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Firefly

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  1. Hi, I wrote a reply last night but due to maintenance it was lost so my comprehensive response was lost... Any way I will try again with a shorter reply to start and say that you have made the hardest step which is to admit to yourself you have an addiction and that you need help. Unfortunately I did not do this and resulted in it being forced upon me. I will pull together a few useful blogs and posts that you might have found already. In the mean time I think it might help to look at the following link and quantify how much impact your SA is having on your life. Am I a Sex Addict? | The Laurel Centre I would ask you to also consider if the weekly porn is a subset and you are actually relapsing 52 times a year. Anyway there is plenty of help and many who are or have been through exactly the same and I wish you well. Firefly
  2. Thank you so much for sharing your painful journey with us. I am so glad you have been able to share this and that you are getting help. You are not alone and as you read other peoples experiences you will see the addictive pattern, especially the need to escalate the activity as in your own words “it got more and more excessive that I started to look elsewhere again” A drug addict generally does not start off with Heroin and dirty needles to get their numbing fix. Each day is a new day and unfortunately there are no quick fixes, but building up a number of coping / soothing strategies really helps. I am so glad you have been able to post. Best wishes
  3. Thank you Marley for this very honest post. This is a poignant reminder to all of us who have lost out through addiction. It is also a reminder to everyone to get help early before our cognitive distortions push our loved ones away. I do hope that you have NOT spiraled into more acting out as a result of the latest shame and HAVE been able to reach out and get help for yourself. There is much resource available for you. You are in my thoughts at this difficult time.
  4. Thank you for posting this. It is so easy to be so ashamed that you get as you say "Stuck in the cycle" and you feel you can't even tell your therapist or support network. However the truth is you can't stop the triggers or thoughts entering your head. There will be many people reading this who have been (I certainly have) in your situation. The danger is that in acting out (slipping / relapsing) as you say, coupled with many sites knowing and feeding your addiction you are in danger of spiraling back to 2019/20!! I find that by finding alternative ways of dealing with triggers has helped me minimise the slips and the subsequent potential to spiral; which is why I wrote this post which you might find useful. Numbing vs. Soothing - Success Stories - Paulahall UK Sex addiction forum However I would get in touch with your therapist again as they will know your story and help put short term strategies in place; or contact one. As you know you cannot fix this on your own. I hope this helps. Firefly
  5. Welcome to the Forum. Your story does sound a familiar Sex Addiction Cycle, especially the disgust afterwards. I would have a look at the following questionnaire as it will help you to determine the level and impact. Am I a Sex Addict? | The Laurel Centre Additionally I point you towards the series of Blogs that will start you along the road to recovery. You have made a big step by admitting to yourself that you have a problem that needs attention. What’s at the root of compulsive sexual behaviours, sex addiction and porn addiction | The Laurel Centre Good luck on your journey.
  6. As an addict we are all familiar with the word “numbing” as it’s the acting out that we do to block out pain and regret afterwards. I have always thought that “soothe” falls into the same category BUT that is not so. The dictionary states “soothe” is to gently calm a person or their feelings while “Numbing” is defined as deprived of the power of sensation, without feeling, desensitised, senseless, unfeeling; anaesthetised, paralysed, frozen. Soothe does not deaden the feeling but relieves, takes the edge off, without loss of senses, but the dictionary clouds the issue by stating similar adjectives as numbing, which has in the past been a cause of confusion for me! I have now concluded that it is ok to soothe as it’s a thought-out process to provide relaxation. I am NOT going to define numbing behaviours as this will be too triggering, and we all know what they are; and focus instead on activities that we can all use for soothing without feeling guilty or having the shame afterwards. Having healthy coping strategies can help in our self-care journey. Self-soothing techniques come in handy if panic comes on suddenly and without warning. It’s crucial to note that self-soothing doesn’t replace reaching out to your support system. Staying in touch with the people you love (and not pushing them away) is an important part of looking after your mental health and well-being. Over the last few years, I have discovered the art of talking… taking a shower, creative writing, poetry, painting, woodwork and walking very helpful. I have also rented a ¼ plot at a local allotment and this has given me fresh air, exercise and a place to go. Listening to music in the car is another soothing activity. In the past sport, especially sailing was helpful for me in clearing the mind and very relaxing while being out in the elements. If you are lacking ideas, put “Self soothing activities” into your search engine. Build up several new soothing skills to add to your armoury to tackle feelings that normally take you towards acting out. In my recovery journey I am currently looking to reconnect with my digital piano and make my own music. I do hope this article has been helpful.
