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User Topic: Sex addicted WS, please chime in
Actionsoverwords
Member
Member # 41949
Stop  Posted: 12:26 AM, February 18th (Tuesday)

I am a sex addict, liar, manipulator, cheater, and all around amoral person, but I am ready for change. I've said this plenty of times before and took a step forward before taking five back. I've had over thirty years of deviant behavior and my behaviors predates my marriage, but as a result, my BS has suffered the most out of anyone I have been with. It's not just the sex addiction. It is the delusions of grandeur, selfishness, lack of morals and empathy.

I've been an SAA attendee on and off for the last five years although I didn't get a sponsor until last year and now I stopped communicating with him. I have not attended a meeting in god knows how long.

I've been to numerous IC and one MC. Lied to all of them and now I am trying out IC number four and trying to work on myself for real. Read, and reread Carnes, trying out SMART Recovery, and just had my account approved for Recovery Nation. I've been throwing spaghetti at walls with no clear path. Seeing a psychiatrist and I am on Anti-Depressants, Naltrexone for my compulsive sexual behavior, and Anti-PTSD meds.

My question to all the SAWS: How did you finally make the change and recover and save yourself and/or your relationship? What steps did you take that worked for you? How did you stay on the path? How did you deal with your compulsive thoughts and/or behavior?


Me: WH, 30's
Her : BW, 30's, (determinata)
Children: An amazing son.
I am a sex addict, working on myself, and facing the wreckage of my actions.



Posts: 161 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: New York City
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 6:32 AM, February 18th (Tuesday)

Actionsoverwords - How did you finally make the change and recover and save yourself and/or your relationship? What steps did you take that worked for you? How did you stay on the path? How did you deal with your compulsive thoughts and/or behavior?

I'm not a SA and perhaps not qualified to talk on the issue but I believe that you already know the answer to this question.

Your numerous confessions of "deviant behavior" and of attending SAA meetings for 5 years means that you have heard the message already and you could probably recite it to us, backwards if need be.

The question I think you need to consider isn't about the program, its about you. I worry is that if you attended numerous IC over the years and lied to them all, then what makes you feel or think that you are not going to repeat that past behavior with your latest IC?

You say that you are now "trying to work on yourself for real" and I have to ask, had you ever made a real commitment for change in the past or had you lied to yourself and everyone else back then about your commitment to change?

I think you're asking the wrong question. I don't think that anyone here has a special trick or technique that they can share with you that will help you find the courage, commitment and dedication to continue the SA program to a successful end. We're not going to heal you. That solution will only come from you.

I think you need to focus on determining "why" you have never stuck with the program in the past. You have to figure out why you continue to backslide. You need to dig deeper than you ever have before. White knuckling your addiction won't work. Its often said that alcoholics have to hit rock bottom before they can start healing, and in that respect, perhaps you have not hit rock bottom yet.

From my personal experiences, I know a bit about rock bottom. And I also know it wan't until I was driven down on my knees when I was able to dig deep inside and make a commitment to myself. Not a commitment for someone else but for myself. I feel that you need to find the strength inside yourself, born of desperation and desire. You need to find something inside you that will give you the strength to stay on the straight and narrow. You don't need to find a step or a trick, you need to find yourself.

HUFI

Wisdom from Gamine - Make a decision and discipline yourself not to waver. Don't be someone who stands for nothing. Stand for what you decide and back it with the full force of your character and conviction. DECIDE. CHOOSE. COMMIT. PERIOD.


Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused. Donít listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3226 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
startingover62
New Member
Member # 39804
Default  Posted: 11:27 PM, February 18th (Tuesday)

SA and WS here.

You need to return to the concept that being SA is essentially an attachment or bonding disorder (Carnes).

I would recommend Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. She addresses many of the issues that keep people isolated.

You will need to really want change for yourself. Addiction causes neurochemical changes to the brain, but with work you can make the choice to become different and better.

