How do I know if I’m an addict?

The word “addiction” is a strange one. It’s thrown around everyday speech like it’s a normal everyday occurrence. We’ll hear people say, “Oh, I’m addicted to Netflix” ….. “I’m so addicted to chocolate / buying shoes”….and so on and so on. But we shouldn’t really be saying that, because addiction in its most serious forms is a silent killer, and a mental, physical, emotional and spiritual illness, affecting every part of our being – and our loved one’s too.

So how do we know if we’re an addict? Surely everyone is addicted to something, and if everyone is doing it, then it can’t be that bad, right? Hopefully this article will give some insight as to how to recognise some of the lesser known signs of addiction.

Primarily, addiction is about consequences – the results of our behaviour. The World Health Organisation recognises addiction is “continuous use despite negative consequences”.

We can trick ourselves into thinking, “well, I didn’t hurt anyone, so what’s the big deal? No negative consequences for me”. But challenge yourself to consider your emotional consequences – shame, guilt, self sabotage, anxiety, depression. Do these things keep happening after you act out on your addiction? Then it’s a consequence. What about the consequences on your family and loved one’s? What would they say about your addiction?

Are you keeping it secret? That’s a consequence. When we really take a fearless, moral inventory of our behaviour, it requires us to take a long hard look at ourselves and can reveal uncomfortable truths.

Amongst recovery circles, there’s a saying, “secrets keep you sick”. Often that’s the pull of addiction – it becomes a secret. Thrilling at first, then as it progresses (and it will because that’s the very nature of addiction) the secret becomes bigger and bigger, until it becomes too big to share.

Denial and comparison are two other things to look out for with our addictive behaviours. These two keep our addiction secret. We’ll often hear people say, “well, I can’t be an addict, because I only do it on the weekends”. But addiction is not about quantity, it’s about the effect that it has on your life and the lives of those around you. There is always a cause and effect to all of our behaviour – even if we don’t know the people who are involved in our acting out.

When we start to look out for our own individual signs of addiction, we’ll often find that the slippery slope to addiction starts with us reacting to the same triggers, whether that’s a person, place or thing. But one thing which is common to all addicts is the sense of wanting “MORE” and not hearing that self-regulation button of stopping. And that’s the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results.

Hopefully this article gives more of an insight rather than a directive as to where you’re at with your own journey of addiction. Remember – if in doubt, speak it out. There is always someone who has been on a similar journey. Promise. X

 

Written by Camilla Simpson

Pineapple Support To Sponsor The European Summit

Pineapple Support, the adult industry’s leading mental health non-profit, has been donated a sponsorship package by The European Summit for their next affiliate conference. The charity will be sponsoring various elements of the TES Affiliate Conferences in Cascais, Portugal from February 28th to 30th.

Attendees are encouraged to book a meeting at Pineapple Support’s private meeting space at the conference venue to discuss how the company they represent can help support the mental health and wellbeing of adult models and performers.

The sponsorship package donated by The European Summit also includes sponsorship of numerous events over the course of the two days. The following events are sponsored by Pineapple Support:

Friday 28th

15.30-18.00 Meet Market

23.00-05.00 Night Bar

Sat 29th

10.00-11.00 Coffee Reception

10.30-17.30 Candy Station

10.30 – 17.30 Cake Station

11-00-16.50 Pineapple Support Room

11.30-17.30 Thai Massage

17.00-17.30 Tapas Bar

23.00-05.00 Night Bar

Sun 30th

10.00-11.00 Coffee Reception

10.30-17.30 Candy Station

10.30 – 17.30 Cake Station

11-00-16.50 Pineapple Support Room

11.30-17.30 Thai Massage

17.00-19.00 Networking Drinks

17.00-17.30 Tapas Bar

22.30-03.00 Closing party and jam session

 

“As a leading affiliate conference, TES Affiliate Conferences is always inspired by quality initiatives,” says Walter Andreas, co-founder of TES Affiliate Conferences. “The work of Pineapple Support is outstanding and we are proud to support this initiative whenever possible.”

Pineapple Support was founded in 2018 by Leya Tanit after a string of losses in the adult industry from depression and other mental illnesses. The organisation, which is a registered 501(c)3 tax-deductible qualifying charity in the US and a registered charity in the UK, has so far connected nearly nine hundred adult performers with mental health services, including free and low-cost, therapy, counseling and emotional support.

“We’re incredibly thankful for the comprehensive sponsorship donated by The European Summit. The generosity and support of the whole TES team have allowed us to sponsor a wide variety of initiatives during the conference,” says Tanit. “The private meeting room provides the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle for anyone wanting to learn more about mental health and how your company can get involved.”

Those who want to speak with a member of the Pineapple Support team during the TES Affiliate Conference should email contact@pineapplesupport.org to arrange an appointment.

Flirt4Free Joins Pineapple Support as Sponsor

Flirt4Free has joined Pineapple Support as a Partner-Level Sponsor, joining over 40 adult businesses and organizations in committing funds and resources and helping to provide support and mental health resources for models and workers in the sex industry.

“We are proud to be a Pineapple Partner and show our support for all that Pineapple’s doing to bring mental health awareness and aid to the industry,” said Gregory L. Clayman, Flirt4Free CEO.

Leya Tanit founded Pineapple Support in 2018 after a string of losses in the adult industry from depression and other mental illnesses. The organization, which is a registered tax-deductible qualifying charity in the U.S. and a registered charity in the U.K., has so far connected over 700 adult performers to mental health services.

