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Wayward Side Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Addicted?
AFrayedKnot
♂ Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 8:46 AM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

outtamymind- To answer your original question...absolutely!!!

I am not saying that all A are caused by addiction or all addicts have A's. I am just saying that if you are an addict and you had an A there is a very good chance that they are tied together.

Addiction is a very confusing subject. People who do not have it probably will never be able to understand it. I was sent to my first drug counselor at 13 years old and I didn't even start to understand it until I was 29.

Addiction is an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Just like a person that switches on and off the light 3 times before entering a room, it doesn't make sense to others. It falls into dysfunctional no mans land between want and need. There are psychological and physical responses if it is not fulfilled.

Most of the time those responses are never felt because of substitution. And that is what makes it even more confusing, the fact that the focus of the addiction can be substituted, which gives a false sense of security. I can't drink anymore so I am going to fill that void with sex or work or shopping or exercising or SI or TV or video games or food or anything else.

It also falls somewhere in between conscious and subconscious. If I have a conscious thought about wanting a Cheese Steak for lunch. I will subconsciously arrange my day so that "mysteriously" end up near a Cheese Steak place at lunchtime. It is not a choice but it is a choice at the same time. Fucked up right?

The reprieve for addicts is mindfulness. It takes moment by moment vigilance of checking motivations behind actions. "Knowing is half the Battle". When we recognize the absurdity of our insanity we are able to make decisions out of integrity not impulsiveness. That is why meetings are so important. They remind us of who we are and who we could be if left unchecked.

(And re-reading this it still even come close to describing that feeling, the anxiety, the agitation, the consuming thought, the drive to act against your own will, ahhhhhh....its sounds so fucking stupid but its so fucking real)


BS 39
fWS 36 (SurprisinglyOkay)
DD DS
A whole bunch of shit that got a lot worse before it got better.
"Knowing is half the battle"

Posts: 2586 | Registered: Aug 2012
outtamymind
♂ Member
Member # 33607
Default  Posted: 9:07 AM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

That makes alot of sense, AF.

I'm still trying to figure myself out. Still a long way to go.


Me: FWS 45

Divorced


Posts: 312 | Registered: Oct 2011
AFrayedKnot
♂ Member
Member # 36622
Default  Posted: 9:50 AM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If you really want to figure it out get a really good sponsor and do some really serious 12 Step work.

I'm not saying thats the only way. But it is the only way that worked for me.


BS 39
fWS 36 (SurprisinglyOkay)
DD DS
A whole bunch of shit that got a lot worse before it got better.
"Knowing is half the battle"

Posts: 2586 | Registered: Aug 2012
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 11:15 AM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

this group has a very biased reason for wanting to cast a wider net over the term 'addiction'.

painfulpast, by "this group" you mean Waywards? My interpretation of your statement is that Waywards are looking for justifications/excuses for our infidelity by labeling it an "addiction." Did I get that right?

I had an addiction to the highs or the feelings generated by my wayward behavior

Yep, me too, and detox was a bitch. Whether we call it addiction or compulsion is irrelevant, IDK why people get so bent out of shape about the semantics. Whatever you call it...

I'm just trying to understand what drove me to be so into [AP].

I learned this from Shrink #1 early on. Secretive, compulsive sexual activity can in fact trigger surges of dopamine, phenylethylamine, and adrenaline. The feelings you associated with AP weren't "like a drug," they were actual chemical-fueled highs. You're right, *she* could've been anyone, she was merely a phenylethylamine dealer.

IDK why people view heroin or cocaine as "legit" substances to become addicted to, but completely dismiss naturally-occurring brain chemicals.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1179 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
Sal1995
♂ Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 11:23 AM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Agree with painfulpast.

I really struggle with the concept of sexual addiction. Sex is part of our nature, and its product is all around us - 7 billion people on this planet, and the billions that came before us and the billions that will come after us. I've thought about sex at least once a day for over 30 years now, but in 18 years of marriage never once even entertained the possibility of cheating on my wife.

I suppose taking up with another woman and having really pleasurable sex with her might give me a sense of being "addicted" to her love and attention, but that's the feeling I always got from WW, which is why proposing to her so many years ago seemed like a good idea.

