Is it finally time to put down that whipping stick and stop policing your sexual desires? The inner-critic has lied to you – negative self-talk isn’t the voice of your moral compass. It’s not serving your highest interests. It’s a trickster insisting there’s a “normal” out there that’s better, shinier, happier and attainable (even for you) but only if you’re hard really on yourself and learn to distrust your instincts (which obviously are F*#*d up judging by your history of damage done). You’ve got to see your entire life prior to sobriety as having been tainted by poor judgment and influenced by low-life companions – if you can do all these things there is hope for you. So pick up that whipping stick. Don’t be too loud. Don’t live too large. Corral yourself inside the parameters of what “normal” people do and you’ll be safe from yourself. Listen to the inner-critic and you’ll learn how to beat yourself into a “new you”.
Does this sound extreme?
I’ve had countless conversations with people who’ve convinced themselves that the answer to their unrest is to be “normal” without giving much thought to what this “normal” is. This approach to life is the antithesis of self-discovery. Self-acceptance comes out of a growth process. First we must discover who we are – stripped away from the past, from the life of active addiction, from who our family insisted we should be. Self-discovery is the fun part the recovery process – especially when it comes to examining our sexuality. If we deny our desires or quash our sexual curiosity, it’s like putting limits on our journey of self-discovery. When our inner-critic judges our sexual imagination and natural desires it’s building a shame-based prison – a place self-acceptance will always remain out of reach.
I’m looking forward to this week’s SEX TALK discussion. It will be an opportunity to examine what parts of ourselves we put in a box marked “unhealthy behaviors” when we got clean and sober without ever having re-opened it to see if our sexual interests ever belonged in that box in the first place.