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Hollywood East by Mallory

Congressman Weiner Is a Sex Addict

Anthony Weiner obviously is suffering from a form of sexual addiction. A disease, not unlike alcoholism, compulsive gambling or eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia. We don’t laugh at cancer patients. Why should we laugh at someone who is suffering from the disease of sexual addiction?

How do I know Congressman Weiner is a sex addict? Because I am one. Like Weiner, exhibitionism was my problem. He needs therapy, which he is seeking. Labeling his disease is part of his problem. He must accept that he is a sex addict and declare that he is one himself. Self-acceptance is one of the first steps of recovery.

But we have all seen the manifestations of his addiction and realize his behavior is a form of sexual obsession routed in narcissism. Laughing at him is cruel and uncalled for. Inside he is laughing the loudest at himself while simultaneously crying with shame. He needs to develop not his ego, but his self-esteem and to laugh out loud -- out of the dark shadows of shame -- at his own behavior as others laugh at him.

Shame is the root of sexual addiction. Lying to cover up his shameful behavior was part of his disease.

By writing about bizarre behaviors and accepting oneself, one can overcome the horrors and haunting need to act out the sex addicts’ bottom lines of his or her addictions. Bottom lines come in all forms. They are compulsions which the addict cannot control. 12 Step programs are an excellent cure for sexual addiction, but like alcoholism, compulsions lurk deep in one’s subconscious and are kept in check by group therapy and therapy by a counselor who knows how the 12 steps work.

I don’t believe Congressman Weiner should resign. He is now seeking treatment. He has been caught. Revealed. The gig is up. His shameful secret is out of the bag. We are as sick as our secrets. Congressman Weiner has no more secrets. And if he does they will not shock us. We’ve been sent a form of electro shock therapy by his flagrant behavior and this is a good thing. Our nation needs compassion for the sickness behind this disease.

Why not feel compassion for the horrors of the humiliation Congressman Weiner is experiencing? The humiliation of exhibitionism. But his pain is ending not only because he has been caught, but because he has chosen to seek treatment. It is nit picking to wonder if he has chosen treatment to keep his job or to cure his illness. It is unfair to his process of recovery to analyze his motivation. The fact remains he, alone, has chosen to take responsibility for his life, his pain, his humiliation, his narcissism, his vanity, his need to exhibit himself to others. He has, as recovery lingo goes, ‘bottomed out’.

I do not believe he should resign because his judgment will not be impaired.
He will not be cured in a matter of weeks, more like a matter of years, but he can now make unimpaired decisions and no longer have the compulsions to act out in ways that have riveted our nation. He will have to write about his feelings and this will begin the process of recovery. I wrote a novel about my sexual addiction. It was called "Flash," and it was about a female flasher.

Since its publication in 1987, I am flash free, and Congressman Weiner can be flash free in time as well.

In my opinion, Congressman Weiner should not resign. He should continue on with the good work he has performed prior to his fall from grace. At last, he is in treatment, on the road to recovery and as he faces his demons, needs our support.
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