As you enter the new year, and reflect on some new goals, commitments, or contracts with yourself, be sure to include honesty.
A reality that can often be difficult to look at. Below I've added an assessment that Patrick Carnes has written. Being rigorously honest with the idea of being a sex addict is not an easy thing to admit to. I have been working with this population for nearly 12 years. The men and women that are honest, not rationalizing or manipulating the truth, are the ones that I see moving toward a healthy new self. Is there shame in having and admitting to a sex addiction? You bet, once these men and women are in recovery and no longer in denial of their actions that have led to many loses, they start to make connections with their past and present behaviors and discover that there is hope for restoration. It takes commitment, conviction and a lot of hard work to turn things around. They are not only proving to themselves that they want a new found self and able to be intimate in a healthy way, but to their partners that desperately need to see these changes. There are marriages that do survive the rupture of an intimacy disorder. Its very difficult for the three legged stool to make it, the addict, partner and relationship to survive. And certainly not without community, support, good guidance and a caring team of counselors, psychologist, and psychiatrist.
If you have any thoughts or concerns about your sexual acting out behaviors, do your self a favor, come clean, get the help you deserve. Do the right thing; look for meetings in your area, SA.org, find a therapist that specializes in sexual addiction, certified sexual addiction specialist. Be honest and get direction as how to come clean and how to tell your partner. If this has been a hidden secret, you will need help as how to communicate the behaviors that have been locked up and kept as hidden from your partner.
Take a look at the assessment below; Even one of these items can be an indication of a problem. Commit to a goal this year...... take care of you....take care of business....because this matters, it can be a matter of life and death.
TEN SIGNS OF SEXUAL ADDICTION
By Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D., CAS
Please circle the number of any signs that correspond to your own experience:
1.Recurrent failure to resist sexual impulses in order to engage in specific sexual behaviors.
2.Frequently engaging in those behaviors to a greater extent, or over a longer period of time than intended.
3.Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to stop, reduce, or control those behaviors.
4.Inordinate amounts of time spent in obtaining sex, being sexual or recovering from sexual experiences.
5.Preoccupation with sexual behavior or preparatory activities.
6.Frequently engaging in the behavior when expected to fulfill occupational, academic, domestic or social obligations.
7.Continuation of the behavior despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social, financial, psychological, or physical problem that is caused or exacerbated by the behavior.
8.The need to increase the intensity, frequency, number, or risk level of behaviors in order to achieve the desired effect; or diminished effect with continued behaviors at the same level of intensity, frequency, number, or risk.
9.Giving up or limiting social, occupational, or recreational activities because of the behavior.
10.Distress, anxiety, restlessness, or irritability if unable to engage in the behavior.