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Total Freedom from Sex and Love Addiction

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“The only thing I cared about when I was younger was being happy. If you had told me at the time that I was doing anything that was damaging to myself or hurting myself in some way, I would have said, ‘You don't know what you're talking about.’"

Adrienne Johnson didn’t think twice about the things she did as part of the “in crowd.” At 12-years-old she was smoking and drinking, by 14, she was experimenting with sex. She says, “I didn't have any kind of guilt, I didn't have any kind of conviction at the time, I was just having a blast.”

Through junior high and high school she loved being known as the ‘party girl’ because of the attention - and sex – it brought her. Adrienne moved from one relationship to another, always looking to others to fill her emptiness. She recalls, “And as soon as something wasn't satisfying me, I said, ‘Well, then, I don't want to do this anymore.’ And I would walk away from people, walk away from commitments, walk away from activities.”

When Adrienne went away to college, partying lost its allure. So the self-proclaimed atheist threw herself into philosophy and other intellectual pursuits trying to find happiness and meaning. She says, “I was actually really looking for intellectual debate and discussion and I started to get a real sense of my identity from those intellectual pursuits.”

While she’d given up partying, what she couldn’t give up was sex. She says by now she was addicted to it, and it didn’t matter who she hurt to get it. Adrienne says, “Sin wasn't in my vocabulary. No sense of remorse, no sense of guilt, no sense of shame. It was all about me and what I wanted, and what would make me happy.” And still, the emptiness remained and she was no closer to finding meaning in her life.

So, Adrienne went on to grad school, hoping further intellectual pursuits would satisfy her. She recalls, “I thought that doing well in school would make me happy, that being successful would make me happy, that being thin and pretty would make me happy. I somehow had this realization in my early 20s that all of those things were going to fail me. And so when I realized I had nothing, I sank into a deep depression for the first time in my life.” 

She tried counseling and anti-depressants for a couple years. Nothing helped, as Adrienne refused to let go of the hurt. She says, “I just wanted to sort of be a victim and cry about how much pain I was in and how much I was hurting, and I just wanted someone to come rescue me. I didn't want to actually do the hard work myself of getting healthy and getting better.”

In 2007 she married a fellow grad student thinking that marriage would make her happy and fulfilled. She recalls, “But it didn't help. So, again, instead of looking at myself or getting healthy or working on myself, I wanted the easy fix. And so I called up the ex-boyfriend and began an affair. I definitely knew I was sabotaging my marriage by being unfaithful, but I didn't care.”

The affair lasted a few months, destroying her marriage in 2010. Still addicted to sex, Adrienne continued a downward spiral. She says, “I just wanted to sort of give a big middle finger to life and blow up everything and light it all on fire and this kind of lifestyle was leading to nothing but destruction and unhappiness. I needed to do something different.”

It was then Adrienne started attending a support group for sex and love addicts. This time she followed the program, and believing to improve herself, she needed some type of ‘higher power’ to believe in. She recalls, “I tried the Buddhist chanting. I tried the Kundalini yoga. I tried going to synagogue. I even tried going to church. And as uncomfortable as it made me, there was something helpful about all of this spirituality, and I sort of transitioned from being a complete atheist to being an agnostic and at least being open to the idea of a higher power or some kind of universal life force that connects us all.”

A year into her spiritual journey Adrienne was making progress with her addiction yet something was still missing in her life. She recalls, “I had been alone at this point as in no dating, no hooking up with anyone, not looking to be with any man for the first time ever, since I was 12.” Then a friend invited Adrienne to a play based on Christian author, C.S. Lewis’ satirical book, The Screwtape Letters. In it, a devil named Screwtape, instructs his nephew on how to tempt and manipulate people to turn away from God’s love. Adrienne recalls, “These words that Screwtape said were just, they hit me so profoundly and so deeply, that I had to at least consider Christianity as an option.” 

Adrienne went home and started exploring the life of Christ through the gospels. Soon, she started going to church and making Christian friends as her views on God and her actions began to change. In a few months Adrienne says she was a completely different person, and in the Spring of 2012 she surrendered her life to Jesus. She says, “There is something special about going through the darkness. About knowing and seeing how dark it really is. And then coming into the light.”

A year later, Adrienne met Brent at a bible study and the two married in October 2014. She says, “We waited until our wedding night. Which as a former sex and love addict who constantly had one-night stands and was unfaithful, is pretty much a miracle. If that's not a miracle, if that's not God transforming me and my life, then I don't know what is.”

Even though she is devoted to her husband and family, Adrienne says the most important relationship in her life is Jesus Christ. “That does give me my identity, that does give me my meaning. That finally actually satisfies me in a way that nothing ever has.”

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About The Author

Ed Heath

Ed Heath loves telling stories. He has loved stories so since he was a little kid when he would spend weekends at the movies and evenings reading books. So, it’s no wonder Ed ended up in this industry as a storyteller. As a Senior Producer with The 700 Club, Ed says he is blessed to share people’s stories about the incredible things God is doing in their lives and he prays those stories touch other lives along the way. Growing up in a Navy family, Ed developed a passion for traveling so this job fits into that desire quite well. Getting to travel the country, meeting incredible people, and