In Episode 82 of Far From Finished Ilan talks about the stigma and shame surrounding love addiction and pornography as he feels nobody talks about it out in the real world. He acknowledges that to get the help that you need you should find two or three close friends who are walking a similar path as you and have them connect you to resources.
Life growing up was difficult for Ilan. He learned a tremendous amount but today it’s easy for him to look back and see how that life led him to addiction. Ilan needed ways to cope because he needed something. Addictions to food and love were how he coped. If he was upset he would have a cookie. If he was angry he would have a piece of pie. craved relationships, because he was a love addict who would be happy if he was with someone and be miserable if he was without them. At a certain point in his life Ilan went back and forth between love addiction, pornography, and overeating. Amidst his multiple addictions Ilan had begun work towards becoming a rabbi, entering a rabbinic program.
Ilan can recall watching videos on addiction as the school that he attended required a unit of clinical pastoral education (CPE). Light bulbs started to go off in his head and he realized that he wasn’t so different from those who were facing a different addiction. A week-long retreat at a healing center helped to change him completely. He finally understood that he didn’t have to live the way he was living and that if he was willing to do the work, things could get better. Ilan went to a ton of recovery meetings and re-engaged in his own personal growth movement by going to seminars which expanded his own sense of self.
There have been many struggles in Ilan’s life in addiction that have affected both his public and private lives but today he has seen tremendous growth from the steps he has taken in his recovery. Newly married he acknowledges how much of a difference his wife has had on his life. He sees today as a time to give back and start sharing a sense of hope with others because he’s found a sense of inner peace that has allowed him to connect with other people.
Podcast may contain mature language and situations.