I used to think that people who went to see psychologists and attended therapy groups were people who had serious mental illnesses or other adjustment problems. I did not consider myself to be one of these types of people. It took until I was 34 yrs old before I  finally realised that I needed to go and see a psychologist and attend a weekly support group. I met the psychologist every other week for about 2 years.

Another reason that I didn´t believe I needed therapy and support groups was that, I believed that all I needed was a touch from God, a miracle or some dramatic event that would cause me to turn away from habitual sinful behaviour. I did not understand that God would bring about change in my life, only as I learned to trust others.

I had religious views about the way that healing happened. I tended to emphasis prayer, fasting, Bible study, church activities and other spiritual disciplines as the way to receive healing. I ignored things like—open and honest sharing with others, asking for help from those who know more, being accountable to someone, working through specific problems  and learning life skills and competencies—as essential parts of the healing process.

I also thought that I was being honest with God in prayer. I would tell the issues of my life to Him privately—so I thought. I did not know that much of this ´private sharing` was simply because I was too afraid to tell anyone else about my weaknesses. I was ashamed of the fact that I could not control my sexuality during some periods. I had a distorted picture of God and of myself. I was, in reality, only recycling my complaints—about my addictive behaviours—in His presence.

Perhaps the strongest reasons why I thought that I didn´t need therapy and belong in a support group was: I thought I could overcome my problems myself, and that I didn´t need other people´s help; I thought my problems were not so severe and I would eventually overcome them.

I was a pastor and I was too proud to admit that I still struggled with out-of-control sexual behaviour. I preferred others to think of me as a spiritual guy and as kind, compassionate and gifted not a sex addict who needed therapy. I was genuinely ashamed of myself. On the one-hand I enjoyed secret sexual activities, on the other-hand I didn´t want anyone to know about it.

If you struggle as I do—I encourage you—Please join a supportive group and get a therapist to help you. It will be time and money well spent.

Andy               Sipoo

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