My Only Strap-On Is a Chastity Belt: The Feared Year of Abstinence

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Hey.

I’m two weeks sober today. It’s not much, but I haven’t been clean for this long since last October.

And I haven’t experienced cravings like this since…. ever.

Allow me to explain. The first time I tried sobriety was at Yellowbrick, the treatment center I was admitted to in 2012. My time there culminated in my friend’s nearly-fatal suicide attempt in my apartment. The doctors pronounced her dead on arrival, but a procedure that essentially involves freezing a person’s body to preserve their internal organs kept her alive. Three years later (October 26 is the anniversary), she can barely move, chew her food, drink water, or speak.

The night before this happened, I relapsed in my bedroom with my roommate, a bottle of tequila, a wilted lime, and a salt shaker I stole from the kitchen. I screamed curses at another resident. I held my roommate’s hair as she vomited into a trashcan.

And the next morning, I woke up to the screaming. I continued to drink for another three months and justified my continued use by citing the impact of the new traumatic experience.

This relapse took place on the exact day I was to receive my three-month chip.
Things were stable. My friend was still alive and well. If the relapse wasn’t sparked by a concrete event, what was it? Why, after everything I had admitted about myself and my use, would I turn to chaos again?

Because I didn’t give a shit. Because I went into recovery for the wrong reasons. Because something horrendous had begun to enter my consciousness. Because I refused to believe in anything bigger than me. Because I was stubborn and angry and indignant. And because I never gave up men.

Before I get into this, I want to clarify that men certainly haven’t been the sole catalysts for my relapses. As someone with an undying urge to numb myself, I am fully capable of coming up with unlimited — and often ridiculous — excuses to justify my destructive use of drugs and alcohol. I by no means wish to push substance abuse to the background. I know that abstinence from drugs and alcohol comes first, since mood-altering substances are the dickheads that obliterate any and all of my inhibitions. They provide the breeding ground for everything else.

Now, enough with the disclaimers. At the end of the day, you can say and think what you want and I can put on my Iron Man suit and ignore the shit out of you.

So yeah, it’s pretty clear that I need to work to abstain from drugs and alcohol for the rest of my life (I know, it’s one day at a time. Just shut up and let me finish), but there’s one more thing that I have chosen to abstain from that never ever in a million trillion bazillion years thought I would be capable of.

I have committed to staying abstinent from sex and relationships indefinitely.

AND IT’S REALLY FUCKING HARD.

In one of my last posts, I mentioned feeling like I was addicted to men. I wasn’t joking. I am no different from a junkie. The junkie gets high, her high wears off, she needs more, she makes her phone calls, she drives to her dealer’s house, she gets her fix, then she does it again. Meanwhile, she pushes her friends to the side. She lies, steals, and manipulates. Her loved ones lose trust in her. She loses faith in herself. Her life falls apart, but no consequence can cure her.

I am that junkie. Up until two weeks ago, I’ve needed a fix every single night. Like the junkie, I have dropped everything I’m doing — everything that’s important to me — to get that fix. I have driven to people’s houses at wee hours of the morning. I have walked down dark alleyways alone. I have had sex with people I can’t stand. I have obsessed over men who treat me like shit.

And rejection is just fuel for the fire. When a man catches onto my crazy and pushes me away, I latch onto the potential for drama. Like the heroin addict who continues to use after an overdose, I continue to chase after men who render me suicidal.

I am sick.

You can’t cure heart disease by sticking a band-aid on your chest. I can’t cure trauma and self-hatred by entering a new relationship. I have tried this. So far, it’s ended in physical and emotional abuse, a relapse, and a failed engagement.

