You Aren't As Alone As You Feel (Dear Me)

This is an excerpt from the end of my self-help book. It's a letter I wrote myself three years after disclosure. It took me a long time to fully heal from the Relational Trauma I went through with Devin. I would've healed sooner had I listened to those around me. Had I not been so bullheaded. Please don't be like me. 





Dear Me,

            I’m sorry you just found about Devin’s online affair.  I'm sorry it wasn't just porn. But I’m glad you found that backbone of yours again because unfortunately you’re going to need it again soon. Please listen to your guardian angel when she says Devin is a sex addict because he is, I’m so sorry. Elsie your world is about to be turned upside down but know you can handle it, you’ve been through some tough shit in your life but now is the time to stand strong and focus on you and your children. Listen to your guardian angel, she’s been put in your life for a reason and won't be here long. She is telling you about S-Anon for a reason. Every fiber of your being wants to focus on Devin and his behaviors, his problems, soon you will want to focus on his affairs, yes there are more. You’ll want to focus on the women too. Trust me, they aren’t worth your time and they sure aren’t worth neglecting time away from your kids. They were objects to Devin, nothing more, nothing less and it is you that is making them larger than life while damaging yourself in the process. Trust me, the images you see will come back to haunt you along with all the words and details you will learn. They will pop up when you least expect it and at the most intimate moments and ruin far too many days ahead.
            There is a piece of wisdom you don’t hesitate to share with Devin yet you don’t seem to see the wisdom in it for yourself. You tell Devin if he spent as much time on his recovery as he did on his addiction he’d be so much further along by now. Take a look in the mirror, Elsie. After your second disclosure day, again, I’m sorry you’ll have another, you spend far too much time obsessing on the other women, then you move on to obsessing over Devin’s recovery.  If you spent that time working on YOU, you yourself would be a healthier person too.
            I beg of you, give one of the twelve-step programs a chance. You walked in with such a chip on your shoulder despite your relationship with God. You couldn’t admit your life was also out of control, you couldn’t admit you needed outside help from others because your massive pride was in the way – take help from others. These women will help you. They understand like no others can. The programs work. It’s not about “their” religion, it’s not a cult, there’s not some bizarre motive. It just works. 
            If you don't reach out to a program, reach out to a healthy place like church, a counselor, or someone who doesn't bash your husband for being a sex addict. He's a sick person, not a bad person. Don't let people tell you otherwise.
            Trust me. I’m not going to lie, you’re in for some pretty messed up times, but you’ll get through it and I think if you had a better network of friends, like S-Anon, you’d get through it much better. Oh, and one last tid bit of advice…don’t tell your friends. You think it’s a great idea.  I assure you, it’s not.  It changes everything, even years later.
            I'm happy to say things do get so much better! You become a much emotionally, healthier person - through the help of a twelve-step program. As they say, it works if you work it.

Love,


Me.

For those of you who lurk, I hope that this gives you a sense of hope. You aren't as alone as you feel. Don't be afraid to reach out to others. We're here to listen. We're here to provide our experience, strength, and hope.

God bless.

Have you ever felt alone in something you were facing in your life? Were you afraid to talk about it for fear of judgment? 

An Apple A Day


I’m an addict. This is not news to many of you. I’ve been chemically sober from cocaine for close to twenty-five years, but I’ve only been emotionally sober for a little over four years. That’s a big gap. It happened because I was clueless that I even needed to be emotionally sober.

I was mostly happy on the outside. Good job. Great kids. But my relationships never seemed to fulfill me. I didn’t know I wasn’t happy with myself. I had some major issues to resolve that stemmed from childhood trauma that I swept under the rug…numbed with drugs…then swept under the rug again…and I needed to deal with them.

It wasn’t until my husband’s sex addiction disclosure that all that childhood trauma came back, along with the Relational Trauma, that forced me to look myself in the mirror and say, “It’s time to do something about the inner chaos you’re ignoring.” Or, maybe at that point, I was blaming it all on the PTSD. But by then, those symptoms had started to abate. I wasn’t fighting them on a daily basis anymore.

