Addiction is a medical and clinical term referring to physiological and psychological dependencies that exhibit themselves in destructive behavioral patterns. In layman’s terms, addiction is a destructive relationship with any mood or mind altering substance or experience. It is a complex human phenomenon that is manifested in physical, psychological, sociological and spiritual ways. It has been called the most human of all diseases or conditions, and no one is immune.
Sexual addiction is one of the most misunderstood of all addictions. Simply stated, sexual addiction is the loss of control over destructive sexual behavior or relationship.Perhaps the most helpful definition is a practical one: sexual behavior that has a negative effect on one’s life. A "sex addict" is someone who utilizes their sexual experience(s) to alter their mood or state of mind in a way that is destructive to them and their relationships. Most often thought of as inappropriate sexual behavior, sexual addiction can also be present in those who have no apparent inappropriate behavior. Even married monogamous people can be addicted sexually if they depend on "appropriate" sex to maintain their sense of well-being. Sexuality is an essential part of human life. But, when a person uses sexuality as if it were a drug to medicate their mood, the healthy spectrum of the sexual experience is eroded and it becomes destructive, and addictive. In fact, sexual addiction is not really about sex at all, it is about intimacy. Sexual addiction is a common result when sexuality is substituted for healthy intimacy.
To be alive is to be addicted, and to be alive
and addicted is to stand in need of grace.
Gerald G. May MD, Addiction & Grace
The vision of Operation Integrity is to help people recover from addiction, leading to radical life transformation. We accomplish this by educating people about addiction, helping people become part of a community that supports recovery and growth, encouraging spiritual growth through a personal Twelve Step program along with counseling and/or therapy, and Spiritual Formation leading to an ever-deepening relationship with God. We propose that the following five components be part of a person’s life — minimum of three to five years.
Meet personally with a qualified therapist or counselor as often as possible and as guided by the counselor. Involve one’s family in therapy as suggested by counselor.
Be involved in a Christ-centered Twelve Step Recovery Group. This includes attending meetings like Operation Integrity and other addiction specific support fellowships.
Be involved in Twelve Step process at a personal level. This includes getting a sponsor and following their guidance, thoughtfully and devotionally reading recovery material like When Lost Men Come Home and other related literature.
Encourage family involvement through Counseling, Al-Anon, Co-Dependents Anonymous, or similar Twelve Step support fellowship for spouses and loved ones.
Address underlying triggers. Underlying causes may be an excessive need for affirmation, family of origin issues, childhood abuse or abandonment, unhealed grief, deep feelings of inferiority or superiority, an unhealthy view of God which may even exist in those who have religious training and church experience. Other causes may include other addictions like overeating, alcohol and other drugs, gambling, unhealthy relationships, religious activity and others.
It has been the Operation Integrity experience, that people who follow these suggestions with diligence and sincerity have a successful recovery experience.
This is an excerpt from WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME, not for men only
~ Copyright David Zailer, 2011