Tricking the trickster
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1627  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Video of the Day: Disconnect
Editor’s Note: Special Visit with a Special Offer by Duvid Chaim & Miriam
Text: Co-occurring and cross-addictions that accompany sex addiction
Personal Stories: Women struggle, too
Chizuk: Trick the trickster
 
 
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Video of the Day
 

Disconnect

Life is great! Disconnect and enjoy!

This video is from the category called "Technology Dependence" on GYE's Video site.

Editor’s Note
 
Special Visit with a Special Offer by Duvid Chaim & Miriam

Duvid Chaim and Miriam are coming to New York. And here are their special offers:

PLEASE NOTE: THESE FOR-FEE SESSIONS ARE OFFERED AT DISCOUNT BY MENTIONING THIS AD.

*Private Anonymous One on One Coaching and Personal Development.

Sessions are on Tuesday February 21st, Wednesday February 22nd, and Sunday February 26th - between 10am to 9pm.

*Group Workshops for Individuals

Wednesday February 22nd at 7:30 thru 9:00pm

For MEN ONLY - led by Duvid Chaim - "How to make Change Stick"

For WOMEN ONLY - led by Miriam - "The Child Within"

*The Couples Workshop

Sunday February 26 at 2:00 to 4:00pm

ALL SESSIONS and WORKSHOPS will take place in Flatbush at 1585 Coney Avenue - Between L&M at the Chaim Berlin Office Bldg.

Call or email to RESERVE YOUR SESSION NOW - Slots are filling up.

They can be reached by phone while in the States between Feb 19 - Mar 7:
Duvid Chaim (718) 207-0901 / duvidchaim@2b1institute.com
Miriam (718) 207-9256 / miriam@2b1institute.com

 

Text
 
Co-occurring and cross-addictions that accompany sex addiction
 
By Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S

Based on both clinical experience and research, I can tell you that sexual addiction is rarely a standalone issue. One large-scale survey of self-identified sex addicts found that 69% of heterosexual men, 79% of heterosexual women, and 80% of homosexual men also had a secondary addiction of some sort. Another survey of self-identified sex addicts found that 58% of sex addicts have secondary issues with drug addiction, 31% with alcoholism. Compulsive spending (49%), eating disorders (47%), addictive video gaming (37%), and compulsive gambling (29%) are also common.

Sometimes sex addicts have a co-occurring addiction, where a second addiction (usually to a substance like cocaine, meth, or alcohol) is used in conjunction with sexual compulsivity as a way of disinhibiting the addict and/or enhancing the sexual high. Other sex addicts have a cross-addiction, where they switch from one addiction to the other. Often they engage in compulsive sexuality until they feel so guilty and ashamed that they stop, and then they turn to alcohol, drugs, or some other addiction as a way to “numb out” and disconnect (to not feel so much shame about their sexual compulsivity).

Of course, sex addicts aren’t the only addicts prone to cross and co-occurring addictions. This is because the motivation for any addiction, regardless of the nature of the addiction, is an emotional escape. In other words, addictions are a way to not feel stress, depression, anxiety, loneliness, boredom, shame, self-loathing, and other forms of emotional discomfort. This means that addicts don’t engage in their addictions to feel good, they do it to feel less. They don’t like what they are feeling, so they drink, get high, gamble, spend, act out sexually, or whatever as a way to self-soothe and distract.

Interestingly, all potentially addictive substances and behaviors create the same emotionally distracting neurochemical rush. And that “escapist rush” is what the addict seeks, regardless of how that effect is achieved. As a result, we see individuals turning to compulsive sex when alcohol and drugs are no longer in the mix – and eventually experiencing the same types and degrees of negative life consequences as before.

Sure, there are a few addicts out there who are purists – men and women who stick with their drug or behavior of choice no matter what. For instance, a long-time alcoholic may have no interest whatsoever in illicit substances or emotionally distracting behaviors (sex, spending, gaming, gambling, and the like). However, in today’s world, where an overflowing panoply of addictive substances and behaviors is readily available 24/7/365, that type of addict is the exception rather than the rule. Much more often, one addiction is part of a larger addictive pattern, with multiple issues either intertwining or alternating. Many addicts are what we refer to as “garbage can users,” happily turning to any addictive substance or behavior that comes their way.

At the end of the day, regardless of the nature of the addiction, the results are always the same:

  • Preoccupation to the point of obsession with the substance and/or the behavior
  • An inability to stop using the substance and/or the behavior (typically evidenced by failed attempts to quit or cut back)
  • A negative impact on health, self-esteem, family, relationships, finances, career, etc.

For those who deal with multiple addictions, all of the addictive issues must eventually be addressed. If not, the addict cannot truly be sober, and he or she will always be at risk of relapse in all of the addictions. For instance, people who are both drug and sex addicted often get sober from drugs but fail to acknowledge or address their sexual compulsivity. Then, while sober from substances, they seek the intensity and escape that addictive sex provides. And that pushes them back toward the people, places, and things that drive their substance abuse.

Thus we see that a multiply addicted substance/sex addict must address all of his or her addictions (and the underlying trauma issues that drive those addictions). Otherwise, that individual might never get fully sober, and his or her life will continue to be riddled with addiction-related problems.

Personal Stories
 
 
Women struggle, too
 
Chizuk
 
Trick the trickster
 
By Elya

Here are some excerpts from a discussion on our forum that's just packed with great tips and chizuk! (Some slight editing was done to make it easier to read).

"Frumthinker" writes:

I came across this site today, and I felt compelled to make some comments here. I won't say that I am very far along with controlling my own addiction - far from it. I just want to share some thoughts that help me with this challenge, and hopefully will help someone else too.  I was raised in a conventional frum environment - right wing yeshiva, top-level high school, night college with learning half a day. I *never* was able to control myself in this area. I won't go through the details of my cycles of guilt before Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur, and the inevitable slipping immediately after. We've all been there.

When I am tempted (which I am every day), I try to think of how I will feel after wasting *countless* hours masturbating to Internet porn. How well will I do my job the next day? Just recently, I was on a business trip. I was exhausted when I arrived, but I still spent 3-4 hours online in my hotel room. Imagine how it was to wake up the next morning! This has happened to me many times!

Also, try adding up all the hours you spent, and think about something you could have learnt or done in that time. And I'm not even talking about Torah learning, although that would be great. You could have learnt to play the guitar, a new language, some area of your work that you could study in more detail, or read something on a totally different field that might make you a more interesting person. Just do something more useful!

I welcome your feedback!

"Me" writes:

Shalom Frumthinker, I think it is great that you are here, and the first thing you should know is that we are all here for one reason. We want it to be different! We have decided that in spite of the daily trials, we want to change. We are tired of throwing in the towel. We realize that to change is not a simple matter, therefore we are all here to support one another.

Read article
Do you think you may have a porn addiction?
 

Do you have a problem with obsessive and compulsive porn use? Have you seriously tried the tools on GYE and feel that you are not getting better? Maybe it’s time to consider joining a 12-Step program.

Porn Anonymous (PA)
If you’re compulsively acting-out with pornography and masturbation we suggest you explore joining Porn Anonymous (PA). If you need help deciding whether to join PA, call Michael at 347-699-2368, or email help@pornanonymous.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit pornanonymous.org (Hebrew: p-a.org.il / Yiddish: pa-yid.org).

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
If your compulsive acting-out has progressed beyond the screen (with other people, paid sexual services, etc.) we suggest you explore joining Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). To figure out if SA is for you, call Dov at 917-414-8205, or email Dov at dov@guardyoureyes.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit www.sa.org.

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