It wasn’t fair to blame my husband or his addiction for my lack of action in fixing me and the trauma that happened to me. Yes, he was partly to blame, but what was I going to do? Blame him forever for it? He couldn’t repair me. Only I do that. He couldn’t give me what I wanted. I wanted peace. I wanted serenity.

I started to work my S-Anon program. I made a promise to myself, one that I still keep today. I do at least one thing each and every day that’s recovery related. Just like an apple a day keeps the doctor away. One recovery thing a day keeps slips away. (Don't care if it's drugs or hypervigilance!) It wasn’t easy, especially in the beginning because I was still focused on my husband’s recovery and what he was up to. Not to mention, I still had the responsibilities of kids, work, and a home, but I made the time. I found the more I worked on me, the less concerned I was with him.

There are days it takes work, lots of work, to do even just one thing in my recovery. Other days, I can dedicate several hours to reading, writing, sponsoring, volunteering, etc., but as long as I know I’ve done something, rather than nothing, I feel good that I’m not headed into a place of stagnation and complacency.

And some of you know, I’m in handful of programs, cause one just ain’t enough for this gal, so it makes it easier to choose from several different options each day.

Is there something you do everyday to stay on top of your game?

(Scheduling note: I'm taking next week off. Enjoy the hazy, hot days of July!)


 

Favorite Quotes

Have you ever watched a movie so many times you can quote a line before it's coming? Yeah me too. Here are just a few of my favorites:




"If he gets up, we'll all get up, it'll be anarchy."
From one of my all time favorite 80's films The Breakfast Club. One of the movies many I can watch over and over.

"What's our vector, Victor?"
Another 80's classic, Airplane. Most of the humor would be frowned upon today. Not Politically Correct at all. Probably why I love it so much.

NSFW
"I'll fight ya for it."
Snatch
If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it. Lots of cursing and some, okay, lots of violence, but a great movie. And Brad Pitt looks great with his shirt off. Just sayin'.


"I can't put my arms down!"
Christmas Story. Too bad it's a holiday movie. It's filled with so many classic lines, I'd watch it year round!


I can just about quote this entire movie. My kids can't even watch it with me...or my husband. We're that annoying.
Here are just a few of my favs:
"Kill the queen!"
"She's so drunk!"
"Bye! Bye! Bye!"
"You got some red on you."
Shaun of the Dead
Great flick. Seriously. I love it. A lot. I'm a true fan.
Have I mentioned I adore this movie?

But this isn't a post just about movie quotes. Nope. It's about meeting quotes too. Here are some of the one's that get me thinking and/or inspired:
  • Live and Let Live.
  • Negativity is my disease asking me to come out and play.
  • Just because you’re having a bad day, doesn’t mean you’re having a bad life.
  • Sometimes the hardest decision in life is which bridge to cross and which one to burn.
  • Resentments take a lot of work. They need to be held close, fed, and kept warm. Cause if you don’t take good care of them, they die. And then what good would resentment be if it died?
  • Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday so live in the now.
  • If I have one eye on yesterday and one eye on tomorrow, I’ll be cockeyed today. 
  • Today is a very important day! It’s the only day you may have!
  • Are you comparing your insides to someone else’s outsides?
  • Would I rather be right, or would I rather be happy?
  • It takes a powerful man to rule over all with a loud voice. It takes a truly wise man to change one person’s view with a whisper.
  • Humility is a perpetual quietness of heart. (from Dr. Bob’s desk plaque).
  • If God made anything better than this, He kept it for Himself!
  • I may not always know God’s will, but I always know what His will is not.
  • If the grass is greener on the other side, it must be because of all the fertilizer they are putting on it.
  • Things aren’t necessarily going wrong just because they aren’t going my way.
  • Say what you mean, mean what you say.
  • We are not failing as long as we are trying.
  • I don’t always know how to make it better but I sure know how to make it worse but I’ll always keep on trying.
  • By changing attitudes and finding solutions through our program of recovery, we can regain freedom and joy.
  • We must become the change we want to see – Ghandi
  • Love is less a feeling than a thousand tiny acts of kindness.
  • Keep your acceptance level high and your expectation level low.
  • There are several paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is still the same.
  • I cannot mend if I bend the truth.
  • Take the program seriously, not yourself.
  • When you are in fear you should remember to go to your HP and T.R.U.S.T. = Try Really Using Step Three.
  • The problem with isolation is I’m the only one I get my solutions from.
  • When I’m alone and thinking, I’m behind enemy lines.
  • Isolation is the dark room I enter to develop my negatives.
  • This is my opinion. If you don’t agree or like what I have to say, then pray for me because I always want to improve and I always want to get better.
Do you have any favorite movie or life quotes?

