The lifetime television movie of Sue Silverman’s memoir, Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey Through Sexual Addiction, will premiere Saturday, April 19 (check local listings).
If you’d like to see an interview with actress Sally Pressman, you can go to the Lifetime TV site. The first clip opens with a drinking scene, then a bedroom scene. I didn’t find those triggering, but you might. The third clip where her father tells her that he want’s her to write his memoir – I found that difficult to watch. The Lifetime TV site.
I found Sue Silverman’s website after reading her book, Love Sick. I checked it out of the library back when Fr. M. the wonder therapist diagnosed me as an addict, and was shocked that I could relate to a lot of what she’d written. The only thing was she’d been through hell though and had good reasons to be sick. Since nothing that bad had happened to me, I berated myself for being disgustingly weak and melodramatic. We are so cruel to ourselves. But I thought she was brave. Not only had she written a book (she’s written several excellent books); she’d gone to treatment. On her website there was a contact link if you had questions or comments and I asked her if she thought she could have gotten better without treatment. She sent me a kind and thoughtful reply and wished me well on my journey.
when the wonder therapist had decided that it wasn’t such a good idea for us to keep on having phone sex. It was great and all that, but he was worried about me. Yeah. Right. Whatever. I was falling off the edge of the world and so miserable that I wished I was dead. I told him that and you’d think a really caring guy would, I don’t know, make a f-ing anonymous phone call and tell my husband I was suicidal. That was a clue that he really didn’t care about me at all.
When your brain isn’t working well and you’re in overwhelming pain, that’s when suicide becomes an option. I figured if I could make it look like an accident, that would be less painful for my family. Along with that insane line of thought, there was a more sane “line of hope” that led me to treatment. That’s when I remembered Ms. Silverman’s email.
Deciding to go to a residential treatment facility is a big deal. It’s extremely expensive our insurance didn’t pay a cent. That’s usually the case with process addictions as opposed to chemical addictions. But more than that, there’s a huge stigma attached to this disease.* I have children. They still get scared if I’m sad or down in the dumps, but overall, they’re doing very well. They’re no longer trying to help me feel better by being unnaturally well behaved and we seem to have gotten past the acting out phase. There’s a lot of anger, fear, and stress when your mom is as sick as I was. Obviously they know I went to treatment, and they know a little bit about why. They know my grandfather did some bad stuff to me when I was little. They know that I had a bad therapist and instead of getting better I got worse. We have tried to be sensitive to their needs and answer questions as they come up. But nothing has come up. Last night I asked my youngest, who’s twelve, why she never asked about all the recovery stuff I do, the meetings and the phone calls. It turns out, she’s embarrassed. And she’s worried that talking about it will embarrass me. For her, it’s a secret that I was so sick I had to go to treatment. She doesn’t want any of her friends to know. We talked awhile – and at least now she knows I’m not embarrassed at all.
Except that I write this blog anonymously. I have tremendous respect for people who are willing to use their names when talking about addiction. Pat Carnes, Robert Weiss, Stanton Peele, and Thomas, Lauren, and the others at G.P. have all contributed to my recovery in some way or another.
But people like Sue Silverman are a real inspiration. I am still too ashamed to put my real name on this blog, but she isn’t. The content of her book is incredible. But her name on the cover is even more incredible. Talk about guts!
*Please don’t email me and tell me addiction isn’t a disease. Using the disease model when dealing with the shame of compulsive self-destructive behavior is helpful.