Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

by applyingmybeliefs

Relapse for an addict is relatively easy to understand.  It is a reversion to the old coping mechanisms such as drinking, drugging, or otherwise acting out.  This reversion is usually preceded by some form of negative mental state, painful emotions, or difficulty in a life situation.

Relapse for a codependent is the same.  They experience a hard time in life, a negative thought life or emotional pain, and they start to act out.  However their acting out looks somewhat different to an alcoholic or drug addict, because they revert back to behaviors that are sometimes difficult to spot.  They re-indulge in controlling others and neglecting their own needs for example.

For a codependent that lives with an addict, the relapse of their addict is highly likely to trigger a relapse.  Both partners are then caught in a spiral downward.  This is one reason that it is smart for addicts and codependents to both be part of a larger recovery group or program.

We have already said that it is hard for a person, let alone the codependent, to see when they are slipping back into their old ways.  How can a codependent identify when this might be happening?  Here is a list of “I” statements that are helpful in becoming aware of a slide that is in place; or one that is coming.

  • I’ve started saying bad things again about my partner behind their back.
  • I’ve stopped giving my partner the benefit of the doubt.
  • I’ve lost interest in doing the things I know make my partner happy.
  • I’ve stopped hugging my partner goodbye in the morning.
  • I’ve stopped using my recovery tools.
  • I’ve stopped feeling grateful for my partner.
  • I’ve gone back to indifference in my attitude to my partner.
  • I’ve become rude toward my partner.
  • I’ve reverted back to trying to control everything my partner does.
  • I’ve stopped taking care of myself.
  • I’ve started to break promises I made to my partner.

If a codependent finds themselves in agreement with say 3 or more of these statements an orange warning light ought to go off in their head, 7 or more ought to result in a trip back to the therapist.

This kind of list, if honestly worked through on a frequent basis, can help a codependent identify when something is going wrong.  The list is a tool, it is a “symptom identifier”, a way of discovering that something is happening inside that is not easily seen.  It uses affirmative answers to ask the question, “Am I being triggered toward a relapse by something?”

As a topic today, let’s talk about our own emotional relapses as codependents and answer the question, “What else can a codependent do to protect themselves from going back to their self-centered and relationship destructive ways?”


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(NEW ORLEANS) — Former NFL star Darren Sharper has been sentenced to 18 years and four months in prison in a case where he was accused of drugging and raping as many as 16 women in four states.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo sentenced Sharper on Thursday. He earlier pleaded guilty in federal court in New Orleans to drugging three women so he could rape them. He also has pleaded guilty or no contest in state courts in Louisiana, Arizona, California and Nevada to charges arising from allegations of drugging and raping women.

Prosecutors suggested a 9-year prison term for Sharper under a multi-jurisdictional plea deal, but Milazzo rejected it as too lenient in June. The sentence, 18 years and four months imprisonment, was 15 months short of the maximum. He was also fined $20,000.

Sharper’s family left the courtroom without speaking to reporters. Defense attorney Billy Gibbens said later that the federal sentence won’t affect plea agreements in the four state courts.

Sharper pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts of distributing drugs with rape as the aim. He or his friend Brandon Licciardi, a former sheriff’s deputy in neighboring St. Bernard Parish, put anti-anxiety drugs or sedatives into women’s drinks so they could rape them, according to a 15-page statement signed as part of that plea.

Milazzo has scheduled sentencing Oct. 13 for Licciardi and a second New Orleans codefendant, Erik Nunez.

Charges around the country involve nine victims, but Milazzo has said in court that there may be as many as 16.

Like Sharper, Licciardi and Nunez admitted distributing drugs with the intent to commit rape. Their plea agreements say Licciardi has accepted a 17-year sentence, with 10 years for Nunez.

Sharper was named All-Pro six times and chosen for the Pro Bowl five times during a career that included stints with the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. He played in two Super Bowls, one with the Packers as a rookie and one with New Orleans Saints when they won in 2010.

He ended a 14-year career in 2011. He was working as an NFL network analyst when women began telling police in several cities similar stories of blacking out while drinking with him and waking up groggy to find they had been sexually abused.

