I really want to talk about intimacy. Specifically how addiction affects it.
I have been aware of my addictive behaviours now for over half a decade. I have been working in the 12 steps of recovery for roughly the same amount of time and several things keep popping up. One of these things being, what I have heard among fellow addicts called, an intimacy disorder.
Well, first let’s take a look at the work intimacy. From 2 sources for a little extra perspective.
close familiarity or friendship; closeness.
“the intimacy between a husband and wife”
Definition of intimacy
1: the state of being intimate :FAMILIARITY
2 : something of a personal or private nature
noun [ C/U ] US
the state of having a close, personal relationship or romantic relationship with someone:
Ok. So the words ‘close’ and ‘personal’ are used. Even ‘romantic’ and I found another definition that used ‘Sexual.’
Real intimacy is vulnerable. Allowing someone else to understand us more deeply or to learn about ourselves more deeply. That is how recovery teaches self love. We learn parts of ourselves that the addiction rejected. The deepest parts of our being.
So now for the part where I get more personal. I have been going to 12 step meeting for over 5 years. I committed to a program that reaches deep inside the heart and mind. I have been in the room when a fellow Addict spills their guts and tells secrets that no one else on earth knows. I have been that addict. I have cried and shown my vulnerable side. When crying arises it is as though my true self arises; what the addiction has buried, vulnerability can uncover.
Crying isn’t weakness at all, I believe it shows pure strength. To be vulnerable and expose my own mistakes, weaknesses and the darkness that kept my life miserable and sad. Through this process I have developed intimate relationships with others who suffer as I do and they see the real me and love that person.
We all suffer, so why can’t we all be intimate with each other ??? Shame, fear, jealousy, selfishness…. so many stupid reasons that keep our walls Up.
Now that I have begun to uncover my Real Self I am able to know love. I can see more clearly now that the illusion of addiction is breaking down. All the hard work pays off and I must continue this hard work. To evolve my heart, mind and spirit.
It’s a life long journey, I know this. The hard work can be undone, so I must stay on the path of recovery. It never ends, but the promises are real, the work pays off.
I never understood intimacy until really working on recovery. Being intimate is being in the moment. Feeling in the moment. Listening in the moment. Sharing in the moment. So much good is in the moment.
This is all from the perspective of a recovering sex addict; food addict, compulsive spending addict. Progress, not Perfection. Perfection doesn’t really exist. These old negative ways begin to slip away as I move deeper into recovery. A life based on growth and Love. A life long journey.
I share my path because I know there is way more suffering out there. Suffering that doesn’t need to be alone.
If you are struggling with these issues, know there are people out there with the same struggle. You are not alone. I love you.
Peace, Love and a great big HUG.