top of page

September 25 • A Price to Pay

Day 443

In recovery, even when we are not acting out, we are still at risk of the consequences of our past behaviors. Denial helps suppress the fear of surprises from the past, but it doesn't prevent those surprises from happening.

This truism all came crashing down on me this past week when a long-delayed blood test indicated I did not escape as cleanly as I thought. After days of wallowing in the shame of it and spending hours researching the details, it appears that I may — or may not — have been infected for many years with an STD. And if I am, it may be because of what I did, or through no fault of my own.

I am also in a group where false positives are common, so I have to spend several hundred dollars more on a confirmation test that will still not answer all the questions. And then comes sharing this news, this new reality, with my wife. Coming to terms with what I've exposed her to, even if it turns out that I'm not infected, has given rise to a whole new level of shame. So, after all the fretting and self-hating, all I have is another gut-check for the risks I took and the vile things I've done.

My counselor helped me see some good news in this; I did not use it as an excuse to act out, drink, or even get lost in fantasies. There was a time when I would have run into the clouds of isolation and excuses for another chance to ease my pain. That is not an insignificant observation.

Is my brain truly processing pressure and sadness in a new way, a more healthy way? It would seem the work is paying off. It doesn't help me escape the realities of what I've done, but it is helping me survive them, at least for today.



You're as cold as ice

You're willing to sacrifice our love

You want paradise

But someday you'll pay the price, I know

–Foreigner, ”Cold As Ice"



bottom of page