Now, in a perfect consequence-free and conscience-free world, I'd have a harem that I'd visit daily while still keeping my wife. But that world doesn't exist - the one I inhabit involves a nagging conscience and plenty of potential consequences.

Just my two cents, but are we really talking an addiction, or behavioral issues?

And what exists first - the addiction, or the habitual behavior that leads to the sense that one is addicted?


Me (BS)-45, WW-42
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
Final NC late Feb. '13
M - 18 years, 4 children
Reconciling

Posts: 1387 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
bionicgal
♀ Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 11:24 AM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Secretive, compulsive sexual activity can in fact trigger surges of dopamine, phenylethylamine, and adrenaline. The feelings you associated with AP weren't "like a drug," they were actual chemical-fueled highs. You're right, *she* could've been anyone, she was merely a phenylethylamine dealer.

And that is the sound of the hammer hitting the nail on the head.

So, there is this sort of garden-variety stuff happening in all affairs, and then true sexual addiction, which seems more comprehensive and like it has further roots into a waywards psyche. Maybe like the difference between someone who occasionally binge drinks, and a true alcoholic.

From what my H has described, an affair is clearly an altered state for many. He can't even make himself think the way he was thinking then -- has a hard time conceiving of it or recognizing himself. He called it a "trap" -- he needed the fix, and then felt horrible about himself afterwards. Created elaborate, ridiculous rationalizations for why he was behaving the way he was, and he and the AP expended a bunch of energy propping each other up so they could continue to get their fix. By the end, he described himself as a "shell" of a person.

It is amazing how far down he went, so fast.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 11:39 AM, June 20th (Friday)]


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 1957 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
Joanh
♀ Member
Member # 39146
Default  Posted: 11:25 AM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I believe and have stated, my healing feels and sounds like Iam a recovering addict.

The high was the fantasy, the escape. It sucks.

It took a month almost 6 weeks, for me to detox. I am just really getting that part now.

I didn't want to admit it before.

My brain thought about it just like I am thinking now about wanting a cigarette. Which is very hard to quit!

It has been my escape. I know its bad for me, I know it makes me feel worse, however, its a fix.

No different than its a fix to drink , its a fix to smoke, and truth be known it was a fix to cheat.

So yes its similar and the recovery is similar, just don't use it as an excuse, just like I have learnt my CSA and FOO are not an excuse, it explains my coping but its not a good excuse.

Make sense?


BH 39
WW 43
D day November 9, 2012
3 children 22, 8, 6
Just....

Posts: 435 | Registered: Apr 2013
caspers1wish
♀ Member
Member # 28720
Default  Posted: 12:18 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Secretive, compulsive sexual activity can in fact trigger surges of dopamine, phenylethylamine, and adrenaline.

That's how sex was introduced to me. From my perspective, through the lens of CSA, it's not that hard of a concept to grasp once you understand the source, and it took me a long time to figure it out, so it's no wonder it's so confusing for others not affected by addiction. And it's pretty down right shameful as well. The abuse was uncomfortable, traumatizing, but elicited a chemical response, nonetheless. Just because you don't understand something, doesn't mean it's not real. Addiction comes in many forms. It's not an excuse. Like those with hard addictions, it's not an excuse to keep using.


Me - FWW (35)
Him - BH (34)
Kids - Ages 6, 8, 10
Married 13 years, together 18 years.
Last D-Day - November 2008

Posts: 763 | Registered: Jun 2010
SlowUptake
♂ Member
Member # 40484
Default  Posted: 12:32 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(And re-reading this it still even come close to describing that feeling, the anxiety, the agitation, the consuming thought, the drive to act against your own will, ahhhhhh....its sounds so fucking stupid but its so fucking real)
As a smoker for 35 years who has stopped for periods of up to 6 months at a time, I know exactly what your trying to describe.

Yet, I can understand the compulsion to feel the feeling of the high of an affair. An addiction? Not so much.

IDK why people view heroin or cocaine as "legit" substances to become addicted to, but completely dismiss naturally-occurring brain chemicals.
Because correlation does not equal causation.

Exercise releases endorphins, another naturally-occurring brain chemical that produces a feeling of euphoria, but just like dopamine, phenylethylamine, and adrenaline it is not addictive. They simply produce a feeling.
Unlike opiate derivatives, nicotin, cocaine and other chemicals, which have been scientifically proven to be addictive.


