Thanks for Sharing, But…

I recently watched the movie Thanks for Sharing which included some great actors: Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow and the singer Pink. As with anything that sheds light on sex addiction I eagerly awaited to see what this story would reveal. Since the setting of the movie revolved around individuals involved in a 12-Step Program, I knew it would provide more insight into the daily lives of sex addictions than just how addicts act out sexually. The movie Shame focused more on sexual exploits of addicts.

As the movie began, it was great to see everyday people that I could relate to. Portraying characters that are able to function “normally” in society is a strong suit of the movie. The main character and supporting cast have jobs and careers which clearly demonstrate that a sex addict could be working right next to you and you would not know. I would venture to say that that is the case the majority of the time because sex addiction isn’t something you can easily identify. As I’ve stated before: What a person can’t address, they can’t heal! Thus, the sex addicts in the movie typically have to suffer in silence at work, but luckily they have support from members of their 12-Step Program.

The scenes from the 12-Step meetings were another asset of the film. Based on my personal experiences at similar meetings, the non-judgmental open monologue allows addicts to release some of the anger, pain and frustration they are dealing with and know they aren’t alone; other people are in similar circumstances. But most importantly they have someone who cares and is there for support. It goes back to: EVERYONE WANTS TO FEEL LOVED.

While the movie did a good job of showing sex addicts in the process of moving along the road to recovery, it was the portrayal of the main character being unable to ultimately maintain his sobriety is the issue I have with the movie.

Mark Ruffalo’s character had been sober for five years. He starts dating Gwyneth Paltrow and the relationship takes on various aspects of what a person who formerly acted out via sex has to deal with when he or she reveals to the person they are dating their past. Of course the immediate question Gwyneth’s character has is: Where is he in his recovery? Then she has to deal with triggers that would typically not be in an issue with someone without his past. All of this was great to see! They were able to work through these situations logically and lovingly.

After they are able to work through those issues, the remaining question was: Will the addict resurface? Unfortunately in this movie the addict did resurface. After five years of sobriety, in one moment all the hard work went right out the door with the prostitute that left his hotel room. The reason why this is so disturbing to me is because it supports the argument: once an addict, always and addict.

What I feel would be beneficial, is for the producers to follow this movie up with a sequel focusing on Josh Gad’s character a little more. Viewers get a glimpse of what caused his addiction; which was his relationship with him mother. I think if this storyline is further developed it would allow viewers to see, ONCE YOU GET TO THE ROOT OF THE ADDICTION, YOU CAN GET TO A PLACE OF TRUE HEALING! Then the writers could tie the concept of getting to the root cause of an addiction to Mark’s character and allow him to ultimately maintain his sobriety.

The purpose of this blog is to help sex addicts, and/or anyone being affected by sex addiction, to know sex addiction can be beat. For more insight on the steps I’ve used to break the sex addictive cycle and get to root of my sex addiction please review the 4-STEPS page. In addition, you’ll see a self-assessment test and a page of helpful tools.

Helping others in the Journey,

A.D. Burks