“I’m very grateful to Flirt4Free for their support,” said Tanit. “It’s been two years since we launched Pineapple Support, and the generosity of Flirt4Free and our other sponsors has helped us affect the lives of so many adult performers. With the continued support of the industry, we will be able to dramatically grow our presence, and reach anyone in need.”

Find Pineapple Support online and on Twitter.

In related news, Tanit received WIA Woman of the Year honors at the 2020 XBIZ Exec Awards earlier this month.

PascalsSubsluts Joins Pineapple Support at Supporter Level

PascalsSubSluts has joined Pineapple Support at the supporter level, joining over 40 adult businesses and organizations in committing funds and resources to the adult industry’s leading mental health non-profit and helping to provide support and mental health resources for models and workers in the sex industry.

“Pineapple Support has given us the opportunity to extend the basic duty of care and respect that we try to show towards each and every performer we work with,” said Andy Baxter, producer of PascalsSubSluts.

“It’s important and correct for us to support Pineapple in their superb work,” he continued. “It’s nice for girls to enjoy working with us, but nicer still to think that we might be able to help the more vulnerable amongst them just a little bit more after we’ve closed the door.”

Pineapple Support was founded in 2018 by Leya Tanit after a string of losses in the adult industry from depression and other mental illnesses. The organization, which is a registered tax-deductible qualifying charity in the U.S. and a registered charity in the U.K., has so far connected over 700 adult performers to mental health services.

“PascalsSubSluts will help us continue to provide free and low-cost therapy in the sex industry,” says Tanit. “Pineapple Support celebrates our second anniversary this month, and, thanks to our amazing partners, we’re looking to a brighter future for the industry.”

Find Pineapple Support online and on Twitter.

PascalsSubSluts is the reigning XBIZ Europa Awards winner for Specialty Site of the Year and a 2020 XBIZ Awards nominee for Fetish Site of the Year.

Visit the studio on Twitter here.

NETbilling Joins Pineapple Support As Sponsor

Payment solutions specialist NETbilling has partnered with Pineapple Support, joining over 40 adult businesses and organizations in committing funds and resources to Pineapple Support as a support-level sponsor.

“NETbilling is very pleased to sponsor Pineapple Support to help with the necessary assistance that they are providing,” commented CEO Mitch Farber. “We hope everyone in the industry will generously give to this great cause helping industry performers.”

Financial support provided by NETbilling and other sponsors will underwrite free and low-cost therapy, counseling and emotional support for adult performers around the world, further supporting Pineapple’s continued growth.

Regarding this latest announcement, Pineapple Support founder Leya Tanit thanked NETbilling for their contributions.

“NETbilling’s support will help us to continue connecting adult industry professionals to mental health support services, including individual therapy and group workshops, as well as aiding future outreach and awareness” she said. “The generosity of our partners makes a huge difference in the lives of performers, and in the overall strength of our industry.”

Tanit founded Pineapple Support after several high-profile losses in the adult community from depression and mental illness. The organization has since connected over 700 performers to mental health services, including free and low-cost, therapy, counseling and emotional support.

For the latest updates, follow Tanit and Pineapple Support on Twitter.

My Approach To Trauma

Serious emotional trauma results in post-traumatic stress, perhaps even PTSD. You experience “flashbacks” where you are hijacked by the past. A scent, a sound, or a vivid reminder of your trauma triggers an instantaneous feeling that you are back there–even if you know rationally you are not. How do you deal with this?

The first step is “grounding” to help you stay in the present. When you are triggered, can you name five things you can see and five things you can hear? Can you feel anything, perhaps the chair you are sitting on or the temperature of the room? Can you smell anything? Really concentrate on your surroundings. If you have difficulty with this, try something more drastic such as sucking on a lemon or listening to loud music. Or you might carry a stone in your pocket, something hard and firm that can help pull you back to the present.

Another helpful practice is mindfulness meditation. Contrary to popular belief, it is not about relaxation, but rather its opposite: heightened awareness of the present. You learn to sit with with difficult feelings and thoughts as they arise and then dissipate by focusing intently on your breath or some outside stimulus such as a clock ticking.

In therapy, we deal with the toxic self-messages linking past trauma to present triggers. They probably happen so fast, you don’t notice them, but they are there. The scent of cologne might trigger a powerful memory of sexual abuse, for example. Immediately you replay the thoughts from your trauma, thoughts like: “I led him on. It was my fault.” And the thoughts lead to intense feelings of powerlessness, violation, and self-blame.

What are the thoughts you tell yourself when you are triggered? “I’m powerless”? “I’m to blame”? “I deserve this”? Thoughts like these may not only trigger you, they may also cause you to stay in an abusive relationship or be taken advantage of. How do you challenge them?

I might invite you to reflect on situations where those messages do not apply. I might suggest you come up with positive messages you know are true. I might question whether you would tell a friend in a similar situation that he or she deserves it. Are you horrified at the thought? – Then stop doing it to yourself. Find positive, healing messages to tell yourself instead.

Reminders of past trauma may always bring up painful memories. But if you can challenge the toxic messages associated with those memories, you can remember what happened without reliving it.

You can’t undo the past and “heal” the trauma you suffered. You cannot get back the life you once had. But out of its shattered remnants you can build something healthy, something wonderful, something beautiful.

 

Russell Stagg