Gregory

One man's story of recovery with sex and love addiction...

Tell me your story and why you came into therapy.
I came into therapy because I believe I needed help for my sex and love addiction. I realized that there were certain behaviors that caused me to live in either fantasy or shame. I wanted to be connected with reality but was not sure what that would mean for me since I had lived with my sex and love addiction for all of my adult life. My friend who was a member of SLAA also had therapy with Thuy. I liked what she shared in meetings and inquired as to who she had in therapy. That is how I was referred to Thuy.

What was your darkest hour?
I’ve had many dark hours, one characteristic that has been a blessing and a curse is my ability or trait to forget the bad. It is only when I look back over journals or other writings that I can see how dark some times have been. I think I had the least hope in my first few months of SLAA when I kept relapsing over and over – and I thought that perhaps I was not going to be able to recover.

How did you survive that moment?
I kept going to meetings and someone shared “to thine own self be true” – and I took it literally. I stopped focusing so much on how much ‘time’ I’d accumulated and instead looked at the quality of my life especially in comparison to when I first came in to the S programs. I still have had frequent relapses but I realize now that it is not about accumulating clean time for the sake of getting a chip or to be recognized for it by my fellows. Instead, it is about the quality of my connection with my higher power, the path that I am following and the direction that my life is taking.

What have you learned about yourself in the process?
I can be my worst critic – that my own self loathing and striving for ‘perfection’ can be my biggest enemy. I have learned that my life is not about this small circle of things that I can’t do without consequence but instead a wide circle of opportunities that I can take advantage of – and when I do I feel like I’m living life again.

Where are you now in your life?
Right now, I am back in the dating world. I am dealing with codependency as a central character defect that I’m working on. I am getting better equipped to handle conflict. I am actively working on building connections with others instead of walls.

What are your gratitudes?
I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for my ongoing commitment to improve my life. I am grateful that others in my life support my recovery. I am grateful that I have a therapist and an open mind.

What would you like to say to others that could be helpful to their journey?
To thine own self be true.” No matter how hopeless it may feel keep coming back and with time – things will change.

What is one positive affirmation that best represents you now?
I am a sensitive beautiful gay man who is lovable and courageous.

What was your experience working with me or in therapy? Why would you recommend or refer others?
I have never met a more together therapist than Thuy. She has an ability to model a caring and nurturing relationship in therapy that can be used in my other relationships. I trust her and would recommend her to someone who is committed to making change in their life around their sex and love addictions.

What do these photos mean to you?

Sunset: I feel most connected to myself and my higher power when watching the sunset.

Home decor shopping: The breakup of my relationship meant buying furniture and setting up house alone. It was a process of rediscovery of who I was and what was important to me.

Cat food: the breakup also meant the loss of my cat – which was a heartbreaking experience and yet helped me to grieve the loss of my relationship and to not be afraid of loss.

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