I wasn’t looking for a group.
I didn’t even know what a group was.
I wasn’t currently struggling with love or sex addiction.
I was happily married for eight years and had three adorable little boys.
I didn’t need a group. Or, did I?
Well, long story short, I did need a group. I needed to be able to say out loud, “I’ve struggled with love and sex addiction” and not feel like I was the only woman in the world who has. I needed to admit to myself that even though it is in my past, I have to deal it so it doesn’t impact the present.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect in group. Right off the bat it was a lot of feelings stuff. I’ve never been a feelings person. Now after going through group, I can never say that again. Whether we like it or not, we all have feelings. If you are like me, you may not have known what those feelings were, but you had them hiding somewhere. Within the first few weeks of group, I began learning how to identify my feelings and process them. This was HUGE and I immediately began to notice a difference in my life.
Although I wasn’t currently dealing with a love and sex addiction, it was something I struggled with when I was younger. I hadn’t thought about it in years and honestly believed it was all behind me. What I didn’t realize was that my addictive behaviors were showing up in other ways. Instead of hiding from my pain with a love and sex addiction, I was running from it by eating too much, excessive spending, staying busy, and being controlling. I was still medicating my pain rather than dealing with it. Being in group helped me to see that my behaviors were not healthy and I did not know how to deal with pain. Group taught me to be strong enough to face the pain and stop running from it.
The first time I told my story in group was hard. I didn’t have a crazy trauma story and honestly would not have called my life traumatic. What I learned about trauma was interesting. Some people have one or two huge traumas in their life; anyone who hears their story would be shocked and right away call it trauma. Other people may have a lot of little things happen over and over, and throughout time, those turn into trauma.
Most people who have that kind of trauma say things like, “I don’t have any trauma. I grew up in an amazing Christian home and I have a great relationship with my parents.” That was me. There were a lot of little things that didn’t seem so traumatic, but as I worked through my past, I was able to identify the impact they had on me. Group taught me to not discount anything because every little thing that happens in our life matters and it all leads to where we are today.
Hearing other people’s stories in group was powerful. We shared a common experience—an addiction. Nobody wants to talk about addiction, but we could open up with one another and know that our stories were safe. Meeting every week for two hours, doing homework during the week, and making phone calls to ladies in the group was such a big commitment. But that’s what it takes. Change doesn’t happen overnight.
Through community with women in my group, I was able to talk through and process things I had never before talked about. My commitment to group and the community that surrounded me created the group experience I needed to find healing.
Going through a Pure Desire group was extremely transformative. I didn’t know what to expect and was surprised how much it impacted me. My experience in group was so profound that now, I encourage everyone to get in a group. Sure, it isn’t an easy thing and is a huge time commitment, but the end result makes it all worth it.
I finished group and it completely changed my life.
I am more self-aware.
I am a better mom.
I am a better wife.
I am a stronger person.
I know how I feel.
I have boundaries.
I can say no.
I am healthier.
I wasn’t looking for a group. But, I needed it and it found me.
Anna is the Events Manager for Pure Desire Ministries. Her background is in event planning and social media. Anna also is an online group leader for Pure Desire Women's Groups.