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.



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? 

I is for Image(s): A-Z Challenge

I is for Image(s)

Images almost destroyed my marriage.

My husband was addicted to looking at pornographic images.

My self-image was shot when I compared myself to those women.

The image of my marriage was shot down after his diagnosis as a sex addict.

I chose to focus on happier images.

The beach was a calming image stored in my head.

My self-image was restored because I no longer compared myself to others.

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

 (all photos from Bing or me)

A Glimpse of The Past

This was posted on my old blog two years ago.  I found it while doing research for my book.  I’m so glad I’m no longer in the Trust But Verify stage. Just wanted to share it for those who still may be where I was back then.  It can get better.

A Fine Line Between Optimisim and Naiveness
July 2011

I believe that there is a fine line between being optimistic and being naive about Devin's, or any other sex addict’s recovery.  Realistically, their recovery rate is horribly low while their relapse rate remains incredibly high. For many, the addiction takes such a strong hold of them, it twists their minds, it warps their very souls and changes their core being.  I believe that there are sex addicts that reach level three and stay there or fluctuate between levels acting out for years undetected and unnoticed.

I feel very fortunate that Devin was not one of them.  It gives me a sense of hope that he will remain sober or as he said the other day in a more realistic sense - or more "addict" sense - that if he slips, it won't be by having another affair.  It will be through masturbation or maybe porn because that was what he couldn't give up without professional help.  Everything else he stopped alone before I was even aware he had a problem and he had even acted out, or, actually, the extent of the problem, since I knew porn was always an issue.  And, if he slips through porn, we have a plan for it and I'm prepared.  At least as much as I can be.

I'm saddened and scared when I hear stories from other women about what their husbands did and for how long they were betrayed.  I'm also given a bizarre sense of hope - followed by a twinge of guilt for feeling such a selfish response.  My immediate response, fear, comes because I know Devin could have easily fallen into this addiction cycle if he didn't recognize he had a problem and tried to stop himself in 2009.  Fear also comes because I know that given the right set of circumstances, he can fall into a cycle just like that.

I will always remain Cautiously Optimistic when it comes to his recovery.  Most likely, I will always Trust But Verify and while it may be viewed as unhealthy by so many, right now, for me, it works.  I am finally in the "I don't give a fuck what other people think" mentality.  It took me seven months to get here, and, I know myself well enough to know that I will have moments of weakness when I will read a comment and think "Oh my God, she's right, I should divorce his cheating ass!!" but, that person isn't me.  That person hasn't seen the remorse in his eyes or seen the change, as slow as it is, in him that I see.  Yes, it frustrates the hell out of me every day to have to deal with the range of emotions that I go through, the trauma, the fears, the self doubt, but if I don't put those aside and give my marriage a shot and give Devin a chance to work on his recovery while I work on myself then I'll never really know if we can come through this bullshit even stronger at the end.

As I look back over the last seven months, really and truly look back and review my emotions, my feelings, my own recovery, I can see so much progress and see how far I've really come in myself.  I'm pretty impressed with myself.  I'm learning to enjoy myself again.  Learning to read for enjoyment again, imagine that?  I'm enjoying the company of my children again.  I'm socializing at work again and starting to look for a new hobby (that's not so easy with Migraines).  I'm slowly making life about me again.

If I have to walk away, at least I walk away knowing that I tried.  Besides, not everyone is a failed sex addict...the odds aren't ZERO recovery rate, right??

See...Cautiously Optimistic   =)  
Or....just a Dumb Ass   

Time will tell.

Please forgive the writing style.  This was written before I learned about run-on sentences!