Thanks for replying. I wanted to clarify - "unmet desires" vs." unmet NEEDS". We all have unmet desires. But I'm saying that the nature of our addictive compulsions is because we have unmet needs we have not yet identified or met.
For me, it was unmet needs I wasn't aware of (I needed intimacy and real connection). Now that I"m aware of them, I'm working on learning how to meet them. And since I've been learning to meet my needs this past couple years, the desire to numb the feeilngs has decreased because the painful feelings themselves have decreased.
I also have the same issue of not being able to look into the eyes of someone who is with me. I'm experiencing that now, and its the first time that I'm noticing that this is actually an issue. Talked to my therapist about it last night, and I thank you for your words. Yes, I'm too ashamed to look into his eyes. It feels very frightening and I feel like I'm exposed. Weird.
Thanks again for your thoughtful reply!