Welcome to my website and blog. This blog started as a vision. I am proud to finally make it reality. Similarly, many who struggle in addiction have a vision. The vision is one they can’t quite realize and make reality for themselves. This blog is an effort to help others actualize the vision they may have for a life free from addiction, free from the chaos that often accompanies addictive process, and help achieve the vision of recovery. A sober life begins living with intention (and an admittance of powerlessness).
"Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality." Abraham Lincoln
Couples recovery is difficult in the aftermath of sexual betrayal. The repair process can be a long and winding road. Trust is blown in the marriage impacted by addiction. Fear is at an all time high on the part of both parties. What a betrayed spouse thought was about their marriage, isn’t. Initially repair feels like an insurmountable mountain to climb. Anger, rage, fear and feelings of grief on the part of the betrayed spouse run high. For the addict’s part, initially, they feel a whole lot of fear and shame. The betrayed spouse tries to get at the truth and is approaching someone who has been hiding the truth of a somewhat secret and hidden life, sometimes for years. The tools to right the sinking ship are lacking in the beginning days.
The ability to live honestly, truthfully, and with integrity is necessary. How do you get there from here?
I was alerted this afternoon by a friend about a Fox News Story reporting Morality in Media's Dirty Dozen list and Verizon’s decision to offer incest and child-themed pornography on Video-on-Demand. I will refrain from listing titles here for risk of triggering those who read this blog.
In 20 years of practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist, 15 years with advanced clinical chemical addiction credentials, and 5 years specializing in sex addiction, I have gleaned a lot of clinical wisdom. No matter how unbiased I may try to be, biases inherently creep into my work as a clinician. We all have our blind sides. Clinicians and those in recovery live in consultation to have them in check.
Remember the carnival game “Whac-a-Mole”? Moles would pop up through a hole and the object of the game was to force individual moles back into their hole with a mallet. The goal is to make them disappear as fast as possible when they rear their heads. Addiction interaction is like the “Whac-a-mole” game.
I had my chemical addiction credentials for over a decade before receiving my Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) credentials. For years I noticed the phenomenon as one would get sober from alcohol or drugs, other behaviors might begin to creep in as problematic or new focus in an unhealthy, unbalanced, way. I would see clients cease drinking and begin shopping to excess, or beyond one’s means. Men would stop drinking, but with new renewed clarity and focus, begin work to excess. This work drive would become a detriment to family obligations and life balance. Even more, I would notice within marriages where addiction had been present, one spouse would shop to excess and the other spouse would feel like they were obligated to keep up with the debt forcing unhealthy work escalations in response.