Sexual addiction encompasses many aspects, including the compulsive need to view pornography, masturbate and or seek out risky sexual encounters. This compulsive indulgence can often lead to disruptive and dysfunctional outcomes to multiple areas of personal development and interpersonal relationships.
The effects of such addictions can cause significant impairment in forming healthy intimate relationships with others. The ability to form emotional, affectionate and passionate intimacy become distorted leaving the person feeling isolated, numb and depressed.
The addiction becomes the pathway of escape. When exhaustion, overwhelming pain and emotional turmoil begin to surface the individual feels triggered and seeks the addiction as a main source of coping.
There are so many overwhelming aspects of this addiction that often leave many feeling desperate, hopeless and resigned to giving themselves completely to their addiction. Without taking proactive steps to fully acknowledge, admitting and confronting this issue it can be very difficult to manage it.
Despite how prevalent and difficult it is to combat such a powerful addiction, it is possible to overcome it. Recovery is not so much a reliance on strength and willpower, but being smart and acknowledging ones own vulnerabilities. You cannot be stronger than your addiction, you can only be smarter.
Recovery requires us to address, confront and work on self-care, self-compassion, and self-esteem. In addition, it involves learning to incorporate accountability, connections, vulnerability, honesty, and stress management in our lives.
The journey towards recovery is individualized and tailored to each person and their needs. In the end, we come to understand why we turn to our addiction, what triggers us, and what we will do to get our primary needs met in healthy ways. As we progress, we learn more about ourselves and our addiction. We continue to add knowledge, wisdom, interventions, practices, techniques into our tool kit for recovery.