Another Taste Of My Own Former Medicine…

The longer I remain clean and sober and doing my best to live out a life of healthy recovery, the more I seem to get a taste of my own former medicine by being on the receiving end of behaviors I once did with regularity to others that ended up hurting them. One such behavior was pushing my close friends aside for my sexual interests and romantic pursuits.

If there’s one thing I did quite hurtfully far too often during my addiction years, it was to draw friends in really close, showing them they matter, developing a heart connection with them, only to abandon them altogether or drastically pull back from them once any sexual interest or romantic pursuit came along. Most frustratingly, I’ve been on the receiving end of this in recent years.

I’m thankful it happened to me though, so that I truly know how it felt to those I did the same behavior to, but far worse, years ago. I almost lost my best friend Cedric to this very pattern, always placing him second to every one of my sexual interests and romantic pursuits. I did the very same thing to another close friend Dexter, constantly leaving him regularly feeling like he was chasing after a carrot on a stick, watching it get pulled back time and time again. And you know what, sadly and regrettably, my behavior wasn’t too far off from that, yet I never once stopped to think about how he or Cedric might have felt each time I did this. Instead, I selfishly assumed they understood because in my mind, sexual interests and romantic pursuits were paramount to all other interests, including developing deeper friendships.

In fact, I was so selfish and self-centered back then, consumed with my own needs, wants, and desires, that I lost sight over and over again of what was far more important, that being to nurture my friends loving hearts who were there for me long before those sexual interests and romantic pursuits ever came around. And even worse, I always expected those friends to still be there for me each time those sexual interests and romantic pursuits didn’t work out or were in some type of jeopardy.

Being on the receiving end of another one of my old addictive patterns of behavior has helped me to see this is the very thing I did to so many others like Cedric and Dexter. It’s also made me think of a number of others I did it to as well like my sister Laura, my friends Marvin, Louie, Debbie, Scott, and also, Randy, a friend I once loved dearly who eventually left my life because of this very behavior.

While I’ve worked hard to do a living amends for this by investing more time and energy into the connections that remain in my life these days, I think it’s important the Universe has allowed me to be on the receiving end of this, to specifically feel the pain that comes from this type of selfish addictive behavior. Sometimes I think we all experience a taste of our own medicine from time to time to spiritually grow out of selfish behaviors and into more selfless ones. And this one is proving to be no different.

I truly am sorry to Laura, Cedric, Dexter, Marvin, Louie, Debbie, Scott, Randy, and so many others who deserved far better than they received from me each time I allowed my sexual interests and romantic pursuits to be a higher priority than them. They deserved better which is why I continue to do my best to showing the world today that friendships matter to me deeply, and should never be placed on the back burner for sexual interests and romantic pursuits. Because in the end, what I’ve really learned in my recovery from sex and love addiction is that friendships tend to last far longer than any sexual interests and romantic pursuits ever do…

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

Do You Ever Feel Like Any Of The Connections You Have In Your Life Are One-Sided?

If there’s one thing I really want to self-actualize in 2021, it’s to stop investing energy into connections with others where it feels like I’m doing the majority of the work to keep them going and instead do something I normally don’t do very well, which is to just let those relationships go.

For most of my life, this has been a most frustrating pattern where I find myself consistently getting involved into connections with others who rarely seem to put as much energy and effort into building the connection with me. The result of this tends to be a very superficial-feeling relationship of me doing the majority of the calling, as well as the majority of setting forth any plans to connect further.

I’m quite sure this pattern can be traced back to my childhood where I constantly sought the love from an alcoholic mother and father and struggled to get that on an unconditional level or at all. While I’ve worked hard on forgiving them for this shortcoming and equally as hard at learning to give it to myself, I still find myself allowing a number of individuals to be in my life who remind me so much of that lack of unconditional love I received from my mother and father.

I truly believe we are all brought here to have close connections with each other, to offer tokens of unconditional love to each other on a regular basis, and to show how much each other matters. Sadly, in this world though, there tends to be far too much selfishness and self-centeredness where people take more from their connections than give and rarely even realize they’re doing that.

I went through long periods in my life where addictions caused me to be just that, a taker more than a giver in just about every connection I had. I try so very hard today to not be that way and instead, show the people in my life how important they are to me. But, it is also important to me in my life now to feel that in return. I deserved that as a kid but didn’t get it and I still deserve it now, except now I have a choice when a relationship begins to feel one-sided.

