The Serpent and the Orchard (Sex Addict Anonymous @ www.ivorymagazine.com)

sex addiction

It lies within me. The ability to poison myself with something I cherish. The self-conjured obsession hidden in the shadows, it’s dark and follows me without question or stutter. It waits patiently stagnate on the fangs of a serpent. If the poison doesn’t kill me, the infection will. I am the rotten fruit within the orchard.

I am a sex addict and this is my story.

I cannot write about the many causes of sex addiction. I can write about my cause. Limited to many, but mainly one, the one to rule them all. Self esteem. Of all the books I have read about sex addiction there is a very intriguing, almost comical theme. There is no cure to sex addiction. Rather to defeat it I would employ have to employ art of balancing. Like a suicidal trapezist Instead of balancing multiple partners, the goal is to allow only certain people into what should be a sacred part of your life. I thought about this art of balancing as similar to walking barefoot on knife edge, cutting my feet with every step while peering over either side of the precipice and seeing warm, golden clouded sunrise waiting for me. The clouds are soft and willing to catch my fall. Why did I have to keep walking?

An alcoholic must not drink, a user must not use but a sex addict can and is encouraged to engage in sexual activity, providing. I always found that to be funny. Beyond paradoxical. Why would I believe that someone would jump through a ring of fire to be with me if I am absolutely, subconsciously certain that I am hated. I hated myself and no esteem existed here. No self. No one.

My self-esteem is very cunning. It would solve superficial problems with superficial answers while allowing the roots to spread slowly under my bleeding feet. I hated the way I looked growing into a man, I was tall and thin, gangly looking. Their voices were torturous for years. But with a cosmetic approach I could fix that. I would dress impeccably, I would train my body to exhaustion, I would be the perfect conversationalist with the opposite sex, I would seek revenge against the world by tricking multitudes of women into believing I was the absolute, their answer, the best they ever had. But first I needed a girlfriend. Forget about the pain I would cause her, forget about the risk of sexually transmitted disease, unwanted pregnancies, embarrassment to family, friends, and myself, the risk of losing my job or friendships. Fuck it, I was beyond all in, I worked so hard to enter this spotlight and I loved their eyes upon me. A deluge of ecstasy was coming and I would stand in the rain, mouth open saturating myself wishing I would drown in this decadent pleasure, this romantic filth. I wanted my eyes to explode with desire. I would be desirable. I would be perfect. I had a cancer in my thought pattern. And I would not let it stop thinking. Because… It worked.

I indulged beyond belief. I became sexual perfection. Although, sex wasn’t paramount, knowing I could sleep with you was enough.  A kiss, your phone number, a rumour, something you divulged I could use to bolster my self-esteem was satisfactory. There was no boundary as to where I would go to find my intoxicating pleasure or the possibility of one. My work, my friends, the street, public transport, the hospital, all of it became a killing field for an insatiable, perfected appetite. I felt completely entitled with my behaviour. The world had not been kind to me so I decided that I would indulge in something that everyone could relate to. I would earn their praise and I would be the best at it. I wanted to be a god. I remember the adrenaline leading up to an interaction and it felt really good, incomparable. My hands would pulsate, I would almost be overcome with excitement, every breath was cloaked in absolute enjoyment, smothered in endorphins. I would breath deeply rolling the fantasy over and over in my mind, a symphony of gluttony cascading from my imagination to my heart.

But the pain would follow shortly after accompanied by the guilt, then writhing and deluded thoughts, then more guilt, physical pain, fear, anger and an everlasting guilt. These were my horsemen of the sexual apocalypse. There were endless hooves bearing down upon me. There was only one thing that could fix this. Another encounter. A better one. Yes it will save me. I’ll meet someone who will understand me. Someone who will cherish me, but they must meet the standards of everyone before they meet my own. They could even save me. But multiple partners and multiple attempts couldn’t stop me wishing and wanting for more and I’m crying and my mind and body are exhausted. I’m sick of convincing myself that it this what I need to satisfy the torturous ghost haunting me. I stayed like that for years, well into adulthood.

I had a son during that time. My surprise packet and best friend. I was married and divorced within 18 months. I had multiple partners and lied constantly, all the while being encouraged by peers to continue, begged and envied to continue. I wasn’t a god I was dead inside.

I’ve read a number of times that depression is good for you. Depression is telling you that your body, your mind and your experience need to change. Your environment has exhausted all of its natural resources and you need to leave or you will die. Depression led me to seek help through literature and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meetings. Until the meetings stopped being anonymous for me., nature of the beast I guessed. Embarrassment led me to remain silent with family and friends. I write this from the shadows. These two outlets gave me a very good understanding that my addiction was an addiction and shed light on some causes but neither could identity my problem. Buddhism did.

Desire is the poison of my world. I will exist in harmony if I do not desire or attach myself to external objects. I am motivated to become the best person without desire. Buddhism taught me this. Meditation reinstates it on an hourly basis. I will diminish desire and save my soul and save my legacy for my son. I believe it has worked but only time will tell. I imagine it will tell all. When I was the cause of my problem it was very hard to believe that I could also be the cure. Buddhism taught me that I have the power to decide if I’m happy or not and I can maintain this peace of mind without any external influence. I can desire nothing and be happy appreciating what I have.

Instead of having a constant focus on when and where I could interact with woman. I turned my focus to my inner circle already in existence.  My son, Mother Nature and my behaviour. I keep breathing and meditating as much as I can. I found a new appreciation and beauty within everything around me. Just from being present and applying austerity to my thought process. Diligent discipline would save me, not the smell, eyes or smile of a beautiful woman.

After nearly two years I feel a freedom I have never felt. I finally feel in control of my urges and am applying the process to my entire life. Raising the bar on every emotion. I still have a way to go but I’m happy. I’ve taken the pieces off the chessboard because I can’t lose if I don’t play. My actions will be pure. My inaction will save me.

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