Since journalling yesterday I’ve felt a bit flat. I can think of a number of reasons why. I was meant to have a date yesterday evening, with Moshe, the lovely Israeli guy I met last weekend. Unfortunately my phone didn’t seem to be working, and none of his messages came through until late in the evening, which meant that I didn’t get to see him in the end. He was too busy to meet today, hence I’ve spent the whole weekend wondering what could have been.
I tried walking across Hyde Park this afternoon to cheer myself up, but it didn’t really work. I went to an SAA meeting in the evening, which was pretty good, and I felt lifted for a while, but not entirely. When I got home Ethan told me that a house meeting is going to be called this week, so that the three of us can ‘get things off our chest and into the open’. Great. All evening I’ve been worried about what those two could possibly have to get off their chests. I can’t think of anything I need to get off mine – anything reasonable, that is. I could admit to Robert how irritating and false I find him sometimes, but I know that would be entirely inappropriate, and more of a reflection of my character defects than his.
They’re down there now watching the BAFTAs; after Ethan’s announcement I didn’t really feel like joining them so I came up here to get on with some step work. I need to get the steps done as quickly as I can now: I’m tired of being spiritually sick. My sponsor gave me a list of questions to answer for step one, and I impressively managed to answer all twenty-nine of them tonight. They included questions such as: have you ever experienced the phenomenon of craving after acting out? Do you believe that one day you could overcome your addiction using willpower alone? Do you believe you are a true sex addict?
As far as I know I answered all the questions correctly, and at the end of it I was able to say unequivocally that I am a sex addict. It wasn’t easy to answer some of those questions. I had to go into quite a lot of detail about my sexual history, and I think it made me realise clearly for the first time how fucking awful this addiction is. The truth is not as simple as saying ‘I am a sex addict’ – it’s more like ‘I am an anorexic sex addict’, if that makes any sense. All my life I’ve used dangerous casual sex, attachments to unavailable men and compulsive masturbation to avoid true intimacy. The core of my illness is anorexia, I am absolutely convinced of that now.
I look forward to doing the rest of the steps, to seeing some kind of improvement in the situation. To be honest I’m not 100% convinced I’ll ever have a healthy sex life, but as I have to keep reminding myself, a year ago I was convinced I’d never have a job, and now look at me.
All of this leaves my core nature as an addict in a very tricky place. I don’t have alcohol or sex any more; that leaves spending and sugar, two things I have equally struggled with over the years. At the moment sugar is particularly high on my list of things to think about, though while I am trying to work the steps in SAA I don’t feel I have the energy to deal with that part of the addiction as well. I bought a pack of sugary biscuits from the supermarket on the way home tonight and I’ve already eaten half of them. I’m starting to think that this kind of binge eating is another mask for anorexia, much like the sex stuff is. I don’t really like normal, healthy food – I’d much rather tuck into a sugar-saturated cake than spend hours in the kitchen preparing something that’s actually good for me. Since I was very young I have avoided every kind of healthy thing, whether it be good food, socialising with peers, learning about the world. In recovery I am trying to do all these things for the first time. The scale of the changes that have taken place in the last two years are almost indescribable. And I know there are yet more changes to come, and of course I’m scared, because deep down I don’t really believe I’m capable of changing any more. But I want to keep going, I want to get well. Who doesn’t?