Why My Sixth Anniversary With My Partner Is A Major Achievement…

Today is my sixth anniversary with my partner Chris, which frankly I feel is a major achievement to say the least. Given my heavily addictive past, I was never able to last beyond the honeymoon phase of any relationship before I was off and running into the arms of another potential suitor.

But thankfully, my 12 Step recovery work helped to change that and has led to me remaining 100% monogamous with my partner, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, throughout each one of the years I’ve been with him.

Regrettably, I can’t say that was true with any of my prior relationships though, because in each of them, once the newness wore off, I’d eventually fall prey at some point to things like pornography, phone sex, cybersex, and heavy flirtatious intrigue with someone else I was attracted to. And regularly engaging in any of them simply led to me leaving those relationships for another.

But beyond my addictive past, there’s another reason why I think it’s a major achievement that I’m celebrating six years with my partner. What that deals with is the reality that monogamy is rapidly becoming not the norm for far too many people in the world nowadays. Rather, there seems to be married men to women who are sleeping with men on the side, partners swinging with other partners, open relationships where both have abilities to occasionally have sex with others, and so on and so forth. Yet, there’s also another unfortunately reality in the culture I live in when it comes to monogamy, as I find that most gay men just don’t seem to know how to remain monogamous in the long term with each other.

While I do know of a few gay couples who have been monogamous for more than ten or even twenty years together, I find most others simply either don’t know how to or want to. In fact, there are many events these days that male gay couples go together to, where once there, they “play” with others who aren’t their partners. It’s simply considered to be acceptable “playtime”. Anytime I asked why they can’t remain monogamous with each other, the general consensus is that it’s just sex and not love, and that the sex grew old after time with their partner. Yet, somehow, playing with someone else kept things “fresh” between them. Unfortunately, I think this is one of the very reasons why so many in our world have developed prejudice towards the gay culture because it often looks to them like gays can’t keep “it in their pants”. Sadly, I was once one of those very people who lived like this and set a poor example.

I’m just glad I eventually realized I had an addiction in the sex and love department and sought recovery for it, because once I did, it not only helped me to stop all those toxic behaviors that always led me away from living monogamously, it also allowed God to bring Chris into my life.

I honestly do believe that relationships can grow closer over time, as the years progress, like I feel mine has with Chris, even in the intimate department. But I think that involves remaining faithful mind, body, and soul to each other, and also living by a Higher Guidance, instead of to one’s own self-will, ego, and lust-based desires, like I once did.

So, as Chris and I celebrate our sixth anniversary today and begin our seventh year together, I am truly blessed to see that 12 Step Recovery and a life of faith and devotion to God does work to keep two people together monogamously, even two gay men…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Silly Joke Friday

There once was a man who lived with a terrible passion for baked beans. He loved them so much, but they always had an embarrassing and somewhat lively reaction on him.

One day he met a woman and fell in love. When it became apparent that they would marry, he thought to himself, she’ll never go through with the marriage with me carrying on like this, so he made the supreme sacrifice and gave up beans. Soon after, they got married.

A few months later, on his way home from work one day, his car broke down a few miles from his house. He called his wife to let her know and she suggested he walk the remainder for a little exercise because she was really busy preparing dinner. He agreed and just as he got on his way, he passed by a small café and the wonderful aroma of baked beans emanating from it. Since he still had those couple of miles to go before he reached his home, he figured he would be able to walk off any ill effects that might occur if he quickly stopped in to have a little of his favorite food. Three extra-large helpings later, he was back on his way home, and, just as he thought, it was filled with one fart after another. But, by the time he arrived at his front door, he felt reasonably safe that he had gotten it all out of him.

His wife met him there and seemed somewhat excited to see him. She exclaimed, “Darling, I have the most wonderful surprise for you for dinner tonight!” She then put a blindfold on him and led him to his chair at the head of the table and made him promise not to peek.

At this point he unfortunately was beginning to feel another fart coming on. Just as his wife was about to remove the blindfold, the telephone thankfully rang. She again made him promise not to peek until she returned, and away she went into another room to answer the phone. While she was gone, he quickly seized the opportunity by shifting his weight to one leg and letting it go. It was not only loud, but ripe as a rotten egg, causing him to have a hard time breathing for a moment, so he felt for his napkin and fanned the air about him.

He started to feel better again when suddenly another urge to fart came on. He raised his leg again and let it rip. This time it sounded like a diesel engine revving and smelling even worse than the last one. To keep himself from having to inhale it, he tried fanning his hands and arms around a bit, hoping the smell would dissipate better than how the napkin had fared for him. But in the midst of doing that, the last one he’d emit came out of him and it was a real blue-ribbon winner. It was so loud that even the table shook and so foul-smelling that he actually started gagging. He did everything he could to dispel the smell away from the room.

