Hi there – my name is sex addiction. You know me by several other names, including sex addict, behavioral addiction and process addiction. I’m an insidious form of dependency that is often not discussed with anyone because I use shame and guilt to silence you.
If left unchecked, I grow in power – making you take greater and greater risks. I will lie to you, twist your thoughts and ultimately destroy your relationships. I can make you lose your family, your job and even your freedom.
I use emotions like depression to fuel acting out behaviors and will distort your thinking to justify getting what I want. Even though you recognize the negative consequences for your actions, I always win out. You see – I am so much stronger than will power!
Here is what you may not know – I am vulnerable to 7 specific things that weaken my hold. If you engage in any one of these 7 things, you lessen my power. When you combine several of these items together however, I cower in the corner like a scared puppy.
I really should not be sharing this information with you – but I am going to do it anyway.
Are you ready? Let’s jump right in!
7 Things Sex Addiction Doesn’t Want You To Know!
1. Facing fears of intimacy
One of the things that tighten my grip on you is your fear of intimacy. I love it when you repeat unhealthy patterns of attachment and become distant from people in your life. However, when you address your fear of being close to others and take steps that promote personal healing, I shake like a leaf!
2. Healing your wounded self-esteem
When your self-concept is damaged, I will try to bolster your self-esteem by making you act out in an empty attempt at personal validation. This is particularly true if you have body image issues or if you were once sexually abused. Once you are able to identify this pattern of attention seeking and address it through forums like 12-step meetings and talk-therapy, I lose my intensity.
When you use sex to “numb up” or emotionally “check-out” it’s like pouring gasoline on a fire – I love it! On the flip-side, I can’t stand it when you stop hiding from your feelings and begin the process of taking inventory. Oh – and when you talk to your therapist about how you use sex as a form of emotional medication, you send me running for the hills! Argh!!!!
4. Recognizing patterns
One of my greatest strengths is my ability to ritualize destructive behaviors. Here, I am talking about things like wasting hours on the Internet looking at imagery or spending money on “services” for hire. When you call me out on my toxic patterns and how they have become deeply woven into your life, it’s like taking a sword and plunging it through my heart. Oh – how I hate that I just told you this!
A natural consequence of recognizing patterns is increasing mindfulness. Obviously, I hate this too because it means you are paying attention to how I have been screwing up your life. When you do things like mediate or bring your awareness on the here and now, I lose massive amounts of power.
6. Support of others
I am at my strongest when you isolate yourself from others and retreat into yourself. This allows me to distort your thoughts and engage in all sorts of psychological mischief. On the other side of the coin, when you start sharing with others who are struggling like you, my power starts to evaporate. Groups like Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous are kryptonite to me!
When you are acting out and allowing me to be in the driver’s seat, I am at my happiest. But when you make the conscious choice to focus on taking care of yourself with the inclusion of healthy boundaries around different life areas, you make me miserable and weak. Now why the hell did I just tell you this!!?
There are boatloads of other things you can do to keep me at bay but I have run my mouth too much already. Yeah baby – I’m not going to give away the store.
Remember this – I am always here – just waiting for you to cope with your feelings in unhealthy ways. I love it when you live in denial because it allows me to flourish.
Oh – and I hate that I just told you that too!