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Nicotine, the Most Common Natural Recovery — 4 Comments

  1. I’m glad I’ve found your site. I’m a near life-long sex addict. I’m 33 now and have been a sex addict for 20 years, as the Internet and the access to pornography that goes with it hit when I was a pubescent teen. I turned to pornography and masturbation as a numbing mechanism in the wake of my father’s suicide when I was 12. Later I would turn to alcohol and drugs, but by far the hardest to kick is the sex addiction. While sex it’s not a “substance” per se, the definition of addiction does not require administration of a substance through the digestive, respiratory, or cardiovascular systems. This is why I believe sex, food, gambling, video games, religion, exercise, hobbies, television, etc. can all act as addictions. They are designed to create psychological rewards and like any other substance or activity, the brain gets bored with the same level of reward over time. Sex and food are both biological necessities and light up the pleasure centers of our brains, which make both very rewarding and both very hard to quit. I made this exact argument about quitting smoking when talking to people after Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) meetings and was met with a lot of skepticism specifically due to my belief that a “spiritual awakening” is not what is causing people to quit. From what I’ve seen, the people that successfully recover using 12-step meetings are ones that practice total abstinence willfully rather than powerlessly. They may claim that God or a Higher Power inspired them, guides them, etc., but at the end of the day, they simply no longer indulge in their addiction of choice for whatever reason. They choose free-will or a will they feel their Higher Power allows them to attain. Over time, they ween themselves from the dependence and it becomes easier to abstain the farther removed they are from the addiction, but there will always be triggers, and always be the need to exercise free-will in the face of an impending destructive relapse. Praying may work for them, remembering the consequences, or numerous other tools, but at the end of the day, they simply stop the self-destruction. Before my wife left me, I had 4 months of complete sexual abstinence. That means no sex, masturbation, pornography, etc. Absolutely no sexual gratification. After she left, I was lucky to put together a week of abstinence. Was I abstinent because I was spiritually awakened and then dealt a spiritual death blow by my impending divorce? For me? Absolutely not. I had 4 months of sobriety because I had daily reminders of the damage my addiction did and was doing to my wife and my marriage and made the conscious effort to quit. I was guided by my conscience and the consequences outweighing the rewards of my addiction now that my secret was out. I could no longer hide behind the vale of secrecy and ignore the consequences of my actions. The immediacy of the consequences drove me to get help and stay sober. This would correlate to why a doctor’s warning is an effective trigger and catalyst for change. My personal feeling is that I do not like the label addict because it implies powerlessness instead of the ability to consciously override the poor coping mechanisms we have developed when dealing with the everyday stressors of life. We need not accept that we are powerless, but rather the opposite: that as humans, we exhibit the power of free-will. 12-step programs call this self-will a defect of character, but I personally feel that this defect is also an asset that can be applied in the opposite direction to maintain a life of sobriety. Those that recover, do so because they believe they can recover. What gives them that belief is unimportant. Like you’ve said, it will be different for everyone. Thanks again. — Chris S.

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