Saturday, June 30, 2012

Identify your triggers

It may sound obvious, but I've found that knowing my triggers is extremely important when in recovery. When you know what your main triggers are, you can decide what you should do when faced with a trigger.

For example, if you trigger is seeing nudity in a movie (one of my triggers) you might decide that you won't watch any rated R movies. If you're watching TV or a PG-13 movie and a suggestive scene comes on, you could decide that you will get up and leave the room as soon as you realize what's happening. You'd probably want to just go get a drink or a snack instead of taking that opportunity to use the restroom since a private place like the bathroom could be a bad place to be after seeing a suggestive scene.

You could think of these plans as fire escape routes like they have on building maps. Those escape routes are crucial to know in case of a fire. These plans for escaping your triggers help you when you're blind-sided with a situation that could trigger you.

The next step is to have a fire drill, so you can go through the motions. Fire drills get you familiar with what to do when a real fire happens. They saves lives. Similarly, you should practice your plan of escape from the trigger. In the TV example, you might be watching TV and decide to practice your escape plan by pretending a scene has just started, so you get up and walk to the kitchen, and drink some water for a couple minutes before going back to the TV. This might seem a little silly at first, but if it prevents you from acting out of getting the ball rolling on preoccupation, it will be worth it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A quick introduction to Mr. Blue

I am a sex addict. My first memories of any form of perverse sexuality in my life were when I was 6 or 7 years old and my friends and I found a gentlemen's magazine out in the woods. Throughout my sophomore and junior years of high school I got addicted to pornography and masturbation and acted out pretty much daily. I cleaned up during my senior year and had only a few slips over the next 7 years. Then, I got my own office at work, slackened my daily routine of living in recovery, and went back to my addiction at a near daily rate over 6 months. Thankfully my wife thought I might be acting out again and I was honest and told her the truth.

That was five and a half years ago. I have been progressively more honest with myself and my wife. I have gone from just talking to my wife about things, to talking to my church leader, to an accountability group, and now to counseling (personal and group) and multiple accountability groups. Other than that, though, I'm a perfectly normal person thank you very much! I have recognized that my sex addiction will take a lifetime of work to stay on top of.

Writing on this blog is a tool for me to think through and tells others about my situation, thoughts, fears, concerns, as well as - hopefully - be a voice to those who feel they can't face reality and seek help. I hope to be at least a voice to help you face your reality honestly and with faith that life will be better stopping your double life. Remember, your recovery is your own - take ownership of it now and today will be better than yesterday.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A diary for those in recovery

I'm in a support group for recovering sexual addicts. As we recover, we sometimes wish to share experiences with others who are dealing with similar issues.

Recovering from a sexual addiction is hard. That's the harsh truth. It's even harder without support and an understanding that you're not alone. As you progress through your recovery, you experience a number of changes in yourself, including physically, emotionally, spiritually, and in your attitude about yourself. There are times where you may feel confident that you have conquered your addiction and don't need support anymore. Unfortunately, this is almost definitely false. It's like a diabetic saying they have no more need for insulin because their blood sugar is within the normal range.

Our hope is that by sharing our experiences, we can help others with their recovery as well.