “handing it over”. I’ve reached rock bottom, and I have no option but to try it.

The interesting thing about the situation with the Arab is that I’ve spiralled in and out of obsession with him for about three months now. There was a time when I’d come into work, and I’d be literally holding my breath as I logged into my computer to see whether he’d chatted me yet. If I did receive a chat message from him, I would then spend ages agonizing over what would be an appropriate amount of time to wait before chatting back. At a certain point, however, I lost interest in him, and the obsession disappeared. The fact that it has ebbed and waned has taught me that it is not fucking real. I am not genuinely interested in him as a person.

What is it then that I get out of these obsessions? It’s hard to say exactly but I guess I use certain men the way alcoholics use booze – to forget about the present moment. Most of the strongest obsessions I’ve had have been with men who have something about them that hints at adventure and excitement  – something that allows me to escape from the humdrum drudgery of my daily life.  I wasn’t obsessed with MM because, well, it’s hard to get lost in a fantasy about somebody where you are whisked off to the…..Midwest. But, well, the Arab….I see myself flying myself flying across the Sahara with him on horseback, his dark eyes flashing in the sunlight.

Keep in mind that the dude, like me, works in a fucking cubicle, but that little inconvenient fact doesn’t get in the way of my obsessive thoughts. Poor guy. When I think about how much I’ve built him up and how much he’s going to disappoint me when we finally meet, I actually feel sorry for him.

It makes me sad that I am not able to connect with men (or at least those men who are potential love interests) as real human beings. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to have a committed, honest, open relationship?

I don’t know the answer to that question. All I know is that right now I am going to meditate for thirty minutes and put all such thoughts out of my head.