Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Secret Shame -- - Part 6

I was back in the trenches of addiction as I continued my “field research.” What did I find that was different? The answer was nothing! The addiction only continued to escalate as I became more and more out of control. On some days, I would have sex with ten or more partners. It was such an easy thing to do in those places where both gay and straight men sought to have sex with other men.

I practiced unsafe sex almost exclusively as I continued to put myself at risk of HIV infection. Having not acquired it, I was under the delusion that I was invulnerable. The truth is that no one is. At some level, I must not have cared if I remained alive. Addiction is a terminal illness for those who continue to pursue it with all its inherent risks. How I managed to survive only spoke to one truth. I remained alive in order to tell my story.

My symptoms of active mental illness were now being controlled by medication after I had finally been properly diagnosed. That's another story I will share with you in another article - I'm sharing these different aspects of my life with you in a piecemeal fashion in order for you to absorb them according to each subject. Otherwise you would need to read a long book. The larger story will be told another time and in another way.

After twelve years of slowly destroying my spirit and my relationship of over twenty years, my partner confronted me. He'd found a bottle of Viagra which I had come to need in order to sexually perform - My guilt and shame had had a psychological effect with which I had needed physical help. He gave me an ultimatum. I could either go to couple's therapy or my partner said he would leave me. I felt trapped, but I didn't want to lose the relationship that I had thought would last me for the rest of my life.

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