Back before I ever found and fell in love with my husband, Yahoo chat was the first and foremost way for me to find people to have sex with. Those were the darkest years of my life. I have a lot of emotional scars because of my reckless behavior and the only way they can heal is if I forgive myself. I'm not liberal in handing out the "I'm sorry" cards and after many years of trying to forgive & forget I'm still unable to.

I have to explain that I didn't have limits; I did what I wanted and unfortunately by doing so I put myself at risk. I loved sex and through all my learning and experiences, I'm now able to see that I was addicted to it. It wasn't glamorous. At the time, I didn't really see the people I'd pick and choose because there really wasn't a selection process. Basically, if it was hard, I wanted it. I met a lot of disgusting, unsavory people but I wasn't able to see that. I had a film over my eyes, I had my blinders on, and I was currently running forward to try and win the next race... I never won, I always lost. Fortunately, I stopped running before I was really hurt.

It took me two years of this to realize something wasn't right. Two complete years of scouring chat rooms looking for random strangers to fuck. I met a few men that I actually kept around, one of which introduced me to hardcore drugs, another of which introduced me to the local swingers chapter where there wasn't liberating, exciting adventures but ones where I was left feeling used and debased. I was so constantly focused on getting these men to sleep with me that I often convinced myself I loved them and that they loved me. My family saw this and they tried to get me help, get me talking to professionals and get me put on prescription medications but I refused. I didn't want to be treated for a sexual addiction because I didn't think I had one.

I have PCOS, I've always seen it as a curse because of the 2 years my husband and I have been trying unsuccessfully to have a baby. I'm able to look back and see my infertility issues as a blessing. I am so lucky that I didn't get pregnant, ending up with a baby and not knowing the father or having to go through the emotional and physical hell of having an abortion. During those years I never thought about getting pregnant, it never crossed my mind. I never thought about getting an STD or ultimately HIV/AIDS. I NEVER contracted an STD. Do you know how lucky I am? Do you know how rare that is? Yes, I used condoms about 85% of the time but they aren't 100% effective. And those off chances were 0 precautions were used I came out physically clean. I am fucking grateful.

During those years I became involved with a married man. Not only did I put myself at risk with him (he'd often exploit my willingness for his personal gain) but I caused a rift in his marriage. I understand that even if it hadn't have been me it would have been someone else. He's still with his wife, which is an amazing thing, I'm betting because he was never honest with her about the relationship he and I had. With him I didn't feel alive or like we were having an amazing time together, I felt half dead and constantly depressed. He manipulated me, constantly convincing me that what we had was love. After months of being told he'd leave her for me and that even though he stayed with her I was the one he loved, I stopped being able to function. All I wanted was him and he'd give me parts of himself but then pull back. I got to the point where I no longer valued what little parts of myself I had left and I tried to end my life.
My family put me into a 3 month treatment facility to try and forget about what I had with him. I was so beaten down that I couldn't make decisions of any kind. Not only was my addiction to sex blinding but it came to the point of have sex or kill myself because I couldn't. When I was released I went right back to him where he told me the same old lines about his loving me forever. I allowed him to force feed me his verbal bullshit and I tried to commit suicide 2 more times in the following year.

I'm not sure what happened. There came a morning where I realized something wasn't right. Where I was able to see my life for what it was, an absolute mess. I left my job, I dropped my classes, and I worked on picking up the pieces of the life I had shattered. I promised myself I'd allow myself to properly recover but then I met my husband. I met him at a time where I had sworn off being with someone, he was unexpected. I gave him my all and I gave it fast. Being with someone who respected me and loved me was brand new. I wasn't ready when he asked me to marry him but I said yes. I spent months worrying about all those years prior to meeting him, constantly fearful that they'd come back to me or creep up on me. We fought a few times because I was personally battling with myself, gone were the urges to sleep with other people but remaining was the worry of being unworthy of this man's love. We've been together for over 5 years now and I have remained faithful to both him and myself.

While he changed me for the better, I took the initiative to change myself first. The only way I will ever get past my years of sexual addiction is if I find a way to forgive myself but after all this time I can't find the room to. I am still ashamed.