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  1. Paulos added a post in a topic North East   

    Thanks for that but really would like somewhere closer than that if anyone knows of a group. In the meantime any useful links would be great to self start.
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  2. Yiksob11 added a post in a topic Porn addiction has ruined my marriage   

    Hi Johnny, 
    Hope you are ok. Sorry to hear about your difficulties. You are not alone in this addiction, I have been hooked on porn, cam girls, and even escorts/massage parlours for a while. I know that feeling of knowing it is not something that is wise to do but doing it anyway, feeling to weak to not give in, submitting to pleasure and ultimately self-destruction. I find it therapeutic to talk about it openly, I think that seeking help is the wisest thing you can do. 
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  3. Eliza added a post in a topic My husband is addicted to sex workers   

    Yes please do Veryunhappy, would be more than happy to talk to someone else about this. We all need to support each other x
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  4. Anon89 added a post in a topic My husband is addicted to sex workers   

    Please do! X 
     
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  5. Veryunhappy added a post in a topic My husband is addicted to sex workers   

    Hello Anon89 and Eliza,
    I can totally relate to you both. I found out about my my husband's sex addiction about 10 weeks ago. I agree it is hard to talk to other people about it and I too am looking to talk to people who are going thtough the same trauma. I will PM you both, if that's ok? It would be great to have some support.
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  6. Yiksob11 added a post in a topic Desperate and Scared   

    Thanks Rob. I appreciate your kind words. I tried to fight it on my own and I think I have known for a while that it does not work. What I have done makes me feel like a freak, a social outcast. 
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  7. Rob added a post in a topic Desperate and Scared   

    Yiksob, I think you are courageous to come back here and openly talk about your fears and problems. It may feel like weakness to you but actually you are facing up to those fears. Real weakness is running away and pretending it's not really a problem.
    You're also young and have so much of your life ahead. I wish that I'd have had the sense to quit at your age instead of waiting another 20 years and all the harm that goes with it. I would like to encourage you to please also read the links thread here too.
    It's great that meditation works well for you, keep it up. A lot of trouble is simply finding things that are positive and help you cope.
    I strongly agree with PJ that you cannot fight this alone. In fact for me, being alone is part of the addictive cycle. I used to seriously think I was the only guy in the world who had a problem with porn and was a real weirdo for it. That doesn't help. When you find other people who share these problems, you find people who understand the feelings and difficulties and can support you in helping to find your way out of this lifestyle.
    You are much stronger than you think but to be successful, it is important I think to use your strength wisely and in the right direction. All of us try to use out strength at one point or another as willpower to ride out our urges. It is a very natural thing to do. But yet incredibly tough and never really works. Even if it does work once, it never feels safe or comfortable. What we all really want is not to have those urges and compulsions.
    Instead I believe that our strength is more productively redirected into pushing your life forward in whatever way - connecting with people, getting out, hobbies, work and of course pursuing your life dreams (or at least starting to find out what they are if you don't know). If you don't know where to start then going towards something that's achievable but you're afraid of I think is a good start. Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone, my friend. Keep it up.
    Peace.
     
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  8. Yiksob11 added a post in a topic I can't stop paying for sex, getting ridiculous   

    I just feel so disgusted with myself, how could I have done all of that? It seems horrific
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  9. Yiksob11 added a post in a topic Desperate and Scared   

    I honestly feel to weak to join a programme like that, I have been to an NHS sex therapist but it didn't really help
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  10. Eliza added a post in a topic My husband is addicted to sex workers   

    Anon89 - that would be great. I feel like I really need to talk to other people going through the same thing. I have a good network of close friends and family but it's so difficult for them to really "get it" - whether that's because they don't understand what sex addiction is but also because I don't think anyone can quite understand the trauma that these levels of betrayal can cause.
     
