I Just Wanted Love

Recovery of a Codependent, Sex and Love Addict

Non-Fiction - Memoir
234 Pages
Reviewed on 03/12/2015
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Author Biography

Darrett "D.J." Burr is a licensed mental health counselor in the Washington State; national certified counselor and a specialist in problematic sexual behavior. He has been in private practice in Seattle, WA for five years. D.J. is the co-founder, owner, and Executive Director of A.B.L.E. Counseling Services, LLC.

D.J. is the creator of ABLE Affirmations, ABLE Life Recovery, and the ABLE Care Clinic. D.J. published Unfinished: A GLBT Domestic Violence Workbook while completing his Masters in Community Counseling at Argosy University-Atlanta in 2009.

Born in raised in Marietta, GA, D.J. has been known to many as a survivor. His childhood was less-than-nurturing. D.J. spent the majority of his early years tending to other's needs and wants; not knowing what his were. He kept fighting for more--more understanding of himself.

Unfortunately, D.J. lost focus after being targeted by a sexual predator. D.J. lapsed into addiction to numb the pain of the molestation, broken relationships, dysfunctional family of origin, and loss of his childhood. However, the addiction did not stop him.

Over 15 years later, D.J. has learned to live life instead of surviving life. D.J. found answers to his long unanswered questions, primarily, who loves me? Twelve-Step recovery and rigorous honesty saved D.J. from a life of addiction. He can now say, "I love myself." Loving himself allowed D.J. to stop chasing unavailable people, places, and things. He now focuses on his recovery, which impacts every facet of his life.

D.J. enjoys writing, watching movies, especially horror/suspense. His favorite band is Nickelback. His favorite R&B group is Destiny's Child. D.J. is also a huge fan of old 80s-90s cartoons like Transformers.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

Reading I Just Wanted Love by D.J. Burr was a revelation. It was also heartbreaking to so intensely feel the pain and confusion of what it is like to grow up gay and "co-dependent." Just what does it mean to be a "co-dependent"? According to DJ, as he is known, co-dependence is "a set of patterns and characteristics impacting a person's interactions with themselves and others." In DJ's case, this co-dependence, nurtured by the dysfunctional family into which he was born, evolved into an insatiable addiction to sex as he reached out time and again for what he really wanted and needed: love. It didn't help that this fragile child, bullied by classmates, was cleverly groomed as a young teen for sex by one of his father's friends. Once the excitement of that attraction for the same sex gave way to shame, DJ spiralled into a pit of self-hating, for which the only relief...sadly temporary...was a constant search for new sexual partners in bath-houses, in online chat rooms, and anywhere else he could find other co-dependent gays like himself.

I have read many pain-filled memoirs over the past two years. I've even written my own. But for some reason, I Just Wanted Love hit me harder than most of the others. Why? Perhaps because I recognized a bit of myself, and even my own children in this book, not as people addicted specifically to sex, drugs or booze, but as addicts of one kind or another. Many of the repeated behavioral patterns DJ describes can be found in those with severely low self-esteem, but they manifest themselves in different addictions: compulsive spending, OCD, an obsession with Facebook, the Internet, cell-phones, playing computer games, all perhaps a way of escaping the painful reality that we are lonely, don't love ourselves enough and are looking for love and fulfillment in things that can't provide any long-term or true satisfaction. Fortunately for many of us, these addictions aren't quite as destructive as was DJ's, but by sharing his story in I Just Wanted Love, DJ has illuminated a very dark and misunderstood area of the human condition.

To finally stop denying the reality of his addiction and come to grips with it, DJ followed a 12-step program focused on sexual and emotional sobriety which he highly recommends. Today, the author is the founder of ABLE Counselling Services LLC where he helps others overcome an addiction he knows only too well. The easy-to-read I Just Wanted Love leaves the reader thinking beyond its specific content. It also leaves the reader with that satisfaction that comes when a protagonist has emerged victorious.