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June 28 • What's the Difference?

Day 354


It’s hard, sometimes, to separate my sexual addiction from my history of acting out sexually. The time may come when I see no difference nor feel the need to believe there is a difference. However, I still tend to apply new understandings from recovery to those times when I was acting out, and that has been a very powerful awakening for which I am grateful.


But it is the ah-ha moments that apply to the rest of my life — whether I was a sex addict ‘waiting to happen’ or not — that are having the most significant impact on my going forward.


There was never a time during my acting out when I did not understand, at least deep down, how wrong it was and how far off the rails I was living. But for decades before that, I existed in the paradox of my morality and the lack of honesty and even being able to avoid the things with which I did not want to be involved. How was that different?


In my self-righteousness, the fact that I did not involve other people was the line between harmless mental fun and misbehaving. While that may have been true relative to overt sexuality, it was untrue relative to my (dis)honesty and my carefully manufactured image. And all of that had to have been central to my sexual dissatisfaction and frustrations that fed my fantasies that set me up for acting out.


I have thrived in isolation since I was 9 or 10 years old. For as long as I can remember, I have had shame about the things I did when I was even younger than that. Does that, by definition, mean I’ve been a sex addict my entire life? Would the answer to that really matter, aside from the curiosity and desire to know?


I am a sex addict now, and that is all I can work on in the present. That takes a lot of air out of my still-overblown ego to admit that, even in a previously private journal.


I literally felt something akin to a breathless sigh as I typed the period at the end of that previous sentence. However, that is who I am today. I am recovering, and in less than two weeks hope to receive my one-year sobriety coin. But if I don’t make it through today sober, none of that matters until my next day of sobriety will make it matter again.


I don’t want a ‘next’ day sober; I want THIS day sober.


–JR

 

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