(Early post this week because I have family fun filled planned this weekend. Hope you do too!)




And She's Back!

*From someplace on Facebook*


The past week has been one filled with lots of self-reflection. I can happily say that I’m in a much better place than I was just a week ago. I’ve found my serenity again. I think I needed to be on that slippery slope for a bit to appreciate just how far I’ve come and to recognize my own stagnation.


Helping others during their time of need is great for me. It lifts my spirits and feeds my soul. But it doesn’t keep me focused on myself and if I’m not focused on myself, at least part of the time, I can slide back into dark places and bad habits. And, yes, perhaps even addiction.

So, I'm thankful for that scary place I was in because it brought me to where I am today:

from Google images

I'm more aware of what I have than what I don't have…or what I think I need I'm in need of. And diving back into my recovery books has helped me see that again. It's like a crack on the head with a hammer that I needed. 

But most of all, I'm thankful to all of you. Your kind words and support last week meant the world. Really. I came back and read them several times and was genuinely touched by how caring all of you are. Thank you! You guys are the best!


Saying You're Sorry

Facebook 
Apologizing to someone can be one of the hardest tasks we accomplish. Especially when that someone is close to us. And when we’re navigating through the recovery of an addiction, the people we hurt along the way are usually those we love the most.

As Devin faces Step Nine,

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

he’s had to put a lot of thought into exactly whom he apologizes to and what that apology entails. He’s made a living amends (a genuine change in behavior) with the kids and me, along with telling us how sorry he was for what he’d done to each of us.

Now he’s faced with a new conundrum: the opportunity to apologize directly to his friend, Joe, who lives out of state. Devin had an affair with Joe’s wife and I was the one that let Joe know when I was spiraling out of control after disclosure.

It’s been nearly five years since I told Joe and he took the news of the affair and Devin’s addiction much better than I expected. He even said to me back than that he forgave Devin. And that he empathized with him.

Devin wants to let Joe know just how sorry he is that he hurt him so deeply. How sad he is that he betrayed their friendship and his trust. But he doesn’t want to reopen that wound and cause them harm after Joe and his wife may have healed from the damage in their marriage.

As much as I want to force my opinion down Devin’s throat, I won’t. I’ve said my piece and am giving him the space he needs to think about it. Thankfully, he’s got a few months before he makes the trip.


Have you ever had to make a tough apology?

A Newer Nicer Agreement


Recently I decided to update my Boundary Agreement with Devin. As I wrote it I thought, this is a ton of work, do I really need to revise it this long after disclosure day?

Then I mentally gave myself a kick in the ass. I reminded myself just how important my agreement is because I’m married to a sex addict who struggles with proper boundaries from time to time. And, so do I. 

I knew when I decided to walk beside Devin as he worked through his recovery, and then I committed to working on mine, that it could be a rough journey.  The beginning was the most difficult to wade through, but after time and solid recovery work, it grew easier and easier to stay committed to making our marriage work. Plus, it helps that he’s a wonderful guy who is much more than his addiction.

