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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:35 pm
Posts: 33
I don’t know much about sexual addiction, however in the last week I have been helped with some insights into my own pornography and masturbation addiction. I didn’t figure it out, I’m not that smart. My purpose in posting is threefold. One to break my silence and isolation, two is the hope that it may help someone else, and thirdly to get input on things I’m struggling with. The information is from Joe Zichik. For my post I will use the following convention to differentiate between material of Joe’s that resonated with me and my own comments.

JZ: (material from Joe Zichik - not verbatim as I have changed some of it to internalize to my own addiction)
TB: (tbbtgoggi - comments of my own struggle).

TB: A little history. My dance with addiction has been going on for roughly 48 years. My first marriage lasted about 16 years; my current marriage of about 15 years is on the verge of divorce. About 6 years ago my wife “caught” me watching porn forcing me to look at my behavior and slightly lift the veil of denial. Lying to myself and lying to carry out my addiction made me a “double” liar. If lying is bad, lying to self is insidious.

TB: My wife discovered RN quite awhile back and I embraced the beginning of my journey to health with hopeful optimism recognizing that I had some kind of issue, but actually in heavy denial of how deep rooted my addiction is.

JZ: Sex addiction is driven by underlying emotions
Two components to overcoming sex addiction are Motivation and Method.

TB: My first attempt at getting a handle on my addiction was to work the RN program “steps”, to get through it and “get better”. As Joe would say I had a method. It is very easy for me to “over intellectualize” just about anything. That makes it easy to miss stuff. Sometimes it is the important stuff. RN has a lot of information and I read through it all and jumped into the recovery workshop determined to get through it and get it over with. (I made many of the mistakes that I was warned about before or in each lesson.) My effort was mechanical and task oriented to complete lessons and I completely missed any connections to my emotions. Secondly, in my ignorance or self-deception I was not honest (or able to be honest) about my motivations. One of the key components of my addiction has been a powerful repression of my emotions. So not only was/is my value system underdeveloped and informal, but I have not allowed myself to “experience” my emotions either. Although I do not understand this entirely, I’m continuing to study this by heightening my awareness of my emotions. In my opinion, repressing my emotions has been related to a fear of bipolar manic episodes, and an inner critic “not being good enough” belief (voice, self image, or whatever you call that psyche phenomenon). With this recognition and additional insights from Joe Zychik’s work, I stopped lying and came clean to my wife. The craving, desire, or urge, to watch porn and masturbate, which had been a daily struggle for as long as I remember is minimal if not gone. (On a side note, with my wife’s help and support I’m 52 days tobacco free after nearly 50 years of smoking cigarettes).

JZ: Motivation (Motivation alone is not enough to overcome an addiction. But it is a good start)
Addresses why you would want to overcome the addiction
To overcome a sexual addiction, the sexually addicted person needs to ask him/herself, "Do I want a real and loving relationship in my life?” The desire to have a genuine intimate relationship is the most effective motivation there is to overcoming a sex addiction
The more motivation a person has, the better their chances of overcoming their addiction. So let's look at other motivations:
Pleasure:
Sex is a profound pleasure. However, when a person is sexually addicted, sex becomes a compulsion that one must indulge like drugs, alcohol, smoking or overeating. Sex addicts, like other addicts, go through binges and feel terrible afterwards.
One of the great pleasures of overcoming a sexual addiction is being able to enjoy sex without the guilt that accompanies sexually addictive behavior
Freedom:
All addiction is a form of psychological slavery. No one made the addict a slave. The addict did it to him or herself. By the same token, it is the addict who frees him or herself. But until they are free, addicts don't know when their addiction will call and what they will do to satisfy it.
Overcoming a sexual addiction liberates a person from the beck and call of their compulsion and fills the person with a wonderful sense of freedom.
Positive Outlook:
To be addicted is to be out of control, which fills the addict's everyday life with anxiety and despair.
Most people who are addicted have no idea that much of the despair and anxiety they experience is caused by their addiction.
When they overcome their addiction they're amazed at how much better they feel about life's possibilities.
Self Respect:
Sex addiction takes a great toll on one's self-esteem. Being out of control causes the addict to lose confidence in him/herself. Cheating and deceiving to hide the addiction or engage in it result in self-disgust. Not being able to sustain a genuine loving relationship causes despair, loneliness, frustration, and self-alienation.
By overcoming a sexual addiction, the addicted person develops the confidence and self-respect every person needs in order to find happiness in life.
Effective motivation can be summed up in two sentences:
1- Outside pressure is counter-productive.
2- The best motivation is based on a positive outlook and comes from within.
Overcoming sexual addiction requires positive motivation.
Non-addictive, genuine loving sex in a real relationship is the absolute best sex there is. It is the greatest high, the greatest thrill, the greatest charge in life.
Method
Defined as how you would attempt to overcome it
Effective method
Must not rely on any outside gimmicks
Must address the underlying feelings that drive the addiction
Approach must teach you to rely on yourself
Approach must recognize that overcoming sex addiction is ultimately an individual effort
Approach must teach how to experience your addictive desires and how to choose whether or not to act on them (relying on yourself for your own choices)
Look for an approach that focuses on the long run. Experiencing the addictive desire rather than repressing it gives you the best chance for the long run because it teaches you how to face your problem rather than bury it. Sexual conflicts don't stay buried. They are either resolved or acted on.
By learning how to choose whether or not to act on the addictive desire your long term chances of success are improved because you don't have to rely on anyone else but you. You don't need a crutch because you have something more effective than a crutch. You have the ability to face your own feelings and make the choice necessary to overcome your addiction
Overcoming any addiction, after you've acknowledged that you're addicted, begins with your approach to the addictive desire. Positive Realism succeeds first because of how it teaches you to deal with the Addictive Desire
No artificial barrier can stop a person from acting sexually addictive
First obstacle to overcoming sexual addiction is fear of failure.