Now, I need to choose to let those connections go, when they really start to become unfulfilling, when they’re no longer leaving me feeling uplifted, and tend to become more and more draining as I find myself regularly questioning if I even matter to them. Because the longer I choose to stay in those type of connections, the more I seem to become codependent, needy, and empty-feeling as a result.

What I’ve learned in my life throughout my recovery from addiction is that a real friend, a healthy connection, and a spiritually growing relationship is one where you don’t question things like this, where you don’t find yourself chasing after another, wondering why the other person isn’t calling or why they’re making greater efforts with others but not you. Because real friends, healthy connections, and spiritually growing relationships equally do the work to help it grow and generally leave both people feeling energized each time they connect, rarely leaving either wondering whether they matter to the other because each are regularly showing the other how much they do without ever even having to ask for that.

So, 2021 is going to be the year where I let all those connections go that aren’t connecting and aren’t uplifting, that feel more one-sided than not, that leave me feeling like I’m doing the majority of the work. In their place, I ask God to begin bringing people in my life now who will want to grow a deeper connection with me and who are going to leave me feeling like I do matter to them without me having to ever seek that, because I love myself enough now to know I deserve that…

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

I Wish More People Understood SLAA And Took It Seriously As A Healthy 12 Step Program…

Sex and love addiction is a serious problem in the world and Sex And Love Addiction (SLAA) is a serious 12 Step program to help those who suffer from it, but it’s often misunderstood and not as respected as it could or should be.

People tend to misinterpret sex and love addiction as the worst of the worst type of perversion. They judge that people who qualify under this type of addiction are only pedophiles, those who wear long trench coats and flash people in public places, or individuals who frequently engage in risky forms of promiscuity.

WRONG.

While those who suffer from these forms of sex and love addiction can find a path to recovery in SLAA, the vast majority who come to SLAA and other “S” programs fall under behaviors that many in this world have probably engaged in at one point or another, but never with repeated excessiveness. Things like watching pornography, cheating on a partner, or sexting on a cell phone for example.

I personally attend SLAA 12 Step meetings because there was a time when I really struggled with pornography, phone/cybersex, and becoming love addicted to unavailable individuals. It’s been well over 8 years now that I’ve remained clean and sober from each of those and it’s all because of SLAA and God.

I can’t speak highly enough of this 12 Step program and the help it’s given me. I don’t have shame over going to it either, although many do. Sadly, this program still holds a stigma like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) once did many decades ago when people assumed an alcoholic was simply a stinky drunk holding a paper bag around his alcohol while homeless on the streets. Obviously most of us know nowadays that’s far from an accurate portrayal of an alcoholic.

Nevertheless, 10 years ago, when I was still so very sick in this addiction I was one of those who disrespected SLAA and the “S”-type 12 Step programs because I went to the meetings to look for potential “dates” or opportunities to act out rather than to focus on getting well. Thankfully, I have long since changed my ways by doing my 12 Step work in the SLAA program. Now, I’m on the other side and often meet newcomers who remind me of my old sick-addicted self.

One such person briefly came into my life recently when they called the local SLAA contact in my area, which is me, and initially expressed a sincere desire for help with their addictive behaviors. I gave them guidance on this addiction, pointed them in the direction for when meetings occur, and even friended them on Facebook so they could read some of my 12 Step postings there and hopefully find encouragement. Sadly, once they connected with me on there, they proceeded to hit on me and send me an extremely explicit picture that I immediately deleted and had to set a definitive boundary. It’s time like this which truly frustrate me in the “S” world of 12 Step recovery, when people aren’t ready to take their addiction serious. But, I know I can’t judge them because I was once just like them.

Regardless, SLAA and all the other “S”-type recovery programs are legitimate 12 Step recovery methods to aid those who suffer from sex and love addiction type problems. There are many types of behaviors that fall under this type of addiction and you don’t have to be ashamed to go to one of the “S” meetings. Hopefully one day, SLAA and the other “S”-type recovery programs will garner the respect they deserve just like AA has in society and many other 12 Step recovery programs as well. SLAA has saved my life and if you have ever suffered from behaviors you feel might qualify, it could help save your life too.

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