[From Essay, December 2020] Football (or Soccer as they call it in the US) – what would we do without it. It is so exciting, so passionate,such a good topic of conversation, and so much more. As a teenager I was obsessed travelling around the UK following (worshiping?) my beloved Tottenham Hotspur F.C. As life moved on and I got busy with studies, marriage, kids I realised that (maybe?) there are more important things in life and I gradually lost interest. You know, an addict thing, it is either all or nothing. After finding SA in January 2014 and working the program, I found myself (sometime in 2016) finding an interest again in football in general and Tottenham in particular. And they were doing really well for a change. Surely it was good to have interests which were not lust related and a healthy escape from life. But I was soon obsessed. It was taking up so many hours of my day and night and I felt enslaved to it (sound familiar?). It is still better than lust, I convinced myself. As the saying goes ‘I am as sick as my secrets. Tthe fact that I did not share the obsession with the ones closest to me, the time at work that was spent on it and the lying I had to do to get out in the evenings to go ‘shopping’ etc but always with the intent of going past the office to stay ‘updated’ – and the time at work that was spent on it was not healthy. I was enslaved though. I prayed to stop but did not imagine how it could happen. I mentioned it often to my sponsor – who is also a big Tottenham fan and could relate to the challenge but had no ‘magic button’ for me to press.

And then the global lockdown due to COVID hit. No football, no transfer news, no highlights, no interviews – nothing! Just rumours about if/when the season will restart.

From one day to the next the obsession went. It is like it was just taken from me (sound familiar?). For approx. 6 months, one day at a time, I have not been onto the BBC or Tottenham websites and I am not ‘desperate’ to either. It has freed up so much time and headspace and I am so grateful for it. It has also helped me in general escaping on the web to the news etc.

I share this since there are so many areas in my life which I wonder and worry how can it ever change. May it be finances, fears, relationships which need changing. You know what, G-d removed my obsession with lust and he just did it again with football. I have learnt that I can’t change things. I can pray and hope to do G-ds will. When the time comes G-d will remove it. I got to remember to keep out of G-ds way. Instead of worrying about situations and trying to control I got to do the best, for today, with a foundation of zero tolerance to lust. And I pray for guidance in all areas of my life to do his will.

And if you enjoy soccer or American football or indeed any sport I am not out to make you feel bad. On the contrary, if you can enjoy it in a healthy way that is good. I have learnt that there are things I can’t do in recovery that other recovering addicts can do. And vice versa. And I hope your team does really well.

Zalmi S. London UK.
So grateful to be Sober one day at a time through the grace of G-d since 5th November 2014