A Word from the Sex Addict….

My husband recently wrote out his story of his journey in, through, and out of sex addiction, and it was the first time he’s done so. With his permission, I wanted to share this with you all, since it is a really powerful picture of a courageous man who has refused to give up.

________ is a record producer/studio engineer, songwriter, video editor, teacher, speaker, and tech genius, to name a few of the titles he has worn throughout his his 31 years of life on this planet.  Believing that through diversity we witness the face of G-D, he rarely hesitates to seek new projects and
ideas that capture his creativity.

 MY YOUTH
I remember being a young boy and always asking questions of my fellow earthmates.  “Why do we exist” “What is our purpose” “Why do seasons happen” “What color is pain…” This natural curiousity was nurtured and driven by the oppurtunities I was afforded at the loving expense of my parents.  Somehow my pensive nature found its way into the hearts and minds of my family and I became distinctly aware of the problems they encountered and the pain they endured.  I remember considering of my sister, “if only she was more agreeable we wouldnt have to endure the anger” or “If my dad would be home more and listen to my mom she wouldnt be so sad”.  So I decided since my parents needed assitance, I was the one to help them!  This began my misbegotten quest into co-dependency.  This unfortunately was only reinforced when I was introduced to christianity on the 13th year of my life.  Seeking more approval on the stage of performance, I quickly absorbed scriptures and quotes into my daily dialogue.  I found a solution in this sacred text that screamed an answer “Die to self!” “Pick up
your cross!” “the greatest love is him who gives his life for his friends..”  I saw an image of christ on a cross suffering for the good of others coupled with the meme that was circling midwestern youth groups at the time “WHAT WOULD JESUS DO”.  I found in this an elegant fix.  A hero’s journey worthy of praise, and a life raft for the family condition.  I became a sweet angel, a caring ear, a therapist, a friend for all
seasons, and I was seeing results!  I got stroked for my efforts, and my family was holding together (by my own efforts of course /facepalm).

What I didn’t see coming was that my parents were about to have two new children.  I had no idea that this would effect me or my quest at all and I welcomed the oppurtunity for a new brother/sister with open arms.  Within the span of 4 years i got both!  Our family however was torn asunder the moment my young sister came to this earth.  She was born sick.  She was deformed, barely alive, and full of life crippling illness.  I remember desperately trying my old tricks, but it seemed to no avail.  My mother was crestfallen, my father broken, my brother was an infant, and I was LOST.  I had lost my identity after years of denying self, and now I had no grounding whatsoever.  Yet I was not willing to let my
parents down in their time of greatest need.  This was the hour I had been waiting for!  A giant dragon overhead spewing brimstone on the village, and I the glorious white knight!  What a beautiful picture..if only it had actually worked…Instead what I got was a complete and total schism of my essential self.  The dragon had me in its clutches and I was bereft of armor.

THE BATTLE

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” James 1: 8 (KJV)
“Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.” Proverbs 17:7

I was not aware of when it started but I had learn to shut down my feelings.  I believe as a young man I imagined this to make me strong, fierce, and unwithering against the storm.  Unfortunately as a creative child, this meant a great deal of suppresion as I was an antennae of sorts, picking up signals not just from myself but from others as well.  I practiced an artform of tapping my feet, holding my breath, and
dissociation, transforming me into a hard man who does not fear pain.  The phrases “performs well under pressure” and “overcoming your fear” are the totems of any seasoned veteran of war.  What amazes me to this day is that I was completely unaware I was doing this. The archetype of the selfless hero had been supplanted into my heart, my body just learned to “rise up” to the challenge accordingly.  Also, in response to the christian standard, I gave up expressing my anger to this cold vacuum.  A christian man was supposed to be gentle, kind, and compassionate (just like the preacher at my church was).