  7. Welcome to the forum and as you will read there are many facing this roller coaster 🎢 of emotions. Everyone is at different stages and you are not alone. I think it will be helpful to read the associated blogs and I point you to the start of this series which will help put in place boundaries and care for you. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/the-partners-journey-through-sex-addiction-discovery/ Look after yourself.
  8. Hi Georgi, Everyone reacts differently but there is a pattern of the addict being ashamed and thinking their partner is better off without them. My story is not the same but you might find it helpful. I hope so anyway. Living a double life - Sex & Porn Addiction - Paulahall UK Sex addiction forum You are not alone in this nightmare as you will have seen from other partner posts.
  9. Hi Georgi, Welcome to the forum. I am so glad to hear you are getting support for yourself. It is very sad to hear that your husband has relapsed. While in his numbing state he will not be able to be objective! The cam girls will be trained to extract as much money as they possibly can. I would not think that love comes into it and is all about getting his fix; similar to a drug addict. Until your husband comes back to his senses there is nothing you can do. I am sure you are worried and I would also be very concerned about the debt he is running up and the impact that will have on your joint finances. You will not be able help him admit his addiction. He has to do that. It is so sad watching from the sidelines but you do need to put in place protection and support for yourself. I am sure you have seen this blog but I post it for others who are reading this. The partner’s journey through sex addiction : Rebuilding your life | The Laurel Centre I hope this is helpful. Firefly
  10. Hi Confused me. Welcome to the Forum. Your heading for the post is “addicted to sex” but the first question is how much is it affecting your day to day life and so I would point you to the following resource. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/resources/am-i-a-sex-addict/ This will help you to gauge if you have any negative impacts. I hope this is helpful. Firefly
  11. Hi. To send a private message click on members icon to bring up their details. Below profile in middle is a small mail (envelope) symbol. Click on this to bring up form. You can add others to the same private chat in the “to” section. Hope that helps.
  12. Hi, Welcome to the Forum. Admitting to yourself that you need help is always the hardest thing. You cannot fix this on your own as you may have experienced. I would first quantify the extent of your porn / sex addiction and there is a helpful test here:- Am I a Sex Addict? - The Laurel Centre There is a lot of resources on the Laurel Centre site and some good blogs that can also be found, and I have highlighted one in particular:- Breaking the cycle of sex addiction – part 1 | The Laurel Centre Reading between the lines in your post (and I may be way off) I also point you to this post:- Online images - Sex & Porn Addiction - Paulahall UK Sex addiction forum Unfortunately there is no quick fix but putting in the foundations now, arrange to talk to someone and being honest is a good start. This Forum has a lot of people who have been on similar journeys. Take care.
  13. Hi Domanic, Welcome to the Forum. You have done the hardest thing which in my mind is to admit to yourself that you need help. I would first quantify the extent of the porn / sex addiction and there is a helpful test here:- Am I a Sex Addict? - The Laurel Centre There is also a lot of resources available now and some good blogs that can be found here:- Addiction Recovery Archives - The Laurel Centre The site also contains advice and help for addicted partners and also this Forum has a lot of people who have been on similar journeys. Unfortunately there is no quick fix but putting in the foundations now and being honest is a good start. Take care.
  14. Hi. So sorry to hear that you are having a bad time 😳 If the arrangement is that your partner texts or contacts each day then I would be very pi:():;d off if he chose not too. No excuse!!! Having a low mood does not wash! A simple “I am having a bad time today so not able to give much of an update. So sorry…” So don’t try and rationalise it. Just be angry 😡 If you want to rant on here that’s fine… Take care.
