Fearless Confessions

Sue Silverman is one of those authors that was a big help to me when I desperately needed help. I’ve mentioned her book, Love Sick here and here. I talked about the made for TV movie based on that book here. The new book is Fearless Confessions. I should have my copy in a few days.

It’s funny. I was already thinking about Ms. Silverman because my sobriety anniversary is coming up. Contemplating going to residential treatment for sex addiction is a big deal. At the very least, it’s expensive and your day to day family life is seriously disrupted. You have to figure out what to tell people about where you’re going. When it comes down to it, it’s only worth going to rehab if it’s going to work. I didn’t know anyone who had been to rehab for sex addiction, even though I’d been going to meetings for quite awhile. I knew lots and lots of people who’d gone for drug and alcohol addiction and clearly it made a difference if you went someplace “good” and if you “really wanted” recovery. It wasn’t too hard to find someplace good. When I was looking there was a choice of oh, let’s see; about five treatment centers that dealt specifically with sex addiction. And they were all unbelievably expensive so I wanted to be sure this wasn’t a mistake.*

So I asked the only person I knew that was a female sex addict and had been to treatment. Not that Ms. Silverman is so important and famous. Oprah hasn’t picked one of her books yet, but still, I didn’t really expect a reply to the email I sent her.

—– Original Message —–

Subject: did rehab work?

Hi Ms. Silverman,

I’ve read your book, _Love Sick. I was wondering, what
your thoughts about rehab are in hindsight. Someone
suggested to me that if I can’t get sober in SA I
should look into rehab but it freaks me out on several
different levels.

Thanks, [My real name].

But she did reply. Maybe I was reading too much into her words, but it felt like she was giving me a helping hand, which was just what I needed. I started researching treatment facilities, just in case.

I’m looking forward to reading this book because I really want to write a memoir. I’ve wanted to write a book for most of my life, but the problem is I’m more of a reader than a writer. But that doesn’t mean I can’t become a writer, right? I’ve surely read enough about how to do it; I’ve got as many how to write books on the bookshelf. I use semicolons and when I fragment a sentence it’s deliberate. To add emphasis, style, and pace. It’s a little embarrassing, really. Like having a bunch of cookbooks (that you read!) and then eating takeout every evening. (The “it’s” is implied, making that sentence complete.) (And when the entire sentence is parenthetical, the ending punctuation goes inside the closing parentheses.) I know the rules without having to look them up but the actual creation eludes me.

Because I don’t just want to write a memoir, I want to write a good one, like Sue Silverman’s. Or like Augusten Burroughs’s,  Anne Lamott’s, Jeannette Walls’s, or Jeannette Fulda’s. You know what I mean – something that people would actually want to read, not some “yet another wordpress blog” kind of book. I want to write something that gets published. And sold. Shit, Burroughs wrote three memoirs, and they’re all good.

I think the key is humor. Good writing doesn’t hurt either. I think I could do as well as some of the turds that are burbled into Dragon NaturallySpeaking, spell checked and printed.

If any editors are reading this, I promise I’d never complain about having to rewrite or delete. 🙂

*Since sex addiction isn’t in the DSM-IV, it’s technically not a disease and insurance usually doesn’t cover the treatment. Actually it would be more correct to say there’s some argument about the term “sex addiction” as a possible diagnosis. As it stands now, there’s no way for health care providers to specifically code for sex addiction. However, as we learn more medical texts are updated so there’s a very good chance the DSM-V will include sex addiction among the compulsive-impulsive disorders. There’s a good article here about how sex addiction can be classified under the current DSM-IV.

**Based on this book, it sounds like the decisions about the DSM are made by committee and not always based on research.



  1. Wow – maybe I will order one of her books. You know, I think you’re an excellent writer and there’s absolutely no reason you couldn’t write a memoir of your experience – and a good one! It will be really hard work (I’m in a writers group w/a couple of published or soon-to-be-published authors), but I’m sure it would be worth it. You have something to say. Something important. You just have to find your voice, which is something we’re all trying to do, isn’t it? Take care!

  2. I think it would be awesome if you wrote a memoir. There really aren’t a lot of female first person accounts of sexual addiction (other than those that glamorize it). I’m a huge fan of memoirs and I really could’ve gotten a lot out of a book like that when I was ‘out there’. I just felt so completely alone and unique. It seems like society is just barely beginning to acknowledge sexual addiction, however, it’s still very much considered a ‘male’ thing. I think there are a lot of women out there who could relate to your story and it could perhaps lessen the stereotype of what a sex addict is or might be.

  3. Isn’t Augusten Burroughs’ the best?!

    On another note, it’s a shame that sex addiction is still not listed in the DSM-IV. But, I don’t doubt that it will be there soon enough. It just needs to gain more “popularity” in the mainstream. Good luck on deciding whether rehab is the right option for you. Unfortunately, there’s not enough information out there on these types of places. Like you, I’m curious to know how they operate.

  4. Most trans could also tell you that DSM decisions are made by committees who may or may not use research, and in many cases use “research.”

    I’m a trans person, and my partner is a sex addict, and we find it a little funny (in that ironic-depressing way) that there’s a mental diagnosis for me in the DSM (which is ridiculous) but not for her.

    But having a DSM diagnosis doesn’t mean insurance is going to cover anything. Trans people can also tell you that. Surgeries, hormones, etc – none of that is covered. In fact, you can quickly render yourself uninsurable if you go about it wrong.

    Le sigh…

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