Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chat


Days, months, years of my life have been spent with a tumbler full of red wine at one hand, mouse in the other. Pretending the wine gave me permission to go back to that chat room. To loose myself in crapulous lust. To feel desire and to be desired. It was like a drug, hooks deep into me, impossible to get away from. Unable to stop. Depression, self-hatred, spiteful shame, whirling with self pity. Having promised to stop after being caught out, knowing it had the power to destroy my marriage, I would not, could not, stop.

I spent just about every evening in my den. The door open so sounds of footsteps coming down the hall would be noticeable. Extra programs running, ready to flip to, if someone were to enter in. URL's memorized, adept at erasing my tracks. Installed a second operating system on the computer where I could store stuff, away from prying eyes. I had become a liar, a thief, a man inside a shell, not letting anyone know me.

In the room next to mine, a real live breathing human being. Someone who loved me and cared for me. We had stood in a church, many years ago, making deep, heart felt, promises. She wanted our lives to be intertwined. That dream was long gone. Shredded by me. I knew who I was, and hated myself. I knew she would hate me if she really knew who I was. I could not accept that she could love me. I kept her away from me. I was cold.

I wanted that artificial world, where I could be someone I wasn't. I wasn't fearful in chat. I could be Mr. Pretend. I couldn't see I had become the same in the real world. Time went on and it got worse and worse. As the amount I drank increase, the amount I spent in front of that glowing screen increased. Always had an excuse or a reason. All of it bull.

Near the end, it had lost all of it's power to excite but I could not stay away. I ended up in a strange place, trying to ride a wave of desire that ran for hours. Hard to explain. I was deeply depressed. Tired of me. Tired of having to have a drink, tired of having to porn. I wanted darkness, warm and empty. The comfort of nothing.

Then God could and would if he were sought. God was waiting for just the right opportunity.

I did a sex inventory as part of my fourth and fifth step. I came to realize that during this period of my life I felt so very alone in my self imposed exile. I needed connection and acceptance. Since I could not allow myself to connect with my partner, I had become a ghost on the 'net and find acceptance that way. The biggest rush came when someone displayed interested in me. That acknowledgement that I was a worthwhile person became important. I could feel happy for days on connecting with someone new. That it was all based on bullshit, didn't bother me, I had enough pain in my life I would settle for anything. Would refuse to see the new pain that I was bringing upon others and myself.

This journey of recovery has taken me a long way. A new relationship with a higher power that is full of grace, compassion, love and patience. Restored relationship with my life partner, being able to be honest and open with her, just being with her. New relationships with my children. A much healthier relationship with self. The ability to form healthy relationships with all human beings, where my own needs are not front and centre.

A daily reprieve. When my feelings start to overwhelm me most often it's not to red wine that my mind goes first, it's to the 'net. A big open bar, right at my finger tips. A constant danger. I do not have the obsession to drink, porn, or chat. The yearnings are rare. The 'net as become a place where I can write and read about recovery. To meet folk that want to become healthy. A world I didn't know existed.


Photo Credit: Lauren Kofler

11 comments:

Shadow said...

interpretation. as with most things, it's how we, interpret it. the net can be help or hell, a glass of wine social or an escape, a meal food or comfort. etc. etc. etc. i'm glad to see your interpretation has changed! very glad!

steveroni said...

I never went to a chat room...would not know where to begin--please, no! Don't tell me! -grin- Glad you've got that stuff 'licked' Henk...at least one day at a time, "contingent on the MAINTENANCE of my spiritual condition."

But I did the 'picture scene', and it got old...fast. Pictures have not the warmth, the suppleness, of bare skin.

Hey, I'd better stop this right NOW!

On to the next blog--and comment!

Cat said...

Amazing. I escaped to gaming life the more my husband drank and became a full blown drunk the more I left my real life and pretended that my world was fine. I would do nothing but work and play games and sleep, very little. Rinse, repeat the next 24 hour period.

I was a gaming queen. I was invincible in a game, I hooked up the audio features so I could compete in combat against other gamers all over the world and I was pretty bad ass - doing in my fake life what I wanted to do in my real life.

You make me look at me differently. Perhaps I should write about it. maybe I will.

Thank you for posting this, it must have been difficult but I am glad you did.

Cat

Kathy Lynne said...

What a beautiful post on your
1001st day.

Lou said...

I don't know this obsession you describe, but your writing made it very real for me. Maybe it is like in former days, one would go to a bar and talk to strangers. You could be anybody you wanted in the dim, smoky bar.
Anyway, you did a very good job explaining the feelings that took you there. Like all things, the computer is another lesson in moderation.

big Jenn said...

I appreciate you honesty.The internet is a world I am pretty unfamiliar with really. Blogging is the first thing I've really spent any time on the computer for.I'm curios if blogging is a trigger for you. Kind of like being in a bar for alcoholics say. Is it?jeNN

PRAYER GIRL said...

Powerful stuff, Indistinct. Thanks for your honesty. I see how the obsession and compulsion to drink and the obsession and compulsion to fill that empty place inside via the net are similar in some ways.

Thank God that He is able to deliver us from our powerless, pitiful state of mind, body and soul.

Thank God for Alcoholics Anonymous. You are a beacon of hope to others who suffer. Thanks for blogging this piece of your story.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I really appreciate the way you've transformed something painful into something positive. Thanks so much for sharing.

indistinct said...

Hi Big Jenn,

No, blogging isn't a trigger for me. When I got out of treatment I was worried about being on computers and the net since they form a large part of my work. I was very cautious in the beginning, and as time goes by, it got easier and easier. I am still wary of this place, I know it could suck me in but I imagine it's that same as for people who work in the service industry around open bars and they can still maintain thier sobriety.

ODAAT

Sophie in the Moonlight said...

Henk,

My husband was the man in the den, too. I can picture you so clearly during that distant and hopeless time in your life, b/c I've seen it.

I'm just proud of both of you for coming out of the den and joining those who truly love you and opening yourself to true relationships in the world around you.

I'm grateful for your beautiful voice and, as always, your sharing. Thank you.

Laura said...

A very honest and very accurate description of this other life some of us have been part of.

Thank you, Henk, and I'm so glad for you and your family that you are intertwined with them and not those "counterfeit relationships".

Laura