Sex addiction is a psychosexual disorder that revolve around sexual urges and compulsions. It’s not about how many people you’ve slept with or the number of times but rather, what matters are your own thoughts and behaviors.
The only thing I knew about sex and love obsessives before this year was that Russell Brand was one.
And, considering that he’s allegedly slept with over a thousand women, it seemed like being labeled a sex addict meant you were definitely getting some.
Being a sex and, eventually, love addict seemed like a cop-out to me. When your spouse discovers you cheating, you say something like this.
I didn’t realize I was one until I realized I was one.
I shouldn’t have been shocked in the least. I’ve been addicted to everything from liquor to job to mince pies as a recovered alcoholic with an addictive personality. That was humiliating.
So when I reached rock bottom again in March, this time because of romance, it was difficult to confess that I needed assistance once again.
I’m not going to lie: I’ve always struggled with expressing strong, profound feelings.
My emotions were always turned up to IMAX levels, from when I was in elementary school and fell head-over-heels in love with a girl in my class at the age of six, to when I was 32 and persuaded that I should meet up with a lady I hardly knew in South America because she’d showed me some interest.
There were periods in my life when I felt like I was in love with a new woman every week — without ever meeting her.
I reached out to a few close friends after being hooked to Hinge and realized I needed assistance.
And since I cared so much about individuals, I couldn’t help but believe that they were the ‘one’ this time. I almost immediately forgot that I’d felt this way about someone the week before.
My feelings would be tremendous despair and devastation when things didn’t go as planned.
My lowest point occurred when I realized I was constantly utilizing dating apps for hours at a time, day in and day out. I realized I had an issue at that point.
I couldn’t seem to quit.
I was talking to eight different ladies at once on this carousel, and I was changing my Hinge questions and photographs incessantly as if I was trying to break a hidden algorithm.
Addiction, in my opinion, is a sickness that affects more than one person. That tyrannical desire to keep ratcheting up the pressure. The sickness that advises you to increase the intensity if you’re in question.
So, after getting hooked to Hinge (which was much more humiliating than the mince pies) and dating nine women in one week at one point, I reached out to a few close friends and realized I needed assistance.
I realized that imagination was one of the most pernicious aspects of my condition for me, and that it was well balanced by my fear of rejection.
If I met someone for the first time, for example, my mind would instantly begin spinning wild dreams about ‘our future.’
Getting hitched. We’re out on our adventures in a camper van. During supper, they are lovingly smiling at each other across the table. Even having a family. And no matter what I did, the obsessive thoughts would not go away.
Then, when the relationship didn’t pan out the way my intellect had predicted, I lamented what had never been.
As a result, I sought out a rehabilitation program and a therapist, both of which have proven to be quite beneficial. I’ve also worked with a life coach on defining what I’m seeking for in a relationship and identifying my red flags, which helps me evaluate when that early emotional spark threatens to turn into a wildfire. And making a determined effort to keep the red flags from becoming green.
This has necessitated the eradication of a number of old notions, such as the notion that I ‘needed’ someone to complete me.
It also helped me see my dating tendencies, and how I wasn’t always prioritizing my own interests or communicating what I wanted. Then I placed myself in a position to be harmed, although quietly, since I didn’t want to create any friction by voicing my wants. This is a clear symptom of poor self-esteem.
I realized that my profound fear of rejection stemmed from the fact that I had been depending on other people for affirmation for so long.
As much as it kills me to admit that, I finally understand that someone’s view of me is none of my concern.
I’ve learned that just because I run into someone doesn’t imply we’re on the same wavelength.
Instead of attempting to make every single one of the world’s 7.9 billion people adore me, I’ve discovered a lot of peace and tranquility by practicing acceptance.
For me, the dark and insidious part of being an addict is that, if you don’t confront it, it can take control of your life, influencing your decision-making and major life decisions.
But it’s not like that now that I know my factory settings. I’ve recognized that having obsessive thoughts is a part of my personality.
When I do meet individuals, I’m aware that I’ll have to go through a little agonizing phase in which my mind and emotions respond as if I’m the star in a Disney picture, complete with a full string orchestra playing whenever that person enters into the room.
Except that I’ve learned that if I’m patient, wait, and breathe, I can get clarity about how I’m really feeling. My new sense of self begins to return, and I look to my values or aspirations to determine if this is me or my inner addict at work.
more: way of life
Now that I’m more at ease, I’m ready to start dating again. I’m seeking for someone to accompany me on this next chapter of my life — someone who wants to explore the globe with me; someone who isn’t scared to show up emotionally, is positive, and recognizes the value of thankfulness.
And, preferably, someone who can quote Gladiator.
While things don’t always go my way, I’ve learned that just because we cross paths doesn’t imply we’re on the same route.
So, Russell, please accept my apologies; I misunderstood you.
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