Photo credit: Darnok from morguefile.com

Addiction to Sex Hurts

Perhaps one of the less understood and less talked about addictions, the addiction to sexual activities can, just like drug and alcohol addictions, leave a path of destruction in the lives of those connected to the “one addicted”.

The following is submitted by a brave young woman who tells of her healing process and the importance of family and forgiveness.

“I was in a relationship for three years.  In the latter part, I got pregnant.  Needless to say, the relationship ended.  I was overwhelmed with feelings of hurt, anger, and sadness.  I could express the ups and downs of being in a relationship with a sex addict, however why bother? Why go back to those times?

One thing I could mention is the support I had from my family and friends. They saw my efforts to fight for that relationship and even his efforts to try to overcome his addiction.  Although there were subtle (and obvious) hints for me to get out, my family provided me with unconditional love.

So as the pregnancy progressed, I began to realize continuing to dwell in hurt and pain was not a healthy option.  To cope with the break-up, I kept busy, read books, wrote in my journal, and had my support system to lean on.  As the sad feelings subsided, I knew I was ready to start the forgiving process.

Many counselling professionals may suggest that the process of forgiveness is to benefit you and not necessarily the other person.  In addition to this, I knew that for the sake of my child’s growth and development, forgiving her father was non-negotiable.  My family and friends, on the other hand, have not been able to reach the point of offering forgiveness to him.  So how do I help them get there?

People may initially assume that a love relationship consists of just two people. It is true that it may start out like this, however, as the relationship evolves, we expose our significant others to our families and other friendships.  Years of involvement makes it more difficult for everyone to witness the loss of that person when the relationship ends. In the case above, her family and friends were probably exposed to more of the relationship than the average.  Setting healthy boundaries in relationships protects and provides clarity for how much to involve others in personal matters.

Involvement of family and friends in the couple’s personal struggles can actually serve to destroy family supports and eat away at the relationship as well.  While loved ones may have observed happy times, they likely find it easier to recall the stories of bad behaviours and not-so-good times before and when the relationship ends.  While focus on negatives is quite common, all it does is reinforce pain and foster feelings of anger.  Staying stuck in blame and judgmentalism blocks movement toward forgiveness. Unfortunately, this can stand in the way of a healthy relationship with the person about to become a co-parent.

In this particular case, the mother’s modelling forgiveness can be a powerful and influential message for her friends and family.  Most adults and children can pick up on the energy in a room and the emotional states of others from nonverbal communication (face and tone).

Given this, we are all responsible for the quality of relationships by our actions and choices… to forgive and extend grace or not. 

Individual, co-parenting and family counselling can help to overcome addictions, improve relationship skills and heal woundedness as well…  Contact us today!

 


Photo credit: kondition from morguefile.com

~ Dedicated to Kareem and also Becky~

~Rest in Everlasting Peace. ~

When experiencing loss and grief, we may ask many questions yet never receive answers:

  • Why take them from us so young?
  • What could have been done to prevent this from happening? Or to help?
  • Was I not a good enough influence or foster better choices?
  • Will I get over this pain?
  • How can I be there for my family when I can barely be there for myself?
  • Is this fair?

We may toss and turn trying to find answers to these questions. We may question our faith and our reality, pondering what we truly are living for. When such tragedy strikes our families and friends, what good can come out of it?

It is very normal to have these questions, to worry, to be concerned. Feelings of helplessness, fear, anxiety, and sadness can become overwhelming. During our time of grief, coping with simple life tasks can be difficult. Take your time. Don’t rush into the hustle and bustle of life’s demands. Find comfort through loved ones who are also grieving, and accept support from those friends and others who want to extend care to you during this difficult time.

Prayer. For those who place faith in God, praying for strength, and sometimes just praying for survival can provide comfort and peace during the grieving process. When we question God’s plans, the best source to turn to is God Himself, reading time-tested and true ancient wisdom. Through prayer and scripture, we may not find the answers we are looking for, however we may find serenity, and regain our strength, hope and possibly even confidence in God’s plan for all of us.

Questions of faith and uncertainty can be addressed in counselling. Incorporating spirituality might just restore the hope that is essential to life and death.  Call us today.

 

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Why stop any addictive behaviour? Because it has reached the point where it is getting in the way of important relationships, blocking progress at home and work and/or because you simply want a better quality of life. Addictions can become such habitual behaviour that the body and mind simply become used to this.  Stopping addictive behaviour in its tracks often requires a team effort with a wide variety of supports and strategies.

Motivation to change increases when we explore the benefits or positive results that will happen as we take back control of our health.

One young man listed his top 10 motivators for stopping drinking as follows:

  1. Better myself
  2. Quality of life – e.g. travel, socialize
  3. Accomplish things – around house, with friends, at work
  4. Own a house – currently drinking a mortgage payment per month
  5. Family’s well being – so they don’t worry and are happier with me
  6. Physical health – healthier energy levels, organ functioning and sexuality
  7. Mental health – increased confidence, happiness and peace
  8. Spiritual health – strengthen my spirit, explore faith possibilities
  9. $$$$$ – save and re-invest thousands ($1000.00 to $1400.00 per month)
  10. LOVE – express this emotion through my actions toward me and others more!

Addictions can become all consuming thoughts and actions interfering with almost every area of our lives. No matter what the addiction, we can overcome it with help and by shifting our thoughts toward more hopeful and positive ones. Intentionally changing our mind is complicated.

Our professional registered counselors in Oshawa can assist you anywhere in Durham Region or even farther via internet video counselling sessions.

If you are, or a friend of yours is, struggling with an addictive behaviour, one that is causing you concern… even modest concern…then dig deep for the courage to reach out for help!  To find out how we can help Contact us today

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Loss of a loved one, whether a grandparent, parent, child, sibling, friend or another close to you can be quite painful and heart-wrenching.  Initial shock and disbelief are often quickly replaced by feelings of sorrow, grief, confusion and even anger. These emotional responses are quite normal…uncomfortable, yet normal.

Can you imagine getting close to another person, sharing special times, stories, events and situations, some very intimate and challenging and others exciting, joyful and exhilarating… then suddenly they are gone and you felt normal, unaffected? That would be strange wouldn’t it?  

Significant loss is supposed to impact us, change us and even throw us off our normal routines. The greater the love, the greater the loss, the greater the impact. In ancient times, those who lost a loved one may display their grief by tearing their clothes, covering themselves in ashes and mourning for months and even years.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote two of the best books to help people grieving the loss of a loved one; On Death & Dying” and “On Grief & Grieving. These fine works help those grieving with the journey, finding new meaning, restoring faith and adjusting to a life without their special loved one.

Sometimes the struggle after loss can seem simply too much to handle, too hard to face on your own and maybe even too difficult for surviving family and friends to help you with.  This is not a flaw or weakness. It may simply be the loss is so great extra assistance and supports may be required.

If you should find the loss of a loved one is just too much, fueling overwhelming emotions (e.g. excessive crying and anger) and increasingly troubling behaviours, please reach out and to get the supports available. You may even Contact us today