Showing posts from March, 2023

Telling Your Whole Story in Spite of its Stigma

I'm sitting at a retreat and just finished listening to an amazing speaker who has a very long story of recovery from addiction. One aspect of his workshop was about helping others by sharing your own story of addiction. So here is mine. Man, I don't know where to start.......... And - that was as far as I got. That hesitancy about not knowing how to start continued, then the idea got buried. The retreat was in October 2022 and I'm just now getting back to finishing it in March 2023. If you read my "No Longer Afraid" posts, you'll have much more context on why I'm suddenly brave enough to share this part of my story. However, reading them isn't necessary for this post. Here I go... Yeah, I can do this... Maybe I'm still a little nervous about it... Here I really go... It's only four little words - Tracy, you can do this! Okay... I'm a sex addict. There, I said it. Of all of the addictions, I feel that sex addiction is the one connected with

No Longer Afraid, Part 3a: The Amazing Things that Happened After the "Years from Hell"

So that I won't bore you with another long story, I'm just going to list as many of the things that I have experienced and learned during the time after "the incident." (not necessarily in chronological order or order of importance... I'm just writing as I remember them.) But before I get going with the list, I have to highlight the most unlikely and incredible event: On the way home from our honeymoon, Travis and I stopped at a rest stop in the northern part of Alabama. As I walked into the building, I saw a dad talking to his son about Fahrenheit vs Celcius while looking at a thermometer on the porch. This wasn't anything amazing, except that the son was a teenager and had Down Syndrome.  I remember thinking - boy, that kid must have some great parents and have had some amazing teachers. (Not that I don't believe those with Down Syndrome can't learn - in fact, I feel totally the opposite - but because of stigmas and fewer opportunities than others, m

When the Progress You've Made Isn't Enough (Coping with Panic Attacks)

I've made a lot of progress through all of the years of counseling, self-help information, addiction support groups, EMDR, and other activities that contribute to healing.  And I've made a lot of progress. Really I have.  However...  There have been two instances in the past few weeks that showed that I still have a loooooonnnnng way to go.  When I woke up for church a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't feeling well. I almost didn't go.  It was one of those times my determination (stubbornness?) was an asset, I guess. I had missed a lot lately due to work and other issues so I got ready and left.  On the way, I started having a panic attack. It's been a while since I've had one and I knew I couldn't handle Sunday School the way I was feeling.  I called my husband who was driving his car (due to somewhere he had to go right after church) and explained my thoughts about a way to cope. My plan was to go to a local Dollar Tree and shop for about the next 45 minutes (

No Longer Afraid Part 2: Provision During "The Year From Hell"

As often happens, it took a while for me to add part 2 to my last post. As I'm incredibly busy right now with work, it would have been even longer to write this, but just as I decided to go to the pool to work out this morning (something else I've been putting off), it started thundering. The pool I go to still has the winter season dome over it so the rain isn't an issue - but if there's lightning in the vicinity they clear the pool. So... I have some extra time to finally finish the "No Longer Afraid" post. (Don't worry - it won't be as long as the other post.) The same day "the incident" happened (which led to what I affectionately called "The Year from Hell"), I interviewed at Sylvan Learning for a part-time job. The director was a former student's parent and she loved me. She called me about the job and as soon as I sat down for the interview, she told me I had the job if I wanted it - the interview was to simply tell me wh