Age: 41
How long have you been working recovery? 6.5 years
Sobriety Date: April 4, 2012
Relationship Status: Married, Heterosexual

 

Bottom line behaviors:

Pornography, masturbation, thought fantasy, street lust, relational manipulation, parental rage

Triggers:

Loneliness, isolation, shame, fear of abandonment, not feeling valuable and feeling unlovable, and anything with sexual content or romantic emotion. Although these are my core triggers, new ones manifest all the time.

How and when addiction started:

My addiction started when I was about four years old, born from what I call ‘unbridled curiosity’. I lived in a small town in Eastern Montana, it was the late 70’s when life was so much safer, and my mom was busy with three younger children. It was a time that was supposed to be carefree. My mom left me to my own devices quite a bit because she was busy with the younger kids and she trusted that I was simply out having fun. Such lack of supervision allowed curiosity to sneak in. I found myself curious about my friends’ body parts. I often told them I’d show them mine if they showed me theirs. And they did. But that wasn’t enough. I then started viewing sexual scenes on the VHS videos my dad would bring home. I’d sit in front of the TV watching, and then rewinding, and then watching again. Over and over.

But even that wasn’t enough. In the same time period I began acting out with a neighbor girl in ways that I had seen in the movie. All that, before age 10.

Why I stayed stuck for so long?

The number one reason I stayed stuck for so long is that I didn’t tell anyone I had a problem. Well, first, I didn’t recognize that I had a problem. But there did come a time when I eventually realized I did, but I still didn’t tell anyone. I was buried in massive amounts of shame. I also didn’t have any sort of recovery program. When I did try and get better I was simply striving for abstinence which would always work for a time, but eventually my tired white knuckles would falter and I’d lose my grip on that too.

What I tried that DIDN’T WORK?

I tried to do it on my own. I have told myself thousands of times that I should/can/will stop. It never worked. I tried involving a therapist. He listened to me, validated me and offered to be my accountability partner. But he also mentioned he knew nothing about sexual addiction so I felt that was pointless. I eventually stopped seeing him. I also became overly dependent on my bishop, which didn’t work. There was a time when I found myself blaming him for my continued acting out. I don’t look back on these ‘wrongs’ with shame, though. I’m actually grateful for them, for be committing them, experiencing them and working through them, I actually found what works.

What IS WORKING now? 

Honest acknowledgement of my powerlessness and accountability is what makes my recovery work. Reaching out to others, and shedding light on secrets that threaten to isolate me. TALKING ABOUT IT. Paying forward that which has been so graciously given to me. Working my program of recovery. Being a seeker of knowledge. Expressing gratitude, not only for where I am now, but for the journey that has brought me here. Attending regular support group meetings and utilizing my sponsor. Being a sponsor. Communing with the Lord, loving Him, trusting Him, believing Him.

You can find more by Sidreis:
{Blog} By the Light of Grace
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