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?