Did I think I’d ever be in relationship that requires an agreement with consequences attached to it?  No.  It never even entered the deepest recesses of my mind (and that’s a scary place!).  But, I understood I needed that physical piece of paper to help me feel safe in our marriage again.  It helps me express my expectations and verbalize what will happen when boundaries are crossed.

Just like before, I’m going out on a very personal limb by posting my Boundary Agreement and understand if you click away since it's geared towards partners of sex addicts.  

I don't expect everyone to understand my unique situation.  I’m sharing this in an effort to help those that walk the path after me. To let them know they aren't alone.  My hope is that someone in a relationship with a sex addict will take what they want from it and leave the rest.

It’s a bit long because I changed my tone from being a total dictator to someone who is much more understanding of the things that may happen because I’m married to an addict.  Since it’s lengthy, I’ll just post an example and add a page for those who’d like to read the whole version.

(Taken in bits and pieces after a personal note to him before I start digging into the meat and potatoes of the agreement.  If anyone remembers my old agreement, this is a drastic improvement tone wise)


I hope you understand this is not an effort to control you.  It’s a way for me to maintain trust in you so we can keep a healthy relationship.  It will also help me not to shut down when I feel like my emotional boundaries are crossed.

So, here it is, in a much healthier format than before (at least to me ;p)

Being married to a sex addict can be very difficult at times.  To help me feel safe in my marriage I chose to create a boundary agreement specific to our situation.  I'm posting it here to help others who are in a similar situation and remind them they aren't alone.  There are lots of us out there.  I hope this helps someone draft one of their own if they think they need it. Please take what you want and leave the rest.

Be well and shoot me an email if you have any questions.




I hope you understand this is not an effort to control you.  It’s a way for me to maintain trust in you so we can keep a healthy relationship.  It will also help me not to shut down when I feel like my emotional boundaries are crossed. 

So, here it is, in a much healthier format than before (at least to me ;p)

Healthy Recovery:
            Your progress in your recovery has made the relationships in our house thrive, especially with the kids. Your hard work shows by how you interact with all of us, even when you feel hurt or angry. You’ve learned to explain your feelings and not isolate. I’m so proud of you.
            It would help assure me that you’re in a healthy recovery if you shared with me what inspired you, or touched you, during your meetings. Telling me what you felt and learned, versus if the meeting was crowded or uncomfortable, lets me know you’re still active in your recovery and mentally present in your meetings. I know I’m smart, but I still can’t read minds. Not yet, anyway.
            If I don’t see any change, or that change happens and then slips backwards again, I’m going to have to end our relationship. I feel I’ve been patient, and I can’t stay if things stay the same. Work your recovery like our marriage depends on it, because it does.

Lying: 
            Please be honest with me. I feel being lied to is worse than what the actual truth may be. Whether it’s being deceived about a slip or a simple omission about an everyday event, not being told the truth the first time around or having to dig for information hurts. It causes me to lose trust and not want to be affectionate. Then that causes you to withdraw and before we know it, we’re stuck in an unhealthy cycle. Neither of us wants that. I know we can make our marriage work if we keep working on it.
            The damage from the past makes any lie, big or small, equal to the same thing for me and causes me to go back to that hurtful place from years ago. As the sayings go, “It’s better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie” and “The worst thing about being lied to is knowing you weren’t worth the truth.” Lies just suck and they destroy my trust and faith in you.
            I ask for honesty during our first conversation about whatever it may be. If I don’t get the truth, or if I have to pry it out of you before you tell me what’s going on, I will enforce a consequence.  
            If you aren’t transparent or keep secrets from me, I want you to sleep in the other room for two nights. If lying or omitting the truth becomes frequent, I’ll have to end our relationship. I can’t handle being continually lied to. It makes me feel like I’m not worth anything to you. And I know that’s not true. I know you love me and want our marriage to flourish just like I do.

