An Introduction to Hope

Archival Shares on Sex and Love Addiction

Photo by Jakob Owens

Hi there. My name is Sean Cardinalli, a “hopeful herald,” a recovering sex and love addict. For 11 years, I have abstained from the pernicious behavior that destroyed my marriage and ruined other relationships and job opportunities. Being sober means being a better father, a better partner, a better artist, a better person. I came up in recovery via 12 Step and a lot of therapy. In that process, I’ve learned how to live in the present, how to be honest instead of deceitful, how to be truly intimate instead of compulsive, and how to be trusting and less defensive or insecure.

I personally abstain, one day at a time, from pornography, unhealthy sexual relationships, and unsafe sexual relations. Recovery has not “cured” me of my addiction; it’s instead allowed me to navigate life with renewed integrity, wonderment, faith, and courage. I still have fears, doubts, and anxiety. But I don’t repress them or ignore them. Instead I accept them and address them. My life is more spiritually-led now; it’s less entangled by ego and more open to the full emotional range of human experience.

There is always more to learn and I’ll be sharing contemporaneously when I can. But this blog is mainly archival, with most of the entries culled from what has happened over the past decade. The first posts date back to my second full year in recovery in 2010.

I did not get to where I am — in recovery or in life — alone. I’ve had a ton of help for which I’m eternally grateful. This blog is here to convey the same sort of shared encouragement, experience, and sympathy that’s characterized my process of recovery. Addiction is incredibly isolating and I want to remind folks going through similar battles and tensions that they, too, are not alone.

Some of the stories I share on this blog may differ from those you typically hear because my addiction is to sex, not drugs, gambling, or alcohol. To some, sex addiction is considered strange or even illegitimate. Some of my shares will address that divide in experience and opinion. My main goal, though, is simply to share my anecdotal experience with the hope of encouraging those also suffering from sex and love addiction to invest in their own self-care and self-worth, and to seek help. Perhaps my shares will help dispel myths and offer clarity about this addiction.

My recovery is a one-day-at-a-time experience. And via one share at a time on this blog, I hope to instill in the still-suffering addict that they can reconnect to a healthier sense of relationships and sexuality and lead a spiritually-led life abounding with values like honesty, intimacy, and trust. I believe you’ll find my stories, even the more difficult ones, filled with a sense of hope, persistence, and joy.