In my post Hypersexuality: the sexy 900 lb gorilla in the room, I shared some of my experiences and struggles. But I didn’t talk about how I am overcoming them and healing from them. I’ve taken these five steps toward healing.
The first thing I did was shutdown my social network. I suspended my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I stopped blogging and commenting on blogs. I stopped texting or chatting with anyone but family and close male friends. This cut off most of the tools that I used to express my hypersexuality with. This would give the quiet and space needed for healing.
The very next thing that I did was pray. I prayed to God for healing. Then I called one of my spiritual teachers and asked him for some help with healing. He asked me to meet him in the chapel of a Catholic church. We meditated and chanted and breathed. He prayed that I would become innocent once more. Just as innocent as a baby. I wept. The healing had begun. I continue to pray and meditate. This is a life-time process.
Becoming a Good Partner
I hurt my wife deeply. For my marriage to heal, I have to take my marriage vows very seriously. I try to show her as often I can that I cherish her. I care for her. I bring her fresh coffee in the morning. I tend to her when she is sick. I devote myself to her. I am honest with her. There’s nothing in my life she doesn’t know about. We take walks together in the afternoon.
It’s hard, sometimes, to be a good partner when you have bipolar disorder. Sometimes, I’m just not well enough for her to lean on me. I just do the best I can do.
Becoming innocent again
I needed to become innocent. I needed to become the man I used to be before this happened. Mild-mannered. Shy. Smiley. Funny. Caring. Goofy. Innocent in the way I look at myself and also in the way I look at other people. On some level, I had become a sexual predator. I looked at every woman as a sexual object. And I was not prejudiced against any body type, color, or age (excluding children) . No one was innocent in my eyes. My eyes needed to change. My mind needed to change. I’m learning to see the innocence in people. I look to one of my heroes, Mr. Rogers (Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood), as a model for this. He viewed the world through innocent eyes. I believe that in all people, he saw a child of God.
Shrinking your network to the bare essentials
I went through my email contacts and Facebook friends and eliminated every person that I didn’t need to be contact with, especially women. I began limiting human contact to only the people I needed to be in contact with. I needed space for healing and time away from any possibility of a sexually-charged situation.
Re-emerging on new terms
Gradually, I’ve been re-engaging in society. I’m back on Facebook. I never write anything sexually suggestive. I have no private communication with any person of the opposite sex unless it is strictly job related. What this does is give me a safety net for if I get hypersexual again. I no longer have a network of possible hookups in my life. Even if I did give into my impulses, I wouldn’t get very far. I haven’t nurtured those kinds of relationships. I don’t speak with women if I don’t need to. I don’t make more than polite eye contact.
There is too much riding on my fidelity and wellness. I have a wife and two kids to think about. Sexual impropriety would destroy my family. I’d lose my job, I’d lose my marriage, and my children would lose their stability. I have to be the kind of man that I want my daughter to marry and the kind of man I want my son to become.
I’ve come a long way, but I believe this will be a life-long struggle for me.