What I did not know was that these feelings don’t dissapear.  I was not a magician after all.  My amazing skill of bypassing these “issues” was only prolonging the inevitable.  Science states “energy is neither created or destroyed”.  In light of this now I can say my body absorbed these buried feelings deep into my subconcious body/mind storing this energy for a later time.  At some point the body/mind reaches it’s limit and this energy starts to flow out passively, sideways and otherwise, and I was very near the breaking point.  As my sister came into this world I lost mastery over my domain.  I began to slip.  I started having crazy thoughts and feelings appear in my heart and mind.  I began to crave an escape.  Now being as I was merely 16 years old, one could state I was acting out of rebellion as would any teenager, and yes I would have to submit that information as relevant.  What was different for me was I had built such a crystal castle in the sky, that I was unwilling to admit defeat of any sort.  My family was in the midst of devastation, and for me to collapse now of all times would be my end.  I needed their approval and I did not want to open the door to my feelings, lest I be overwhelmed.  So I started lying.  I began playing the role, while creating for myself a secret world of Mr. Hyde, bereft of my responsibilities or any pretense of nobility.

I began to express my feelings in although creative, incredibly destructive outlets. I was sitting in class at school with my new best friend (who by the way was pre selected for her reputation for trouble i.e. i knew what i was getting into) and she showcased her supply of a drug known as LSD.  I asked her what the drug did and why it was in her possession.  She recanted to me a vision of sublime escape from my present reality.  A different universe, a differnt world.  That was all i needed to hear, and I dropped acid at school right then and there.  Mind you I had never smoked, drank, or otherwise.  There was no progression of substance.  No gateway drug.  I dove into my drug abuse head first, arms wide open.  I didnt go crazy, I didnt jump off a building, and I didnt make contact with space aliens.  Instead I found a hilarious place of fun and excitement, and a bizzare secret universe that was different from anything I had known before.  I was shocked!  Everyone had lied to me!  Drugs are fun!  It was also strangely satisfying to partake of something I knew would freak out my family (passive anger).  So i continued to use.  You name it, I did it.  Pot, Cocaine, Meth, Ecstacy, Hash, Opium, Special K, alcohol…nothing was beyond my curiousity. Well if drugs are fun what other lies have I believed.  I know! SEX!  Yes of course, I was missing out on the teenage sexual adventure.  Girls had to be just as exciting if not more than these drugs were.  I found the supply to be ready and available.  As it turns out sex was the most addictive of all the drugs I had tried to this point.  Not only did I get “high” off of the pleasure, but I also found what i thought was self acceptance in the eyes of an adoring female.  I was desired..and I could get her to follow me.  I was back in CONTROL.  What a strange cocktail of fear, shame, and anger, mixed with dopamine, endorphins, and pheremones.  These secrets were too intense to share, to shameful to admit, and my secret world balloned into an solar system of deceit.  So did my subconcious sense of satisfaction.  To be able to pull off a lie, one must presume the subjected listener to have an exploitable weakness.  One must also shut down their own guilt and shame, which requires enormous amounts of energy (insomnia anyone?).  Look straight into their eyes and pull off a bold faced story, complete with appropriate emotional response (i.e. your face matches the feelings that “should” be present in a story of this nature).  All in all it is an elaborate performance, and the reward is rich.  I found feelings of POWER in copious amounts when someone believed my tale.  This creation of the false self gave me the tools I needed to fufill my requirements.  Angelic Me would handle the family hero role, and Deviant Me would take care of my feelings. My life began to be filled with these strange internal arguments.  Just as Dr. Jekyll awoke with a hangover and a torrent of shame in his bed, I too found myself regretting my alter ego’s terrible decisions.  I was horrified by his actions, and digusted with his lack of self control.  I pleaded with God to restore my sanity, and to drive this “demon” (or so i thought) from my pure and chaste soul.  How could I do such things!  A hero would never betray his parents or his G-D in this manner.  I began to withdrawl from social activities, to abstain from being around when my parents where there.  I would skip school and drive in my car as far as I could away from it all.  I was terrified that if I let someone get too close they would smell my load of horse crap.  I found no healing in church at the time, because i was unwilling to come clean to others.  To confess to G-D alone I later learned was not enough.  (james 5:16)

MY WIFE

Without the church to lean on, I did not make out well in the world once I moved out of the house.  I fell deeper into drug use and manipulation of women.  I knew I needed to find an answer to my problems but I had no solutions.  I even got a job at a book store so I could look up other religious ideas and concepts, psychology, self-help, art, and music.  Hoping internally that at some point the release from my torment would suddenly appear.  Well it did in a way I was not expecting.  I met a beautiful young woman named _______.  A tough, driven, sassy girl from New York who had a penchant for always speaking her mind.  I was bewitched.  She was the antithesis of all I had known.  Perhaps she was the
answer!  Internally I now realize I was looking for a companion to walk through the gates of hell with, someone who was a warrior as well.  I promptly decided to marry her and we were engaged.  I presented her with a beautiful image of a responsible, honest, and kind man who would always be there to listen and respond with geniune favor.  I would shout her name from the rooftops, and she would be my queen.  A women I treasured above all else!