Good luck.


fWH 63, BS 63 (Twentyplus)

Posts: 10 | Registered: Jul 2013
Actionsoverwords
Member
Member # 41949
Default  Posted: 9:53 PM, February 19th (Wednesday)

HUFI-PUFI, startingover62,

Thank you both for your responses.

HUFI-PUFI I apologize if I come off as if I am seeking a magic bullet to my addiction. I know it is not an easy journey and that to think otherwise is a smack in the face to those who do the work day in and day out. I was just doing a bit of self reflection and seeing where I am going wrong and you are right when you said that

I think you're asking the wrong question.
The real question has been answered, I just don't like the answer, but I really feel like I will drown if I don't fix me.

startingover62 Thanks for the pointer and the book recommendation, I will definitely check it out. I have been working on changing the neurological pathways in my brain by associating kind, within acceptable boundary behaviors with "good feelings" and talking with my IC and doing a cost benefit analysis with my poor and immoral thoughts and actions.


Me: WH, 30's
Her : BW, 30's, (determinata)
Children: An amazing son.
I am a sex addict, working on myself, and facing the wreckage of my actions.



Posts: 161 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: New York City
HUFI-PUFI
Member
Member # 25460
Default  Posted: 8:58 AM, February 20th (Thursday)

Actionsoverwords - The real question has been answered, I just don't like the answer, but I really feel like I will drown if I don't fix me.

Brother, don't I know this feeling. Staring yourself in the mirror, as you know, can be one of the hardest things that a WS does in the days afterwards. Its hard to stare at yourself and find a broken man staring back. Especially in the early days, I could really understand the feeling of being broken beyond repair.

UnexpectedSong - I will always be the one with that broken soul - pieced and glued together, maybe, but you can see the seams and duct tape. It's ugly.

I still have days when self-reflection drives me to my knees in a flood of powerful feelings and emotions. Feeling waves of shame, guilt, remorse and regret can be very overwhelming.

But like its said, the only way out is through. There is no magic solution or wand that we can wave. We simply have to find the strength and commitment from inside and some support from outside and slog onward.

Myths reveal how we wish to think of ourselves, how we would like to be, if only we had the courage Ė Anon

6 years ago, even as my EA started, I caught the first glimpse of my self-destruction but driven by the brokenness of my soul and heart, I watched myself surrender my honour, my dignity, my integrity and my character. Whatever self-image I had spent the past 50 years building up was eradicated when I finally came to my senses and could see the ruin and destruction my actions had caused. In truth, if I had truly been as good of a man as I had thought myself to be, none of this would have happened. Finding out that in truth I had been only a broken man with a nice facade was devastating. In a lot of ways, I still struggle with that understanding and find myself beating myself up with self-recrimination. However, more often than not, nowadays the focus is not my mistakes but my growth in becoming.

Your analogy of drowning unless you fix yourself is a good one. I feel that the first step and often hardest step is simply acknowledging the brokenness and you have taken that step. Now its a matter of working on the healing. I am personally aware of how hard it is to straighten out 30 years of errant behavior. It often feels like trying to quit smoking and crack at the same times.

But it can be done. Find a great IC. Don't settle for just a good one. Find your support group and lean on them. Your sponsor can be a lifesaver. You need to take concrete steps to reinforce all the positive steps you take and you really need to set up consequences for slippage.

HUFI

Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused, donít listen to your heart, its fickle, listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.


Donít listen to your head, itís easily confused. Donít listen to your heart, its fickle. Listen to your soul, God doesn't steer you wrong.

Posts: 3226 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: Azilda, Northern Ontario
nealos
Member
Member # 35284
Default  Posted: 10:12 AM, February 21st (Friday)

My question to all the SAWS: How did you finally make the change and recover and save yourself and/or your relationship? What steps did you take that worked for you? How did you stay on the path? How did you deal with your compulsive thoughts and/or behavior?