My primary reasons for abstinence are as follows:

  1. I am a fiend and won’t rest until I get what I want. When it’s not sex with a boyfriend, it’s sex with a stranger. When it’s not sex with a stranger, it’s making out with a stranger. When it’s not making out with a stranger, it’s flirting in person. When it’s not flirting in person, it’s sexting. When it’s not sexting, it’s a desperate search for male attention via the Internet.
  2. Sex is never just sex. The idea that I’m capable of having sex without attachment is a load of shit. I want love. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. Unfortunately, when you convince someone that it’s, like, totally NSA and then reveal underlying expectations, they’re usually not super enthused about it.
  3. Sex obliterates any and all of my self-respect. This is because I’m a game player — I only want the men who don’t want me because they’re kept at a safe distance. Chasing the idea of love is far different from receiving love. The latter remains a terrifying concept. Games, however, are a welcome distraction. The constant rejection coupled with the ways in which I degrade myself to get attention only increase my self-hatred.
  4. Sex turns me into an insane person. I’m trying not to use words like “insane” and “crazy” anymore because they’re dismissive and unrealistic, but bear with me for a second. While I largely disagree with my bi-polar diagnosis, I can acknowledge that flirting rituals make me manic as fuck. I become an entirely different person when I’m on the hunt for a man, which is not unlike the transformation that occurs when I’m drinking. Everything I say, everything I wear, everything I do, everything I share is carefully crafted to win over whomever I’m seeking validation from. But, over time, the act wears off and they see what lies beneath it — a terrified 5-year-old girl with no self-love and a lifetime of hurt. Not super sexy.
  5. I am totally not “poly by nature.” I want to be. I really do. But the truth is that I seek out multiple partners because being vulnerable with a single person scares the piss out of me. Having multiple partners allows me to maintain the act and run away when things get too intimate. Also, I have absurd double standards. I expect to be allowed the freedom to sleep with whomever I want, but as soon as a partner makes the same request, I’m immediately jealous. Like, REALLY jealous. And angry. And probably crying.
  6. I’m not even super into sex. Trauma does shitty things to a person’s sex drive. It can also render sex a fairly daunting and awful-feeling experience. I often have flashbacks when I’m in bed with someone, especially if we’re in the dark, but I don’t say anything because I don’t want to be abandoned. My true desire is to sleep next to someone, to hold hands, to feel the warmth of another body against mine, but that rarely happens. And it’s not just the dude’s fault. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I revert to autopilot, acting out old traumas and patterns because they are lodged in my system.

I’ve tried willpower. I’ve tried long-term relationships. I’ve tried isolating myself in one-bedroom apartments. I’ve tried traveling alone. I’ve tried and tried and tried, but old habits always reemerge.

Last week, I got down on my fucking knees and admitted powerlessness over sex. I wasn’t told to do this. It just happened. Something clicked. All of the stories blended together — it was the same story over and over again, each with the same goddamn ending. One relationship fails, the next begins. Meanwhile, I never confront my traumas or truths or anything, really. All of my energy is invested in the relationship. Self-care is tossed out the window.

I’ll never get better if I continue to seek out solace in men.

I’ll never get better if I continue to run from my darkness via sex and relationships.

I am posting this publicly because I know a lot of my friends deal with similar issues and because I am always and forever filter-less.

Come at me, brah.

Oh, and on the off-chance any of my gentleman friends are/were hoping to pursue something with me, I’ve got a message for you: I love ya, but don’t even try me. I’ve got brass knuckles in the basement.

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6 thoughts on “My Only Strap-On Is a Chastity Belt: The Feared Year of Abstinence

  1. Troll?…I came across your cry session blog on accident. I merely gave you a “tough love” type response to your addictions. You don’t even have the courage to leave my post up on your blog. Your “getting all drugged up and gettin’ laid” addiction is a strange one to me, but whatever. I beat pain med addiction myself, I had no one but myself to kick my morphine addiction that started after an injury a few years ago. I’m saying if you have a strong will, you can beat it just as I did….your liberal ideals gives you a shitty outlook on life, liberalism blames everyone else but the who it really lies on…you. Immediately slap names on those you don’t agree with….stop replacing greatness with mediocrity. Stop complaining like a bitch and just get a grip on yourself, it’s the only way you will have the control you once had…there’s a truth NO ONE can deny…..good luck…

    • Dude. If you don’t like my blog, don’t read my blog. If you want to say nasty things to me, don’t expect me to keep them public. This is my space. I don’t get paid for it — I share this to help people who struggle with similar things. If my addiction is “a strange one” to you, please find a more suitable blog to read.

      Also, I’m not a liberal.

      Here, have it your way. I’ll leave your comment up so people can bask in your almighty wisdom.

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