November 25, 2009

Contrary to Love, by Carnes, page 85-86: “When addicts say, ‘I’m only a Level One,’ they are trying to minimise the power of the addiction.”

Whoa… that’s probably me, trying to minimize. 😦

I DON’T WANNA!

I don’t want to be a fucking addict. It feel insulting. I’ve had to deal with insults and put-downs from my immediate family members while I was growing up. I’m sick of having problems, sick of people saying that I’m fucked up. I feel like no one has ever accepted me. A happy life se

[The sentence cuts off in my journal. I guess I never finished whatever I was going to write, there–sorry about that]

Carnes says that these core beliefs are the foundation of the addictive system:

Addicts’ beliefs: (beliefs about myself)

  1. I am basically a bad, unworthy person. – Yes
  2. No one would love me as I am. – Yes
  3. My needs are never going to be met if I have to depend on others.
    – Yes
  4. (Sex?) (Love, attention?) is my most important need. – Unsure?

SHOCKING! (or, HOLY CRAP I’D BETTER CHANGE)

I’ve been “stunned into deciding that [I] must quit.” (page 91)

“…only alternative to acting out is a grim determination and a life without happiness of sex…”

pg. 89 in Contrary to Love:

Carnes talks about a “de-escalation mode,” where the addicts, “shocked at their own behavior and its consequences, make a radical shift in an effort to control their addiction.”

When Kevin and my psych found out about my promiscuous activity in September/October, their reactions and responses were the “shock” for me. From that point, I tried to radically control my behavior. It de-escalated to the current state of anti-social and sexual anorexia.

HOW CAN I TRUST MYSELF AFTER WHAT I’VE DONE TO MYSELF?

I feel immense distrust towards myself, now that I realize my sex and love addiction. I stay away from others and have a very high and thick “wall.” I don’t want to risk making the same mistakes.

Seems like I’m trying to recover, but it’s just a de-escalation mode. If recovering means that I have to trust humans, then I don’t think I’m ready for that. I’d rather live in suicidal agony than risk the immense pain of trust betrayal again.

I still feel like I’m going through withdrawal from all the attention and care that Kevin gave to me.

They say that honesty with myself is the key to recovery, but how can I possibly be honest when I can barely tell the truth from my own lies and excuses?

CURRENT RULES THAT I SEEM TO BE LIVING BY:
(may not be healthy)

  1. Don’t get close to anyone, or else there is risk of making that person a “higher power” in Love Addiction.
  2. Push away all thoughts and urges that are sexual in nature.
  3. If I am attracted to someone, once I realize my attraction, I must cut off all contact with that person ASAP and slowly forget about that person, over time.
  4. Stay away from any and all relationships (except strictly professional and work topics only discussed).

ACUTE PHASE OF ADDICTION (pg. 96, Contrary to Love)

“The pain doesn’t disappear; it just becomes so commonplace that the addict literally gets used to it. Despair permeates every facet of the addict’s life.”

SUICIDE SEEMS LIKE THE ONLY REASONABLE SOLUTION

I don’t think a sexual addiction has gotten this far, but maybe the Love Addiction has. Certainly my suicidal thoughts are common to me, now.

Emotional incredible agony is normal.

It is increasingly more difficult to imagine my life without this kind of pain. I almost assume that my life will permanently be like this.

Then I wonder, what’s the point of living, then if it’s just misery?

Then, I think of suicide again and the downward spiral of despair continues. Suicide seems like the only release.

The only thing stopping me is that I’ve heard stories of lots of people surviving suicide attempts—they live as brain-damaged or cripples. That would be a life of double Hell. I assume or fear that I would fail in my suicide attempt.

ENMESHMENT BLURRING THE LINES

I might have started out as a co-addict, and then through enmeshment, I switched to a sex addict?

POWERLESS/FIRST STEP “ISSUES”

“Only through complete acknowledgement of their own powerlessness will the addict (and co-addict) find peace.” (pg. 140-141, Contrary to Love)

This logic doesn’t make sense to me. If I am really powerless over sex and love, then that means I can do nothing to stop the addiction. I might as well just continue the behavior. I surrender the fights and the addiction wins.

But recovered addicts are proof that we are not powerless—we can do something. We can gain control of our lives, and find peace.

GUESSING AT FAMILY HISTORY

I think my grandma was extremely emotionally enmeshed with her children—especially my dad and uncle. I think my uncle became a love addict while my dad became a love avoidant. My uncle was engaged in heavy sexual activity in his 20s, 30s, and 40s.

I bounce back and forth between addict and avoidant, but maybe the avoidant part is just a futile attempt to control my addiction?

Grandpa was physically abusive. Possible workaholic. Verbally abusive sometimes to grandma.

I never met my mom’s parents. That side of the family has a lot of secrecy. Not much is known by me about them.

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