The Power of Rigorous Honesty by D.J. Burr
*****I Just Wanted Love: Recovery of a Codependent, Sex and Love Addict
by D.J. Burr
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: ABLE Counseling Services, LLC; 1 edition (December 31, 2014)
Amazon Paperback Link
File Size: 495 KB
Print Length: 236 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
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In my book, I Just Wanted Love: Recovery of a Codependent, Sex and Love Addict, I learned that I needed to be religiously honest with myself and the world. I wrote about my trials and triumphs as a person in long-term recovery. It feels good to be honest. In active addiction, I learned to lie and manipulate to get my needs and wants met, although most of the time I was lying to myself.
I learned to lie at a young age. It wasn't as if someone taught me how to lie, but in my less than nurturing childhood environment I was able to see others lie to get what they wanted. My stepfather used to lie about his drinking, but would stumble around the house drunk. My mother used to lie about not feeling hurt because my step-father was neglectful to her and us kids, but then she would lash out at anyone in her path.
D.J. Burr is a man on a mission; successful business owner, highly respected psychotherapist and survivor of a dysfunctional life.
At a young age, all he wanted was to be loved, but instead found himself targeted by a sexual predator. D.J. slipped into a life of addiction and clawed his way through broken relationships and seedy sex clubs--looking for love in all the wrong places. D.J. will take readers on a roller coaster of emotions as he details his search for grace and love.
I was often confused by adults and their lies and manipulations. I couldn't understand why everyone couldn't just be honest. I think I know now; to be honest, means to be vulnerable. I learned that to be vulnerable meant “cowardly,” “childish” and “gay.” Of course being called “gay” as a derogatory name was hurtful because I am gay. That was just another reason to keep my mouth closed. I learned it wasn't safe for anyone to be vulnerable, so I shut down, bottled up my feelings, and found a way to numb the excruciating pain of shame, guilt, and fear.
One cannot live a life full of shame, guilt, and fear forever. It is too painful. My pain led to active addiction. I searched for other people, places, and things to numb my pain until I got to the bottom, which was when I wanted to commit suicide. I was desperate. I wanted thirty plus years of hurt and anguish to be over. Luckily, I sought treatment and learned about “rigorous honesty.”
The Twelve Steps of recovery talks about the importance of being rigorously honest, especially when writing. There is power in being truthful. The power I have gained from being brutally honest about the abuse I suffered as a kid and the pain I caused others while acting out my addiction has catapulted my life to new, sober heights. I no longer have to live in the shadows of shame. I am able to tell people my entire truth. I don’t leave out much – no need when I am rigorously honest.
It really is true that the “truth will set you free.” I am free from active addiction, over two years now, and I am free from shame ruling my life. I became a sex addict to numb my pain because I couldn't be honest about my need for love, affection, compassion, and good parenting. Now, I am able to say that, yes, I am a sex and love addict, and my needs are valuable, necessary, and valid. My life has changed for the better. Without being rigorously honest, my new book would not be the powerful tool that it has become for my readers.
I encourage you to write with a feverish passion and be as rigorously honest as you can be. You will thank me later.