Opinion by EHN Alumni
Written by Adam W, a recent graduate of the sex addiction program at Edgewood Treatment Centre.
Before I arrived at Edgewood, my life was like being in the eye of a tornado. That might be a tough analogy for someone to understand, but I was in the middle of a storm, with no way out. Everything around me was getting caught in the storm and I was simply waiting for it to take me away with it. I couldn’t find my own way out, and I certainly was trying to harm myself enough so that perhaps I wouldn’t wake up. I remember the feeling of despair and this heavy sadness. When it was suggested I “go away” for a while, to take a break and heal—despite the tremendous arguments I had to not go—I simply gave up and said “okay.”
I had lost my wife, been kicked out of my house, and had been removed from being a part of my kids’ lives. My family of origin stopped being involved with me, my business was crumbling, and my closest of friends had given up on trying to help. As typical of a pre-treatment story that is—it was and is my story.
I quickly packed my personal belongings in Calgary and travelled to Edgewood, soon realizing that I was no longer alone in this storm. The men’s sex addiction group in my treatment program was a critical part of my recovery and healing. I could speak with men who could relate to the pain and shame associated with engaging in problematic sexual behaviours for many years. Although the group structure throughout the week was tremendous for unpacking a lot of stuff, the ability to really do the work in the confidence of men who were walking a similar path made me feel safe to express, accept, and move on from that part of my life. In previous treatments and therapy, I had never been able to explore my problematic sexual behaviours and the associated guilt, shame, and sadness that I held inside. If I had not addressed that pain, I would not have been able to grow and find my footing in recovery.
Some of the highlights of the program at Edgewood include the sacredness of the room, the compassion from the other men, and the guidance from the sex addiction therapists. The ability to share my story, the unheard version of my life that I was unable to previously share in co-ed settings, with other men who were willing to do the same, was transformational in my healing and essential for my recovery.
I learned that the work, meetings, groups, walking with men in recovery, and service to others are all lifelong habits and commitments that I need to make daily to continue to enjoy the blessings of recovery and good mental and spiritual health. It’s not a destination but a journey of awakenings, blessings, and sharing and giving that allows me to enjoy my life today.
The opportunity to give back in some small way to this program, and to the men with whom I walked, is something I cherish and for which I am thankful.
A grateful, recovering sex addict.
We Can Help You!
If you would like to learn more about the treatment programs provided by EHN Canada, enrol yourself in one of our programs, or refer someone else, please call us at one of the numbers below. Our phone lines are open 24/7—so you can call us anytime.
- 1-866-926-4196 for Bellwood Health Services in Toronto, ON
- 1-587-602-0266 for EHN Sandstone, in Calgary, AB
- 1-866-946-4806 for Edgewood Treatment Centre in Nanaimo, BC
- 1-866-627-8604 for EHN Whiterock, in Surrey, BC
- 1-866-965-4345 for Clinique Nouveau Départ in Montreal, QC
More Information About Our Sex Addiction Programs
You can also find more information about our sex addiction programs on our website: