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November 27 • Gunking-up That Noise!

Day 506

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

That phrase is one I've used many times to explain actions I've taken as an employee or supervisor and to make excuses for why my affable personality often ended up on the short end of the stick when competing for a job or a thing. I never thought about it as a factor in my acting-out, but of course, it fits.

When I had the choice between being honest or telling a fib to protect my opportunities for physical pleasure — fantasy-based or very real options that the fantasies eventually empowered — I'd fib every time. This lying was not sometimes or usually; it was every time. Not big lies, but little ones, just enough to put some grease on the squeaky wheel, metaphorically or otherwise. My feelings, my emotions, my relationships, and my spirituality, got the leftovers.

I was a high-capacity performer, so the world didn't see it. Those leftovers were generally sufficient for completing the task, usually at the top of the class, so my freedom to live in my dark places was unobstructed.

Then I fell off the freaking cliff of stupidity and started searching for the air brakes. I looked first in the bottom of my liquor glasses, then started giving in to the noise of sexual fantasies with no regard for my safety or that of others. I longed to be gone, whatever that might look like.

The first time I attended a 12 Step meeting in my home town (six months after visiting one 500 miles away), I sat next to two empty chairs, one of which was soon filled by a troubled-looking man who introduced himself as Tom T. As the meeting ended, he turned to me with a look that penetrated my façade, and simply said,

"Keep coming back."

I was unfamiliar with that phrase and it hit me oddly and powerfully. He clearly meant it, and there were times over the next few weeks when that encouragement was the difference between me going to the meeting or going someplace else. Both of us are now more than 500 days sober and have become friends in our common struggles.

After six months of regularly attending 12 Step meetings and continuing to act-out, things started to change, and the loud callings began coming from places other than my sexual addiction, and I committed to trying something new — recovery.

Will I still be working this tomorrow? I don't know, but thanks to a little bit of grease from my Higher Power and people like Tom T., I will continue working it today.



Two years, and just like that

My head still takes me back

Thought it was done

But I guess it's never really over

–Katy Perry, ”Never Really Over"



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