Slips and relapses
            I need you to understand I am a safe person to come to if you slip. Whether it’s porn, masturbation, or anything else in your inner circle, I’m at a place in my recovery where I can handle it and won’t judge you for it. I promise not to scream, cry, or attack you. Those days have long since passed and I know you deserve better.
            I understand there are potentials for slips, but I expect full transparency and to be told when they happen. I ask that you tell me either the day it happens, or the day after. If you forget, then the consequence will be sleeping in the other room for three nights and only basic affection (kiss goodbye, etc).  
            While this may seem extreme, to me it’s an extension of lying and deceit. When a slip happens and you don’t tell me, it causes me undue anxiety that causes me to trigger and become hypervigilant, and that’s an unhealthy place for me. It also makes me feel like you’re not in a good place in your recovery, and I deserve to know that.
            If you tell me right away, there won’t be any consequences. I understand slips may occur. I just want honesty about them. We’re a team. The more honest we are with each other, the more emotionally connected we’ll continue to be.
            I also ask that you figure out why you slipped. As our counselor said, slips don’t just happen. There are reasons behind them whether it’s stress, boredom, or anger; it’s up to you to figure it out, so you can prevent them. If your slips become a relapse, then I will have to leave. We are at a point in our recoveries where relapses shouldn’t happen. Especially with me not knowing what’s going on. The more we work together, the happier we’ll each be in our relationship.

Emotional and/or Physical affairs:

