Brené Brown defines connection as “the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
Does anything like that exist in the life of a sexaholic?
This post won’t be long, it may not be that insightful, and it won’t have any agenda.
Instead, I ask one direct question:
Why do addicts have a hard time with real connection?
The word “connection” is mentioned at least 38 times in the White Book of SA. Here are some of its uses:
We went for the “chemistry,” the connection that had the magic… (p. iii)
The sexual arousal gave me the means of flight from reality, and I found myself compelled to escape daily into the ecstatic oblivion that masturbation provided. I had found my “connection;” it was imprinted from the very beginning, and sex would thereafter become dependent on picture-women. (p. 10)
Stealing away, I’d race into the big city, score a connection, and return undetected. (p. 19)
Lonely. The “unconnected” sexaholic is a misconnection waiting to happen. (p. 34)
Thus, we had to connect with ourselves; we became addicted to ourselves. No wonder so many of us found masturbation to be infinitely more than childhood experimentation. It got us high on ourselves, short-circuiting any meaningful connection with others and God. (p. 52)
The Negative Connection: Self-obsession tries to fill this void, since it is a closed-loop connection with the self. Another substitute connection within our selves was masturbation, which often continued through marriage and other relationships as the “normal” experience. But our misconnection went deeper. It seems that with all our human drives – hunger, thirst, sex, power, and the like – the most basic is what we might call the Person-drive, the drive to have union with another. This drive must have its Connection…So, we used sex or lust or relationships to satisfy this drive, letting them take the place of God as a source of our lives. Idolatry. This negative connection never satisfies. (p. 55)
The Negative Connections
Why do we work so hard for the negative connections?
Or are negative connections just too easy?
Porn, masturbation, lust – they are always there, easy to find, easy to hide, easy to justify. They’re like the fast-food restaurants that are scattered all over the freeway exits on a long road-trip: they’re terrible for your health, but they’re quick, easy, and always available.
To repeat the question then, “Why do addicts have a hard time with real connection?”
Is it nature?
Is it nurture?
Is someone or something to blame?
What’s the solution?
For me, the beauty of sobriety and recovery is real connection: with God, with my wife, with my kids, and with my fellows in recovery.
All my connections in the past, at least most of them, were fake, false, a fraud, a hoax, unreal.
Today, I see my friends in recovery as real connections, and I’m grateful to the God of my understanding for a new way of seeing and being.
I look forward to your thoughts and experiences.
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