Secretly I was betting all my chips on our marriage.  I believed with all my heart that G-D had sent her to deliver me from my sins.  I fasted and prayed before our wedding day, with the mindset that the devil in me would be gone for good.  It Worked!  For about 6 months…I was devastated.  I could not believe after all of this my cravings were back.  I began to fiend for a release.  My soul was torn but I was out of
answers.  She wanted intimacy!  UGH…it sounds simple, but I was not prepared to tell her the truth of my condition.  I was a scared little boy who was doing all he knew to hold his mind together.  Eventually it overwhelmed me.  This time however, I knew I could not just bring girls home or go use drugs whenever I felt like, my wife was always with me, and I cannot let this ruin our marriage.  So my solution was to find more subversive ways to disguise my problems.  I began abusing perscription meds, and took a leap into internet pornography.  I was still getting my highs, but in a way that was much easier to protect.  This way I could still have a sense of intimacy and attempt being close to her without the fear of discovery.  She will be the first to admit we both needed this illusion at the time.  The concept of the ideal marriage was whisking us away from our fears.  She would find evidence from time to time, we would talk and I would confess just enough for her to go about her business, and leave me be.  We both knew something was tragically wrong, but what else was there to do but trudge on in quiet desperation.

We eventually moved away from the scene of my drug use, and we started anew in a fresh city surronded by people of faith.  I avowed myself against drug use, and I moved on.  Without the expierience of true healing though I was what they call in 12 steps “white knuckling” my addiction.  I started healing prayer, theophostic counseling, demonic cleansing, we would pray over the house, and yet I would never give in and admit the truth of my life.  I would attempt to bring myself to G-D in healing but would continually hide my true self.  I didn’t even know who I was!  It was impossible for me to have intimacy with anyone, much less the creator of the universe.  As I stated earlier “energy is neither created nor destroyed”, the same is true of my internal needs.  I simply could not just “pull myself together” and “man up” to drive these needs away.  Since I let go of drugs…my sexual needs intensified.  We became distraught after our repeated failed attempts at having sex.  She simply could not give herself to someone she didn’t trust, she knew internally that something was wrong.  She would never say it out loud, but her body spoke for her.
I began to extend my sexual search beyond the realm of pornography into the world of adultery.  I desperately needed some way of finding power and control in my life, and the only way I found release was in the arms of a woman.  I got such a rush off of seduction, convincing a woman to let go of all her instincts to have sex with a married man.  The conquest was the end goal, and the empowerment I felt helped me face another day.  I had devloped a manner of meeting people in secret trysts.  I created new email accounts, different bank accounts, opened new credit cards, and even adopted an alter ego name.  The transformation was complete.  I had successfully divided myself into two different people.  I’d love to say that it was the most horrible experience of my life and that I hated every minute of it.  Truth be told, I more often “ran” to meet my affairs with a smile on my face and open arms.  As every addict will tell you though, eventually the dose needs to be increased.  This is where I started to lose my mind.  I became dissatisfied and bored.  I turned to more perverse, and twisted ways of treating women.  Themes of humiliation and unexpressed rage filled my “sessions”, and the shame kept coming in waves.  There was no way I was going to escape the shame.  It would happen late at night, my mind would keep turning over all the rotten things I had done, and I loathed myself.  I hated every inch of my being, and cursed mysefl often.  I know refer to this as abusing my inner child.  I would literally scream obscenities at myself. “you stupid piece of #$%” “Your a $*&@*#& moron” “I hate you”.  I became confused and flakey.  Dissapearing for days and not contacting anyone.  I started to look hagard and exhausted.  I was coming apart at the seams.
All of this was mounting as I had just enterend into the most successful phase of my blossoming career as a record producer!  I was working with real rock and roll bands, meeting celebrities, and recording their performances.  I had a condo in CA and the multi million dollar studio i worked at was within walking distance of the beach.  If anything is to be said about a man being fufilled by his accomplishments I could have said a thing or two.  As it turns out though, my success in business did absolutely NOTHING to fix my soul.  The harder I pressed the more lonely I eventually felt.
JULY 8th (my birthday)
My wifes grandmother dies, and she is desperate to get in contact with her family.  She uses my phone to make the call….She sees a text from her best friend detailing our affair and our world explodes.
“not my husband, not my husband”…was the phrase she continued to say as she rubbed dirt into her clothing, writhing in agony on the ground.  I knew the gig was up.  The “me” she knew was dead, and I was exposed.  Both of my worlds came crashing into each other throwing both of us into a topspin of despair.  There was nothing I could do to prevent the truth from coming out.  My pitiful attempts at covering my actions through deceit no longer worked.  She hastily quit her job, packed up her things, and left me.  I was alone…