            It goes without saying (and yet I’m saying it anyway just to be clear), I will file for divorce the moment I find out you’ve had another affair or inappropriate contact with someone.
            I want us to succeed in our marriage. I want to be more than just cohabitants; I want us to be best friends, lovers, and supporters of one another. I know we can continue to do it, it just takes continued work on both our parts.
            Never forget how much I love you and how important you and our marriage is to me. You’re a good man, a wonderful father, and you’re more than your addiction to me.

~~~


            2016 ETA: There’s a bit more to it, but that covers the big stuff. Feel free to use it as a guide for your own boundary agreement. Remember, you’re not punishing the addict for their addiction. You’re safeguarding yourself from it. For us, we've gotten to a place in our recoveries that this BA isn't really necessary. Now we sit and talk things over because it's been so long since he's had a slip. However, when slips were happening two, three times a year, I felt I needed to have this for my emotional well-being.



On a total side note I’m so over the cold weather and the snow.  Where the hell are you spring?






Why Ruin Lunch?


“What’s wrong?” Devin asked.

“Nothing.  I’m fine,” I answered.

“Bull. Something’s wrong.  I can see it in your face,” he stated.

The waitress came over and took our order.  I hoped her brief interruption would force Devin to change the subject.  It didn’t.

“Well?” he asked.

“I don’t want to talk about it right now.” 

I busied myself with the silverware.  He took out his cellphone and checked his email. Several minutes ticked by.  After a few more minutes, we were finally ready to move on with our lunch date.  The awkward moment a thing of the past.

On the car ride home, I told Devin what happened in the restaurant.  I triggered and I didn't want to ruin lunch talking about his sex addiction.  He figured as much but it took him by surprise, it’d been so long since I’d had one.  I agreed, I hadn’t had a trigger in months.  But, that’s how they work, they just pop up out of nowhere.  Usually at the worst times.  Like when I’m trying to enjoy a lunch date with your hubby.

So, now what?  

Well, I guessed I needed to take a look at what I’d done this summer with my recovery work.  Ugh, that was painful.  With no meetings to attend, I allowed my recovery to grow stagnant.  And, since Devin’s recovery was going well, I hadn’t worried about my own.  I was complacent.  Not good.  Not good at all.

I needed to get myself back on track.  For me, that means helping someone who is going through what I’ve been through.  I checked our S-Anon email and answered several inquires about our meetings.  One of the women responded back to me in minutes.  I assured her she wasn’t alone.  Several years ago, I walked the same path she was navigating now.  I let her know that things did get better.  All it took was work.  It was a great reminder for me.

That done, I set to work on my self-help book.  The more I do, the closer I’ll be to getting it published so I can make it easier for others in this crazy world of sex addiction. That’s my hope anyway.  

Do have a project you've been putting off?  How do you motivate yourself?


As you know, I was on vacation and as tempting as it is to bore you with pictures, I’ll spare you.  At least with this post.  I make no promises for any upcoming posts.  So, please bear with me while I catch up on everyone’s blogs.

Is it the end?


“All good things must come to an end.”

Or, so the saying goes. 

I guess in my case it’s more, “All good things may come to an end.”

Don’t worry.  You’re not getting rid of me so easily.  I’m not talking about my blog.  I’m talking about my S-Anon meetings.  The meetings are on a pause for the summer due to low attendance and I miss them terribly.  For me, it’s not only a safe place to share my experiences but one that reminds how things used to be in my world.  They serve as a reminder how important it is for Devin and I to stay in recovery.

I was the trusted servant for our small group for close to two years.  I was also the treasurer, the contact person for newcomers and the WSO, performed local outreach, and a meeting facilitator.  It was a lot for one person but I wanted our meetings to thrive so when no one volunteered, I took on the responsibilities.

Last fall I got help from another member to be the meeting facilitator and that allowed me to get a break every other week. But, even with that help, I was burnt out.  Two years was just too long to do it all, no matter how I loved the meetings.  I knew I needed to step down as a trusted servant when I started to resent not getting additional help for the other positions I held.  It revealed I was in the wrong place mentally.

In May I stepped down from being a trusted servant leaving all those positions vacant.  We sent out an email and text to the members asking for volunteers.  It wasn’t fair that the other woman take on everything I was leaving behind.  Sadly, only one person stepped up to help lead meetings and she wasn’t able to do any in July.  

Six weeks after I stepped down, I was asked by the two volunteers what I thought about stopping the meetings until school was back in session.  As difficult as it was for me to say, (control freak that I can be at times), I said it was up to them since it was their time they were donating to the group.  

I wanted to persuade them to keep the group running.  We never know when a newcomer may come along.  I wanted to tell them to send out texts to those we haven’t seen letting them know we were thinking about them.  I wanted to ask what kind of outreach they were doing to maintain attendance.  But, I didn’t do any of that.  Those were things I chose to do and I shouldn’t expect them to do the same.

As my favorite saying goes, “A high expectation is a premeditated resentment.”  I needed to lower my expectations and let the meeting go.  If it’s meant to start up again in the fall then it will.  If not, I am happy with the work I put in and those who have helped me on my journey.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t still miss them.  I’ll just have to find another anon meeting to attend.


Have you ever had something you loved end abruptly?

G is for Guilt: A-Z Challenge

G is for Guilt

illustrated by Rob Z Tobor

“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

An innocent question most kids ask the moment they walk through the door.  Especially teenagers.

“Uh,” I said, glancing at the clock.  I wondered where the time went. “It’s fend for yourself night.”

“Again?”

“Yes. Again.”  I was annoyed by the question. I was busy!  I needed to make sure dad didn’t have a slip in his addiction.  Compulsively, I searched the computer for evidence.

It didn’t occur to me that I was addicted to his addiction.  Nor did I realize I was neglecting my own children in the process.

~~@  ~~@

Months went by before it dawned on me just how emotionally unhealthy I was. From being codependent on Devin to neglecting my children, I was a hot mess.

I was wracked with guilt. 

What type of mom put her own needs ahead of her kids?  At first I thought, “a really crappy one”.  As I recovered from the trauma of my husband’s sex addiction, I realized I was wrong.

I was trying to mentally survive my own marriage. But, how could I explain this to my kids?  They had no idea about their dad’s addiction. I felt they were owed the truth but knew it wasn’t my place to tell them.  It was

his

addiction to share.  Not mine.

When I was ready, I apologized for not being the mom I should have been the last few months.  For making them take care of themselves, and at times, me. 

Rather than meet my amends with judgment or anger, my children told me how proud they were of the work I’d done on myself.  They were excited for me.  They assured me they saw changes since I’d been working my twelve steps and been in counseling. 

My kids. Proud.  I was speechless.  I cried as the guilt lifted from my soul.

Have you ever felt guilty about something?  Ever make an awkward apology?

