Addictions begin in subtle and seemingly benign patterns of behavior. And at first, no one is likely to notice. The compulsive behaviors related to sexual addiction are facilitated by internalized personal dynamics such as shame, embarrassment, loneliness, emotional isolation, mental exhaustion and a seemingly endless number of painful feelings anyone of us may experience. Virtually any pattern of emotional mismanagement and unhealthy behavior can initiate the growth of addiction, and by the time that most people suspect that they or a loved one is addicted in their sexuality, the addiction may be deeply rooted.
In my case, I tried very hard to make “good” use of my addictive inclinations. They entertained me when I was bored, comforted me when I was hurting, and they distracted me away from painful childhood memories as well as my chronic failures as a young adult. I rationalized them sincerely as harmless little pleasures, and at first I didn’t suffer any destructive consequences. But deep within me I hated what I was doing. I worked desperately to stop my destructive behaviors, often slowing down or even stopping for a period of time. But all the while, addiction continued to grow inside of me quietly, silently gaining control.
Sexual addictions come from the deepest place within us, a place we can’t reach on our own. In a very real way, our beliefs, our thinking, our feelings, our very selves are at the center of our addictions. With ineffective care and life management, anyone can become frustrated, resentful, fearful, dissocialized, and angry. We all at times feel abandoned, isolated, taken advantage of, having no sense of our true worth and value. It is within these dark and isolated places that sexual addiction finds ripe and fertile ground to take hold of us.
from When Lost Men Come Home - not for men only
copyright 2012, David Zailer