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Write On

These are various examples of expressing realizations or life experiences. They are included here because I don't think I'm the first person to have the thoughts and pains associated with these sorts of compulsive and addictive behaviors. I did not write these for you; they are among the most personal words I'll post on this site, and I'm still arguing with myself about how much to expose to the light. However, if you find something here that speaks to you, or makes you feel less alone, then perhaps I was writing for you more than I knew. 

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A Letter to My Addict

Fairly early in my weeks of counseling leading up to my committing to recovery, my counselor gave me the assignment to write a letter to my addict. I resisted on several levels, not the least being I thought it was a stupid, pop-psychology approach to therapy. I told her that I would try, but I had very little intention of actually doing it. It was difficult for me to think of my addiction (if that's what it was) as having a personality with power over me. I've always resisted 'the devil made me do it' excuse, and that just seemed like another way of saying that. A few days later, I was sitting in a parking lot, typing this letter on my laptop with tears falling on the keys. I then was sober from sexual acting out for the next 39 days, which was something of a record for me at the time. As I write this introduction, I've now been sober for well more than a year since that slip. I hope there is nothing in this letter to my addict that triggers you, but if one person can find a new tool or hope for their recovery, it will be worth the effort.

Image by Zachary Peterson

My Amend to Sex Workers

My counselor made the casual remark that I must feel fortunate for not having been arrested for some of my acting out behaviors. I corrected her immediately with, "I've never done anything illegal!" She laughed before realizing I was serious. She then began reciting to me some things I had already shared with her and asking me if I thought they were legal. It was a remarkable moment for me; not only was I lying to myself, but it also seemed my addict brain was blocking my ability to see reality. It was not the first time. It was nearly 500 more days of sorting out my thoughts about my dozens of visits to massage parlors, what I did there, and how it could have led to much worse problems. In Step 8 of my program, I wrote this Amend to the ladies of the table. Even though I cannot deliver it in person, perhaps some will stumble across this someday, or maybe it will help you connect some dots about your own behavior.

Image by Zach Lezniewicz

Letter to the Little Girl

My buddy and I were six years old. She was three or four. It was a game of exploration that a lot of children play, except she wasn't playing. I've been told I need to give myself a break, maybe even forgive myself, remembering that I was just a child. I cannot argue that either way. What I know is that what happened that day was perhaps my greatest guilt for decades, until I wrote this letter.

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