Sober for the Next Ten Seconds
Two days ago I was feeling totally filled up with lust. I was downtown all afternoon with some stuff to do and a lot of waiting in between. I made the mistake of wandering into a book store to pass the time. I was on guard against the magazine racks, but the regular best-seller sections had a couple of books with some very triggering pictures on the cover. I did catch myself and get out of the book store after a couple of minutes.
Later on I took the subway home, and couldn't stop staring at a particular lady. What got me most was that she was modestly dressed, "so it's not so bad!". That sick rationalization again.
I made a bunch of calls, but still felt full of lust. Later that night I had a dream that I was about to act out and the thought entered my mind, "If I keep this up, I'll lose my sobriety." So, I stopped.
I woke up glad that my recovery was apparently strong enough to leak into my dream, and glad that nothing happened. But I still felt full of lust and all through the morning I felt like acting out. I made calls to program friends to share my frustrations, which helped a little. But a short while later I felt like acting out. I needed to go to the bathroom at one point and felt determined to act out. Meanwhile I said to my Higher Power, "Please keep me sober for just 10 seconds." I counted down the 10 seconds so I could act out afterwards. I managed to start the count again. After the second time I had finished relieving myself and told myself it was time to get out of the bathroom.
I still felt like acting out. I interrupted my morning schedule to write a fear and gratitude list, and I called someone and shared it with him. It helped, but I still felt like acting out again soon afterwards.
All together I made 8 calls and 6 people answered and talked with me for some time. As long as I kept feeling like acting out, I kept making more calls. I felt so determined to act out. The sixth person I reached was most helpful. I started to ramble on, "Well, this feeling started last night-so what happened then?" There's a recovery slogan, "don't look where you FELL, look where you SLIPPED." I told him about my afternoon downtown. He shared with me, "I also have trouble being downtown. It's not so much the immodestly clad women as much as the whole atmosphere-people just sitting around eating in nice cafes, smiling and laughing and having fun--carefree. And then I look at my life full of so much stress and so many problems and think, 'why can't I be like that, too?'" I identified completely. With that, I felt the lust was taken away and I had a reprieve for a few hours.
Then, it came back. I was facing this job and I was all worried about whether I could do it or not. Fear was killing me, and making me want to act out. But then, I managed to sit down and get to work; the job actually went smoothly-it was nothing like I had feared. I think my financial situation in general is another thing I have to work on surrendering to my Higher Power.
Today, thank God, I feel that I have a reprieve.