Sexual Addiction: Two Sides of the Coin

Sometimes there is no script for the things that happen to us in life. We don’t know what to do, so we try to figure it out on our own and just cope. Many times the way that we cope with life events leads us into addictions or into a relationship with an addict.

Addictions happen when we try to numb the pain in our life. We become addicted to the few moments of relief from the pain, and continue to seek out the thing or person that gave us that relief.

Addiction means – the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice. The Latin stem of the word actually means a giving over; to surrender. (dictionary.com)

It is surrendering to the darkness in our life.

Addiction of any kind operates in darkness and fills us with shame, but sexual addiction seems to be controlled by it.  Shame is the voice that whispers mean things because it doesn’t want us to come out of the dark. It is a deadly fungus that grows stronger in silence and fear.  It covers us like a raincoat so that we can’t feel God’s love raining down on us. It convinces us that hope, joy, forgiveness, and peace are great ideas – for everyone except us.

But here’s the truth about shame. It cannot survive in the light. It will threaten, howl, whine and beg us to stay cowered down in the darkness. But once we step into the light and share our story with others, its death grip begins to loosen.

Out in the light we can hear truth, we can feel God’s love, we can experience compassion from others who are also struggling.  We can see that change is possible.

Fighting for hope often feels impossible when addiction is involved, no matter which side of the coin we are on. The truth is the more we fight for hope, the more warrior-like we become.

Hope Warriors push against the darkness, yelling “You will not win!”  into the hopelessness that hangs over us like a fog.  Hope Warriors let loose that war cry “What you meant for evil, God will use for good!”

Hope Warriors know that whatever is going on right now as you read this, the last chapter has not been written. There is still hope and it is worth fighting for.

Hope begins growing when we realize that the ways we’ve coped and acted all these years are not helping us. It continues to grow as we discover different tools and resources that help us.  I want to share two resources with you today.

Forest Benedict writes to men and women stuck in sexual addiction in his book, Life After Lust.

He offers hope and practical direction as he shares his own story of addiction and recovery.  He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Sexual Addiction Treatment Provider (SATP-C) living in Fresno, CA.

Forest shares the first chapter of his book here.

It is available in digital or paperback through Amazon. Click here to order.

Intimate Treason by Claudia Black, PHD and Cara Tripodi, LCSW is written to women and men who are partners of sex addicts.

“Those who act out sexually – whether through pornography, cybersex, prostitution, voyeurism, and/or multiple affairs – leave their partners reeling in rage, incredible shame, and isolation. In this taboo-shattering and practical guidebook, partners affected by sex addiction can learn to develop healthy boundaries and make positive changes in their lives. The skills-building exercises presented are designed to help partners better understand the disease of addiction and how it is affecting their relationship. Intimate Treason provides a path to healing that gives voice to partners’ truth as they travel on their own journey of recovery.” (summary on back cover)

Intimate Treason is also available through Amazon. Click here to order.

Sexual addiction is like a monster tornado swirling in the middle of a relationship. Although both partners are experiencing the harmful wind and hurling debris, they are each experiencing the tornado in completely different ways.  If you or someone you love have been impacted by sexual addiction on either side of the coin, these resources could provide the first step on the road to recovery. Silencing shame and walking in the light takes courage and tenacity, and it brings out the Hope Warrior in us.

Hope is worth fighting for!

Both of these resources are available on Amazon. The links I’ve provided are Amazon Affiliate links, which doesn’t change the price of the resources, but it helps me as an Amazon Affiliate.

When Fighting for Hope Brings Out Our Badass

“Hope is by far the most dangerous commitment we make in life.”

This quote by Dan Allender has shaped the direction of my blog and the direction of my life in recent years.

I’m not a person who runs toward danger.  I’m the person that screams out loud at the suspenseful part of any movie. I’ve sent popcorn flying two rows down. (My sincerest apologies to the people sitting anywhere near me every time I see a movie in the theater.)

In life we have to choose between giving in to fear and fighting for hope. I’ve spent many years giving in to fear, allowing the darkness to tell me what to believe. But things have changed. These days, I’m choosing to fight.

Back in the fall I wrote Why Fight for Hope. I ended the post with this paragraph:

And the more I fight for hope, the more I suspect that there may be a badass deep down inside of me. One that doesn’t flip out at the first sign of danger, but one who owns her story with style.

My suspicions have been confirmed. The badass deep inside of me is starting to surface.

The badass I’m speaking of is not abrasive or offending.  It is a feeling of courage, strength and resolve. That feeling grows the more I fight for hope, and though it is new on the surface,  the seeds of badass have been there all along.

Getting back to badass is changing the way I fight for hope. Instead of being on the defense, clinging to hope, I find that now I run after hope, even when things look bleak.  Instead of just surviving, I am more apt to reach out to others and encourage them in their fight for hope.

Getting reacquainted with my badass has been a journey worth sharing. To do this, I’ve created a video series called Back to Badass: Living Life with Courage, Strength, and Resolve.

Since I’ve never done anything like this before, I’d love your feedback in exchange for a sneak peek at the series.  For the next 7 weeks, I’ll post a video from the series for you to comment on. These are the types of things I’m looking for:

What are 2 things you learned during this video? Am I communicating clearly? I’d love to hear your thoughts and impressions.

Would you be willing to help me sharpen my series?

I’m jumping right in with the teaser video, to give you an idea of what the series will entail.

 

Can you imagine what our homes and communities would look like if more people lived life with courage, strength, and resolve? I sincerely believe it would change the world.

I’m looking forward to sharing this project with you. If you know someone who would enjoy this series and would like these posts sent straight to their inbox, please encourage them to sign up for my blog in the sidebar at erinulerich.com.