Street sweeping & sex addiction

I passed my exam! I get to be an LMSW! That has definitely been one of the gifts of the addiction….but this post isn’t about how awesome life is…it’s about how I can , in the midst of D’s consistent sobriety & good changes in life, STILL be such an emotional wreck at times.

Changes/transitions are never easy for me. Even if the changes are good (graduating from my master’s program, opening up my practice, D being sober), change makes my insides wretch a little, which kickstarts my auto-pilot response of snooping, disconnecting from my body, restricting food, and generally feeling like I’m floating on the ceiling rather than living in my 33 year old grown woman’s body.

I know that I can’t cause, control, or cure the sex addiction. I’ve come to that conclusion through years of work & I’ve made peace (sort of) with it. However…

While I can’t manage or manipulate the “3 C’s” of addiction (cause, control, cure), I can definitely CONTRIBUTE to the CRAZY CHAOS that comes with CHANGE. I don’t want to add crazy or chaos to my home. I want to be able to maintain peace, serenity, my OWN sobriety, and keep my side of the street clean while allowing D to manage his.

That is a tall order.

I “notice” things as a partner of a sex addict that most people wouldn’t. Kind of like a 6th sense…a superpower of sorts….i can always tell if he hasn’t slept, hasn’t taken his meds, I can tell (without even thinking about it) when the lotion has been used, when the car has been driven, & when he is oh-so-slightly making sure his cell phone isn’t left around. This isn’t even me actively snooping- years of codependent behavior have left me more observant of clues in the house that “all is not well.”

Does this mean he’s acting out? Not necessarily- the lotion could be due to the incredibly dry weather, the car could have been driven for any number of reasons, it is not my job to manage his meds, & he could be guarding his cell phone b/c he knows that one of my “crazy-making behaviors” is snooping. Could he be acting out? That possibility must always be considered.

So what’s the point of this ramble? My point is that NO MATTER WHAT is going on on the other side of the street, my job is to focus on my self-care, give myself food, sleep, water, and friendships, pray and release my will to the care of God, pray for D, and to focus on one day at a time, one minute at a time, & not try to run across the street and try to manage what’s over there, because inevitably that does NOT end up working out.

I started the day by journaling (haven’t done that in awhile), laundry (same), & making sure i ate some food (it wasn’t very healthy, but it was something). For me, the ‘next right thing’ to do was get on this blog and start typing. The next right thing will be to pet my dogs, take a breath, thank God for my life, and figure out what the next right thing is.

And so the journey continues….thank you all for being part of this story, and hope your day is full of peace & serenity!

-B

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Katie
    Apr 26, 2013 @ 18:58:31

    The ‘next right thing’ and ‘one minute at a time’ has gotten me throught a lot. Thank you for sharing your story. It does me a lot of good to hear about. And congrats with all the GREAT changes in your life!! All those changes are bound to make a girl go ansy on their own. :)

    Reply

  2. PoSARC - Partners of Sex Addicts Resource Center
    Apr 27, 2013 @ 02:59:55

    Congratulations, DB!! You got licensed to be a therapist! That is awesome…I am so glad for you and for all the lucky people who will have the privilege of working with you- will you work with addiction?
    I love.the title of your piece here today– it’s excellent. What a great reminder that our job is to take care of OURSELVES no matter what our partner is doing (or we’re afraid he’s doing).

    I also love how you ‘own’ the difficulty in handling things going well. Yes. Amen. That is exactly what goes on around my house, too…there is vigilance when we know he’s under lots of stress because we know what that can mean, and then again when things are going smoothly, I get vigilant again because joy is a hard thing to handle….it might mean we’re actually worthy.
    I am seeing how easy it is to sabotage even small successes rather than dare to hope for well-being as a rather de-facto way of life. That might mean really owning our worthiness…what a concept, huh?

    Keep up all your keen self-awareness and one of these days we will have a big, healthy salad together and celebrate our victories….thanks to God.

    Many blessings, Lili

    Reply

    • dbiscuit
      Apr 29, 2013 @ 00:03:17

      Awww thanks Lili! Sooooo good to hear from you! Your message inspired me so i had a salad for lunch, though it would have been INFINITELY more fun if you were there too! I will definitely be working with addiction, though i think i will be referring anyone who comes in with sex addiction specifically. That topic hits soooooo close to home, and i fear i will have way too many countertransference issues. I think my primary specialization will be grief & loss, which i believe is the core of most (if not all) of the maladaptive behaviors that we see out there today!

      My heart was so relieved when you validated that even the “calm” can feel crazy. Worthiness is always a struggle for me, and reading your words helped calm me down a bit :) At least enough to get out and play today (went to a trampoline park which was a BLAST!)

      Hope you are well and that your work is being blessed. So glad you are out there in the world doing what you do.

      Reply

  3. Carl Landsdale
    May 31, 2013 @ 18:34:05

    Congratulations! A great accomplishment. My wife is also an LMSW. I feel fortunate that my wife and I have a very honest relationship today and that everything in our hearts and minds are on the table to share today. I can relate to noticing every little thing that could be wrong. I have found that I have something like hyper-sensitive antennas. I am hyper-sensitive to a lot of things. I have been traumatized and lied to so many times that it may just take a life time to undo it. Fortunately, like i mentioned in the beginning my wife and I (through professional help) have formed a relationship were everything is shared and we support each other. Usually, when my antennas are signaling like yours are they are telling me something. A lot of times the smallest thing can trigger feeling memories of traumas in my past. Or my wife may be doing something that I need to bring up a fear about. My wife has become a resource to help me unravel it. I had two types of recovery support at one time in my life. One would tell me I am codependant and that I need to just let go and stop. The other support would tell me to be open and share my concerns. I have found that there is nothing wrong with being open with my partner and a lot of time it has been my trauma in the way. Other times there were things going on that needed to be adressed and hiding from it wasn’t doing me any good. Thanks for the post! I wish you well.

    Reply

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