The abuse of sex and drugs to meet simple understandable human needs for love and affection are the underpinning of many addictive behaviors for those with an early history of physical, emotional, sexual abuse, and neglect.
Addiction professionals and recovering people need to often be reminded, that it is not enough to simply explore and resolve past trauma. True recovery also involves learning how to live and connect as adults. For many addicts, the drive to abuse both drugs and sex are fused with a belief that using is the only way to feel…a part of something, for those with little self-worth and little (they believe) to offer others. The lack of a learned ability to engage and trust deep attachments along with love can lead to lifelong problems of addiction and relapse.
The candid comments of an amazingly open recovering professional writing about her drug and sexual addiction history below, provide meaningful insight into why many addicts, both male and female choose to embrace drug use and sexual promiscuity rather than a life of healthy connectivity. Her words provide an intimate view into how the destructive combination of drug abuse and sexual acting out are often fused in a misguided attempt to meet the simple human needs we all share for connection, desirability, and inclusion.
“Drugs gave me a sense of connection to people I was using with. Having drugs, access to drugs, and money for drugs, made me ‘desirable’ to people. I was everybody’s ‘friend’. Sex I related to affection and feeling beautiful – something I did not feel.
In all the years of therapy that I went through, many clinicians wanted to focus on the drugs themselves and the sexual trauma that I had faced in my younger years. I was faced on my own with the daunting task of sorting through my attachments with role models as far back as 3 to 5-years-old. It wasn’t until I met a therapist who focused on my lifelong social anxiety, learned isolation and adult challenges and fears about truly connecting with people, that I was able to evolve into having healthy adult relationships, boundaries and real intimacy.”
Robert Weiss is Founding Director of The Sexual Recovery Institute and Director of Sexual Disorders Services at The Ranch Treatment Center and Promises Treatment Centers. These centers serve individuals seeking sexual addiction treatment and porn addiction help.
Follow Robert on Twitter @RobWeissMSW
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Last reviewed: 6 Sep 2012