Great.  Fine.  I’m ok.  I stayed in bed for what seemed like forever.  I would periodically have this new thing called “panic attacks” where i would be dropped to the floor gasping for air.  My boss called me to call it quits, asking for my key.  I quitely packed up my gear form the studio and left without so much as a peep.

No Wife.  No Job.  I was desperate.  So I continued to act out.  It was all I knew to do.  I figured I would be able to go on the binge of all binges.  It should tide me over for a while.  I created an amazing fantasy once I found a willing co-partner (woman).  I “fell in love with her” and we began to act out a scenario of marriage and courtship.  Little did she know I was also having sex with anonymous people on the side and using drugs.  It was the perfect trifecta.  The ultimate rush.  The only thing I remember at the end of it was that I was not ok and that I would never be again.  I broke down into tears for the first time in about 5 years since my sister passed away.  I was 25 and my life was over.  Some hero I turned out to be.  I was up against the wall and it was either get help or get out.

I checked into rehab a few days later.

REHAB

I would like to say that I was instantly healed within a month.  The truth is its been 6 years.  I am now 31 years old, and I am still baffled by my life.  However, the first steps in the right direction I found at the caring hands of other addicts in rehab.  I remember the first time I shared my entire life with a group full of men.  From start to finish every seedy, disgusting, backstabbing, no good thing I had ever done.  I stood up in front of them and was fully exposed in all my shame.  After I finished the counselor told everyone to go to lunch, and had me sit and wait.  The thoughts started coming into my mind “Thats it, they all know Im scum, good job idiot, now they will hate you”.  I went upstairs and nervously
went into the lunch hall avoiding all eye contact.  I gathered my food and headed to an empty table.  “Hey, where u goin…come sit down over here” said a participant in the program.  As I sat down and looked into the face of my peers as they continued to crack jokes and talk crap about the rules, I realized that I was not alone.  I had found a safe place to be me.

The program took away my fancy clothes, my guitars,  my business cards, my drugs, my sex, and every little device I had used over the years to charm or cope my way through life, and had me sit in a group full of men just as plain as day.  What I found in their place was a huge amount of feelings.  Feelings I had refused to acknowledge for over 15 years.  I didn’t even know what was happening to me.  I thought I was going crazy.  So did everyone else in that bizzare place.

What I found was a piece of me.  A long buried authentic self who was quite emotional, sensitive, and full of anger.  I was angry about what happened to my sister, I was angry about my loss of relationship with my father, I was angry with G-D and most of all I was angry at myself.  After spending some time connecting with this day in and day out 9-5 round the clock, I started to pray again.  I lost the self important prayer langauge, and stuck to the simple “hey G-D, I’m hurting today, im so sad about….”  I never had thought of it before but I was unable to find G-D before because I wasn’t there!  I was a hologram of a man, asking the creator of the universe to acknowledge and interact with my make believe person.  Once I started to thaw out and understand who I was, I was able to share that with others…this above all else has given me the freedom to move forward.

