By Rob Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S. The candid comments of an amazingly open recovering professional writing about her drug and sexual addiction history below provide meaningful insight into why many addicts, both male and female -chose to embrace drug use and sexual promiscuity rather than a life of healthy connectivity. Her words provide a intimate view into how the destructive combination of drug abuse and sexual acting out are often fused in a misguided attempt to meet the simple human needs we all share for connection, desirability, and inclusion.
This abuse of sex and drugs to meet simple, understandable human needs for love and affection are the underpinning of many additive behaviors in those with early histories of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect. The words below also serve as a reminder to addiction professionals and recovering people that it is not enough to simply enough to explore and resolve past trauma; true recovery also involves learning how to live and connect as adults. For many addicts, the drive to abuse both drugs and sex is fused with a belief that using is the only way to feel a part of – for those with little self-worth and little (they believe) to offer others. The lack of a learned ability to engage and trust deep attachments and love can drive lifelong problems of addiction and relapse.
Here is her quote:
“Drugs … gave me a sense of connection to people I used with. Having drugs, money for drugs, access to drugs, made me “desirable” to people. I was everybody’s “friend”. Sex I related to affection, feeling beautiful. Something I did not feel. In all the years of therapy that I went through, many clinicians wanted to focus on the drugs themselves and the sexual trauma that I had faced in my younger years. I was faced on my own with the daunting task of sorting through my attachments with role models as far back as 3-5 years old. It wasn’t until I met a therapist who focused on my lifelong social anxiety, learned isolation, and adult challenges and fears about truly connecting with people, that I was able to evolve healthy adult relationships, boundaries, and real intimacy.”