Originally posted:

Note from writer: I must warn you that what I’m about to share with you is dark. If you are in need of a “pick-me-up,” this story is not for you. For some, this article might be quite depressing. For others, it might be a wake-up call, causing them to think of a side of pornography they’ve never before considered. The latter is my intent. Also note that I have Mindy’s permission, and indeed encouragement, to share her story. – Donny Pauling

When you tell a person what they can’t have, they’ll often try to convince you that you’re wrong. This is especially true for the college-aged, who have recently left the safety of the nest to spread their wings out on their own for the first time. When recruiting new porn actresses, I understood this very well and used it to my advantage.

I worked from a nice home, and I often let the house and our lifestyle do the selling for me. A new prospect would arrive after having driven through one of the better neighborhoods in town and, prior to sitting down to interview in my home office, would be shown around the property like a valued guest. My girlfriend and I had things the interviewee didn’t have. The photos of us were taken at vacations spots where the girl likely hadn’t been, and the “famous” people with whom we posed were people she’d recognize but likely hadn’t met.

There were psychological reasons for this: I not only wanted her to feel comfortable in a warm, non-threatening environment, but I also knew she’d start painting herself into the picture. “Porn can give me this lifestyle?” she’d ask herself. “No, dear girl, this lifestyle isn’t for you,” I’d say, “You can’t handle this business. What if your dad finds out you’re working for me?” The more a college-aged girl was presented with questions like this, the more she’d argue that I was wrong and this life was something she could handle. When her life began falling apart, I could pat myself on the back for having warned her against getting involved in the first place.

A Natural

One December day, a girl named Mindy arrived at my house. She’d turned 18 barely a month before our interview. I wish I could deny playing the part I played in her story. For a long time after I left the porn industry, I simply didn’t want to talk about it. (Mindy is the reason my cell phone number has never been changed. She has it memorized and to this day she’ll call when she’s at her worst and has nowhere else to turn.)

Back on that first day, I knew I had a moneymaker. I verified the age on her ID because, well, she looked really young. I’d already been in the business four years by this time, so I had a pretty good handle on the demands of the market. I knew men would go crazy over this girl.

I initially emailed samples to clients who owned websites. Every one of them either matched their largest order size, or ordered more of her than they had of any other model I’d submitted. One client who specialized in the “teen” niche – which requires a model to be over 18 but look younger – started asking if I’d be willing to partner with him on a website dedicated exclusively to Mindy. We made a proposal to her: she’d receive 25% of site revenue, I’d receive 25%, and my new business partner would keep the remaining 50%. His portion was larger because he would be responsible for all website development, hosting and promotions.

Mindy was the easiest porn model I’ve ever worked with. She had a natural charisma, beautiful smile and a melodic laugh. She loved life, and enlivened any room into which she walked. At the beginning of her “career,” she could have been the poster child for “bubbly personality.”

Prior to the launch of her website, Mindy’s fan base had already exploded. We shared the feedback we received with her, using it to inflate her ego and prod her along. She clearly believed that she was going to become a celebrity.

When an 18-year-old girl begins making $10,000 per month, she most likely isn’t going to know how to handle that amount of money. Mindy was no exception. She wanted to take care of people by giving them money and buying things for them, and she wanted to have fun. Not being promiscuous by nature, she wouldn’t go home with fans, but she could be found passed out at parties. She was raped several times over the years.

In time, the lifestyle I had saddled her with drained all light and sparkle from her eyes. Where once a girl existed who would light up a room just by being herself, now there was a girl who would often, literally, begin a sentence laughing and end that same sentence in tears.

No Happy Ending

The first time Mindy told me she’d turned her life around and that she wouldn’t be doing porn any more, I was actually happy to hear it. I’d seen what had happened in Mindy’s life, and I felt bad, because I knew a big part of the blame was on me. Her decision meant I was going to lose one of my best-selling models, but at least I wouldn’t have to keep looking into those haunted eyes when she was around.

However, I was a hate-filled, selfish man. My hatred was fueled by the hypocrisy I’d witnessed from people in society who would lecture me about the morality of my career, yet want to see what new pornographic content I’d produced. So while I was happy to see the lights return to Mindy’s eyes, I was not happy to be on the receiving end of her attempts to get me out of the industry as well. She definitely wasn’t prepared to discuss such matters with me. Had she not decided to tried to preach to me, I might not have made such an effort to drag her back into porn. But since the church ladies who she was now meeting with on a regular basis had encouraged her to “plant seeds” into my mind, in retaliation I decided I’d try to remove Mindy’s new found faith entirely.
Already, she was having a hard time making ends meet. So I asked her if she understood that old religious men were the ones who had made up the moral rules prohibiting her from participating in her website. I began pointing out inconsistencies in her new beliefs. After having spent so much time with her – at one time she even lived with me – I knew how best to manipulate her into seeing things my way. She’d come back to the lifestyle every time.