I'm a year sober in SA. I couldn't string together more than a few weeks of sobriety until I began doing the Step work with a sponsor in earnest. I went to multiple meetings a week, called people, made friends, but I didn't really engage-- I did this for 8mo before I actually got a sponsor and started doing work.

A friend of mine in SA recovery (who's also sober 20yrs in AA) has a saying I like: "There is no relapse where there is recovery." Make it a priority... even if you don't want to or you think you're way to busy. It really needs to become the most important thing in your life. (Right now this morning I have 2 things I'M prioritizing over my recovery. I could probably do well to take my own advice!)

Another useful discipline for me is to control my eyes and thoughts. If I'm going to beat this thing, I'm going to do it upstream. There's nothing "wrong" with checking out the girl in front of me at the grocery store, right? Or taking a 2nd or 3rd look at the girl crossing the street? I actually think it's really damaging to me. I think all of these little "lust hits" add up to a baseline dysfunction... it's just keeping the wheels greased for relapse. Lust needs to become foreign to me so that it is no longer habit. Same goes for sexual fantasies. I don't allow myself to dwell on them. I have a prayer that goes like: "God, please help me to only focus on thoughts that are productive to my recovery and my happiness." I think the magic happens upstream by breaking the automatic habits.

Lastly, and probably most importantly, BE HONEST. Start telling the truth. I know it is SO hard, but it is impossible to stay sober (in my opinion) while lying to everyone around you. You don't want to relapse right?... remember how much pain you're causing everyone?... remember how shitty withdrawal is?... tell the truth and you avoid all of these things. Stop keeping secrets. What you'll find is that honesty will set you free. Your loved ones will accept you even for your true infallible self... you will be authentic and they will still love you! They won't disown you because you made a mistake. Secrets are for hiding behind. I don't think recovery happens if you're hiding behind your secrets.

I should also point out that I didn't save my relationship. I didn't really do any of this for myself until my ex was out of the picture. I DID get into recovery because I wanted to save the relationship (though I couldn't see that at the time), but I stayed in recovery for me. ...and I honestly don't know if the relationship would have worked out anyway, because she would have had to face her shit too. She wasn't (and isn't) willing to do that. Your reality might be that your BS isn't willing to address her issues either. Why has she been in a relationship with a sex drunk for over 5yrs? Someone who's willing to be in a relationship with people as sick as you and me is probably unhealthy in their own way (codependency?). I would strongly recommend MC with an addiction therapist if "saving the relationship" is a major motivator.

Good luck. There's a reason that the literature describes the process as "trudging the road of happy destiny." It's really hard, but it is SO worth it. Life is better on this side.


31yo WS-SA

ďWhen we disclose the thought and intents of our hearts in surrender, we identify with one another at depth.Ē


Posts: 258 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: 5280'
Neveragain1221
Member
Member # 41969
Default  Posted: 1:20 PM, February 21st (Friday)

It's not just the sex addiction. It is the delusions of grandeur, selfishness, lack of morals and empathy.

You might want to go to a psychiatrist and ask them to test you for Narcissistic Personality Disorder. You just described four of the main symptoms. Some of the other things to look for are a sense of entitlement, contempt for authority and/or those "inferior" to you, and an extreme reaction (rage or intense depression) to criticism.

You sound like therapy would help you, if you really want to change. That's the kicker, with NPD, treatment does exactly nothing unless you are serious about changing.