~~~

This post is part of the A-Z Challenge.  Wanna see more?

Thanks For Sharing

“Thanks for letting me share.”

“Thanks for sharing.”


 Anyone familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-anon, or any of the numerous twelve-step programs out there, have heard those words.  Even people not in the rooms have heard them. 

And, that’s a great thing.

It means twelve-steppers, such as myself, are accepted in society.  We are not outcasts.  Well, most of us.  I pop into AA meetings when I’m in need of some emotional sobriety.  There’s nothing like a good meeting to fill up the ol’ emotional cup.

But, AA is not my core group.  The meetings I attend every week are ones that aren’t quite accepted in our culture just yet.  Mine is S-Anon.  It’s a program for partners, families, and friends of sex addicts.  It’s a lot harder to tell someone what my meetings are about without them casting judgment. 

If my neighbor asked where I was headed with my book bag every week, and I told them, “I’m just hitting an AA meeting.”  They’d probably say something about how proud they are of me, or wish me well.  If I said, “I’m attending S-Anon because my hubby’s a sex addict.”  Their response would probably be more like, “I thought that was just an excuse to cheat on your spouse.”  Or, “Why are you still with him?”

Sex addiction hasn’t reached the understanding in our culture like alcoholism, drug addiction, or even food addiction, have done.  It’s still taboo.  I’m hopeful with movies like, Thanks for Sharing, the public will understand just how real the disease is, and how much it affects the addict and their family.

Thanks for Sharing is the best movie I’ve seen about sex addiction.  It had almost every element of the disease covered.  Of course, I would have liked to have seen a partner after disclosure. But, hey, it’s not about us. It’s about the addict…keep your side of the street clean, Elsie!

The movie follows three sex addicts on their journeys of recovery.  Tim Robbins’ character plays a married addict who has been in solid recovery for a long time from alcoholism and sex addiction. (These two addictions often coincide).  

Mark Ruffalo is a sex addict who has been sober for five years.  He feels ready for a relationship, and dates Gwyneth Paltrow.  Her character was very reminiscent of me when I first met Devin.  There was a line when she said, “You’re not an alcoholic are you?  I just dated two in a row, and I don’t want to date another addict," that nailed it for me.  I said the same thing to Devin. *ahem*  

The third character, played by Josh Gad, is new into the world of recovery. He lies about his day count in the beginning of his recovery. Then, he meets Pink. Together they navigate the rough seas of sobriety.

I was so grateful I found this movie.  It didn’t paint sex addiction in a horrible light. It didn't portray the addicts as monsters.  Rather, the disease was represented with profound respect and understanding.  I can’t tell you if the scenes about the SA meetings were accurate, (I didn’t feel it was right to ask Devin), but from the way the rest of the movie depicted everything, I’m sure it was. 

I think this is a safe movie for a sex addict and their partner to watch if they are on solid ground in their recoveries. I don’t think there will be any triggers.  I feel this was done intentionally so sex addicts could see the movie.  There is blurred nudity, scenes with Paltrow in lingerie, and some acting out behaviors are alluded to, but not shown.

As much as I would love to tell you guys what happens in the movie, I’ll refrain.  I don’t want to spoil it.  Instead, I’ll just say, if you’re interested in understanding sex addiction, watch this movie.


I’m glad I did.

What was a good movie find for you?