A Dangerous Disease
Your addiction or use probably started out as a solution, as a way to escape the pain, stress, loneliness or boredom you were feeling. Deep in the heart of every addict is the sense that they’re defective, that there’s something wrong with them, and this pain of yours probably needed some medication. But like a lot of quick fixes, using sex or any drug has some nasty side effects.
First and foremost, Sex Addiction is a progressive disease, meaning it's a disease that gets progressively worse until reversed by treatment. And if not treated, it will likely destroy your marriage, family, job, finances, and health. You'll lose everything.
To use an analogy, it’s like a tiger: if you feed it, it will grow strong and eventually devour you. Except that with addiction, you can’t stop feeding the tiger.
You see it getting worse, but you can’t stop. Not without outside help at least, as addiction attacks the very part of your brain responsible for things like willpower and self-discipline.
The downward spiral
Using sex fixes your problem for the moment, but what happens after the high is gone? You feel worse. You felt bad about yourself already, and were having trouble dealing with the pain, stress, loneliness or boredom you felt, so what are you likely to do now? Use again.
The more you use – the more you act out with anything from fantasies to pornography – the worse you feel, and the more likely you are to use again. At the heart of Sex Addiction is a very ugly, very destructive downward spiral, which devastates you and those around you.
Divide and conquer
But you're also now divided. Your world has been split in two: into the real world and your fantasy world, into real life and your addiction.
Part of you lives here. Part of you is here being an adult, taking care of the car, the grass, the kids, and the bills. But when this world gets too hard, you escape to your fantasyland where you can have complete control. You escape into your addiction and live there.
Again, your time, attention, and energy are now divided.
But when you spend your time planning your addiction, practicing your addiction, following up on your addiction, and thinking about the next time you’ll do your addiction, another problem crops up.
The missing years
When most adults experience pain, grief, sadness, loneliness, or disappointment, they learn from it. They grow emotionally, and learn how to overcome those feelings and manage them better the next time they occur.
Not so with the addict. By running into your addiction and spending time there instead of dealing with the problems you face, you cheat yourself out of years of emotional growth.
Is there any hope?
Looking at the devastatingly painful consequences of Sex Addiction for you and your loved ones, along with the dire prognosis, it’s easy to wonder if healing is possible at all.
Fortunately, it is. At the heart of your addiction and the downward spiral is the false belief that you're bad, that you're defective, that there’s something wrong with you. And since that belief drives your whole internal emotional program, working to make changes at a core-belief level can start the shift toward ultimate healing.
But it’s not an easy road. If you spent years building your fantasy world and investing in your addiction, it will take time to heal. It took time to walk in, it will take time to walk out.
And instead of a single activity, treatment will often involve a program of several activities, such as individual, couples and/or group therapy, reading books, attending seminars, finding an accountability partner and so forth.
In addition, your wife or girlfriend will be encouraged to attend some sessions, so they can better understand your addiction and your emotional system, and learn what treatment program is being put in place.
Contact us today
Sex Addiction can be treated, so please email us or call us today at 210-341-3525. It's a difficult road, but fortunately you don't have to walk it alone.