It's a rainy Easter Sunday here. The rain over the past few days has brought out every new leaf, turning the landscape into a thousand hues of green. And it has washed away the pine and oak pollen that was coating everything yellow. All seems refreshed. And that is what I love about this time of year in the Lowcountry. It is green and lush and covered with flowers.
Last time I wrote here about getting a new sponsee. That lasted about two weeks when he decided that he could deal with all of his problems on his own. It turns out that he is a recovering alcoholic which is okay because certainly most alcoholics are qualified to be in Al-Anon. Who hasn't been affected by someone else's drinking? Not many people that I know.
Anyway, what I want to write about here is problems other than alcohol that seem to plague many who are in recovery. Once the drinking stops, other addictions can be a substitute, such as gambling, eating, or sex. He happened to be using the latter.
He told me that he had 13th stepped several women in AA. Then when he was married, he stopped doing that. But over the last two years, he was finding himself more and more into on line chats and sexting. Needless to say, this brought about more problems in his marriage to an alcoholic. His wife asked him to move out. And he thought that having a sponsor in Al-Anon would help him with his marriage and in dealing with an alcoholic spouse.
I know that I can't help someone who has an issue outside of Al-Anon. I suggested that he find a 12 step group that could address his sex addiction. That wasn't something that he wanted to do because he was still focusing on his wife's drinking. It was a convoluted situation for sure. And one that I could not help rectify.
I know from my own experience that getting honest with yourself, admitting that you are wrong and making amends can be so powerful. So many things that we do in our lives hurt others, cause them to lose trust, and drive people away. I hope this fellow gets at the root of what drives him to make bad decisions.
"Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you are addicted to — alcohol, food, legal or illegal drugs, or a person — you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain. That is why, after the initial euphoria has passed, there is so much unhappiness, so much pain in intimate relationships. They do not cause pain and unhappiness. They bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already in you. Every addiction does that. Every addiction reaches a point where it does not work for you anymore, and then you feel the pain more intensely than ever." ~Eckhart Tolle