Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure, measure a year?
About five days ago, my therapist Jill told me I shouldn’t have sex for a year . Only three hundred sixty more days to go. Please allow me to digress. Jill didn’t outright say “Jennifer, you can’t have sex for three hundred sixty-five days.” It was in the context of a story, which allows me to come to my own decisions. She is a very smart therapist, very sneaky, but very smart.
In dealing with my sex addiction, I realized what a serious alcohol problem I have. The only thing that made me realize this was my lack of alcohol, and the fact that every time something upsetting would come up, every time some emotion that made me uncomfortable began to stir in my freshly cleaned brain, the first thing that came to mind was a jack and coke.
Feeling: “I’m sad because I feel lonely, and tired.”
First reaction: “I want a fucking jack and coke.”
This is not a healthy reaction to uncomfortable emotions, and as I find most emotions uncomfortable, this is not a good reaction at all. And I’ve been making a conscious effort to NOT use the words “good” and “bad” because I’m finding that life cannot be defined in black and white terms. There are so many shades between black and white, so many descriptive words between good and bad, I really need to stay away from defining actions and their consequences as such. But this reaction, well, it is just bad.
So part of my recovery in respect to sex addiction, which I’m not quite in yet, I’ve just completed step one, so I’m technically rehabilitating as I write (part of my rehabilitation), but a large part of what is going to keep me out of being an addict is staying sober, sober from booze and drugs in addition to sexually addictive behavior. And so I’ve decided to start attending AA meetings on a regular basis, in attempt to keep from drinking. The whole philosophy being “one day at a time.” I will not drink today. I will not drink right now. Seems easy enough right?
Well, the next part of the program is to not get in a relationship for the first year of sobriety. Also sounds fairly easy, especially considering I’m not the best at being in relationships, have a tendency to run as soon as it gets serious, and god forbid anybody buy me a gift because I for some reason do not think I am deserving of gifts and that also makes me uncomfortable. The receiving gifts part makes me uncomfortable, it has for a long time now, and any boy you speak with who has had the displeasure of being my significant (or insignificant) other will tell you I cannot accept gifts. It makes me feel strange. Like I am not worth the gift being given. Like I am not valuable enough to be showered with presents and kindness. So I return to sender. I’ve done it with gifts my father sends me for the past 13 years. I’m trying to stop feeling this way. I’m trying to stop returning to sender and running. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am ready to be in a relationship. No, that doesn’t seem likely anytime soon, and definitely not within the next year. Jill says this year of sobriety and solo bed sleeping is standard. I will play the game.
But then it hits me. That means no sex for one year. NO SEX FOR ONE YEAR????? Can that even be possible? I mean, an entire fucking year? That’s three hundred sixty-five days. Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. That is a long time for no dick. A long fucking time for no fucking fucking.
And when I ask Jill, when I say “Wait a second here, does that mean I can’t have sex for a year?” she replies….
Jill: “Well, what would you say is the biggest problem in your sex addiction?”
Me: “Well, the fact that I don’t care about anybody I fuck. And that I can’t have sex with anybody I care about.”
Me: “Holy fucking shit, that is exactly what you are saying. No sex for a fucking year.”
And that thought has plagued my day. That thought that overrides every other thought in my head, the screaming monster inside of me wishes to have meaningless sex on a continuous basis in order to feel even a moment of satisfaction even if that means a huge crash, and longer moments of being truly dissatisfied. Sincerely let down. But here is the zinger.
Well, it actually isn’t a zinger if you’ve ever participated in any sort of program. One day at a time. Second by second and minute by minute. That means that those five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes can be broken down into this very moment right now. And Now. and NOW. But to look at them in their entirety, well it just hurts my head. My heart. It makes me feel incredibly lonely, and hopeless. So I will take the program approach and go day by day. And it is this step by step and day by day process I am grateful for.
So that one day, I may experience…..
Seasons of love.