IDK why people get so bent out of shape about the semantics
Because language is subtle and different words with similar meanings convey nuances.
And because we waywards tend to desparately grasp for any excuse to reduce our guilt and shame.

So convince me otherwise. Point me in the direction of empirical evidence, clinical studies, anything from a reputable scientific source that provides something to base informed judgement on.
I wrote this earlier in the thread. So far nada.

Interesting 'debate' nonetheless.

ETA: Here's where I believe the nail head is:-

I believe and have stated, my healing feels and sounds like I am a recovering addict.
Similarities not actual addiction.

[This message edited by SlowUptake at 12:52 PM, June 20th (Friday)]


Me:WS,50+
Her:BS,50+ (WantToWakeUp)
Married 33yrs
Dday Dec 2009

"Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few." Pythagoras

There are two kinds of people in the world.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.


Posts: 390 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Limbo in Oz
SlowUptake
♂ Member
Member # 40484
Default  Posted: 1:26 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I referenced endorphine release during exercise in my previous post.

We often label people who over exercise as 'gym junkies' without thinking of them as actual addicts.

It is a fact that when people who exercise heavily and sustain an injury which prevents them from exercising, some of them experience a type of 'withdrawal' from the high they get when exercising, similar to drug addicts but obviously not as acute.

I'm wondering if there is a correlation to the 'withdrawal' from the high of an affair.

Something to ponder.


Me:WS,50+
Her:BS,50+ (WantToWakeUp)
Married 33yrs
Dday Dec 2009

"Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few." Pythagoras

There are two kinds of people in the world.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.


Posts: 390 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Limbo in Oz
outtamymind
♂ Member
Member # 33607
Default  Posted: 1:32 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm not necessarily talking about sex addiction. I don't know if there is a difference or not between sex addiction and the addiction or compulsion to contact the AP.

In my case, my AP lived thousands of miles away. We did meet several times physically, but 99% of the time, it was electronically. I found myself obsessed with looking at my phone, waiting for that next text message or email. When there wasn't one waiting for me, I would obsess about her whereabouts...wondering what she was doing.

We texted each other constantly all day every day.

After I attempted NC, I suffered from withdrawal. There was something about that constant "being in touch" all day that made me feel good. I didn't really miss her at all, I missed the attention. I felt addicted to this constant contact.

I agree that many waywards are looking to "blame" their affair on something. I'm not looking to blame anything really. My marriage is long gone, and we've both moved on. So, I'm not trying to save face with anyone right now.

I'm trying to identify and label the behaviors that led me down the wrong path. I think I'm getting better. I have better boundaries than ever before. I have to admit, I still struggle with thinking about my AP. I think about her from time to time. Mostly, I fantasize about anonymously uncovering the affair to her BH, who I'm sure has no idea what took place. I have no way of knowing if he knows, really. I know I shouldn't care. I have to stop thinking about her. I don't want to be with her...I know that for certain.

But getting back on topic, I appreciate the replies thus far. I may or may not have been addicted, but there has to be some explanation for the panic I felt when I didn't hear from my AP for more than a few hours. Craziness. Could that be it? Insanity? Not addiction?

Whatever it was, it was not rational behavior.


Me: FWS 45

Divorced


Posts: 312 | Registered: Oct 2011
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 1:46 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

SlowUptake, words are important, but my point is that debating what qualifies as a clinical addiction is irrelevant to OP's question. Scientific studies have supported, and refuted, hypersexual disorder, but none of them will help OP figure himself out. Comparing the "high" from his A to a drug addiction...it certainly helped me, and others. We're surviving infidelity here, not revising the DSM-5.

we waywards tend to desparately grasp for any excuse to reduce our guilt and shame.

Replace "excuse" with "framework," and what I'm hearing WS's say in this thread is that the addiction model has been helpful in reducing their shame. Why is that wrong?

BTW, if phenylethylamine isn't a legit addiction, then neither is smoking. At least, not after you've quit for a week. Chemical withdrawals from nicotine pass in 2-7 days. If you fell off the wagon after six months, it was because of a psychological compulsion, not an addiction.


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1179 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 1:56 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This one's easy.