    Big hugs to you too xxx
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  11. Anon89 added a post in a topic My husband is addicted to sex workers   

    Eliza,
    I’m so sad to hear that you’re going through this as well. It’s such a shocking time on so many levels. It really really is, it’s not just the lies and betrayal, it’s the debt, the health implications, the future. It’s everything. 
    I’ll PM you, we can support each other through this. Xx
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  12. Eliza added a post in a topic My husband is addicted to sex workers   

    Anon89, I could have written your post.
    I am 3 weeks post discovery - been with my husband for 6 years, married for 3, we have a house together and a 1.5 year old daughter.
    I don't think anybody would ever have dreamed that me and my husband would have problems - we have always had such a solid relationship, open and trusting (so I thought!), he is a good man, has been so supportive to me as a husband and is a brilliant dad.
    And yet I have discovered that all the way through our relationship (though it has racked up particularly in the last 6 months), he has... been texting/sexting exes for attention, flirted with a couple of girls I know, paid for pornography, lap dances, joined adult dating websites and messaged women on there, been on online sex chat rooms and met up with/slept with girls from there, been with prostitutes and he has also racked up 4k of debt from all of this acting out plus gambling to try and solve his debt problem.
    Are the books good/useful? I haven't been to any counselling yet but am looking into it now, I've not really been in a fit state to go anywhere to be honest as my anxiety/stress levels have been through the roof and I've been having a lot of physical symptoms.
    Like you I don't know where to go from here. If we work things out and stay together am I now doomed to a trustless marriage, having to monitor his every move and set parental controls? Is that the kind of life I want to live? And if I leave him, I'll have to share my daughter with him. Either way I don't think I will be happy, so I feel like I am facing an incredibly hopeless future.
    He also lost his job the week after I found out about his problem - unrelated but bad timing. Everything is broken, I feel completely devastated and yet I have to try and hold it together for our daughter - and I can't even have a proper break from him as she still needs to see her daddy and I need help with her occasionally.
    He is doing everything he can to recover - been to the doctors, is on antidepressants (all sounds very similar to your situation!), is attending Sex Addicts Anonymous groups. He/we need some specific counselling but how can we afford it when he's now got 4.5k debts and no job and we have a daughter to provide for?!
    Sorry that this doesn't really help in terms of advice, but I'm just in a very similar position to you and also feeling lost. 
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  13. In despair added a post in a topic How do I get through this?   

    Thanks for your response PJ.
    Yes, he has left. He has his head in the sand. He’s staying with a work colleague and seems completely unaware of the damage he has caused to us all. There is no going back for me now, I just need to ensure security for my children. I have struggled finding any support so would be grateful if you could give me some pointers?
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  14. PJ added a post in a topic How do I get through this?   

    Hi In Despair
    Wow - he isn't in a good place if he denied it and make you feel like you are going mad.  That sounds very tough.  I presume he has now left?
    It seems to me that you need to now focus on your own recovery from this, and the recovery of your children.  I would recommend you get as much support as you can through this period.
    I wish you well.  
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  15. PJ added a post in a topic My husband is addicted to sex workers   

    Hi Anon89
    I have just read your post.  Such things are terrible to discover.  "Devastation" seems to be the word that comes closest to the experience of many partners.  My wife was so devastated that she suffered symptoms of PTSD.  Sex addiction is awful - awful for the addict (seriously) and awful for partners.  
    There is definitely hope but one has to very uncompromising.  I can talk from my own experience and perhaps draw out some essentials.
    1. I reached rock bottom.  I decided that the road I was on lead to destruction.  I wanted find a way out.  Your husband is the only one who can decide this.  It is up to him.  He has to be desperate to get out of addiction.  On my course, which I will tell you about, Paula said, 'your recovery has to be more important than your marriage' - I took that to mean it had to be more important than anything and everything.  It makes sense - if you don't recover, you won't have a marriage (in normal circumstances), and if you do, then you might have a marriage.
    2. I contacted Paula and had some counselling.  That was good but she really sees the intensive recovery course as the most effective therapy, and I now see why.  In fact, just a few weeks before my intensive I saw two sex workers despite something like 8-10 sessions with Paula.  Since the intensive I haven't looked at porn, seen a sex worker etc etc.  I would recommend he/you get specialist counselling from Paula or one of her associates.
    3 I did her 5 day recovery.  It was amazing - I had wanted to recover before, but on the course I finally had the tools to recover and I made the decision that I would recover at all costs.   I also decided to tell my wife of 20 years.   Paula's courses are advertised on her website.  
    4. I told my wife some weeks later - it was awful.  It was a strange path we then took - I was feeling a whole load better because I was beginning to recover into a vaguely normal person, she was devastated, and that is an understatement.  She had specialist counselling with one of Paula's associates and went on the partners course a few months later.
    5 My wife was amazing for a number of reasons.  Firstly she didn't pretend it wasn't important.  She didn't collude in any way.  Many partners of addicts are 'co-dependents' which means they collude and compensate.  My wife didn't.  If she could have done she would have thrown me out of house for some time but for various reasons that wasn't possible, but she did kick me out of the bedroom.  In other words she asserted boundaries, and I needed them.  You need to be uncompromising with him.  To do otherwise won't do him any favours.  
    6 Your husband will only recover if he is honest, brutally honest with himself (and in my view with you).  Eventually I came to tell some of my friends and my employer - they were all great but I could have lost my job (I didn't and that was a miracle).  I did this to recover my integrity - to become the same person on the outside as the inside.  I would be very surprised if your husband wasn't also addicted to porn.  He needs to be honest about this - indeed about everything.  Paula/her associates can help him and you to go through a full disclosure of everything.  For us that was critical - to recover honesty and transparency.  
    7. This addiction isn't about sex and it isn't about you or your sex life.  It is about deeper stuff in your husbands mind/soul, pain etc. that it is eased by the sex.  It could have sought solace in alcohol, drugs or gambling it.  It is important for you to hear that.  It isn't about you or your sex life.
    8. I abstained from masturbation/sex etc for 90 days (recommended by people in this line of business).  When I told wife about my addiction, she then asserted a 90 day period of abstinence.  Addicts think they can't live without their hit, but the truth is they can, they won't die.  They refer to this 90 days as a reboot - it worked very effectively for me.  It was like a system reboot.  Weird.
    9.  I have continued in my recovery using a local Sex Addicts Anonymous group (SAA) - this is recommended after an intensive recovery course although Paula now runs post course groups too now.
    9 I am 2.5 years in - I haven't masturbated, looked at porn or visited a sex worker since.  For me, intrigue is a big enemy - they talk about it quite a lot in SAA.   I still have cravings, and sometimes I watch stuff on terrestrial tv that comes close to porn but haven't gone any further.    I have discovered that I need to pursue serenity as much as anything else. (c.f. serenity prayer of the 12 step movement), if I do that then my cravings diminish.
    I hope that helps.  I wish you and your husband well.  
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  16. Anon89 added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    My husband is addicted to sex workers
    I have just experienced the worst two weeks of my life. 
    My partner and I have been together for 6 years, married for a year and bought a house together earlier this year. I thought everything was going so well, we were so happy, or so I thought.
    Two weeks ago I made the startling discovery that my husband has been sleeping with escorts. Throughout our whole relationship, not only that but I also discovered a whole load of debt (£4K!) on a credit card which I knew nothing about, and emails to an online doctor service asking for treatment for chlamydia. It has come as a huge shock to me, huge shock. It’s really affected me in so many ways. I asked him to leave and he’s gone to stay with his family but he is having to come back ‘home’ next week. 
    I have literally felt every emotion under the sun. From anger to disgust to hatred to blaming myself to stress to upset. Just about every emotion. 
    I have told close family and friends and they have all been very understanding. Well as much as they can be in this situation. It has come as such a shock to everyone. 
    We have made progress, he has come clean to me, and his family and a close friend. He has gone to the GP, who have diagnosed him with depression and given him anti-depressants. I have been to relate for counselling for myself, and obviously got myself checked for STIs (still anxiously awaiting results!) and he has arranged to meet with a counsellor specialising in this on Weds. I have also downloaded the book for partners by Paula Hall and it is a very interesting, eye opening read which I can very much relate to. He has also purchased the other book by Paula Hall for him. 
    So, he is ashamed of himself, he physically threw up as he told me. He wants help, we are making the right steps. I just fear there is no hope - I’m not sure if we’ll survive this. I’m not going to be someone who needs to check his phone, emails, bank accounts because that is absolutely no life for me either. It’s affected enough of my life already, I can’t let it consume anymore. 
    I just feel so lost, so numb, so confused by it all. It’s just taken me by total surprise. Our sex life was okay, in recent months it’s hardly been anything but I put that down to myself being busy. I feel like I don’t know him anymore, that I’ve seen a side to him I really don’t like, I just don’t know what more we can do. Feel so sad, because underneath this all he is such a lovely kind caring man, he really is. I do love him - which some may find hard to believe after all of this, but I do. 
    Is there anything more I can do? He can do? Anymore help or advice? 
    Thank you so much for reading - I’m sorry it’s so long I just needed somewhere to vent.
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  17. Rob added a post in a topic My experience so far   

    Hello John,
    I really appreciate your courage and honesty in laying everything out bare like this. It takes real strength face your past actions honestly. That's a tough thing to do.
    It's also really positive that you've been able to stop. I am curious though what has changed recently for you to want to stop? Motivation is so critical because it's incredibly easy to slip back otherwise, as you've found out in the past. And also speaking from experience, slipping back is very common.
    While you're turning over a new leaf, I'd like to encourage you to seek help outside and from other people to find something that works. Whether it's Paula's course, SLAA, books, groups, whatever helps. I do think finding and connecting with real people is key from my personal experience. Trying to fight this yourself can feel like trying to fight an 800 pound gorilla that's 20% smarter than you. Trying a different approach and getting help can make a lot of difference but it's not always easy or comfortable, which sex/porn addiction always is. Life begins on the edge of your comfort zone.
    I posted a separate thread on here with online links that you might find useful.
    The feelings of shame and guilt can and will pass and heal over time as you stay clean and build a better life. But it does take time and requires perseverance. I believe personally it is many months and years of effort. There are no quick fixes but that's actually a very good thing because spending the time rebuilding yourself into someone who doesn't need to lie or hide part of himself is a great reward for self respect in itself. And you are at the start of an amazing journey where you can realise that. 
    Disclosing to your wife is an extremely difficult topic. There is no right answer. Therepuetic disclosure is one option and preparation is critical if you choose to do it. I think the most important thing is to heal yourself and get help for you. Once you are in a better place then perhaps you might change your mind about disclosure. But is will always be a difficult thing for your wife and she will need support too. 
    Peace
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  18. Rosie added a post in a topic Is there hope?   

    Thankyou so much for your response and understanding, your right in saying I worry about him but also I do worry about us and need to see something concrete to reassure me enough to try, rather than having to walk away, which is very very imminent if he isn't willing to throw himself at being honest and fronting up to this stuff.
    The fact that I now realise he must have been sidetracking in his therapy sessions is just beyond infuriating, I think his ego won't allow him to be that 'flawed' damn our silly fragile egos, Personally I'll happily flaunt my faults for the pleasure of having a genuine connection with someone.
      We aren't married and don't live together, when I first discovered his deceptions he was literally begging me not to leave him and saying he would do anything/everything to make things work, he started a 12 step but found it too religious then slowly I saw him backslide on his promises to read about stuff and listen to podcasts, also after promising we'd go to counselling together once he 'got comfortable with her' he seemed to be squirming out of me talking to the same therapist as him, my suspicion being he was basically lying to her as well as me and if she worked with 'us' she'd learn the truth!  Seems I was right there.
    You are exactly right in saying it is only him that can effect a change if he truly commits to it.  It's hard to see the 'illusion' of the person you dearly love being with fall away, I just know in my gut that unless he is pointed in the right direction he will fail to make any progress but it can't be me 'steering'
    That being said if anyone knows of affordable sex addiction therapy in the london area, I would be grateful of the info to pass on. I start counselling in the next couple of weeks for myself. I'm grateful for the support and being able to see others stories
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  19. johnsnowman added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    My experience so far
    I am happily married with children but have cheated in various ways throughout our marriage and even when my wife and i first met.  She has never found out about any of it and I am realistically the last man on earth you would expect this of.  I always behave appropriately around female friends and colleagues and don't even engage in harmless flirting.  
    My addiction(?) started with chat rooms then visiting an adult cinema then dogging and swinging clubs.  Oddly, I never have penetrative sex and increasingly (but not always) i don't engage in any acts, just watch and masturbate.  I guess this is some sort of self justification that I am "not cheating" but obviously that is complete crap.  
    I think one of my problems is I haven't hit rock bottom.  In fact there are really no consequences for me other than a feeling of guilt.  That said, I did think i had caught an STI a couple of years ago.  I found myself in my car crying and talking to The Samaritans.   After that, I stopped all activity for a while but gradually i slipped back into my old ways.  
    In August of this year I reached a turning point of sorts with even more acute feelings of guilt and decided I had to stop.  Since that date 11th August (9 weeks ago) I have not done anything I (or more importantly my wife) would class as cheating.  All I allow myself is recorded pornography but no chat rooms or live sessions.  
    I am hopeful but realistic about this.  I have managed to resist temptation in various scenarios where I would have looked to seek out sexual gratification.  Typically these are times when I am away with work, when I would seek out sex clubs or dogging meets.  Or at home alone when I would access swinging sites and arrange meets or engage in cybersex.  I am pleased with myself for this but also there has been an impact on my libido and sex life within my marriage.  It's not dramatic though and I suspect it will return to normal.
    I have no intention of telling my wife any of this as I don't see what it would achieve and (provided I don't relapse) I know she wouldn't want to know.
    I am considering telling my wife about some of my desires.  I don't believe any of them are inherently wrong.  To me it is the betrayal which is wrong and where i feel the guilt.  I am going to leave it a while before I decide whether to talk to her about these desires, though.  I need to make sure I am making a rational decision not acting through frustration at my abstinence.
    Writing this is cathartic for me but I would like to hear anyone's thoughts on it.  It was interesting writing it.  Not least because I had to make a very determined effort not to go into detail as I don't want to re-ignite my desires or do the same for anyone reading.
    Thanks for reading and good luck to anyone who is going through anything similar.
    John
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  20. Rob added a post in a topic porn recovery freephone numbers please   

    I don't know any offhand unfortunately but you could try SLAA perhaps?
    Also here are online resources that may help:

    Failing that, you could try your GP too as they can help point you in the right direction.
    Paula and her team are available too for individual sessions but this costs money for the time.
     
     
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  21. Rob added a post in a topic Is there hope?   

    Hello Rosie,
    That sounds really horrible and I'm sorry you're having to deal with your husband not facing up to his problems fully. It sounds like a real rollercoaster where you feel hope at times with him getting help but then he slides back to destructive behaviours, anger, blame etc. It's very sad to hear about all that hurt.
    I did attend Relate with my wife after finishing Paula's recovery course (which isn't cheap, I grant you). I found it really useful to get us to talk about problems in our relationship and her affair but in my mind it was somewhat separate from my recovery, which is something I needed to do regardless really. I think even now, often the best thing I can do for my relationship has been to get better myself and be well. Because then I'm in a much better place to actually deal with things clearly and be engaged without being withdrawn and angry that comes with acting out.
    It sounds like you worry hugely about him and want him to be well. But ultimately he has to do the work to make that happen. Perhaps in a space by himself more? I don't know. Paula's course and all the help out there in the world only gives the understanding and tools needed. That's really important but it's up to the person recovering to put them into practice and change. That is the real hard work.
    For me, it was hitting rock bottom when I found out my wife was having an affair and that ultimately she was very unhappy in our marriage and wanted out because of the person I'd become. That was very difficult to accept and hugely upsetting but it gave me the motivation to realise that I needed to make real change or I'd lose the woman I love. This has to come from him to want that though and accept at an important level the hurt he has caused you.
    I can appreciate some of the feelings about being overwhelmed and very upset or emotional. I think you're dealing with a huge heart-wrenching problem and those kinds of feelings are unfortunately part of it.
    Most of all, I hope that you can find the support you need either through your friends and support groups to take very good care of yourself at such a difficult time. He needs to worry about his recovery and stopping his behaviour as his number one priority and similarly I hope you can take good care to feel better in yourself, healing and making you a stronger person while he does that.
    Peace
     
     
     
     
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  22. Rob added a post in a topic where do you start   

    Hello Hanna,
    Sorry to hear about all your difficulties with your husband's addiction and problems. It's very sad to hear all that you've been through and are still trying hard to cope with.
    I think your husband needs to hot rock bottom to want help and really make serious change. Finding the right people to work with and a place he feels both supported yet challenged to change I think is key. But this motivation must come from inside himself ultimately. It's not helpful when your GP tells him to just "grow up" either. I think from what you describe, the impact of your husband's addictions are similar to alcoholism in their impact on your relationship and his behaviour. Addicts don't want to take responsibility for themselves or their actions.
    I did Paula's recovery course about 18 months ago and it has helped me tremendously both in terms of giving a practical path to follow and better understanding myself and why I ended up where I did and how not to go back. Most importantly, it's given me a group of guys in a similar position I can contact regularly for support. I think recovery is a process really rather than something you "do" and it takes time. Finding other people and getting out of the isolation is critical.
    There are also groups like SLAA who provide face-to-face support with regular meetings. I think the key is that he makes it his number one priority to find help and not give up. Here are also some other online resources:

