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June 12 • Uncomfortabling

Day 704 My whole addictive life, I have sought activities and arenas that would bring me comfort. It seems to me that bringing happiness to my family and my life is a reasonable priority. For most people, it probably is. And maybe I'm confusing comfort with happiness; I've certainly confused comfort with more than my share of snickerdoodles, so it's not that far of a leap. My inability to find comfort in safe places is well-documented. If I were good at that, I wouldn't be writing a journal about my sexual addiction. I spent most of my school years paranoid about what most people thought of me, so I propped-up the goody-two-shoes persona that I could control and soldiered on. In church, I figured my image as the 'good' preacher's kid would serve me well, so I kept that mask on during the day and did what I did during the night. I must have presumed that if it was good enough for the church's eyes, then it must be good enough for God's eyes, and I was comfortable with that despite my shadows. As a husband and a father, my comfort came from everyone thinking that I was a good husband and father. Not being one, necessarily, or at least not primarily. Then I lost my mind and let my fantasies become realities with some pathetic idea that I was finally finding the world that brought me real comfort. To the degree that nothing else mattered but feeding that pleasure meter, perhaps it was true. I became comfortable with the idea that my world was about to blow up, and all I would have left was the wanton life of a broken addict, and I somehow found comfort in that. Now I am in recovery, and my view of being comfortable is changing radically, day by day. My search for comfort in dangerous places and safe places has not provided me the smooth road to walk through life that I expected, and to which I thought I was entitled. Writing this journal every day is uncomfortable. I don't have time to do it, I don't always have the energy to do it, and I struggle mightily with the idea that it's accomplishing anything that justifies the effort. Going to meetings makes me uncomfortable because I never know what buttons are going to get pushed, and I have little control over how things go there, short of leaving or disconnecting my Zoom. And working the 12-Steps makes me uncomfortable as hell. For one thing, there's no freaking instruction book that I can use to measure my work against some sort of best practice matrices. And it's the reality that hits me when I face my defects and hurtful histories that really screws with my comfort. But here I am, another day and another bother on the road to being a grateful recovering sex addict. It almost seems as if I'm getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. I guess I can accept that, at least for today. –JR

June 12 • Uncomfortabling
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