Now I wont ever…ever…say that I am healed, or that I am all better.  Or that I am delievered.  This is utter nonsense.  One thing I will always keep close to my heart is how close to death I was..and that it could happen again.  Its been 6 years of continual treament, meetings, therapist, books, defeat, relapse, complete and utter failure, and letting people down time and time again.  However, I have never stopped moving forward to my goal of honesty, and humilty before myself, others, and G-D.  Somewhere along this journey apparently my wife noticed my direction and decided she wanted back in.  We have been together over 11 years now.  She believes she has her own issues, and stays out of my recovery but instead works on her own.  She is currently getting her Masters in Social Work so we can start helping others in need.  I’ve had to make some serious life adjustments to compensate for my weakness.  (Career changes, moving to a differnet state, giving up certain activities)  I don’t regret it though.  Sanity is treasured above all other things I could possibly want.  I will continue to seek places, processes,
ideas, groups, people, and sanctuaries where I believe I will find more help.  If you have any questions feel free to ask me or anyone related to me for help with your issues.  Here are some areas I have experience in.

12 step
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Somatic Experiencing
EMDR
Group Therapy
Sex and Drug Rehab
Addiction and the Church

“What to expect when you’re expecting” -the sex addiction edition

One of the worst parts of dealing with my husband’s sex addiction was feeling like i was literally going crazy. Everything i thought i “knew” turned out to be false, things I thought to be true turned out to be a lie, and at every turn i began to question my reality. After having the privilege of talking to other women, i now realize that there is a list craziness that many (not all) partners of sex addicts experience, and it was comforting to know that I was not crazy and that i was not alone. 

Symptoms of living with a sex addict may include:

  • Insatiable urges to snoop, spy, and play detective
  • Feeling like you are outside of your body and floating through a bizarre world
  • Loss of appetite (or compulsive overeating)
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Social isolation
  • Fear of going crazy
  • Paranoid that everyone you know either has already slept with or is trying to sleep with your partner
  • Complete loss of sex drive OR completely going overboard and becoming hypersexual

Of course, not everyone experiences these things…I simply share from my experience and from friends who have experienced a similar list of craziness. The only thing I want to say is that there is hope and that there is help. Only by being VERY patient and kind to myself one day at a time was I able to even begin to put the pieces back together.

Today I am so overwhelmingly grateful at where my path has led me. Currently, the husband and I are fighting about something that has NOTHING to do with sexual addiction, which is quite lovely (though I’m too stubborn right now to tell him that). My dogs are sniffing around the kitchen looking for a snack, and my desk is full of papers and books for my MSW program that I’m halfway through. God is good. 

One book that I want to recommend this week is Mending a Shattered Heart by Stephanie Carnes. It is a great place to start, and has really helpful information from both the point of view of the addict and the spouse. 

http://www.amazon.com/Mending-Shattered-Heart-Partners-Addicts/dp/0982650590

 

Friends with Benefits

Rubber-band recovery happens after things in the crazy swirl of sex addiction start to quiet down. (And yes, things can and do eventually calm down!)

You come close together with comrades for awhile, then spread out. After a slow drift apart, a core group of us that had been part of our recovery group for years all got together for food, wine, and a beautiful night outdoors chatting. I realized that each one of these women, while not in my “normal” circle of day to day people, knew the deepest, darkest, most painful secrets that I have ever had to carry. And each one of them carries incredible strength, courage, intelligence, and beauty. I can’t imagine where I would be without them. Even though when I first found out about the addiction I had people who loved me, the support of well-meaning but ignorant people can be counter-productive at best and really destructive at worst.

oprah.com posted an article of 5 types of friends that every woman needs to have:

1. The uplifter

2. The travel buddy

3. The truth teller

4. The girl who just wants to have fun

5. The unlikely friend

For anyone in a relationship with a recovering sex addict, I suggest adding the following:

a. The friend with REALLY good boundaries– this is a non-triggering friend you trust is not trying to sleep w/your significant other

b. The recovery friend -one who doesn’t necessarily inhabit the day-to-day, but knows all the junk you would never share with your co-workers over cocktails

c. The 3am friend- someone you can call to come over and help you remove the S&M “artifacts” that you found in your house after your partner headed off to rehab (this was an interesting experience…she dealt with the whips, ropes, and vibrating underwear with a non-judgmental yet supportive attitude. )

