These are the steps that I recommend for any sex addict looking for sex addiction therapy:
1. Get involved in a healing/support/therapy type group. These groups are different than 12 step groups, they focus more on daily support, sharing your story, healing from past trauma. This group wouldn’t even have to be an exclusively sex addiction therapy group as long as it is a safe place for you to share you daily struggles and the pain from your past.
2. Get involved in a 12 step group. This could be Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery, or any variation, as long as you are involved and actively completing step work with a sponsor.
3. Get a therapist that can help drill down deep in issues that the above two groups are bringing out. Make sure your therapist understands sexual addiction. Many of them do not know what to do with a sex addict. Preferably a therapist who understands cognitive therapy.
These three elements are crucial for your recovery. If you try to do this by yourself, you will fail. Your sex addiction is a powerful force. It is more powerful than you are, or you wouldn’t be reading this right now looking for help. Just do it, you’ll find freedom.
You can also get on our group support line every Wednesday at 8:30 pm central. Details on the left menu bar of http://www.kicksexaddiction.com .
From my daily reading today (from 24 hours a Day, AA devotional). Just replace the word alcohol/AA with sex addiction/sex addiction recovery.
It doesn’t do much good to come to meetings only once in a while and sit around, hoping to get something out of the program. That’s all right at first, but it won’t help us very long. Sooner or later we have to get into action by coming to meetings regularly, by giving a personal witness of our experience with alcohol, and by trying to help other alcoholics. Building a new life takes all the energy that we used to spend on drinking. Am I spending at least as much time and effort on the new life that I’m trying to build in A.A.?
I see sex addicts do this all the time. They go to recovery meetings every so often. Once a month, every other week, then miss two weeks, then show up for 3 weeks straight, then disappear for a month. But without steady meetings and constant fellowship with other recovering people, they’ll see no progress at all.
In this video I talk about why it is CRITICAL that you recognize if you’re entering the Ritual stage of the addictive cycle. What I explain in this video was a key step in my own recovery from sexual addiction.
An important step in getting free from sexual addiction is (1) recognizing the dangers of sexual fantasy and (2) realizing when you are habitually fantasizing about sex. This quick video talks about the FANTASY stage of the addictive cycle, and ways to recognize it.
One of the most important points to remember is this cycle that you go through each time you relapse. There is usually a very predictable cycle. It starts with stress or pain (see circle at the top) and progresses very predictably through all the steps until you end up back at the beginning. It can take a couple weeks to get through the cycle once, or you might complete the cycle every day. Learning to process Pain/Stress (beginning of the cycle) is the only way to stop it.
2. Follow my instructions in those videos IN DETAIL.
3. Find a local support group that understand sexual addiction, or join in on our weekly conference calls.
That’s all you need to get started! Just go do it, take action. Please contact me at the email address you see on the left if you have any questions, I’ll help in any way I can (but the first thing I’ll ask is, have you watched my videos?).
People on the bus are so accustomed to ringing that little stupid bell to request a stop that they do it automatically. Oh, it’s a great way to communicate to the bus driver when the bus is packed and you want the next stop. Personally, as the driver, I really don’t like it when the bus is empty or nearly empty and it rings. People may be standing right next to me and they still ring the stupid bell. They do it automatically even when can talk directly to me. That, is a pet peeve of mine. When that happens, in my head I scream, “HEY…I’m right her, TEN FEET away…! TALK to me, I’m not an OBJECT, I’m not a MACHINE!”
I learned from the Ted Robert’s book about objectification. Objectification teaches us to turn ourselves and others into objects; its one of the first consequences or casualties of sexual addiction. I have had to learn over the past five years of recovery to connect. I feel so alive, so accepted, and so complete when I share deeply. I don’t want to reverse that trend.
I don’t blame people for not engaging a complete stranger, particularly, on the bus. I just don’t like it, I feel like an object.
I am surprised at the reactions of some of my Pastors. Through this journey of recovery, I am learning to live in reality. To me, this means, breaking out of denial, being in touch with my feelings and expressing these feelings. I have had to learn, where and when it is appropriate to do so. I served for a while as an usher/greeter at church. Sunday mornings greeting people may or may not be the appropriate time to express myself.
I have expressed my self frankly to some of my pastors, sometimes, even on Sunday mornings. I have been asked, more than once, “How are you?” by a pastor. If I was having a bad day, I have responded…”not good, so-so, or struggling”. Remember, I am practicing “being real”. The responses have been pretty similar; it’s usually been a look of surprise. I try not to react to there responses, but it tells me they were expecting me to come up with a “Christian Jingo” (i.e.: Praise The Lord) .
What this tells me is this, in my effort to be healthy and practice recovery; I am working against the grain, even in the Christian culture. I can expect this and I need to persevere anyhow. My ultimate goal is to be a healthy man on the road to complete recovery.