Welcome. You're in the right place.
Just like I went through these steps, I will walk you through these steps one-by-one.
The first step of the journey is acknowledging you need to go on it.
The very nature of any addiction is that it has become unmanageable. It is imperative to look at the destruction that compulsive sexual behavior has brought about in your life. This process consists of taking an honest look at where this behavior brought you that you had never intended to go in the first place. This also means defining which behaviors lead you to, what is commonly referred to in 12-step programs as, incomprehensible demoralization.
2. Support System:
Who will partake on this journey with you?
Isolation breeds addiction and addiction grows in isolation. This never ending, destructive cycle has to be broken for recovery to occur. Whether it is a 12-step program, Celebrate Recovery, Warriors Men, a support group around sex addiction, a therapy treatment group around sex addiction, or some other focused recovery group for sex addiction, this journey cannot be done alone and the focus MUST be on recovery from compulsive sexual behavior. Three people to keep an eye out for are a person who is ahead of you on the journey (someone with more time abstaining from CSB), a person at a similar level as you, and a person who is behind you on the journey that you can encourage.
What safety parameters need to be in place for your journey?
Whether it be software added to your devices or driving a new route to work to avoid previous acting out locations, creating healthy boundaries is part of a successful recovery journey. This may also mean cutting ties with friends, coworkers, or acting out partners either permanently or for a limited time frame to maintain safety in recovery.
How did you get here?
Just about every addiction starts as a way to keep from feeling the pain of an external negative experience. Perhaps pornography was an escape from isolation or lack of confidence with others. Maybe sexual engagement with others was an escape from an emotionally or physically unsafe home life. Whatever the reason for the behavior, it has become unmanageable and needs to be addressed. The reason for understanding what led you here aids in providing what you need, or needed at the time, to heal.
Addressing the compulsion to act out.
While the compulsion to act out sexually will decrease over sustained abstinence, it will likely take years for neuronal pathways to rewire. Part of any healthy recovery plan means building healthy coping strategies to build a foundation of safety and to respond to sexual triggers when they arise. These coping strategies can be physical activities like weight-training, running, cycling, or martial arts. They can be creative like painting, reading, writing, cooking, etc. Each coping strategies menu will be unique to the individual.
Living in freedom.
Freedom from compulsive sexual behavior and the shame that accompanies is a lifelong process. While that may sound daunting, once one has solidified a recovery baseline the maintenance portion of the journey is truly remarkable. Living a life free of shame and secrets is like being released from a prison of the soul. The maintenance process is continuing the relationships, healthy coping strategies, and reasonable boundaries that you’ve set, adjusted, and readjusted for your life.
Living in freedom from compulsive sexual behavior is not an easy journey, but it is a simple one. People all over the world are breaking free from the shackles of sex addiction every day. It is possible!
Learn more about Jory.
Learn about Sex Addiction and Couples.