Varying levels of addiction problems - the awful sin list I have

Submitted by introuble on
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I am really trying to fight this addiction. I've MB'd about 3 times in the past month. I am managing to go about 10 days before the addiction kicks in again, and I slip up momentarily, then try and start clean again.

The one thing that is really getting me down though, is the different forms and shapes of how this addiction is taking place. I've analysed this, and over the past 2 years or so, the problem is no longer being addicted to porn and MB. The various things which I have a problem with I have listed below, with the more serious ones towards the bottom of the list -

1) MB - the simplest and most harmless on this list.

2) Browsing porn. Right now I have a web filter on my PC, so it is virtually impossible to browse porn anymore. The filter is definitely helping.

3) I have this strange compulsion to want to post photos of my wife, or mother-in-law (who I find attractive) on porn forums, and get a thrill from seeing the responses. Even writing this makes me feel sick. Why am I doing this? I have huge regrets once I've MB'd from this, and delete the photos immediately afterwards. This is far worse than simply MB'ing to porn. I don't know how to stop this compulsion. The web filter is definitely helping though.

4) Setting up false email accounts and emailing my mother-in-law sexual emails. I cannot even begin to explain why I'm doing this. It is sick, sick, sick. Again, once I've MB'd to doing this, the regrets and sleepless nights afterwards are endless.

5) The final one on this horrible sin list. Actual sex with another woman behind my wife's back. This is not that much of a regular occurence, but obviously this is the worst of the lot. I don't believe in affairs, and actually find people who cheat on their partners to be disgusting. I've never had an affair, but I have had drunken one-night stands, which is all they have been. Needless to say, I have had huge regrets the next day.

Looking at this list now, MB and browsing P is the most harmless of the lot. I just don't know how to combat this anymore. I've been trying to fight this addiction over the past 7 or 8 months, but every now and again, I will trip up, slip up, and it will be one of the above 5 on the sin list that will lead me to slip-up.

I'm in despair right now. How the hell can I make this all stop...? I manage to fight off the urges day after day, night after night, but eventually something will trigger it again, and it will be one of the above 5 that does it. I realise now that 1 and 2 on this list have obviously led to the other 3 addictions.

I just had to write this out and turn to someone for help. I need help. Right now I'm so ashamed of myself, I can't even face looking in the mirror anymore....

Sorry man, these addictions

Sorry man, these addictions can take some twists and turns. I too, found myself doing things that I never thought I would be doing. No reason to feel shame with this, we're all quirky, its just that when it comes to something as powerful as sex, it can really amplify our quirks.

A sex-addiction meeting would help I think. I met some awesome guys at these meetings and it really helped with the shame. They are very understanding and its a safe environment to deal with these issues. Opening up to other people can help and you would be surprised at how many people can identify with your struggle.

Its hard to get a foothold while you are relapsing every ten days. If you can manage to get further along, I think you will see the healing power abstinence has for your mind.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.

Over the past 8 months, the

Over the past 8 months, the longest I've gone is 21 days without MB.
It is only recently that I have started trying again to go on a long run without MB or porn, but right now 12 days is what I seem to get to before a relapse of some kind.

The main issue is my current work situation. I live in another country currently, on a fixed employment contract, so I only see my wife once a month for about a week. The rest of the time is spent lonely in my apartment, with the damned laptop sat there smiling at me. This makes the issue worse.

I feel better already that I have identified the `sin list' above. Writing it out like that suddenly made it clearer what the problems are.

Thanks for that article. The

Thanks for that article. The first one even made me laugh. My problems are nowhere near as severe as that. On average, since I've been with my wife, which is 10 years, I've probably cheated on her twice a year. By cheating I mean a snog with some girl in a drunken state in a nightclub, or worse still, a one night stand, which is all I've ever really done. I've never been one for having an affair with someone else.

Most one night stands have actually involved me sleeping in the same bed as a girl, but not having sex, because once I reach that place, the guilt gets the better of me, the alcohol wears off, and my penis becomes Mr. Droopy, meaning I couldn't go through with it. I leave the next morning feeling like hell, with the only comforting salvation that I didn't actually have full sex.

The last time this happened was over 2 months ago, and the above thing happened. I really hope that will be the last time it ever happens to me. I have vowed since then never to cheat on my wife again, and I hope this time I stick to it.

