I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

First Steps

This post comes from John.

Recovering from any addiction requires intentional steps away from the addictive behavior and deliberate steps toward healing. My first steps have come in fits and starts over many years, but I feel that I have finally taken the most important step toward my healing by burning the bridge of secrecy.

Sexual addiction is built in the darkest places of our souls. Our own conscience, however darkened, knows the shamefulness of our deeds and seeks to hide from sight. Like Adam and Eve hiding in the bushes as God came looking for them in the garden paradise (see Genesis 3), we intuitively hide our true selves for the shame of our perverted desires.

As we live our inner lives in the dark, we become less and less human, less of the people we truly are, less of the people we want to be, and we begin to lose hope. The hopelessness feeds the shame and the shame feeds the desire to act out our addictive behaviors. Eventually, our minds are so filled with managing the shame and the endless addictive cycle that we no longer recognize ourselves.

When the day finally came that I could no longer live in the pain and isolation of myself, I burned all bridges back into my addiction by telling those closest to me that I was beyond helping myself overcome this terrible problem. It was simultaneously the single worst and single greatest day in my life. It was my first true step toward healing.

No comments: