One of my blogging friends shared this link on his site recently, and I think it is worth sharing here too. “Myths about Addiction: They could stop if they wanted to.”
We must admit it, for many of us crossdressing was or is an addiction. Instead of reaching a “high” from a drug addiction, we have a sexual addiction, and sexual addictions are arguably not much easier to deal with than drug addictions. To face our addiction and deal with it, we have to be realistic and handle it appropriately. Looking at these myths is helpful.
The first myth states that it’s nearly impossible for addicts to quit solely through willpower. This is why when giving up crossdressing I advocate adding in some or all of the following – counseling, pastoral guidance, prayer, accountability partners, sexual addiction support group, getting rid of the clothing, computer software to monitor activity, confessing to others in your life to defuse the power of the secret, and possibly even medication as I’ve heard from some people who it has helped.
I didn’t think the second myth would need commenting on, but recently I’ve seen some sites who are practically demonizing crossdressers as the dregs of society who naturally have tons of other mental disorders and are prone to criminal behavior. I personally think the article’s 2nd myth also holds true for crossdressers. Many of us are very well-functioning members of society not at all prone to criminal behavior. I do indeed think that crossdressing is sinful and harmful, but exaggerating how bad it is, or stereotyping all crossdressers based on a few examples, is not helpful to anyone.
The 4th myth about addiction being a disease and so there is nothing we can do, is a good one to comment on. The article states – “Just because you have the disease of addiction doesn’t mean you throw in the towel. Research shows that the brain damage resulting from substance use can sometimes be reversed through abstinence, therapy, and other forms of treatment.” If brain patterns can change after substance abuse, than surely it can change to new patterns after years of crossdressing.
The 5th myth about relapsing is very important. I didn’t get to where I am today overnight! I failed hundreds of times, and confessed to accountability partners hundreds of times. I probably didn’t take my addiction seriously enough at times, and didn’t take big steps to deal with it until a couple of years ago. But still the point stands. Just because we fail, doesn’t mean we should give up fighting the addiction or give up hope. Just because we fail 100 times it doesn’t mean we should give up. If we keep fighting and striving, there is hope to beat the addiction. Don’t expect to give up crossdressing one day and never fail again. That would be great if it happened, but that’s not the pattern for most of us. And it also frustrates me when someone tries to give up crossdressing, has a failure, and then thinks there is no point in ever trying to give up the addiction again. That is not the right way to look at addiction.