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As an adult, I’ve held onto a dream that I wanted to have a career that was dog related.

If I could turn back time I’d probably study to become a veterinarian.

I’ve come to the age where I’m realising that I only have one life and I should get into doing the things I really want to do before I hit the casket!

I’ve started a pottery course and am creating some dog and cat bowls by hand and designing and painting various graphics on them etc. I’m into my second term of classes and I’ve come to realise that my work seems rather child like, especially the graphics.

After doing a bit of work in my 12 Step Program I have learnt a little about trying to get in touch with my inner child. Some activities that were suggested in order to accomplish this were doing child like things such as playing with play doh, running under a sprinkler etc etc.

Last week I had a look at the various forms of pottery that my classmates were creating then looked at my child like work and felt a bit embarrassed because I wasn’t making platters or vases (adult like items) but dog and cat bowls with puppy dogs and pussy cats and mice and cheese and painting them in wonderful bright colours that appeal to my eye.

When I was in my teens I used to write letters to my friends and draw and colour in cartoons on them and I thought I was really creative in the work that I did.

Somewhere in adulthood I lost my creativity so perhaps I am unconsciously connecting with my inner child and creating work at a child like level but then again I simply may not have any adult artistic abilities at all!

I’ve been told that a good book to learn about getting in touch with your inner child is John Bradshaw‘s Homecoming – Reclaiming & Championing Your Inner Child which you will be able to purchase from Amazon.

I attest I do revert back to child like behaviours at times, especially when under stress, such as isolating, fantasizing (now love addiction), self harm and my social skills can become less than desirable at times too. I am known to get very jealous of friends who have other friendships aside from me and  I often prefer to be the centre of attention and can end up sabotaging my friendships by being cold because I have formed a grudge against someone about one thing or another.

Through my 12 Step Programs I am learning to be more open and honest in my communication with others as well as looking at my unsavory weaknesses, where they originate from and how to correct them.

If I didn’t have my 12 Step Programs (online and face to face) and a sponsor I think my life would still be up the creek without a paddle!

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As I suffer from generalised anxiety disorder and various OCD symptoms such as the need to have things orderly, clean and perfect, I was wondering whether love and sex addiction is classed a form of OCD.

Some experts believe that sexual addiction is literally an addiction, directly analogous to alcohol and drug addictions. Other experts believe that sexual addiction is actually a form of obsessive compulsive disorder and refer to it as sexual compulsivity.

The American Psychiatric Association has proposed that out-of-control sexual appetites be included as a diagnosis in the next edition of the psychiatrists’ bible, the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” to be published in 2013.

I located a very helpful article outlining the difference between sexual thoughts and compulsions being an addiction or an obsessive compulsive disorder. It is of course only one person’s view on the subject.

Here’s an extract of the article which summarises the outcome:

It cannot be overemphasized that the sexual obsessions in OCD are the opposite of the usual sexual daydream or fantasy. Normal sexual fantasies are enjoyable and generally harmless. They may consist of wishes or memories of past sexual experiences. However, the sexual ideation in OCD is unpleasant and distressing. The individual with OCD does not want the thought to become real. The idea of acting out the obsession fills the OCD victim with dread. Sexual obsessions in OCD rarely produce sexual arousal because anxiety and arousal cannot occupy the same space. As a result, OCD usually decreases sex drive. OCD sexual obsessions result in guilt, shame, and interfere with ocial functioning or work. Source:

Love Addiction

While I am unable to speak for the sex addict, to my knowledge and experience, love addicts (who can also act out sexually) do not have decreased sexual desire when in the midst of their fantasy or addiction nor do their experiences feel unpleasant or distressing.

I am lead to believe that love addiction stems from unmet childhood needs.  For example, codependent mum is too busy with alcoholic dad to worry about children therefore children use fantasy as a way to meet their unmet needs and as escapism from a difficult family environment.

There are various types of love addicts, here’s a link to help you figure out which one you might be: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_addiction

Healing from Sex/Love Addiction

Start by getting a good counsellor who is familiar with sex and love addiction and get involved in a 12 Step Program such as SLAA (Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous), SAnon (for love addicts and partners of sex addicts) or SA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) – for the sex addict). You will find the links to these Programs on my home page.  All three Programs have online support forums if you are unable to attend a face to face meeting.

Try reading as much material as you can about your addiction/s. Facing Love Addiction by Pia Mellody is a book that is highly regarded in the industry as are books on sex and love addiction by Patrick Carnes. Literature by both authors can be purchased from Amazon.com.

I tried for years to figure out what my problem was and I even sought help from the psychiatric industry for my thoughts, only to be medicated with antipsychotics for them and diagnosed with bipolar disorder (I believe my experience is very common).

It took me until I was 38 to realise that my fantasies were not a normal part of life. They used to (and still can) cause me the deepest depression and despair to the point where I wanted to self harm.

Early this year I accompanied my partner to a face to face SLAA meeting where I heard members speak about their experiences with sex and love addiction. Their stories hit me hard but also gave me great relief. They were talking about my life, I was one of them!  Finally I had found an answer to my problem. I was not alone.  My recovery journey began.

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I’m tired of being a codependent, I’m tired of the same old games/scenarios. They get us nowhere, it pushes us back further into an abyss.

Last night I picked up the book “Facing Love Addiction” by Pia Mellody which my counsellor recommended to me. I was absolutely gobsmacked at the games two codependents play with each other (unknowingly).

Pia writes that couples in healthy relationships are prone to silence and simply being happy in each other’s company where no words are necessary but unhealthy/codependent relationships are susceptible to games such as “bombing” each other to create intense intimacy because codependents cannot cope with silence or unsettling/tense environments.

For example, right now I know my partner is in an irritable mood. There is now silence between us. I feel like storming in to his study and yelling at him to help me around the house with chores. A small part of me wants to do it to control an outcome, to make him see he has to put an effort into working at chores as a team but the larger part of me wants to simply lash out, scream and cry that things are not fair that I have to carry the burden of running the household while he recovers from his addictive cycle.

I have things to recover from too, I have my 12 Step Programs to attend, my hobbies to focus on and my life and wellbeing to look after.

By yelling and screaming to be heard, am I bombing him to bring intensity back into the relationship? To force communication? My Program tells me to wait until the time is right to approach him and speak about how I feel openly and honestly and without blame. The outcome will be more successful if I take a calm approach to it.

It’s a tiring process, a process today that I don’t feel like practising. Instead I prefer to stick my head under the covers and weep and sleep the day through.

Does anyone reading this relate?

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