Dr. Patrick Carnes, acclaimed sex addiction expert, holds that when sex addicts are having trouble gaining sobriety it’s because they are not asking for help. The idea of asking for help goes against the grain of our society’s idealization of the traits of independence and self-reliance. Wanting/needing help from another is viewed as a weakness, a character flaw, or a sign of immaturity.
Thus, when sex addiction behavior comes to light many addicts insist that they can overcome the problem totally on their own. And most fail! Solo recovery from sex addiction rarely works.
To reach out for help is not showing weakness, but wisdom. Help can come in various forms. Two of the most effective means of s.a. recovery are individual therapy and participation in a 12-Step group. These two approaches are not in competition, but actually complement each other.
Seeking help is a way of acknowledging how cunning and powerful sex addiction is. To accept that will power is not enough is to accept Step 1 of the 12-Steps: “We admitted we were powerless over addictive sexual behavior–our lives had become unmanageable.”
Acknowledging powerlessness does not lead to despair, but can serve as a wake-up call to the addict. This call says, “You can’t do this alone, and you need not do this alone.” Your journey toward recovery and wholeness is not a solo endeavor, but a joint venture. And on that journey you will experience the kindness, care, and compassion of your fellow travelers.