Amylia Willard (The Curious

Amylia Willard (The Curious Girl)

Hi. I am sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time. Coming out of an addiction is a challenging thing. One of the the largest impediments to progress however, is shame. It is good that you recognize when an action you desire to take is not congruent with your happiness, (or other people's for that matter,) but dwelling on feelings of disgust, shame, fear and repulsion are actually worsening your compulsions, and not helping them. It's strange but true. Rather than demeaning and judging harshly, this aspect of yourself, and this aspect of humanity in general, make an attempt to humanize it. Come to peace with it. Accept it in yourself, and others. Then you will gain a sense of control over it. When a behavior is viewed by the mind as "bad" or "forbidden", the compulsion the brain feels to engage in such activities grow in proportion to the guilt you feel. May I suggest involving your wife in your recovery? Reaching out to her and being open would be healing for both of you. That might seem scary to you, but it would only bring you closer. Also, having a copy of Marnia's book would help a lot as well. You could maybe read it together, it's quite informative, and it's always a lot more helpful when you are able to open up to the person you long to feel closest to. This may be off topic, but I feel like recommending the movie "The Secret" as well. Being informed about the power of thought, and the mechanisms behind the human brain is a truly empowering thing. I am glad to hear that you are trying to help yourself, it is a truly honorable thing. Being human is strange, but nothing to be ashamed of. Self mastery is a lifetime course. :) *Life begins outside your comfort zone.* I hope my suggestions help. Good luck to you.

Thanks for the comments. I

Thanks for the comments. I will watch that movie The Secret, and will buy Marnia's book (where do I buy it from?) As for telling my wife, I am just too ashamed to do that, and feel I could lose her if I did. She is the best thing that ever happened to me, I don't want to lose her by confessing everything I've done.

Life begins outside your comfort! That really made me think.

I'm with "Curious". Tell her.

Shame is such a horrible fuel that just keeps feeding this cycle. I've been there in a few different ways many years ago, but this whole scenario sounds so very familiar. What we might imagine to be the scariest thing in the world can actually be exactly what we need to do to prevent ourselves from truly ruining a relationship. It does seem to me that your situation calls for some sort of immediate shift in your thinking and actions. Here are a few other suggestions I would add to what's already been mentioned:

• Register in some sort of awareness seminar. Landmark is one that has worked well for me, but I know of many others. But don't get sucked into it being a 'cult' experience for you. Just take what you need and get right back to your life.

• Go on a silent retreat. I have practiced Zen meditation and participated in their quite transformational 'Sesshin's' (silent 5-7 day retreats). They are affordable and usually are by donation. Zen centers are also often in beautiful locations. There are many other organizations that offer silent retreats.

• Take a trip alone to a far away place. Nothing like getting completely away from your life to be able to not only gain a clearer perspective, but also to find the strength and courage to deal with major obstacles.

I truly believe that any of the above actions can pave the way for a difficult conversation, or at the very least initiate a major shift in your life.

I wish you the best and I honor you for bravely sharing your story. We all have our stories don't we. :)

The Secret

Thanks for the positive comments everyone. I have just watched The Secret, and this may be the gear change in my thoughts that I needed. Whatever we think and dwell on, we bring more of it.

Time to think and focus on the positives, what I want out of life, and forget to think about what I don't want, and what is bothering me.
I've reached this moment, and now is the time to act. Today is the first day of the rest of my life.

I recommend everyone to watch The Secret.

Thanks. I agree that 3,4 and

Thanks. I agree that 3,4 and 5 are the most important things to conquer first, but porn and MB has led me to that in the first place, so all 5 must be combated simultaneously.

I never really knew that until I typed out that list, and it was spelt out for me in black and white. Doing this exercise has really helped. I just hope this path I am trying to get on now can continue.....

This book was a huge help for me.

Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes.

He has other books out too but this one in particular helped me get to the root of many of my problems. It can be a painful journey but it is so worth it! It helps us understand why we've done some of the things we've done. It was one of the keys in my recovery which included forgiveness of myself. Living with guilt and shame day in and day out is not condusive to recovery. Healthy shame is one thing, but the kind of shame that eats away at you is destructive. This book gets into all kinds of sexual addictions, not just porn. It makes you think.

Wishing you well, you are not alone!

Much calmer, more

Much calmer, more positive.....words cannot describe.
I had a moment in the hotel swimming pool earlier on, when the sun broke through the clouds and shone straight at me. I had a feeling in my heart and soul I hadn't felt for years - that God was smiling right at me.

A change is happening to me, quicker than I anticipated, and different to the time I began to feel I had to quit this addiction months ago.

I'm now on the right track....

I'm glad to hear it

Those kind of "boosts" are wonderful. Just remember that although our brains are plastic, they sometimes take a bit of time to come into accord with new-found clarity. Especially during stressful times. So keep the faith. Wink