OuttaControl. . .

Questions, Answers, Stories.*
*For reasons of privacy, fictional names have been given to contributors to this page.

"Bob" asks:
What if I've conquered the addiction, but the damaging effects seem to be lingering -- does it take a long time to get back to normal? I'm recovering from pornography addiction, but basically pornography gives me a stronger 'sexual rush' than the real thing!!  Now that I've stopped, will I eventually be attracted to the real thing again?

Webb from selftest.net answers:

Thank you very much for your question and observation. Sexual patterns can get very deeply ingrained, and very often they are not about sexuality in the first instance but about other issues, like desire for intensity, escape, excitement, sense of power, and so on. If pornography has trained you to associate sexual experiences with a kind of "white knuckled" excitement, then you may well wonder what's going on in normal, everyday intimacy, affection and sexual pleasure. But the question is, who needs all that adrenaline? Adrenaline for its own sake only gives a kick, it doesn't build or express relationship, doesn't deepen your joy at being alive, doesn't satisfy your need for awe and beauty.

So I'd say, be patient with yourself, and try to identify why you are seeking out adrenaline-producing experiences. What is it that hurts inside, that makes you need a rush? Are you sure it's "sexual desire", or is sexual desire only the button you have gotten in the habit of pushing to drown out the pain--that comes from elsewhere? This is the very hard part--and I know it because I struggle with using excitement and intensity to drown out pain too. The challenge is to face up to what hurts, and little by little to address that issue directly rather than running from it into addiction.

On top of that, it is a matter of acquiring a taste for sexual expression that is laid back, fun, relaxed, intimate, rather than hot, driving, insistent, itchy, lascivious. Put in the healing and the intimacy work, and I think you will see very encouraging results.

"Joanie" writes:
hello i am a 17 year old female who has just began to realize i have developed an eating disorder. at first i was very ashamed and tried to hide the fact that i had a problem. it has gotten worse, i have now no control over the disorder, it controls me. hearing others come forward with such
courage, gives me the strength to move on and to get help. i am so overwhelmed at times, not even able to believe any of this is happening to me, but it is, and only the words of others lets me face the truth. thank you.

"Dave" asks:
i scored high on this test. my behavior isnt a thing im doing or addicted on doing--its an uncontrollable feeling when small insignificant things happen. then i snap and lose control. by yelling or screaming. i feel terrible afterwards but it happens so fast i cant control it, and i feel so angry over small thing. why am i so angry and what can i do to stop hurting the people i love?

Webb from selftest.net replies:

Having a volatile temper is such a difficult thing to come to grips with! I know because I am more volatile than I would like to be too. A great deal of that volatility comes from your brain chemistry that is both genetically built in and influenced by your infanthood and early childhood experiences. In extreme cases an explosive temper can be kept under control by drugs--the same drugs that doctors and psychiatrists sometimes prescribe for depression.

But the one thing I want to propose is, to try something very scary and see what happens. When you feel like screaming the next time, ask yourself, "What am I feeling like at this moment?" Not, what am I angry about, but:

"What does this feeling I'm having right now feel like?".

When I've been arguing with my daughter and getting nowhere, I've sometimes done this and found myself screaming not at my daughter, but just into the air, "I feel so powerless!".

To realize that blowing your top comes from a feeling of weakness, rather than a position of power, is a good place to begin.

No matter how much responsibility we have, no matter what authority we *ought* to have, there are moments when we are attacked and we can't defend ourselves adequately, or we are unable to make happen what we feel obligated to make happen, and we feel trapped and pressurized. Blowing up in those circumstances may feel like raw power to others, but inside us it may be a desperate self-defense.

My final thought is that we all need to be careful of what we say when we are angered. Somewhere in the Bible there is the wise saying, "Be angry but don't sin". That means that anger--or the intense experience of conflict and pain we call losing your temper--is not necessarily wrong in and of itself. What counts is what you do when that burst of anger pain gets expressed. Do you say, "Ouch! That hurts!", or "Hey, you *^&#(%&, why don't you go to hell?"

Learning to express our anger without attacking the worth or safety of another is the first great challenge for those of us with volatile tempers. After that we can work on being calmer, but being safe and being respectful in our anger comes first.

"Julie" offers some life experience:
I am a 16 year old schoolgirl and I have been suffering from an eating disorder for aroung three years now. Just about every moment of my day I am thinking of what I am going to eat,  how much I'll eat, and how I will eat it. I have been hospitalized four times, institutionalized twice, stuck in
front of at least six different pschologists and counsellers and poked and prodded so many  times that I have begun to feel like a laboratory rat.

But finally now I think that I am on the road to recovery. It is a long painful road, but I have begun to see the light at the end of this dark eerie tunnel. My heart goes out to anyone suffering from an eating disorder. Trust me, I REALLY understand what it is like when you don't want dumb
counsellers and doctors interfering with your so-called "control", but when you  begin to  understand yourself you are much happier and a more positive person. The only way to find the root cause of your problem is to delve deep into your mind, and thus this can only be done alone.

Thank you, "Julie", for taking a risk and talking about your experience!

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