Me: WS 26. 4 year EA and PA.
Him: BS (MercifulH) 27.
D-day 1/3/14.
Separated heading to D :(

Posts: 84 | Registered: Jan 2014
Mrunderstood
New Member
Member # 42536
Default  Posted: 11:42 PM, February 21st (Friday)

I have found myself in a similar situation. It took loosing the people I loved and cared for most to enter into ic. To address my amorality. I never physically cheated but would turn to online sex sites as a way of coping with relationship stressors. I ultimately stopped it on my own after moving in with my now ex. Her and her dd meant everything to me and I wanted to be everything to them. However, she found out due to the electronic trail.
They were my reason for stopping but I still didn't know why I felt so compelled to go there to begin with. It was disgusting to me but continued it for 2 yrs.
I was always against ic, maybe bc I was afraid of what I'd learn. After seeing the amount if pain that I caused so many people that I loved, I didn't see any other option bc I didn't want to hurt anyone like that again. Especially people that loved me as much as she did.
Through ic, literature and a deep hard look at myself, going backwards through my life to pin point how it started, I was able to identify triggers and ultimately the root cause. When I was in the 4th grade I was sexually assaulted by my teacher. It's something that I had burried within myself and I am working hard to figure out how it's possible that it was burried so deep, how it has taken me so long to connect the two.
It has been extremely painful process but one that I am committed to bc it has already taken so much form me and from people that were close to me.
My relationship is lost. I've hurt her to badly for forgiveness. Not only the things I was doing online but also all the lying that I did after she found out. I felt like I was in a lose lose situation and was in total self preservation mode. Deny, deny, deny. To her and to myself. I am stuggling mightily over the loss but know that I must once and for all learn, recognize, and defeat these demons bc this is not a feeling that I ever want again. Not a feeling that I want to inflict onto anyone else ever again.
I hit rock bottom. I thought the online stuff was helping me to cope bc it kind of did, briefly, but ultimately it was an anchor that was pulling me farther and farther down.

Posts: 9 | Registered: Feb 2014
Actionsoverwords
Member
Member # 41949
Default  Posted: 5:22 PM, February 24th (Monday)

HUFI-PUFI,

Thank you as always for your words and wisdom. Please accept my sincerest gratitude because you hold no punches and you have a way of putting things into perspective. For someone like me who dwells in the world of fantasy, it pulls me into the land of the real. I am in the process of seeing an IC and we are on a trial period now. In terms of support groups, there are many out there, but I have not leaned on them or worked on being a part of them.

nealos,

A friend of mine in SA recovery (who's also sober 20yrs in AA) has a saying I like: "There is no relapse where there is recovery." Make it a priority... even if you don't want to or you think you're way to busy. It really needs to become the most important thing in your life.

I agree, the addict in me tells me that "too many things are going on," or some nonsense along those lines. I recognize it and that alone should serve as the interruption to anything that tells me recovery is not the most important thing in my life.

Neveragain1221,

I've taken unofficial assessments and they all have shown that I exhibit more than a majority of the traits associated with NPD, and my off the cuff diagnosis by my current IC has me pegged as sociopathic. I've got an IC, a Psychiatrist, I'm on medication (AD, Anti-PTSD, Anti-compulsive meds, etc.) but it is time for formal testing.

Mrunderstood,

I am sorry that you lost everything, but I am so happy for you that you are continuing to heal and recover.

Not only the things I was doing online but also all the lying that I did after she found out. I felt like I was in a lose lose situation and was in total self preservation mode. Deny, deny, deny. To her and to myself. I am stuggling mightily over the loss but know that I must once and for all learn, recognize, and defeat these demons bc this is not a feeling that I ever want again. Not a feeling that I want to inflict onto anyone else ever again.
I hit rock bottom. I thought the online stuff was helping me to cope bc it kind of did, briefly, but ultimately it was an anchor that was pulling me farther and farther down.

I understand. Nearly 6 years out from the first D-Day, I was still in self preservation mode and continued denying things that could not be denied. Throughout my entire life, I thought my use of online and offline porn, prostitutes, affairs, and predatory sexual behavior was helping me cope with life, but like you, the weight of everything is unbearable and is drowning me. Thank you for sharing, and hang in there.


Me: WH, 30's
Her : BW, 30's, (determinata)
Children: An amazing son.
I am a sex addict, working on myself, and facing the wreckage of my actions.



Posts: 161 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: New York City
Topic Posts: 9