Grateful Heart Monday

Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday entry, something I find has been much needed to keep me positive during all the unsettledness of our current times. So, for today, my gratitude is for all those out there who are still working to keep things running for all of us on our planet.

With orders being mandated around the world for most everyone to stay home and with so many out of work right now, there are still plenty who are working in positions that are necessary for all of us in our day-to-day lives, many of whom are even putting themselves directly in the risk of contracting COVID-19.

So, for all the employees working at every grocery store, pharmacy, or convenience store that are supplying our basic needs, for all those working in hardware stores that help keep all our home projects going, for all those working in the food industry serving our take-out and drive-thru orders, for all those working at utility companies keeping our gas, water, electric, internet, cable and satellite on, for all those in the airline, bus, vehicle, railroad, and any other transportation industry who help us to get where we need to go, for all those working in hospitals, nursing homes, and other places of healthcare, for all the police, fire, and rescue squads keeping the peace and order, for all the waste pickup crews that haul our garbage away, for all the car repair shops working on our vehicles, for all the park rangers protecting our parks, for all the priests, pastors, and those in ministry visiting people in need and doing sermons online to provide hope, for all those working in addiction recovery and crisis centers, for all the researchers and scientists trying to find cures, for all those working in news and media outlets disseminating information to keep us current, for those working for Internet-based companies that supply our many needs, for all those working on repairing our roads, homes, and buildings, for all those in real estate and rental companies helping people to find places to live, and for all those working in any other position that continues to be considered essential, I honor and am grateful for each of you.

Without any of you, our planet would most likely descend into total chaos right now. So, thank you for stepping up and continuing to help all of us keep going in a time when there is so many unknowns, a time where fear pervades many of us, and a time where things seem to be changing one day to the next.  Have much gratitude for all of you who are willing to keep putting yourself out there, helping our world to function, which is why today’s Grateful Heart Monday is dedicated to all of you still working anywhere on this planet, especially in positions that might put you directly at risk to contract COVID-19. I truly honor your courage and dedication!

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

Question For The Day

In light of how much fear and tension is out there right now in the world, I thought it might be best to pose a fun and easy question for the day! So…

What is one thing you’ve done at home lately during this quarantine state of living that has brought you happiness or joy?

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

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The Problem With Video Conferencing For A Recovering Addict Like Me…

In our current COVID-19 state of the world, many who are sober from former addictions are choosing to do video conferencing meetings as the only safe alternative to in-person 12 Step meetings. Unfortunately, for an addict like me, even video meetings can prove to be a challenge. Let me explain.

Almost eight years ago now, just before I became sober from unhealthy sex and love-based addict behaviors, I spent much time communicating via video. There, I lived in a voyeuristic world of lust and temptation with plenty of adults far older than I. Sometimes it even seemed that I lived more in that world, than in reality, enjoying a totally make-believe cyber world of individuals I’d never meet. Talking on video eventually translated to just another form of sex for me, a very unhealthy one at that. I saw things on video with others that I wish today I could un-see and I did things on camera back then that I wish I could undo. But I can’t of course. And now I’m living in a world where video is becoming more and more of a way of communicating through things like Facetime, Skype, Facebook Video Messenger, Zoom, and a number of others, each to help us all connect a little closer.

While I do occasionally use video talks with close friends, sponsors and sponsees, or those in the sex and love addiction recovery programs, it’s always with those who know my addiction backgrounds, who are respectful, and don’t pose a threat to my sobriety. But, now, as 12 Step meetings are being forced to move to the video realm to continue functioning in this COVID-19 world, it’s posing a problem for me. Let me give you a recent example to explain why.

One of the men’s spiritual groups I’m part of has chosen to move online temporarily to Zoom recently like a number of other groups have. While there are a few individuals in this group I find attractive, I’ve never had an issue with that aspect at our in-person meetings, and have always been able to remain focused there. But, as I sat on our first Zoom meeting, waiting for each person to get online, suddenly a camera came online with one of the group members I find attractive. They were lying down in bed, were shirtless, and it appeared they had minimal clothing overall as well. I was immediately triggered and suddenly I was thrust back into the days when seeing people just like that on video, were all part of my normal day-to-day addict behavior. Thankfully the moderator forced the person to put a shirt on and sit up, but the damage to my ability to remain present was shot by that point. As the meeting wore on, I also became distracted when another member straddled one of the wooden posts of their bed frame, as they tried to get comfortable. As they sat there with the phallic-looking object in between their legs, they rubbed their hands on the ball at the top of it, causing me even more addiction distress.

While I’m sure both were oblivious to the impact of their actions and held no hidden intentions in them whatsoever, it’s those type of things that were precisely what made up much of voyeuristic video life long ago. The fact is, I struggled the entire meeting to remain present because of those actions, constantly remembering the days of old when I’d sit on my computer and stare at a number of video chats in front of me of people I was lusting over. As those who may wonder why I shy away from doing 12-Step video meetings, which includes my own AA home group who’s using this modality now, this is the reason why. Like the recovering alcoholic would never go to a bar for recovery, it’s not the best modality for me to use video chats for my recovery from sex and love addiction.

So, as I continue to navigate these uncharted waters that COVID-19 keeps bringing, I am doing my best to find healthy ways to maintain my sobriety and recovery and thankfully, I still do have a few other options that don’t have to involve video conferencing.

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