d. The online friend- this friend is someone you’ve connected with in a recovery blog, chatroom, website, etc. This is someone who, even though you’ve never met in person, inspires you, gives you hope, courage, strength, and comfort by just knowing they are out in the world. I’ll give a shout out here to Lili, the phenomenal founder of PoSARC (Partners of Sex Addicts Recovery Center), who I am eternally grateful to for her insight, humor, and support. Highly recommend this site for anyone looking for help as they navigate the path of recovering from the effects of being in a relationship with a sex addict

e. The rainbow sprinkle friend– this type is a friend who knows absolutely zip, zero, zilch, NADA about your sex addiction issue, relationship issues, mommy issues, daddy issues, etc. This one, like their culinary counterpart, is simply there to add some color and some fun. Sprinkle friends are great for grabbing a drink, taking a yoga class, or just having someone light and fluffy to hang out with and chat about Pinterest, movies, etc.. I am inordinately grateful for my sprinkle friends. (Although I have never actually SAID to them that I see them as sprinkles…that probably wouldn’t go over very well…) 

Giving this blog a facelift!

I’ve been feeling really convicted lately about the tone of this blog. Re-reading some of the posts, I noticed that there are shades of “this is the right way to do things” throughout, which was not my intent when I started this blog. So rather than positioning this site as a “how-to,” I decided to change it to simply be field notes from my journey. As we say in 12-step, “take what is useful and leave the rest.”

I also changed the site from “his and her” addiction recovery resources to just my point of view. My husband, though very supportive of this blog, found it was too triggering and shaming to be actively participating in the day to day. He’s requested to stay in the loop as far as any requests/comments/questions/concerns from anyone out there, but is leaving the tale-telling up to me. He’ll pop in and out periodically to share from his perspective.

Thanks to everyone that stops by to read this. I always wonder if I’m putting things out into a void or if people actually find this helpful. I always appreciate feedback and comments, and am so blessed to be part of an amazing recovery community.

Rejoice Marriage Ministries

I saw this affirmation on a website very early on in my journey…it was just a few weeks after my entire life exploded. The scratches on my cheek from where i ground my face into the street in a screaming hysteria still had not properly healed. The pain was so searing I could barely move. I had just separated from my husband and moved 1500 miles away. I had quit my job, gave up my apartment, and wandered around for nearly 6 months crashing on couches, renting out spare rooms in people’s homes, and trying to make sense out of what had just happened. Affairs with my best friends. Affairs with strangers. Anonymous sex with men. Anonymous sex with women. Prostitutes. The list goes on…

I remember sitting alone in a doctor’s office to get STD tests and having to explain way. Trying to process through horrifying revelations that would have NEVER occurred to me to even think about.

What, ME pray for HIM? after everything that has happened? I can’t explain why, but stumbling upon this website brought me great comfort, and I wanted to share it. Not to boast in my own ability or to puff myself up on my own spirituality, but just to pass on what helped my heart heal, in the hope that it may touch another who needs to hear it. As always, take what is useful and leave the rest.

This is from the Rejoice Marriage website.

A Standers Affirmation

I AM STANDING FOR THE HEALING OF MY MARRIAGE!… I will not give up, give in, give out or give over ’til that healing takes place. I made a vow, I said the words, I gave the pledge, I gave a ring, I took a ring, I gave myself, I trusted GOD, and said the words, and meant the words… in sickness and in health, in sorrow and in joy, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in good times and in bad…so I am standing NOW, and will not sit down, let down, slow down, calm down, fall down, look down or be down ’til the breakdown is torn down!

I refuse to put my eyes on outward circumstances, or listen to prophets of doom, or buy into what is trendy, worldly, popular, convenient, easy, quick, thrifty, or advantageous… nor will I settle for a cheap imitation of God’s real thing, nor will I seek to lower God’s standard, twist God’s will, rewrite God’s word, violate God’s covenant, or accept what God hates, namely divorce!

In a world of filth, I will stay pure; surrounded by lies I will speak the truth; where hopelessness abounds, I will hope in God: where revenge is easier, I will bless instead of curse; and where the odds are stacked against me, I will trust in God’s faithfulness.

I am a STANDER, and I will not acquiesce, compromise, quarrel or quit. I have made the choice, set my face, entered the race, believed the Word, and trusted God for all the outcome.

I will allow neither the reaction of my spouse, nor the urging of my friends, nor the advice of my loved ones, nor economic hardship, nor the prompting of the devil to make me let up, slow up, blow up, or give up ’til my marriage is healed.

– Author Unknown

 
 

Link

A big thanks to the recovery warriors out there….

I don’t really have much to say. Overwhelming few months. Things are going ok…we’re still together, still sober, still working it out one day at a time….

BUT i did want to throw a shout out to the people who stop by to read this and a huge thank you to the people who’ve taken the time to comment and send emails. The hardest part of the sex addict/co-addict journey has been the feeling of isolation. The emptiness. Especially with a subject as ‘taboo’ as sex addiction. I truly appreciate the recovery warriors who are out there on the front lines every day. If you are reading this, you are one of them. If no one has told you yet today…. You. Are. Amazing.

Thank you.

Detaching and letting go

As a raging love-aholic, if a dyson vacuum cleaner gave me a sweet smile and some attention, i’d probably become hopelessly attached to it. Nevermind what happens when that dyson vacuum cleaner sprouts arms, legs, and a face.

One of the joys of being married to a sex addict is that i have the opportunity to meet my needs and the needs of my inner children in a grownup, healthy way, since a sex addict (or any other human for that matter) is not capable of filling the gaping hole in my soul that only God can fill.

Well, that’s the theory.

Sometimes it’s easier to attach to the next best thing. Which isn’t always healthy. Or helpful. Or best for me. I’m proud of myself this time around for not getting mixed up in an emotional or physical affair. Been there done that. Grateful I do not have to confess that I fell into that trap, because I didn’t.

And yet.

I did find myself in a very emotionally dependent friendship with an extraordinarily unhealthy person. And I loved every second of it. The brain chemicals that produce happiness and euphoria would spike every time a text came through. Getting on the spinning record of repetitively going over past conversations over and over….and over…and over…and over.

So after 5 years of recovery, instead of letting this get totally out of hand, i chose to end the friendship before the friendship ended me. It was a very peaceful ending (probably because i never crossed any physical or emotional boundaries. The problem with this relationship existed solely in my broken brain and the way i chose to obsess and process through it). It was a very adult, non-dramatic, wish-each-other-the-best type of ending. I’m sure our paths will cross from time to time, and i’ll be there with a smile and a wave- but that’s all.

So healthy decision- check.

Investment in my well-being and the health of my marriage- check.

A raging tidal wave of feelings including shame, fear, sadness, grief, and loneliness that have now come roaring over me with the loss of this friendship- check.

This hurts.

He’s home…now what happens?

I don’t have an answer to that. I do have the flu. I think my body is in shock from the last 6 weeks flurry of activity. Moving, the holidays, now the husband is home. Trying to carve out my place in the house without falling back into old patterns. Sitting on my hands and gritting my teeth and not telling him what to do to get back into the recovery community here. Feeling like life is spinning WAY too fast and i’m not able to catch up. Need my body to heal first. Then maybe I’ll have the energy to wade through the chaos.

Just another typical day living in the land of sex addiction and recovery…..

I am a love addict

Just wanted to throw that out there…..realizing more and more what my own cycle looks like. And when I’m triggered “to use.” Like now, for example. And I don’t like this one bit.

It’s a scary place to be when my brain has all the information I need to recognize my behavior, understand it, and know what to do about it, yet the smaller parts of my insides are crying out for relief and my inner parent can’t/won’t soothe them and dry their tears.

I’m not well. But I will be…..

We’ve lost contact….

You know that scene in every space movie where the crew loses contact with mission control and there’s a total blackout and everyone on the ground is holding their breath waiting to see if the shuttle exploded or made it back safely?

Kind of like I feel now. I don’t like the ‘blackout’ period when hubs is in rehab and i’m on ‘the ground.’ Not that i ever really have control, but now i REALLY really don’t have control.

I don’t like this. Don’t like this at all. Current options in my funkily wired brain: Act out, overeat, overwork, undereat, underwork, sleep late, sleep deprive, sleep with someone, take drugs, smoke, drink….hmmm.

maybe i’ll just go to sleep, call it day, and reach out to some sane friends tomorrow.

Nite all. Grateful that I’m not alone on this crazy train of sex addiction and recovery!

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