  15. Lilo - Prior to trying to answer your questions I want to state that these are my own views from my own experience. I am a recovering SA & PA but I am not a counselor. I am a volunteer moderator on this forum by invitation, but do not work for the Laurel Centre. In my response to the questions I will give a little insight into my journey below in the hope that this will help. The overwhelming urge to act out and get my FIX overruled any impact my actions would have on my relationship? I often did not even grasp or remember the incidents and in my mind, it was just a FIX. Love did not even enter into my mind. I do think I used the LOVE word in some of my correspondence, etc. but that was only as an enabler to get a FIX. There is a clear difference in my mind between a serial adulterer and a SA. I wanted to honour my vows and when not in the throws of addiction wanted only my partner! Even when part of my behavior was discovered I minimised the impact and convinced myself that I could sort out my life without any help. Effectively I had pandered to the little beasts inside my head craving for a FIX to numb the pain of past shame and now the additional shame of this latest disclosure. To admit I had a problem in my mind, at that time, felt like it would STOP my soothing mechanism and so it felt better (wrongly) to deny, minimise, deflect blame, etc. than admit I had a problem. In the cold light of the day I felt even more shame, remorse, self-loathing and the feeling that everyone would be better off without me around; but this only fed the need for more soothing, acting out and so the disastrous cycle continued. In my struggle with my addiction (Without help) I became more and more distant from my partner, which has devastating effects within any relationship. One thing is clear the addict must be the one asking for help to truly get the help they need. One of the issues with SA & PA over other forms of addiction is there is often little evidence of “material” impact, but the mental impact is enormous. E.g. the case of a Grandson, who loved his Grandma for years, but still broke in and stole the £20 to get a quick Cocaine Fix. Here there is a lot more evidence to hold onto, with the same cognitive distortions in play by the addict. The root causes of my addiction (to which I am still discovering more) stem from childhood and teenage years. There were a number of traumas, which were not resolved at the time. Whenever I was feeling low or depressed, under attack, bullied, feeling worthless I would bottle everything up and keep my feelings hidden. I found in my teenage years that self-soothing helped to eliminate the pain for a short time and it became a habit. In addition, I discovered other acting out behaviours as I went into my early twenties! The problem was I did not resolve any of this, was unable to speak about it to anyone and was thus very unprepared when it came to a 1:1 relationships. It was easier to hide the truth, as I did with my bed wetting at boarding school! I thought it would all sort itself out and was so happy to find a partner, which initially reduced the stresses in my life and thus the need for acting out. However when we got married I was suddenly out of my depth and everything compounded, and I was back to acting out and trying to keep everything hidden. My partner knew there was an issue and we had counselling but I hid my past, because I was afraid and very ashamed (I was raped at school and never told anyone until recently) and the first counselor 30+ years ago raised the idea I was Gay and I just went along with that idea to keep everyone happy… and hide my true thoughts and feelings. I have had much better help recently and mapped out my highs and lows to my acting out peaks and how they coincided with depression, low times at work, etc. etc. I had over years built a very robust second life to which I became addicted, to smooth the pain of these painful events and I spent vast amounts of energy and resources keeping it hidden. Finally everything unraveled (after too many years) and it was all out in the open for everyone (including me) to see, and I could finally feel able to ask for and get the help I have always needed. I don’t spend too much time looking back at what could have been... I can only look forward. One thing is that everyone has a different journey, different issues, and certainly there is not one size fits all. Thankfully there is now more knowledge and help available for sex and porn addiction than even 10 years ago. Thankfully support for partners, who are not to blame or the reason and get caught in the crossfire, is improving. I highlight this blog which is also good for addicts to read as it highlights the pain their past and present actions cause. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/blog/the-partners-journey-through-sex-addiction I hope my journey helps put some context around what is happening with you at the moment. Firefly
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