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Q: I am struggling with sexual addiction. Please help.

A: Thank you for your courage to reach out. It takes a lot of strength to show this kind of honesty, and I know God will bring you fruit from it.

Your struggles are in many ways no different than those suffered by anyone dealing with various kinds of addiction. Substances or behaviors, all of them can become "drugs" to us. We need special help, working with those who understand the dynamics of addiction and can help us move into recovery.

Sex addiction is, in my opinion, the new addiction epidemic of our society. What you are struggling with often carries with it an inordinate amount of shame, and this can make recovery more difficult (and yes, sometimes even more so within the Christian church). Often, these tendencies toward feeling-medicating activities have at least some origin in what I call unresolved childhood loss issues.

There are biophysical, emotional, environmental, and spiritual elements to all addictive behavior, so it's not as simple as saying "it's about my childhood." Still, this is something that at some point you might wish to explore, with the help of a professional Christian counselor familiar with addiction. Either way, it is important that you first gain some sobriety regarding your "acting out" issues, whatever they might be. If you've historically been unable to maintain any good length of sobriety, you must first engage in some sort of recovery process to arrest your disease.

I personally struggle with all sorts of compulsive/obsessive impulses, and I believe addicts are caught in what is essentially the same disease dynamic no matter what the substance/behavior involved. In this sense, I feel there is nothing more important than sharing our woundedness with others who have or are experiencing similar wounds.

If possible, try to locate in your area an SA (Sexaholics Anonymous) office. Here's the national number; they should be able to direct you: 615-331-6230. If you have not already had some experience with this group, I ask you to approach it with an open mind; there is much confusion among Christians as to the origins and foundation of 12-Step groups (see “What do you think of Alcoholics Anonymous and other “anonymous” groups?” in Q&A). But as for my own experience, 12-step organizations like this truly helped save my life. And here are some other sites that might prove helpful:

www.sexhelp.com

www.saa-recovery.org

www.sexaddicthelp.com

www.open-mind.org

 

Also, Celebrate Recovery is available in many areas, and provides a similar approach to recovery using more “Christian-friendly” language. As for Christian therapists who handle a wide array of issues, try these:

www.findingstone.com/christian

www.christiantherapist.com

New Life Ministries – 1.800.NEW.LIFE

American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC)
www.christianrecovery.com

Know that you are not alone, and that only by stepping out of the shadows of our shame do we finally find the love of Christ reflected to us through others. This is the beginning of healing. And hope.

 

 


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