    I can appreciate that spending time apart is difficult but concentrating on yourself and your own healing is really important so you can take care of yourself as best as possible. Ultimately his recovery is down to him.
    You're right that you cannot control him getting better or not but i found it very helpful with my wife to talk about boundaries and the effect my porn problem had on her. That's a tough conversation but I realised I was becoming so distant that I was going to lose her forever. It sadly took me a long time and a lot of hurt to wake up to that. Addicts I think have a hard time with consequences.
    Peace
     
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  23. ineedhelpuk added a topic in Sex & Porn Addiction   

    porn recovery freephone numbers please
    i really would like to talk to professionals about online porn addiction amd would appreciate freephone numbers please
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  24. Hanna added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    where do you start
    Hi I guess this is a question for Paula and her team but hopefully the answer will help both those with addictions and their family members.   
    Long story short, I separated from my about 2 months ago I am not in contact as we know we were triggering each other but eventually we will have to talk.  Previously my husband agreed to go for treatment at my insistence then dropped out due to car accident, them went fully into his addictions again but refusing treatment.  I dont know if that stance will continue and to be fair to me I need the space from the crazy to heal myself.  However if the day ever comes when we do talk about it again and he does decide to get help I am not sure where to start.  I have read so much and can identify my husband with multiple addictions including porn, SA, computer games, speed (hence is accident), religion etc etc but he also has OCD tendencies perhaps AHDD. From what he has said of childhood ( came from a very closed religious environment, he had to support family at very young age - sent away to work in a very different cultural environment with lots of sexual opportunities etc) so lots of trauma and maybe more.  I dont have the full history but I know he had problems at school was always naughty and ashamed of how poor family where, so lots going on.   
    So my question is if he ever asks for help where would he start, how would he get full assessment if potential mental health need and so many different addictions, it all feels a little chicken and egg.  I know its not my place to tell him to get better but if he ever asks I would like something in my tool kit so to speak.  We did go to GP who basically said its something you will grow out of, which is a bit alarming so would not want to use that as an access point again.  Where would he start?   
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  25. Rosie added a topic in Partner Concerns   

    Is there hope?
    Hi Paula and fellow forum members, I'm nervous to start but absolutely had to share somewhere as I'm completely exhausted and my head is about to explode.
    Long story short here as its 4.30am and I need to try to sleep, though it's still pretty wordy! Sorry. 
    I'm trying to find a specialist, affordable option for therapy for him/us after discovering sex addiction a few months back, he started seeing a therapist but she isn't specific, also I  suspect he's been manipulating her reactions and playing a martyr as what he's come back saying indicates and I'm pretty convinced he's been in denial and 'white knuckling' this addiction mainly. He's very good at charming (aren't they all) and bringing out motherly instinct in women so I'm feeling like he's just been skirting around it and not actually facing things.
    Anyway, lately he has fallen into huge depression/anger/anxiety blaming work and saying he doesn't actually think he has a sexual compulsion issue, hugest red flag when he suddenly lost sexual interest in me (our sex life has always been volcanic) ignored my flirtations (!) and started becoming hugely distant and detached.
     I suspected it was this sex addiction 'cycle' but desperately wanted to think the best... lo and behold he 'relapsed' I discovered he's started using private browser settings and by utter chance I saw a page relating to prostitutes, he claims he just gets off looking, I'm probably the biggest fool if I believe that. I've no idea if we will remain together or what the truth is but he wants us to go to a therapist together. 
    I keep pressing the need for it to be an experienced specialist in this field if we go, or even just for him if we split and he's ever going to tackle this! I think anything else is wasting time/money and is avoidance IMO.
    He mentioned relate but I think that is still too 'general' pls help with any advice/encouragement or just plain reason as I'm half crazy with sadness, feeling helpless and constantly on the edge of a panic attack. Sorry for the verbal diarrhoea and Thankyou for any advice in advance. warmest thoughts to others here going through this, it's a special kind of hell 
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