My journey actually began long long ago. My love story started with another, but I barely remember being in love with her. And we were so wrong for each other. But she would bounce back in and out of my life for several years, which kept me locked in and unable to seek life without her. When she chose to want me, I was there. When she wanted something else, I was there but on the outside looking in.
Only one thing, only one person would be able to break that and it was the soulmate I hadn’t met yet. My pet name for her was “Linda-Love”.
After we did meet and fell in love and married, I used to write poetry for her, and about her and my devotion and love for her. I stopped for some stupid reason. Maybe the addiction stole all my creativity and time.
Folks, my addiction was not normal. I became addicted to inappropriate online activity. It always started with online porn, and progressed to anonymous sexting. I swear I never met anyone, never once. My thrill was being an exhibitionist. Once I sent my pictures, once I elicited the greatest response / reaction, I disappeared, only to repeat it another time. And wow, how damn easy it is to do with the internet, it’s available instantly on our computers and the “smart” phones in our pockets. All web browsers, Explorer, Chrome, Firefox etc, all offer some sort of incognito window.
Before I hit bottom on July 7, 2017, if you’d have asked me about sex addiction I would have said it was a bunch of BS. And when we all stop laughing about Anthony Weiner and the hilarity of his sexting and his name, we might remember that he did it and got caught. Then he did it again and got caught. Then he did it again and got caught again, then lost his job, lost his wife, and lost his life. He kept doing it because he could not stop.
Before I hit bottom, I did not think this was a problem, wrong and naughty yes, but not a real thing. I wasn’t hurting anyone, right? Now, retrospectively, I see how it took over my life. ALL of my spare time went into a combination of watching porn mostly, and sexting would often follow. No actual sex, that was never my goal. My thing was all sorts of porn and sending pictures of myself. In time as it took control of me, I stopped covering my tracks as well. My wife found my outbound email and I injured her so badly by what she had to see and read.
I used to do chores around the house. Those stopped. I used to love to read, about a book a month. I was recently down to maybe one a year. I used to take long walks in the evenings weather permitting. I stopped. I used to get in my car and drive 20 minutes to visit my young adult daughter, her husband and my two little toddler granddaughters. I only went there when it was with my wife. That is how powerful it had become.
Hitting bottom is the only way I would be able to put myself under my own microscope, and now I have. I attend 12 step meetings, have a sponsor, and see an addiction specialist therapist and am changing into a different man.
One day last week, I picked up a pen and pad of paper and I wrote one last piece of poetry, and dropped it off in my home’s mailbox, where she now lives without me. I’d like to share it here. I was in a trance when I wrote this, not even thinking of the need to rhyme or about tempo. It poured out of me like water. I need to write again…. It’s no work of art, but here is what I wrote that morning:
My childhood life was awful, filled with violence and shame. Never thought that I could love, that love was just a game.
A broken heart would soon be mine, from a girl so wrong for me. But she held me in a kind of spell, from which I could not flee.
Then I met the perfect girl whose power was greater still. She made me feel alive again and gave me back my will.
She became “Linda-Love” long before we dated. And any life I’d had before was rapidly abated.
02/22/19** we slept together that night, proving love without making love was our goal despite…. the great desire to consummate the love we had in sight.
We built a life together filled with love and joy. We had our tribulations, but love we did enjoy.
One day I fell ill to addiction, power I could not control. And that would bring an end to the greatest love I’d know.
A secret world of lust, sick online thoughts I’d sow. I’d lose the greatest love I’d know for as long as I would live.
A celibate life would be mine now all alone with my disease.
And never would I feel a love, like “Linda-Love” gave me.