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Family & Relationships I Got Help for My sex Addiction and Discovered My True Calling

16:50  04 may  2021
16:50  04 may  2021 Source:   menshealth.com

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SAM LOUIE, 49, wanted to be a TV journalist. But to cope with the pressure, he harbored a secret life of p*** and sex addiction. Then therapy switched him to a different career path: therapist.

a close up of a keyboard: © Andrew Brookes "I’ve found what I’m supposed to do with my life. There’s freedom in that," says Sam Louie, a sex addict who is now a therapist for sexual addiction.

It was the mistakes that would crush him.“After I messed something up on air, I would literally want to curl up in bed in the fetal position and not go anywhere,” says Louie, who started out as a television reporter in Missoula, Montana, in 1996.

logo: Click here for full access to all the mental health coverage from Men’s Health. © . Click here for full access to all the mental health coverage from Men’s Health.

His parents didn’t love that Louie entered journalism, but he hoped once they saw him on TV, they’d change their minds.

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“In Asian families, there can be pressure in perpetuating the family. I had to honor the Louie name,” he says. Except that Louie never really changed his own mind.“I had a boss once tell me,‘You know, Sam, I don’t know if you have a fire in the belly for this work.’”

And he was right, says Louie—though it took him years to figure it out, years that involved better-paying gigs with more clout but also more and more pressure.

At first, p*** was a way to release that pressure.“Every single night, after working a swing shift, I’d get home at midnight and be online looking at pornography while my wife was in bed,” Louie says.

She eventually caught him; the two of them went to couples counseling, but they ultimately divorced in 2001. After that, Louie’s addiction progressed to massage parlors and prostitution until finally he sought help in the form of specialized therapists and group therapy.

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a screen shot of a computer keyboard: hand on laptop keyboard © Getty Images hand on laptop keyboard

During and between those meetings, Louie says an idea kept popping up:“You’re drawn to this mental-health stuff. Why don’t you do it?”

So he entered grad school in 2007 and two years later became a licensed therapist.“Something just welled up in me that said,‘You’ve got to do it even if you fail.’” The fire in the belly.

Today, Louie has 20 years of recovery, works as a licensed mental-health counselor, and is the author of Asian Shame and Addiction.“I’ve found what I’m supposed to do with my life. I no longer need external validation,” Louie says.“There’s freedom in that.”

A version of this article originally appeared in the May 2021 issue of Men's Health.

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This is interesting!