As time went on, things only got worse. I made her do things that she had refused to do at first. Sometimes Mindy would protest, but she knew she wouldn’t earn any money if she didn’t do it.

She started identifying as a prostitute and started taking drugs. I guess they made it easy to do what she was doing. She bounced from house to house, living with random older men who’d use her for a time and then send her on her way. One result of this is that she has no idea who her son’s father might be.

I wish there was a happy ending to Mindy’s story, but there’s not. Not many months ago, she called in tears, begging me to adopt her two kids. The State had taken them one too many times so she was no longer eligible to have them returned to her. Her social worker had informed her that a close friend or family member could be given priority and she wondered if I would be willing, as the rest of her family was not. I gave it thought and consideration, but realized I’m not equipped to take them on.

Porn Harms…Period.

I’ve now known Mindy for almost 13 years. I could write more than one book about her life alone. What is important for you to know is this: when I led her into pornography, her life was forever changed. Random strangers still recognize her and make assumptions about her. She fights hard with mental illness. There is nothing at all attractive about what has happened to her.

I wonder if the men and women who found the images and video content we produced of Mindy so appealing would find it attractive if they knew what it cost her. I wonder if they would be aroused if they knew the reality. But while I was the one who put her in front of a camera, the Law of Supply and Demand also means all of us who have consumed pornography are a part of this cycle of broken lives. Mindy’s story is not unique; it happens in some form or another every day, repeatedly. Mindy is someone’s daughter. What if she was yours?

At the same time, while there is an enormous amount of darkness in Mindy’s life, there are also things I find encouraging. Even though she became pregnant through rape, and even though she knew she might not be able to provide for a child, the thought of abortion never entered her mind. Her children might not have been afforded the best life possible with her, but they do have life, and I have no doubt that they prefer that to the alternative. I also take courage in the fact that Mindy never gives up. There are situations she has faced that are just as bad as or worse than those I’ve shared, but she doesn’t give up. She’s never once threatened to end her life, she doesn’t whine, and she reluctantly accepts physical assistance.
What I want from you, dear reader, is to remember Mindy’s story. It has been almost 13 years since porn began affecting her life, and the images and video we created together will be around until long after she has departed this world. If you think porn is desirable or cool, remember Mindy’s story. Most porn stars out there have been manipulated just like Mindy was. Most have been taken advantage of, chewed up and spit out just like Mindy has been. Most porn stars are now as damaged as Mindy is. Take it from a guy who has been in the industry; I should know better than anyone. I recruited more than 500 models into the business over the span of my career and Mindy’s certainly not the only one of them whose life fell apart.  Not a single one ever came back and said, “Hey, thanks for the porn career!” The vast majority are ashamed and full of regret. And if you still think porn doesn’t hurt anyone, I’d suggest remembering Mindy’s children. The most recent update I have about them is from a few months ago; they were in foster care at that time.

And finally, please help share the message that pornography hurts real people. Let’s humanize those who are involved in its creation, so that fewer consumers find it appealing. If you’re a consumer, please do whatever is necessary to stop consumption. Encourage your children to become warriors, fighting for those who aren’t willing to fight for themselves by refusing to ever become consumers of pornography. Fight The New Drug has done a great job with their marketing campaign to sell products such as t-shirts, hoodies and wristbands that are intended to make porn “uncool” for young people. Perhaps browse their store and make a purchase or two for the youth in your life. Let’s work to change the way porn is esteemed, transforming the attitude that “everybody uses it” to “it’s just not cool” in ways similar to anti-smoking campaigns. We CAN do it.


We think everyone who reads this will agree this is some powerful stuff. It’s sad what happened to Mindy and by raising awareness on the harmful effects of porn and continuing to try and decrease the demand for it, we can prevent it from continuing to ruin lives. We at FTND ask that you share and repost this story, so everyone can see what porn really does to people’s lives. We want to take the glamor and allure out of porn and leave it exposed as the cold, dark industry that it is. By sharing this story, you can help us do that; you can be a Fighter.



