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February 01 • A Brain's Game

Day 572

Just all of a sudden, nothing else mattered. Maybe I was watching a movie, maybe being productive at work, perhaps I was with family, and all was well. There was never a consistency as to what would cause it, but the next thing I would know, all I could think about was finding a massage parlor, calling someone I shouldn't be talking to, or sending a text that should never come from my phone. Regardless of my initial response, the chase was on.

Sometimes it would involve pornography because that was easily accessible, but sometimes I would spend hours cruising online for a place to go or someone to make me feel better. The more I failed, the more the fire was stoked. My heart rate would rise, my hands would shake, and I would make deal after deal with the devil to make it go away. Then I would give in to the inevitability of doing something, to act out dangerously; that's the only way the demons would leave me alone.

For so many years, I had given in to the fantasies as a safe way to release my inner cravings, but when they crossed over into my real world, I learned about addiction. I had helped treat addicts professionally, and I had created metaphors to help me understand how they suffered, but I was wrong. I had no idea how a mind can be consumed beyond control, until mine was. And then I had no idea how to make it stop.

I'm one of the lucky ones. I found a group of guys who did not judge what I had done and wanted to show me ways to be the person I wanted to be. I will not let them down. I will not open those doors again — not today.




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