Sunday, October 14, 2012


I need connection. I crave connection. Right down to my core I desire the emotional intimacy that comes from a true connection. And yet, the actions of addiction often drive connection from my life. This happens in obvious ways, i.e. a healthy marriage relationship can't survive addictive behavior.  But it happens in more subtle ways as well. Generally sex addicts do not make a good friend. I am generalizing a bit here, but our learned selfishness does not contribute to a positive relationship. In addiction, sex addiction, especially pornography addiction, revels in isolation. Unlike alcoholics, our acting out is often done fact finding alone time is often one of our key rituals leading to acting out.

All of this to say, there is a reason group work is so effective when dealing with addiction. Groups lead addicts to interact, and hopefully connect, with others.

For me this has become one of the key challenges of my recovery. Yes I crave connection and acceptance, yet I also push it away. But lately I have found myself with some friends from my recovery groups who won't let me push them away. They insist on being a part of my life. They insist on knowing me as I am, and still liking me ( a miracle). They insist on not criticizing me. They come from a place of pain themselves, and because they know the depths I've felt, they come to me with open arms and limitless understanding.

My challenge is to let them in. And I find it's amazing how difficult that simple concept is. I still struggle with the thought that anybody could care for me just as I am. I struggle with the thought that these friends will abandon me too once they "really" know me.

I have to let those guards down and let these good men in. They want to be my friend, not just to help me, but just to be my friend. And I want to be theirs. Why is that a battle?  Likely only other addicts will understand, but my vow is to feel real connection. Allow it into my life, and help others find it in theirs.

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