I have to admit, I still struggle with thinking about my AP. I think about her from time to time. Mostly, I fantasize about anonymously uncovering the affair to her BH

In music, do you know what an unresolved phrase is? Do you ever wait to turn your car off, until a song...or at least the chorus...finishes? Otherwise it'll bug you?

Resolve that phrase. Out her. Why haven't you? And why in your fantasy is it anonymous?


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1179 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
outtamymind
♂ Member
Member # 33607
Default  Posted: 2:12 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just want to move on. I want to "let sleeping dogs lie".

I feel that if I act upon my thoughts, she'll react and try to contact me. It will open a whole can of worms.


Me: FWS 45

Divorced


Posts: 312 | Registered: Oct 2011
outtamymind
♂ Member
Member # 33607
Default  Posted: 2:15 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

...and in my fantasy it's anonymous because I don't want her contacting me. I really couldn't care less if she knew I told her husband. But if she didn't know I did it, perhaps she wouldn't try to contact me.

Anonymous or not, I just think I need to focus on me, and stop thinking about her and her BH altogether.


Me: FWS 45

Divorced


Posts: 312 | Registered: Oct 2011
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 2:21 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What would happen if she contacted you? What are you afraid of?


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1179 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
outtamymind
♂ Member
Member # 33607
Default  Posted: 2:32 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm really not afraid of anything. I just rather not hear from her at all. She would get crickets. But, at this point, I need to be less concerned about her situation and more concerned about my own well being.


Me: FWS 45

Divorced


Posts: 312 | Registered: Oct 2011
20WrongsVs1
♀ Member
Member # 39000
Default  Posted: 2:47 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

...so, then you're not struggling with it? I'm confused. What happened to the can of worms?

Is there any chance you're feeling guilty about letting OBS live in ignorant bliss while he's sleeping with the enemy? That's what I think you maybe struggling with. Can you "let that go" or do you need to resolve it?


fWW: 42
BH: 52
DDay: April 21, 2013
Sweet DS & fierce DD, under 10
"Between stimulus and response there’s a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and our freedom." V. Frankl

Posts: 1179 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Redneck land
outtamymind
♂ Member
Member # 33607
Default  Posted: 3:18 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm struggling with fantasizing about letting her husband know. I have no idea if he knows or not. I'm thousands of miles away. I have no way of knowing.

It's just a thought that pops into my head every so often. I wonder if he knows the real story. I wonder if he knows who his wife really is.

I want those thoughts to stop. That's what I struggle with.


Me: FWS 45

Divorced


Posts: 312 | Registered: Oct 2011
silverhopes
♀ Member
Member # 32753
Default  Posted: 3:20 PM, June 20th (Friday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

How long have you been NC with her?

Yeah it can be hard to stop thinking about someone, especially if you think you had good memories with them. Or you see reminders of them everywhere. I found a couple of things helped:

1) Reframing those "good" memories. If they involved being dishonest and hurtful to anyone (I'm also referring to techniques I used before I met Mr. Silver - the OM in our time together was extremely easy to let go of), then those memories don't feel so appealing. There was no "us". A huge part of it is willingness to let go of those memories. Willingness to not value them anymore, willingness to not keep them around in my head. It's hard, but once you feel willing to let go of the so-called "specialness" (and acknowledging it wasn't special, it wasn't right at all), then it gets a lot easier.

2) Taking those reminders of that person and associating them with something or someone else. For instance, suppose I really like a particular place or song, but I think of the unhealthy person. I can choose: don't revisit the place or song ever again, or else go with a friend or family member to the place and make good memories, or sing that song with a friend or family member. And each time I think of the song or place, think of the friend or family member instead. After a while, you begin to feel disgusted you ever associated the song or place with such an unhealthy person.

A big part of it, though, is that you need to be willing to let go. That means really and truly saying goodbye to any attachment at all. Especially mentally.

The mind is an amazing thing, amazingly malleable. When you decide what healthy thoughts and a healthy state of mind looks like, do everything you can to get there. Is thinking about the AP even remotely healthy?


Find peace. Or sleep on it.
Sometimes my monkeys, sometimes my circus.
Infidelities are like icebergs - they may take many different shapes and sizes, but they all damage your ship.

Posts: 3905 | Registered: Jul 2011 | From: California
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