Continuing the theme of “300: Rise of an Empire” I found another subtheme in this movie.  Although not really impressed with the movie as a whole and how Hollywood has distorted history and also added a completely fabricated and unnecessary sexual scene to this movie, I thought it had some deeper recovery-related gems.  For those that don’t know much about this movie (and I don’t expect those early in their recovery to watch the entire movie) here is a summary from Wikipedia:

Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster “300,” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield-on the sea-as Greek general Themistocles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. This film pits Themistocles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

Nevertheless, in watching this movie, I did pick up on  the recovery-related themes.  Maybe it was me trying to find some sort of redemptive quality in a poorly made movie, or maybe it was the Holy Spirit saying to me, “use this material, men will ‘listen’ when you speak to them through these films.”  I don’t know which one it was, but I’m hoping it was the latter.  The second subtheme I saw in this movie is that of a man falling into unhealthy behaviors, admitting his mess, being redeemed as he reenters recovery, and having victory over his addiction (at least for one day). In 300: Rise of an Empire, the leader of the Greek forces, Themistocles, falls into sexual sin with the Persian Naval Commander, Artemisia. He lies about his personal life in order to continue with the acting out (as I did in my former life) and then suffers the consequences of his sexually immoral actions by angering Artemisia and having most of his men killed in battle.  Nevertheless, Themistocles admits that he messed up, rallies his troops for one final battle, and “re-enters recovery” by fighting against the “addiction” (portrayed by Artemisia) once again.  This movie should be a good reminder to those in recovery that no matter how bad you have messed up, that God can redeem you, but you need to practice rigorous honesty, risking everything, to re-enter recovery.  If you slip or relapse, it is important that you are honest about this and not keep it secret.  Secrets are what make the addiction thrive, confession is the only way through.

Disclaimer: Although tempted to watch the original movie from where this clip was taken, a person new to recovery should consult their therapist, sponsor, and/or accountability partner on whether to watch this film.  It has a sex scene with some partial nudity that could sexually trigger the individual. Also, the excessive violence (some of which I removed from this clip) can be harmful to your recovery if you are like I was early on; prone to medicate the viewing of violence and associated guilt.
As always, take what you like and leave the rest.
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There was a time in my life, deep in my addiction, that I glamorized the pornography / adult entertainment industry.  I am very grateful that I entered recovery and that God opened my eyes to the reality of the porn industry and the truth about how horrible and evil it truly is.  If you have any thoughts or fantasies about the porn industry or the actors in that industry, I hope these facts and statistics open your eyes.

  • Only 17% of performers use condoms in heterosexual adult films; in 2004, only two of the 200 adult film companies required the use of condoms
  • One male pornographic performer, R**** (600 films and 3,000 women), said: “Every professional in the porn-world has herpes, male or female.”
  • Dr. S***** M******* confirms the STD prevalence in an interview with Court TV, in which she states: “66% of porn performers have Herpes, 12-28% have sexually transmitted diseases, and 7% have HIV.”
  • Porn actress E*** M**** admits, “the drugs we binged on were Ecstasy, Cocaine, Marijuana, Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and alcohol.”
  • T**** B*******, formerly known as J***** J****, says, “Guys are punching you in the face. You get ripped. Your insides can come out of you. It’s never ending. You’re viewed as an object—not as a human with a spirit. People do drugs because they can’t deal with the way they’re being treated.”
  • In 2004, Dr. Mary Anne Layden reported before a Senate subcommittee: “Once [the pornography actresses] are in the industry they have high rates of substance abuse, typically alcohol and cocaine, depression, borderline personality disorder. . . . The experience I find most common among the performers is that they have to be drunk, high or dissociated in order to go to work. Their work environment is particularly toxic. . . . The terrible work life of the pornography performer is often followed by an equally terrible home life. They have an increased risk of sexually transmitted disease including HIV, domestic violence and have about a 25% chance of making a marriage that lasts as long as 3 years.”
  • In 1997, Eric Schlosser reported, “The highest-paid performers, the actresses with exclusive contracts, earn between $80,000 and $100,000 a year for doing about 20 sex scenes and making a dozen or so personal appearances. Only a handful of actresses—perhaps 10 to 15—are signed to such contracts. Other leading stars are paid roughly $1,000 per scene. The vast majority of porn actresses are ‘B girls,’ who earn about $300 a scene. They typically try to do two scenes a day, four or five times a week. At the moment, there is an oversupply of women in Southern California hoping to enter the porn industry. Overtime is a thing of the past, and some newcomers will work for $150 a scene.”

