Addiction: A Companion for the Isolated Individual

My half-hearted attempt to write about addiction is my attempt to understand it.

Hi, my name is Sean and I am a sex addict.

I sat in those rooms for five years.  Share after share, I joined with other addicts in our collective attempt to stay sober.  I sat in the room with people who had years of recovery in alcohol and drugs, but they couldn’t kick this habit.

See this habit seems sexy, but is not about sex at all.

When I have told people that I am a sex addict, they say, “Wow” or “I am sorry to hear that” or “I don’t think that applies to me” or “Cool!” 

What I don’t tell them in my disclosure is the number of hours I have spent looking at pornography.  They don’t know about the number of faces that I have seen on chat sites, eyes hollow, faces eager; some desperate and longing, penises exposed and erect, clicking their way to the next “hit.” They don’t know about the deep isolation I feel coupled with the shame and disgust after having acted out sexually.

But when I am engaging in it, I see nothing else.  Food doesn’t matter. Friends and loved ones don’t matter.  All I see is the glorious finish line; a rush of endorphins and dopamine filling those deep cavities in the recesses of my brain; Settling into the grooves carved out by years of trauma and isolation.

I yearn for those top line behaviors again that keep me sober.  Going for a run, calling a program friend and engaging with my life despite this dis-ease.  As much as I want them, I feel that those top line behaviors don’t understand the depth of my loneliness; the sometimes grip of fear and anxiety that overwhelm me and send me frantically searching for a sexual hit.

Addiction.  I know that I don’t need you, but I don’t know what to do without you.  I guess what i can do for now is walk with you until I have the strength to walk alone.