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June 02 • Friends of a Teather

Day 694

I've had an epiphany that I'm afraid will scare away an addict seeking encouragement to get into recovery, but I think it's important, at least it is for me, so here goes...

I have friends. It's weird.

Over the years, I have bemoaned the fact that I had very few people in my life that would come running if I called. Even more telling is the smaller number of friends that I would have gone running for if they called me. After I blew-up the relationship with my best friend from childhood by messing with his marriage, I worked hard at maintaining a few remaining friendships, including my best friend in high school, my college roommate, and a random guy I met in Kentucky over a decade ago. Those are also the only three people (outside of my program) with whom I've shared my sexual addiction story; the only ones with the proverbial tie that binds. We all live in different states, and none of them know the other, which is undoubtedly convenient for me; it makes it difficult for them to get together and coordinate an intervention or something.

I've not been in this recovery community long enough to know the difference between a "recovery friend" and a friend that is just the manifestation of the word. Maybe there is no difference, but I've had dozens of "work friends" over the years, and none of those relationships have ever survived the next job, aside perhaps from the Facebook version of friends.

But now, without realizing it was happening, I may have as many as half a dozen more guys in my life with the potential of being a life-long friend; one that I'm pretty sure has already been added to the list. Of course, they are all sex addicts, but then, so am I. That surely speaks to the inability to have more than a shallow relationship with people who do not know your secrets.

I just realized that none of those long-time friends know anything about my 'secrets' prior to my acting out. It was hard enough telling them about the affairs and massage parlors; no way could I tell them about the church basements and broom closets.

One other realization hits me as I'm thinking about this; I'm only counting guys. I don't want to write this down, but if I'm honest, I've probably pursued friendships with women more, a lot more, than I have with guys. It always seemed easier. And it was safe as they were always office compadres or church co-laborers. Or, was I a sex addict practicing my seduction skills for the day I would start using them in real life. Dear God, don't let that be true.

I'm weary of epiphanies. But I am also sober, at least for today. I'll take it.




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