An SA friend said he found it impossible to listen to polka music and lust at the same time. It reminded me that sometimes my surrenders have been done in silly ways. It's important for me to remember that a lust craving is time-sensitive. It too shall pass.
The very best thing I can do is to use recovery actions. It is, of course, the times when I'm not willing to do those that I'm in a place to act out. And in those times, I've found that to keep it simple, childish, and silly helps. I've made a list of 100 things I can do in the moment of lust rather than act out. I hope if I'm too stubborn to take a better recovery action, I can tell myself I have to perform ten of these first. If I can break that train of thought, I may be able to do the serious right thing, like make a phone call, next.
100 Things to Do Rather than Acting Out
1. Wearing a fake nose, looking in the mirror and saying, "This is how you'll look if you act out."
2. Singing "I'm a Little Teapot" with accompanying gestures.
3. Drinking liquid through a crazy straw.
4. Putting an Oreo on my forehead and moving it to my mouth using only face muscles.
5. Calling 411 and asking for my own address.
6. Circling all the times the Big Book uses the word "the."
7. Spelling aloud "Sexaholics Anonymous" backwards.
8. Singing "Old MacDonald," substituting all the animals and their sounds with "lust."
9. Driving to Burger King and ordering a Whopper without the burger patty, saying I'm trying to eat vegetarian.
10. Throwing a stick in the backyard and telling the craving to "go fetch."
11. Picking a leaf off a tree and blowing my nose with it.
12. Doing the "dying cockroach" of Curly from The Three Stooges, dropping to the floor and running around in a circle.
13. Putting a spoon in my mouth balancing a square of Jello, and walking back and forth in my house without dropping it.
14. Drawing a mustache and beard on a picture of Elmo.
15. Standing on one foot and reciting Hamlet's "To be or not to be" speech in a deep voice.
16. "Waaahing" like a baby.
17. Making a small snowman out of mud.
18. Counting the letters in the Twelve Steps and calling my sponsor to tell him the result.
19. Pouring glitter on my hands.
20. Having an SA hand puppet telling me, in a high-pitched voice, 20 things I'm grateful for.
21. Painting my fingernails black.
22. Making a paper airplane.
23. Flying a kite.
24. Calling a friend to ask how to spell "chrysanthemum."
25. Yodeling "We Are the Champions."
26. Playing "Joy to the World" on kazoo.
27. Seeing if I can find an ant anywhere (then feeding it a bread crumb).
28. Opening a dictionary to a random page and writing down all the words I don't know.
29. Chewing gum and playing paddleball at the same time.
30. Putting an ice cube on my desk and saying I can't act out till it melts completely and then evaporates.
31. Handwriting out my will.
32. Plucking petals off a flower: ""I'm sober," "I'm sober not," "I'm sober..."
33. Telling myself I can act out when I can flatten a tennis ball with a hammer.
34. Lighting a firecracker in the backyard.
35. Putting a pack of Mentos in a bottle of Pepsi and running for my life.
36. Balancing the White Book on my head and "walking like an Egyptian."
37. Singing and dancing "The Hokey Pokey" rapper style.
38. Trying to moonwalk or tap dance.
39. Doing an interpretive dance to express how I'm feeling at that moment.
40. Jump roping backwards.
41. Impersonating a monkey.
42. Imagining where I would be if there was no SA.
43. Doing "Little Bunny Foo Foo."
44. Sucking a huge jawbreaker and saying I can only act out when it's fully dissolved.
45. Singing "What a Wonderful World" the way Louis Armstrong does.
46. Writing a letter to Noah.
47. Blowing bubbles.
48. Finger painting what sobriety looks like.
49. Talking like a pirate, explaining how terrible my life is ("I be friendless, arrrr. No landlubbers lub me, arrr...").
50. Eating some dirt.
51. Whittling down an eraser using a nail file till it's all gone.
52. Digging a deep hole using a butter knife.
53. Lying down on the ground outside and seeing what the world looks like from there.
54. Playing a pre-recorded video of me saying if I act out I'll come through the screen and slap myself.
55. Using a kaleidoscope.
56. If I'm tempted to act out with someone else, finding and scaring a skunk.
57. Mowing my lawn with a nail clipper.
58. Stepping on a wet bar of soap to practice slipping.
59. Putting my 24 hour chip in my hand and wrapping duct tape around it and my hand several times.
60. Cutting open an onion and having a good cry.
61. Sniffing in a small amount of black pepper.
62. Using action figures, role playing my Higher Power fighting my lust.
63. Imagining what would have happened if Bill Wilson had lost sobriety.
64. Playing checkers against lust.
65. Having a bottle of cheap liquor labeled "Lust" and symbolically pouring it all down the sink.
66. Carving my sobriety date into a tree.
67. Buying a birthday cake, putting in candles equal to my years of sobriety and blowing them out while making a wish for one more sober day.
68. If it's nighttime, wishing on a star for sobriety.
69. Eating a small pie and imagining it's me eating humble pie after losing my sobriety.
70. Eating one Lays potato chip, throwing the rest away, saying that I CAN eat just one and that it's possible to take one lust look and not have to take another.
71. Getting a tattoo of my sobriety date, to look at when I'm tempted and think about the mess of having to remove it.
72. Saying I can act out after I pluck out two eyelashes.
73. Eating a can of spinach and pretending I'm "Popeye the Sober Man."
74. Planting an oak seed and saying I can act out when it grows up, I cut it down and make a table out of it.
75. Making lemonade and drinking it saying, "I'm the type of guy when life gives me lemons, I make lemonade."
76. Buying a sympathy card and putting on a suit in preparation for the funeral of my sobriety.
77. Drinking a bottle of hot sauce.
78. Watching The Blair Witch Project and saying "Stay sober!" every time they use the F word.
79. Writing out "My Fate" on a piece of paper and holding it in my hands.
80. Getting a toddler's shoe and saying I can a/o when I can fit my foot in it.
81. Looking at a picture of the Holocaust and telling myself life could be worse.
82. Playing with a yo-yo.
83. Tying a string around my finger to remind myself to stay sober.
84. Putting on an inside out baseball cap as a "rally cap."
85. Shooting a cap gun.
86. Using a coloring book.
87. Putting on a pair of rose-colored glasses.
88. Looking at a glass with 50% water and declaring it "half full."
89. Making a sobriety bracelet out of macaroni.
90. Thinking about all my SA friends who are dealing with temptations too.
91. Honking my car horn (just because).
92. Wearing a clown nose or gorilla mask.
93. Writing out "I will not act out today" 40 times.
94. Spelling out "s-o-b-r-i-e-t-y" from letters in alphabet soup.
95. Sitting on a whoopee cushion or eating some trick gum.
96. Writing out the names of the people I would have to tell about my loss of sobriety.
97. Texting myself "This is me from the future. Boy, am I ever glad I didn't act out."
98. Calling myself and leaving a voicemail saying how proud I am for staying sober.
99. Humming my favorite song, "I Can See Clearly Now."
100. Blowing up a balloon and writing, "I will act out" then popping it saying, "Sorry to burst your bubble, Lust, but it ain't gonna happen."
My plan is to collect the items necessary to do many of these things in a large plastic tub marked "Don't Act Out Bucket - Silly Ways to Stay Sober. Outwait to Outwit." It might take a financial outlay at first, but I think it could help to be prepared.
"Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths." (AA 76)