I would never have given up my favorite hobby if not for the challenge lain down by addiction specialist Brad Salzman.
While battling my sex addiction demons, I greatly benefited from talking with therapist Brad Salzman (a mentch and an Orthodox Jew). I was in a 12-step program that allows each member to choose their own bottom line behaviors to avoid (and to focus instead on top line behavior, which for me was writing, teaching Alexander Technique, etc). I thought I was sober because I wasn’t playing around and I wasn’t looking at porn. Brad told me that unless the addict can go at least three months without any form of sex, including masturbation, he’s not sober. He said that when I let go of that solitary practice, I’d gain greater clarity. He was right. I’ve been sober for six months now. I have more strength, clarity and purpose in my life. I no longer go around collecting stories of eroticized rage to use when I’m alone. This has transformed the way I interact with people, particularly women. I find I’m less likely to say inappropriate things. I’m less likely to look in inappropriate ways. I’m slowly letting go of the hatreds, fears and resentments that have tormented me for more than four decades.