Thankfully, a few minutes passed before his wife’s phone call ended, which by then the toxic air seemed to have returned back to normal. Still blindfolded, but now smiling, because she hadn’t discovered his worst trait, he felt thoroughly relieved. When she re-entered the dining room and asked him if he had peeked at the dinner table, he reassured her he had not. Then, upon removing the blindfold, she exclaimed, “SURPRISE!”

There, to his shock and horror, seated around the table were twelve very unhappy, frowning dinner guests, each of them being his dearest friends, who were all there for his 40th surprise birthday party…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

Thought For The Day

“People who love themselves, don’t hurt other people. The more we hate ourselves, the more we want others to suffer.” (Dan Pearce)

AND

“If you were hurt by people you trusted, you do not heal by mistrusting everyone. Nor will you heal by wishing them harm. To do so is to punish your own soul with their act of betrayal. You cannot allow what they did to you to determine the direction of your life.” (Dodinksy)

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson

“Hurt People Hurt People…”

“Hurt people hurt people” is one of those silly phrases I was told long ago in the rooms of recovery, but I never quite understood what it meant until I let go of a life of resentment and saw all the damage I had done to others.

When a person is angry and lives with resentments more than not, they definitely are hurting inside and usually can’t see beyond it. They are kind of like a wild animal as well, who regularly lashes out at everyone around them, especially those who are close and try to help.

For years, I was that type of person, living with so many resentments, like towards my parents, or the guy who molested when I was a kid, or the bullies that dominated me in grammar school, or even towards all the people who seemed like they were far happier in life than I.

You see, hurt people don’t like seeing others happy or even content in life, because they aren’t happy or content inside. This in turn generally causes them to try to make those who are happy and content totally miserable, because if they succeed, then they won’t have to see anymore the very thing that’s lacking in them, that being happiness.

To accomplish this, hurt people hurt people by pointing out the flaws and imperfections of others, by giving people guilt trips, by living in self-made pity parties that tend to make plenty feel sad and sorrowful for them, and even at times by cutting off contact to the very people who love and care about them, almost as a way to punish them, sometimes with the hopes that it will drive the other person to do more to show they care. Unfortunately, if they succeed in any of these negative tactics, and the person they hurt becomes hurt as well, they tend to only push them away and never even own the damage they are causing and just move on to doing it to someone else.

That was me…for far too long.

I despised seeing people happy in life, especially during all my addiction-laden years, because I wasn’t happy inside and was carrying around so much anger and hatred towards the world for what I felt it had done to me or from what it had that I didn’t. I rarely fully forgave anyone and resentment became my best friend. It kept people away from growing close to me and in turn, only left me in a perpetual state of being hurt, doing the very same lashing out behaviors over and over again.

To escape this vicious cycle, I had to leave my past behind and had to accept my present circumstances. I had to forgive and let go. And I had to get in touch with that little kid inside me who was so hurt, who had closed his heart off long ago.

While I do still hurt in my life today, with the ongoing health issues I’m doing my best to accept and work through, I have forgiven everyone and everything from my past and I continue to draw closer to God every day to keep my heart open. Because I know that as soon as I move away from my daily practices of drawing closer to my Higher Power, I immediately start to feel anger and resentment building up within me all over again, and that wall forming around my heart once more. And that’s definitely not the direction I ever want to go in again in life.

Sadly, I know of a number of people who still live like this, who walk around with a ton of hurt, who are totally unaware of the damage they continue to cause themselves and to those who care about them. Unfortunately, I’ve been on the receiving end of this at times, but thankfully, I now understand how it feels, which has helped me to have a lot more compassion.

I’m sure you know people like this, people who harbor anger and resentment, who hurt so badly inside, they end up hurting others because of it. I wish I could say there was something you could do to help them, but believe me, there isn’t. All you can do is pray they begin to go within and find forgiveness. They need to be the ones who wake up and finally see the damage they are causing themselves and others by holding onto all that hurt. And of course, they need to be the ones to do something about it.

It took a steady stream of physical pain to ultimately make me see this for myself, but thank God for that pain, because at least now I’m aware of what I did and at least now I don’t want to do it to anyone else ever again. And on those days when I have let my pain get the best of me and have fallen back into the old pattern of hurting others because of it, I immediately seek forgiveness and own it.

The bottom line is that I don’t want to be a hurt person who hurts others. I don’t want to be a wild beast anymore that is regularly negative, angry, and resentful. Rather, I want to be someone who does his best to remain positive, to be uplifting, and unconditionally loving to everyone. The only way I know how to do this is to keep forgiving and keep drawing closer to the One who helped me finally see it.

So, I pray for all those out there who are really hurting inside, for whatever the reason. I know how it feels. Trust me, I get it. But, please know it’s not helping you to hold onto it and remain in that pain, no matter what’s it about. It’s only going to keep causing you more hurt and more than likely, going to cause you to hurt others as well. Let go and let your Higher Power guide you out of the darkness. Because once you do, and once you see the hurt you’ve caused yourself and others, I’m sure you won’t want to be one of those “hurt people hurt people” anymore in life…

Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson