It’s been one year since my last post. Wow a lot of changes have gone on in my life. This year has been a tough one a lot of hard things have gone on but with that a lot of growth and change. Both very hard for addicts. We hate change because with change comes the unknown and that freaks the living crud out of us. I like the same old same, but that gets unhealthy and stagnant. In addiction we become stuck in the same old patterns for me it was a big relapse pushing away all those who wanted to support and stand by me. Get lost I don’t need you anymore and the more they pushed me to do healthy things the more I told them I was starting to hate them. With no addiction in my life I love and adore these people. In addiction these people were stopping me from getting my next high. I felt pushed in a corner, trapped and panicked. I would tell them I needed this next high to survive, I would lie, manipulate and do everything I could to get what I wanted. I figured out how to get around accountability reports so that I could still do my addiction. I had tough accountability but I choose what I was doing carefully and always made sure I had a back door escape hatch.
Addiction no matter what it is robs you and everyone around you. It’s like a tornado repeatedly ripping through the lives of people we love. It changes who we are and whom God wanted us to be. Addicts are some of the most kind, loving tender-hear ted people. We are not mean and cold-hear ted. I heard today it’s because we feel deeply which scares us so we turn to drugs, alcohol or sexual addiction to numb out our feelings which are so intense and become unbearable. We are stuck in this cycle of wanting to stop but we can’t. How many times, more than I ever could imagine did I fall and then say I would never ever do it again and ever time I would fail and ask how on earth did this happen again. Addiction makes you feel hopeless and unworthy and for me full of shame.
Recently I went back to coaching which has been a God send to me to see why I do what I do and learn how not to make the same mistakes over and over again. My coach understands me so much as this is the same addiction that she had. I think sexual addiction is the hardest addiction to overcome because on the surface it looks like nothing is wrong and for me it was easy to hide, but it destroys you to the core of your soul.
The biggest thing that stands out for me in this addiction is this ” Sexual addiction isn’t about sex at all. It’s an intimacy disorder—– a desperate search for love, touch, affirmation, affection and Approval. ” Taken from NO Stones – By Marnie C. Ferree p. 21 ” Obviously sexual addiction is false intimacy and a false solution for legitimate needs, but it’s driven by pain and loneliness not physical gratification.”
That’s me down to a tee. That’s how I feel and so nice to see how sexual addiction is defined. I would never ever admit I was a sexual addict because that’s bad and who the heck would want to be around me.
One of the things I’ve learned about my addiction is how important TRIGGERS are to me to be aware of when they come because they come with a vengeance so unless I’m aware and prepared I will fail every time. In AA they talk about HALT which is Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. The last 2 are huge for me and sickness. As well as Rejection, Abandonment and emotional triggers such as Shame, guilt and unworthiness. Not only triggers but the most important thing for me in coaching has been THE CYCLE OF ADDICTION –
- PREOCCUPATION – For me this is huge for me to catch myself as this is starting to happen, as soon as my mood changes and or I feel a trigger or I want to feel better now and I start thinking about how that’s going to happen I start to fantasize. At this stage the brain chemicals start to fire up and then the neurochemicals hit the cycle of addiction has begun.
- RITUAL – What kinds of things do you start to do in your ritual for me getting a high thinking about looking up books of erotica, thinking about those stories and masturbation. Once engaged in that ritual my coach says ” It’s like a heroin addict with a needle in their hand, are they going to stop it now?”
- ACTING OUT – For me it’s reading erotica books or watching porn videos or movies. This is why I could never understand why I got to this stage.
- DESPAIR – Feeling awful broken promises to yourself others and God. The shame and unworthiness for me is what kept me in this cycle and drove me deeper into my addiction. One of the hardest things for me and still is to admit to my accountability Partners that I messed up again. Yes it’s hard but it’s the best and most freeing thing to do because this addiction is grounded in secrecy. One thing I have learned though is if they understand addiction at all they will encourage you. God forgives us as well when we turn to Him and repent and ask for forgiveness. Taken from No stones pg. 81- 84
Last night while doing my homework for my coach one of the questions was How does my trauma fuel my acting out.?This is how I responded: In my past or now when my addiction comes into play I use numbing out techniques or using something excessively to escape. That’s why I use face book so much to escape. Then shame and unworthiness creeps in and then I don’t care whom I hurt to get my next high because I want that pain to go away and I want to feel better. As stated before huge issues for me are Rejection, abandonment, shame and unworthiness. All these things will cause me to act out unless I stay on top of how I’m feeling. We all know how those feelings feel. I understand sexual addiction now is not about sex but about a desperate search for love and connection and affirmation. It’s not about rejection, abandonment shame or unworthiness. I love what I’m learning about this disease.
This is a work in progress and I will continue to watch how I’m feeling and catch that thought as it enters my head before it goes down the road of destruction. What are your triggers and rituals? When we are aware of these things they then cannot rule our lives.