Co-NNections Recovery Stories

Finding Help

A week after our one-year anniversary, my boyfriend told me about his porn addiction. It was definitely a shock, and I was angry at him that he kept it from me for so long and angry at myself that I didn’t see the signs. My mom was a recovering alcoholic, my sister a recovering drug addict, and my brother a suspected alcoholic. And with all this family history, I should have seen the signs, or so I thought. And I also thought I knew how to deal with this new information. I mean, my family dealt with it, so shouldn’t I know how to deal with it? And in case the suspense will kill you… NO! I did not really know how to deal with it.
Over the next few weeks after he told me, I became paranoid. I thought about all the times I called him and he seemed distracted, all the times I took a nap and he was out in the living room by himself, and all the times he quickly clicked out of something that was on his phone. And then I began thinking about what he was doing all the time. I felt the need to be around him just to prevent him from falling into his addiction. But it was impossible to keep up with myself, and I did not want to become that “clingy” girlfriend you always hear about. So, I looked for help.
My boyfriend didn’t want me to tell any of my friends or family members about his addiction, and I agreed. It’s personal, and it was embarrassing for him. But the more and more I got lost inside my own head, the more and more I needed to talk to SOMEONE.
One day I broke—I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t stop crying. I was having a major panic attack. I ended up telling my boyfriend’s and my most important secret to my closest friend. I still feel guilty over it. But I needed to tell somebody as much as I needed water to survive. And it was that day I knew I had to make a change. I had to find a new group, a therapist, or SOMETHING!
Soon after that day I went to my first CoDA meeting! The first group I went to didn’t feel quite right. The way they spoke made them sound like victims, and I didn’t want to be a victim. I again felt hopeless, wondering if the right thing was out there, but I had to keep trying. I found a new meeting that was a bit further away, but I was prepared to drive anywhere just to find some comfort.  And it was at this CoDA meeting I finally found hope and peace. It felt right, and it felt like a new beginning. For a year, I was wishing help would just come, but it turns out I had to go and find it. And CoDA is where I found it.
Cosette R – 11/4/19

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