Success does not come without obsession. For many of you reading this article, you never wanted to be a big shot. That dream died a long time ago, or never existed. No matter who you are though, there's something itching at you. You've got some. I don't know what it is, but it could be anything. Reading articles, having a better relationship with your kids, actually starting a family, getting better at video games, losing weight, gaining weight, being more friendly, saying no more, earning more money, living somewhere else, playing more board games, taking time to explore places. So, while all of this talk about the obsessions of the very successful doesn't seemingly relate to you, it does matter. She was emotionally disconnected but she was my confidant, as I was hers. We had our share of family secrets too. I didn't even know my paternal grandfather was alive until I was an adult and found out he had been locked away in a state mental institution for years due to wet brain, being a town drunk. My primary belief of thinking that I was not good enough fueled my addictions, but I was also strongly influenced by a neighbor girl. When she was about twelve and I was nine or ten, she wanted to be sexual with me, but I was physically too young and couldn't. She was emotionally dominating, demanding, and intimidating, both sexually and physically. Looking back, I suspect she was being sexually abused because her knowledge of sex was too sophisticated for her age. Because of her, I didn't engage sexually with girls until I was older. I was always scared of them. In college I was still scared of women and I let them be the pursuers. I cried every moment of those seven days. Every time I heard the baby cry, I had to walk away.

My breasts were engorged and painful, yet I could not feed her. I still want to cry as I write this because of the deep sorrow I felt at those moments. I felt my choice was taken away from me; I had to give up something that was so dear to me. But every patient learns quickly that you have few choices. As patients, we have to rely so much on our physicians and suspend our own disbelief. As I started losing my hair and my daily nausea became more severe, I felt more and more bitter and lost. I started to blame my daughter. Obsession matters, even with the little things. If you can't get obsessed about never letting yourself drift from your goals (no matter how small they may be), then you will never reach that desired end. Or, even worse, you'll just stumble around your goals for much longer than you wanted, never fully accomplishing those goals. Consider yourself and how you live your life. Is there any part of your life where you are positively obsessing over something? I say positively, because bingeing a TV show all night or obsessing over how many shots you can do without throwing up isn't positive. That's just my opinion. Is there something you need to freak out about? For example, cleaning your home. Do you need to cancel plans to keep yourself focused? After a few sexual experiences, I found that the conquest gave me a sense of power and acceptance. But I had such a distorted perception about what women wanted or needed.

My mother certainly didn't give me any positive direction, and my father only spoke of women in negative terms: You marry the good girls and have sex with the bad girls. From a young age this sex addict had a strong foundation for sexual addiction and codependency. Sex allowed him to ignore his pain; It was difficult for him to give it up because it had become his coping strategy. Sex kept him from drowning emotionally, and it was a quick fix. He experienced emotional abandonment from a very frightened boundary-less mother and an abusive father who acted out with alcohol and sex. Secrecy and addiction were multigenerational issues in his family. The way he describes his mother is the same way that he describes himself. I thought that if I hadn't had a third child, none of this would have happened. After a few months of being on the medications, though, I started to feel better. I became better adjusted to the drugs and had fewer side effects. It was around that time that I started coping with my disease, but I still hadn't released the anger. I still blamed my little girl for my disease. One day, about six months after beginning my treatment, I met a woman who would soon become a dear friend. She was a holistic nutrition consultant and was interested in educating my patients about diet. I was immediately skeptical, and she offered to do my nutrition profile. It was then that I started considering the effects of the foods we eat on inflammation in our bodies. It is commonly thought that people develop illness after their bodies receive multiple insults. Do you need to turn off that TV or kick out that pet cat in order to eliminate all distractions? Do you need to freak out at your roommate because they've left those dishes dirty for FAR too long?

What if that roommate gets mad at you and never changes? Do you need to move? That seems a little obsessive. All of these other bright and esteemed individuals we discussed in this article would've done the same things. If they were making sure their home was clean, they would go to no end to ensure they were satisfied. They would schedule consistent times each week that they would never skip. Then they would continually ask themselves how they can improve on their cleaning. They would research online for better products for cleaning, tips for particular stains and life hacks to make their lives easier. He learned to not ask for what he wanted or needed and became conflict avoidant. He constantly sought outside approval with a strong need to look good. While treated for sex addiction, his early childhood experiences had to be addressed, as they could be significant relapse triggers. Compartmentalizing The highly developed defense of compartmentalizing, used by both addicts and their partners, is strongly influenced by childhood history. In our humanness we all compartmentalize, that is, we set aside feelings and thoughts about one moment while we are engaged in another. For example, if you have an argument with your teenage daughter prior to going to work, you may feel upset and think about it while you commute to your job. But when you walk through the door of your office, you mentally put it aside because you have work issues to attend to. We all do that and need to do it. But people who are raised with fear and shame practice the art of compartmentalizing more frequently, and its use is fueled from a place of greater need, often stemming from fear. The first insult is often genetic, and then environmental triggers add to the initial insult. For instance, a person may be genetically predisposed to heart disease (the genetic insult) and have high LDL (bad cholesterol) and low HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Then she adds a diet rich in saturated fats and hydrogenated oils, plus a sedentary lifestyle and smoking (the environmental insults), and we have a young woman with premature heart disease. Similarly, with cancers, there is likely a genetic component, then we suffer some sort of environmental insult that creates stress (oxidative stress), which then triggers the abnormal cells to arise. Those environmental insults or triggers can be different things to different people--lack of sleep, cigarettes, excessive sun, saturated fats, gluten, or dairy. Understanding what causes their inflammation is the key. We believe that when you change your diet, remove stressors, and make anti-inflammatory choices, you can decrease inflammation. It takes time to learn our own bodies' sensitivities. Dairy and other animal products are often the source of inflammation. I was already vegetarian, so I started with dairy elimination. They would start to get weird, and that's what it takes to get really good. In order for you to actually get done what you've always wanted to get done, there's no way around it. Get obsessed. Nobody does. Most people are pathetically apathetic, remember? Environment & the Mentorship Gap What Makes Foolish Behavior Bad? Show me your friends and I'll show you your future. The first time I heard this quote was back in high school during a youth church service. It begins as a necessary defense but it becomes a skill that is practiced day in and day out, week in and week out, month after month, year after year. You can easily become masterful in the ability to live in two different worlds, or compartments, simultaneously.