Human beings being reduced to nothing more than sexual parts for the pleasure of those that drive the pornography industry – the consumers/viewers of pornography.  Although I would like for the government to place regulations on pornography including filters on all computers, it is up to the rest of us to educate our friends, family, and children on the ills of pornography.  It is my mission, as a leader of Castimonia, to help cut the demand for pornography, one man at a time, with the hope to reduce the supply.

“Once an Addict, Always an Addict”

This phrase has been widely used to stereotype addicts for many, many years.  It is almost a “common” phrase whenever someone speaks about their loved one being addicted.  This term is also mainly used by those who don’t always understand the recovery process from addiction and what the actual term “addict” references.

Keep in mind that the following is only my own personal opinion on this subject of the use of the phrase “Once an addict, always an addict.”  In my own recovery process, this statement was said to a loved one about me.  I took quite a bit offense to this statement only because it made me feel like there was no hope, that I would always remain addicted to the chemicals produced by my brain during compulsive sexual behavior, and that I would continue to act out sexually the rest of my life.  It also scared my loved one, because they did not know much about the addiction at that time.

In looking at this term, one needs to distinguish between an active sex addict and a recovering sex addict.  An active sex addict, obviously, is one who is not in real sexual addiction recovery and continues to act out sexually.  This sex addict, although in “recovery,” could still be in a minimized state of denial where they see some sexual issues as acceptable that are typically unacceptable to even Christian non-addicts such as viewing pornography (I could spend hours and pages writing about how pornography affects the brain but this post is not about that topic).  The active addict will continue to seek out their high, usually through non-traditional acting out behaviors, until they break through the denial, live in honesty, and finally put a stop to the compulsive sexual behavior.

An addict in recovery, however, is no longer seeking ways to “beat the system” and is either living or trying to live a life of recovery.  An addict in recovery understands that recovery and life is progress not perfection, continuing to progress in their recovery, not continuing to live in their addiction.  When a sex addict finally breaks through the denial surrounding his life and truly gives himself to the program (including practicing rigorous honesty), then they are a “recovering sex addict.”

Furthermore, when one studies the brain scans of addicts versus those of healthy individuals; one can see an obvious difference.  However, with abstinence from drugs and alcohol, one can see through the brain scans that the brain of the addict slowly begins to resemble the brain of a healthy individual.  This healing of the brain will take time and abstinence from addictive behaviors, but it can and will happen.

Brain on drugs                    Brain 1 Year Sober              Healthy Brain

Finally, when a sex addict enters recovery, they are asked to take a Sex Addiction Screening Test (SAST) questionare that is then given to their therapist for them to review and score.  This questionare typically determines if the individual truly suffers from Sexual Addiction and if they do, the individual’s level of sex addiction.  Based on the behaviors from most of my life, I scored a 19 out of 20.  Now that is pretty bad.  But God has used that measure to show me His grace and the miracles only He can peform.  Although most sex addicts don’t retake the test, last year I decided to retake it based solely on my sexual activities in the first 2 years of my recovery.  The results are written below.  In theory, I am no longer a “sex addict” as defined by the International Institute for Trauma & Addiction Professionals (IITAP) based on the six categories that define Sexual Addiction.  I am by no means stating I am cured from sex addiction.  It is my personal belief that I will never be cured, but the disease has been slowed down enough where I can function as a healthy human being.  This is by no way “scientific” but it shows how a life of recovery from sexual addiction can actually be non-addictive and non-destructive.  If we are to become healthy, we must live a life of recovery.  The thumbnail chart at the top left of this paragraph is my score at entering recovery.  The thumbnail chart to the right is my score based on the first two years of working my recovery program.  A healthy sexual lifestyle is possible for all those who earnestly desire it!

As a recovering sex addict, I must always acknowledge the fact that if I let my guard down, I could fall back into the addiction either through a slip or relapse.  In understanding this fact, I realize that I will not always be an addict, but I will always be vulnerable to the addiction.  This being said, the correct term to be used for addicts should be as follows.

“Once an addict, always vulnerable”

I would ask that from now on this phrase be used when speaking to family, friends, spouses, or loved ones of addicts in recovery.  This phrase should also be used when speaking about yourself and your addiction recovery!

Take what you like and leave the rest.