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The war against the subconscious

Today came another episode. It was a terrible one ($60) but that was not the worst of it. What leaves me aghast and appalled is that I engaged in an "unsafe" activity with a lap dancer - one in which disease is transmissible.

Most lap dancers will not do anything that could transmit disease. There are a very small number of exceptions and this was one of them. I am now at risk for AIDS; a small risk, but a real one all the same. I feel insane. How could I have behaved so recklessly, even suicidally? What if I do get AIDS? What if I start engaging in this kind of behaviour regularly?

Until today I had been doing okay. My therapy was genuinely helpful - I learned that all these years I have been "numbing" out feelings in a reaction to childhood emotional abuse. Outside of the desire for food or sex, I have only surface emotions, not deep feelings. I have deeply buried and repressed anger, pain, and loss that is bursting out now in fatigue, depression, headaches, and emptiness. Now I am slowly learning to accept my emotions and deal with them, such as by hitting sofas with a tennis racket to let out repressed anger.

My online "dating" had also boosted my self-esteem, in that I met women who genuinely liked me, which I had always believed to be impossible. I have abandoned the chat rooms and turned to email correspondence, and am cancelling my AOL account, so that problem is no longer problem.

I also finally called SLAA and promised myself that I would, no holds barred, find a way to attend its meeting next Thursday. Things were looking good... and then this happened, an act of self-endangerment and insanity.

Now I am afraid. Afraid that my addiction, which has erected imaginary barriers for my attending meetings for months, will stop me from going to the SLAA meeting. Maybe I will "forget", or be asked to do something else that evening, or simply chicken out. Worse yet, there is a strip club a very short distance from the meeting location and what if I end up going there instead of the meeting? I feel totally out of control, terrified, and absolutely powerless, not even capable of dragging myself to a meeting.

I've made all kinds of excuses for not having attending meetings, and my therapist has helped me to realize that this was my addiction's way of keeping me under its control. I am virtually at war; at war with an enemy who knows my every weakness, every vulnerability, every soft spot intimately. My enemy knows me very well; he IS me.

SLAA had no phone contact for the meeting, just a location. It would not be difficult to obtain the car and make up some excuse to my family and go to the meeting; except for the fact that I may end up, in fact will PROBABLY end up, sabotaging myself.

Not going to meetings, I realize now, is as integral a part of my addiction as going to the clubs. And I feel just as unable to go to meetings as to prevent myself from going to clubs. You might even say that I need meetings in order to go to meetings, and so on, and so on...

Even if I go, will it make a difference? Will I ever listen to anything or anyone, or am I trapped, despite all attempts at therapy and self-improvement, to remain in this cycle that is now becoming physically as well as morally destructive?

Yet another savagely pessimistic post. I really should stop looking at the negative side of things all the time...for me the glass is not just half empty, it's fully empty. Well, thank you all for listening anyway.

ARAS, April 30, 1996.