I chose to be 100% honest and forthcoming recently in a Facebook conversation I was having with a total stranger about my recovery for sex and love addiction, simply because I’ve seen the huge benefits of being this way over time, like I did in this situation, but more on that in a minute.
Being honest and forthcoming about other addictions I’ve suffered from, like the one I once had to alcohol and drugs, has been relatively easy to do, especially in the past decade or so, given the acceptance this addiction seems to have gained in society. But when it comes to my recovery from an addiction that deals with sex and love, remaining honest has been far more difficult. That’s much in part due to the gross misconceptions and judgments people tend to still have when they think of this addiction. If you were to randomly ask someone who hasn’t suffered from it what they think a sex and love addict is, they would most likely say it’s either a child molester, a predator of some sort, or possibly a flasher in public who wears one of those long trench coats. While in some cases, that may indeed apply to some individuals I’ve met along the way in recovery, that’s actually not true for the majority, including myself. In my case, I became powerless over pornography, sex-based conversations on the phone and internet, and codependency with married/unavailable individuals, all of which was always focused on people who were far older than I.
Nevertheless, I think the reason why people aren’t afraid anymore to openly admit they’re an alcoholic or addict is because most of the stigmata has been removed in society surrounding those addictions these days. Maybe that’s because so many people over the years learned to stop being so afraid to talk about it and instead started walking through their fears to become more honest and forthcoming about the disease. And the more people did that, the easier it became for others to follow suit. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case though for sex and love addiction, as of yet. That’s why I’ve chosen to be a forerunner of starting the process of stepping through my own fears of what others may think by choosing to regularly share about this disease and how it once affected me and may at times still do.
With that being said, when I received that over sexualized message from a total stranger on Facebook messenger, its tone reminded me quite vividly of what I once did in the cyber world when my own addiction to sex and love was more than active. At first, I chose to ignore this guy’s message, hoping he would just go away and find some other person to exude those behaviors towards, but when his persistence kept up with even more messages, I suddenly felt an urge to be 100% honest and forthcoming about my recovery to sex and love addiction.
In my response to him, I said that while I was grateful for his recent friend add, I was in recovery for sex and love addiction and in a monogamous relationship as well, and that much of his language in his messages to me were how I used to communicate to others when this disease had the best of me. Shortly after that, I noticed he unfriended me, which I must say I wasn’t very surprised. What’s funny about this is how great I felt after I saw he had done that. While he ran from facing his own behaviors, I didn’t and instead felt empowered over a disease that once held more power over me.
That’s why I’m incredibly glad I’m choosing to be 100% honest and forthcoming about my recovery for sex and love addiction nowadays. Because in doing so, it continues to help me overcome any fears I may still have in talking about this addiction with those who may not understand it or have judgments surrounding it.
Just recently in fact, I had to do this very thing when I got in contact with a senior staff person at the largest hospital here in Toledo about securing a room there, as we have been in the process of looking to change the location for our weekly meeting. When they asked what type of 12 step program the meeting would be for, I was honest and told them it was for sex and love addiction and then explained a little more in depth to help them understand better. When we were given approval and a room a day later after my request, I once again felt empowered over a disease that once held more power over me.
This is exactly why I will continue choosing to be 100% honest and forthcoming about my recovery to sex and love addiction, because the more I do that, the more it seems to lose its power over me. And the more it loses it power over me, the more I seem to find myself becoming far healthier, mind, body, and soul. And the more I become far healthier, mind, body, and soul, the more I know I’ll be able to help lead others still struggling with this addiction in becoming 100% honest and forthcoming about it as well…
Peace, love, light, and joy
Andrew Arthur Dawson