Fear

-Safety is a basic human need. So crucial that the scripture repeatedly tells us to protect those who are unable to provide for their own safety and survival. It is so core, it gets down to the very core of the value of a human life. I believe God has put a fear response inside us because our life, our survival, is so valuable to him. Even self preservation on a basic spiritual level

Matt 16:26: what good will it be if a man gains the whole world and loses his soul. What can a man give in exchange for his soul?

all the wealth of the world is not more valuable than a single human soul.

Gen 9:6:
whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God has God made man.

God connects the value of a single life all the way back to his own image and his own self. In fact, he valued life so greatly that he gave his own to keep ours from being destroyed.

So ultimately, no matter what happens on earth, everyone has a chance to keep their own soul from being trapped in eternal death.

This is a basic human need, the need for safety, self preservation. It is God given, built into each person.

-Fear is the result of a threat to this need on some level. It could be more abstract, in the case of anxiety, inability to ensure safety from rejection, loss, hardship. But the hardest thing about safety threats (even threats to safety from abstract suffering) is a loss of control. Loss of a choice. (I’ll talk about this in a second)

But the fear response is designed to be triggered from threats to our survival. Very powerful, overcomes all other functioning.

One of the best ways to deal with fear is to find ways to remind yourself that you have a choice. (candy bar in pocket, grabbing keys)

extreme examples are where kids are lost in a world of organizing things, to help them feel like they have a choice. and adults lose control of this with all sorts of things (OCD, controlling sexual fantasies, or even just sex fantasy being a place where all relationships are totally in our control, etc..)

Important: GOD’S INTENT IS FOR YOU TO LIVE A LIFE FREE FROM FEAR, A LIFE OF SAFETY. But he does not promise physical safety. He does not promise a life free of suffering.

He only promises his presence. But this is the very thing that we doubt, does God really want to be close to me? Will he really never leave or abandon me? Will he be there, protecting my heart? For me, the fact that he built in a need for safety and self value is a big proof of his heart for me, his care for me. That he doesn’t just humor me, or put up with me, or begrudgingly give to me.

Fear of Abandonment

When we are abandoned as children it produces deep insecurity. deep down, we can carry the shame of those abandonment events.
we carry these to our current day, and it produces these affects in us:
-we panic at the slightest inkling of conflict or rejection
-we don’t stick with relationships, if conflict appears, we leave before we can be abandoned.
-we are attracted to sexual experiences that are impersonal and unreal (stalking, porn, voyerism, prostitutes, anonymous sex)
-we overly depend on people who we let get close somehow (hypersensitive, demand that they are always there for us, can’t forgive them if they hurt us because we are dependent on them to survive emotionally)
-trying to control people close to us, keep them from leaving or doing anything that might threaten (manipulation, force, obsessive jealousy)
and probably the biggest
-we do not trust people or let people in
-we avoid intimacy (for fear that people will leave us)
examples of abandonment
-obvious is when a caregiver leaves your life in some way
but also you may not have thought of:
-threats of abandonment as punishment
-emotional withdrawal as punishment
-unresponsive parents to infants cries, hunger, fear
-abusive situations by caregivers (the caring person is gone and an abusive person is in their place)
-death and divorce
-neglect, the lost child
What to do?
-grieve ungrieved losses. I encourage you to talkabout your experiences like this in the breakout groups. talking about it brings a lot of healing. Get counseling for these things. Get theophostic prayer.
-work on your relationship with God, trusting him. Spend time receiving his love in prayer and worship. Reject all messages that he will leave you for some reason or change how he feels about you. He’s unchangable.
-start trusting appropriate, safe, others.
-develop a bigger network of support. This allows people to fail you, not be there for you, hurt you, and you know you have many people who care who aren’t hitting your abandonment button.
-develop a door instead of a brick wall. This means, if someone does something that hurts, the door closes. but later you can open it to them. This is very important in marriage but in all relationships as well.

THE REALITY IS we will be abandoned. others will fail us. So crucial that we grow in our trust of God.
We’ve been talking a lot about what human relationships are supposed to look like, the closeness, trust, daily connection, trusting each other with our burdens, etc..
But the only reason we can do this is because we trust in the Lord ultimately to be the one providing for us through others.

Psalm 27:10 ESV For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in.

Being Real

Not being real confirms shame, that your real self is not important or valuable.
Not being real keeps you from being able to grieve and heal from telling your story
Not being real gets you into situations that you really can’t handle, then you act out
Not being real confirms the lifestyle of lies, makes it easier to compromise bigger things when you are used to hiding smaller things.

Ephesians 4:25
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

QUESTION IS, HOW CAN WE BE REAL?

Often, as addicts, we have lived a life hiding behind masks, a life full of alibis and lies.

Here is a rule of thumb that can help you to be real:

With those who are close to you:

Your deep feelings (past and present)
Your fears (past and present)
Your hurts (past and present)
Your failures (past and present)
Your dreams, hopes, desires, joys (past and present)
What you need
What you want
What you don’t want
What you don’t think you can handle
Saying no when you have a choice

With those you don’t know well

What you need
What you want.
What you don’t want
What you don’t think you can handle
Saying no when you have a choice
General information about your feelings (follow by “I don’t want to talk more about it”)

Power of Vulnerability

This describes so much of my recovery journey. Her theories have huge implications for sexual addiction recovery:

Holidays and Sex Addiction Recovery

TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS:

  • Identify threats to your sobriety and make a plan to deal with them.
  • Dailly contact with recovery support system.
  • Have a plan for unstructured time. Better yet, make a plan for each day.
  • Watch out for pre-trip and post trip emotional fallout as well.
  • Find additional recovery meetings to attend if possible.
  • Take healthy steps in your relationships.

Now, think about how your recovery journey was affected by your holiday and family activities, and write down items for the following two categories:

1) I’m glad I did this and I need to remember to do it again:

2) I wish I would have:

Sexual Addiction and learning to meet Your Real Needs

Several weeks ago Jay Pathak (Mile High Vineyard Church in Colorado) taught a sermon called Growing in Grace. In a portion of that sermon he laid out the reason quitting your sin cold turkey – without making OTHER CHANGES in your life – results in falling back into your sin.

Click below to listen to the 8 minute audio – It’s worth it!

Growing in Grace – Jay Pathak

If you’re interested in hearing the rest of the sermon, click here

Sexual Addiction Resources for Munich, Germany, and Beyond

Last month my family and I were in Germany, mostly Munich.

While in Munich I found the following resources for sex addiction recovery in Germany:

Munich / München / Muenchen

Homosexuals anonymous group:
http://jason-online.webs.com/termine.htm

Infos unter Tel.: 089-78018960
Email: klicke hier
Treffen in der Regel wöchentlich (Freitags 18 Uhr – ca. 20 Uhr).

There are many Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) Meetings in Munich.

SLAA is a bit different, focuses more on addictive relationships with a sexual element, but if you have issues with porn/prostitutes/masturbation etc you will find fellowship and help here as well:

To locate the meetings, go to the following URL and scroll down to München

http://slaa.de/meetings

Also, I believe there is a SAA meeting (Sexaholics Anonymous) in Munich, but I was unable to get a hold of them to confirm it:

SAA und COSA Sex-Addicts anonymous und Angehörige
C/o Himmelfahrtskirche Kidlerstr. 15
81371 München

There are also meetings in Frankfurt and in Bonn

http://saa-recovery.org/Meetings/OtherCountries/meeting.php?country=Germany

More info about the Bonn Group:

http://www.site4free.tk/users/saa/

Or, Electronic/Telephone based meetings all over the world:

http://saa-recovery.org/Meetings/ElectronicMeetings/index2.php

There is a great Christian Recovery Group in Bonn, called Celebrate Recovery:

hier gibts deise kirche die hat die programm, “leben finden”
http://www.matthaeus.net/matthaeus/leben_finden.php

Diese website hat auch gute Informationen von diesem Programm (videos, etc…)

and here is the leaders guide:
http://www.libri.de/shop/action/productDetails/5741935/rick_warren_john_baker_leben_finden_leiterhandbuch_3865910149.html
und fur teilnehmer:
http://www.libri.de/shop/action/productDetails/5739986/rick_warren_john_baker_leben_finden_teilnehmerhandbuch_3865910157.html

Also, I’ve been emailing back and forth with a guy who runs the following website:

http://www.cyberaddiction.org

He has been in recovery for many years and really knows his stuff. He has put together a program on his website that you can complete online. There’s also an online forum where you can seek help.

Self-Sex Addiction Therapy — What Do You Need Right Now?

I read today in the AA recovery daily reading (24 hours a day):

When we come into A.A., looking for a way out of drinking, we really need a lot more than that. We need fellowship. We need to get the things that are troubling us out into the open…. We need a new strength beyond ourselves that will help us face life instead of running away from it….Have I found the things that I need?

This is so true. We get into recovery because we want to stop our sexual behaviour. But we really need so much more than that. The sexual behavior is just the surface of the issue, the real problems go much deeper.

Focusing on what we need (healthy needs) and seeking healthy ways to get those needs met is a huge part of becoming healthy, as well as moving out of constant relapse into sobreity.

Think about it. What do you need today? Look deeper than the sexual needs. Do you need companionship? Do you need affirmation? Do you need a listening ear? Do you need rest?

If you look, God has provided for you, ways to get these needs met in healthy ways. Reach out. Receive. Grow.

Sex Addiction Therapy – Watching Your Moods

Today in my Recovery Journal 24 Hours A Day for Everyone I read: “Mind changing chemicals are poison to the addict. Mind changing moods are just as deadly to others.”

Watch out for extreme highs and extreme lows in your life. These are danger signs that relapse is coming. If you are feeling extremely heightened moods, it is often followed by a feeling of entitlement: “This is a time of celebration! I should act out sexually, I deserve it! Celebrate!” On the opposite end, extremely low moods are followed by intense desires to escape “If I could just act out sexually I would feel so much better and I wouldn’t be so depressed.”

Keep it steady. Celebrate healthily but don’t get too hyped up. If you are feeling down, get your needs met in healthy ways but don’t escape.

Mind changing moods can cause our balance to get off kilter. We are much more susceptible to relapse when our mood is extreme, whether it be high or low.

Sex Addiction Therapist

Quick video on how trauma in your life fuels your sexual addiction:

Click here to receive counseling over the phone for sexual addiction: www.jecounseling.com