TB: In my opinion, Joe Zichik’s material was able to help me understand some of the RN lessons I was speeding through to “fix” my addiction. Now I can start over and begin the “RN journey to health”. I attempted to obtain counseling from Joe, but as luck would have it, his plate is full and he no longer accepts new clients. Guess that is another testament (if any of us would need one) as to how many of us struggle with SA. So, THANK YOU to all of you who, share, care, and give of yourselves to help. (Additionally, Joe’s unavailability maybe part of the perfect design for success in dealing with my addiction, as it nudges me toward more “active” recovery)

TB: The “perspective” below was extremely helpful to me.
JZ:
A. Two types of sex drive (for a sex addict)
1. Natural, loving sex drive
2. An addictive sex drive
a) Sex addiction is the misuse of a natural drive
3. Differences between Natural and Addictive Sex
a) Natural Sex
(1) Spiritually nourishes you.
(2) Natural sex is not shameful
(3) Doesn't lead to guilt
(4) Entices you to enjoy life and to enjoy yourself and your partner
(5) Fills you with real emotions not fantasies
(6) Can make you laugh, cry, sing, dance, or just fall asleep blissfully
(7) Fills you with a special, wonderful feeling that you can't get any other way
(8) Makes addictive sex look like a bad joke told by a boring stand-up comic in a sleazy nightclub
b) Addictive Sex
(1) Addictive sex screws you
(2) Overwhelms your need for natural sex
(3) Entices you into a life of compulsion
(4) Fills you with fantasies that can never come true
(5) Puts up a barrier between you and reality
(6) Separates you from real emotions
(7) Teaches you to hide, to sneak and to live with shame and guilt
4. So how does someone tell the difference between their natural sex drive and their addictive sex drive?
a) As a general rule - not true in all cases - sex outside of a healthy relationship is addictive
(1) Going to prostitutes is a definite sign of sexual addiction
(2) Using pornography to the extent that you neglect your partner in real life is another sign of sexual addiction
(3) Or using pornography as a substitute for real sex is still another indication of being sexually addicted
(4) Masturbation can also indicate sexual addiction
B. You have a natural, inborn need for good sex. Natural sex is not something to feel guilty about. It is not something to be denied, repressed or resisted. But it is something that can be abused. When the natural need for sex is abused it becomes an addictive compulsion

TB: Due to time and length of post I’ll follow up with my inquiries for input from the community in my next post.

Thank you to all of you who give of your selves to help the rest of us. I cannot express in words the appreciation I have.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:47 pm
Posts: 694
tbbtgoggi,

Thank you for sharing what you found value in, it's a good read, in line with RN's teachings. It's very satisfying to find the same message from different sources, wisdom and truth are universal.

tbbtgoggi wrote:
I don’t know much about sexual addiction, however in the last week I have been helped with some insights into my own pornography and masturbation addiction. I didn’t figure it out, I’m not that smart.

If intelligence were measured by awareness and self-knowledge, we would have all probably failed the test over and over. And yet, it's commonly accepted that SAs have over average levels of intelligence and they are usually high achievers. So, don't sell yourself short. You have what it takes, we all do. You just need to want it and give it time and effort to dig as deeply as you can and achieve self-knowledge and awareness.

tbbtgoggi wrote:
My purpose in posting is threefold. One to break my silence and isolation, two is the hope that it may help someone else, and thirdly to get input on things I’m struggling with.

All these motives are rock solid. Keep them in mind and keep posting whenever you feel you want to share or ask or just support someone. Don't let yourself be discouraged if you don't get many answers, that does not mean that people are not reading. Post firstly for yourself.

Remember that it is a journey, a process of self-discovery, insights and breakthroughs usually come by as a result of a slowly build up of smaller, seemingly trivial realisations. Nothing is wasted. It might as well be that your previous work on RN made it possible for you to react to this information as strongly as you did. And now this information points you back to RN. It seems to me you are expanding your understanding with every read and that is all that matters. Do it thoroughly, constantly, proactively, you will enjoy the benefits.

I wish you well,
Ursula

_________________
"A wholehearted attention feels like the nurturing presence that I always wished I had in a parent. Now I am free to be there for myself in a way that I assumed I needed from someone else." Tara Bennett-Goleman, Emotional Alchemy


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