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September 22 • Stinkin' Thinkin'

Day 806

Progress is real. I know it is; I'm betting my life on it. But it is not perfect.

Somedays, I still feel like a fake, a deceiver, a hypocrite, and a waste of a carbon footprint. I do not linger on it like I used to, but those feelings can still knock me off-center at the strangest times and in the strangest ways.

The most significant progress is that I can see this contrast between where I thought I was yesterday and where I find myself today. I can feel it; I can even own it without taking it out on others (too much) or sinking into a pit of depression about my unworthiness.

I just realized another side of this: I'm not near as concerned with finding 'fake' do-gooder activities that I must have run to in the past to protect my image and salve my soul.

I am unwilling to throw every good thing I've done under the bus by questioning my motivations in those individual moments. I was never as bad a person as I thought and feared I was, just like I was never as good a person as I wanted people to think I was. Some of that is just human, but each emotion's extremes are products of my behaviors, my addiction(s), and my spiritual weakness at any given time.

Feeling this today, and thinking it through, is not bringing me down like I thought it would when I first recognized the shame monster creeping up on me. I didn't want to write about this because it seems even more fake — or possibly manic-depressive — to spend a few days in this space sharing about my progress, just to turn around and remind the universe that I'm still a damn sex addict. But I think I'm learning that if it is not part of people's 'normal' life experiences in general, it certainly is common to the broken among us, especially those suffering from mental diseases or brains that still struggle to find balance.

Part of the problem is that I still want to rage against the night. I want to beat my addict into submission and forcefully kick him the hell out of my life. I haven't heard a lot of success stories about people who have played that fight-game approach long-term. We all do it, and I doubt that very many people ever stop doing it entirely, but the experience, strength, and hope of the program is that it is more important to release these into the trust of my Higher Power than to continue kicking against goads.

So today's journal entry is about letting go of the guilt (which is real) and the shame (which is self-destructive). I'll not deny either, but neither will I give into them. Today is not a great day, and the prospects for getting better are not reassuring, but it's still so much better than it could be, and so much better than it is for so many other people. Some days, that is enough.

I am blessed, even when I'm reminded that I'm an addict in recovery. Maybe especially then.



Everything stays down where it's wounded

And comes to a permanent stop

Wasn't thinking of anything specific

Like in a dream, when someone wakes up and screams

Nothing too very scientific

Just thinking of a series of dreams

–Bob Dylan, “Series of Dreams"



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