I’m struggling to narrow down all of my thoughts into a single topic. I’ve been to five meetings in seven days. The learning curve in the first parts of recovery is pretty steep. There is a lot of information available, once you can finally admit to yourself that you have a problem. How addiction is formed. How shame and guilt perpetuate the cycle. How brain chemistry is altered by addiction. How much you have hurt the people around you. How to start the 12 Steps.
What I’m struggling with is how to deal with my girlfriend leaving me after a four year relationship, while I’m actually starting to get somewhere on fixing myself. In every previous relationship, I ran away when things got tough. When my wife found out about my mistress, I left my wife. When my mistress became too much drama (which was easily predictable, if I would have looked past our bedroom connection) I left her for someone else. In my current relationship, I am doing something completely out of the ordinary for me – I’m fighting to stay with her. The real John is madly in love with her, whom I will call Grace (since she has shown me more forgiveness and grace than I can understand). Overcoming this addiction while simultaneously fighting depression and the other feelings that come with a significant loss will be a grueling test for me. I have regularly acted out during periods of loneliness or sadness. And now I have to battle depression AND withdrawal symptoms which just feed each other.
The people say to “work the program.” Or “reach out to someone from the group.” But that feels like platitudes when you’re the one spiraling down. Sometimes you have to “fake it ’til you feel it” when you say:
“Hi. I’m John. I’m a sexaholic and I’m just happy to be here.”