Bottoming Out?

Breaking down could be the beginning of a break through.

No one wants to admit defeat.  It seems to go against our natural instinct to give up.  This is a good thing if it is pointed in the right direction.  Giving up smoking.  Giving up bickering and fighting.  Giving up anxiety, fear and panic.  Giving up negative thinking. 

Giving up sexual addiction is perhaps the single most important thing you will do.  If you don't, consider the consequences.  The problem is we don't take account of what it does to us.  We want to be in denial and still use. 

"The truth shall set you free."  (John 8:32)

The truth maybe painful to face, but it will set us free.  Addiction is all about not feeling.  A simple thing it is to take account of what something in our lives is doing for us  - positive or negative.  But we can't do it.  Sometimes we are forced to face the truth.  Maybe it is a loved one confronting us or we may find ourselves in legal or financial trouble because of the sex or porn addiction.

It is important to do a few things and to stay away from some things as well.

Let's begin with the things to stay away from.

1.  Stay away from pornography and pictures that trigger you.  Sound obvious?  It is, but not always easy to do.  If you want to avoid a slip, avoid slippery persons, places and things.  You may have to define what these things are for you.  It could be a simple as a checkout line where the magazines are or the photography section in a bookstore.  It could be lingering in bed to long or the shower.  The computer or cell phone that doesn't have any filtering on it.  Has to be something you are willing to discover for yourself rather than anyone telling you that you need to give it up.

2.  Self Pity.  Self pity never got anyone anywhere except towards a depressed and possibly suicidal state and a place of immobility.  Spiritual paralysis. 

3. Anger and Resentment.  These emotions trigger addicts to use.  We feel that we deserve a break today, that my life isn't going well, and so I might as well use a little.  The 4th step in the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is very helpful to free you from anger and resentment.

What are the things we should do?

1.  Seek good information about addiction.  You can't fix something you are in the dark about.  Learn about it and how it affects you.  Learn what makes the addiction cycle work and what breaks it.  Learn about your needs behind your sexual acting about and how to meet those needs differently.  Learn about the illusion of control and how self control and will power makes it worse and how surrender kills the obsession.

2.  Go to 12 step meetings.  Ugh.  Most people can't stomach the thought of going to meetings with a bunch of sex addicts.  "Why do I have to go?," we whine.  The fact is that you don't have to do anything.  If you are bottoming out and you are willing to do anything to get better, you might as well explore 12 steps.  Why?  Let's look at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).  It has been around 75 years, operates with no president or huge amounts of money running through it, does not advertize per se, doctors, counselors and courts recommend it.  What is that about?  It must work at some level.  If it didn't have something to offer, it would not be in existence.  I heard a comedian playfully joking about the scam of a treatment center collecting $20,000 from a patient and then loading him into a van to take him to a free AA meeting down the street.  Sexholics Anonymous (SA), Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) are 12 steps groups that have been around about the past 2 decades to help those recovering from sex addiction.

3.  Get a sponsor.  What?  You have me going to meetings and now you want me to have a sponsor?  Well, here is the deal.  It is very difficult to get through a program without help from somebody.  It is like operating on yourself.  Your best thinking got you into this mess and your best thinking can't get you out of it.  You could get a therapist and there is great value in that as well, but a sponsor is free, the relationship is pretty amazing in many ways.  It is like a personal trainer or coach he suffered from the same problem, has gotten free and helps you do what they did to get well.  It is simple as that.  They understand you because they have experienced the disease.  If you need to wait to do this step, it is understandable, but at least try to be open.

4.  Get a therapist or recovery coach.  Unlike a sponsor, a therapist is going to have specialized training in sex addiction recovery.  Like drug and alcohol counselors they have a special interest in helping others because they have had this touch their own lives.  They received the latest information, research and tools that will help you get free.  There is usually a financial investment for this, but the addiction has cost you plenty and any good therapist who specializes in this will give you the tools and support to get you free faster. 

to be concluded --

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