Stopping the Addictive Cycle

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Addiction: When you can stop, you don’t want to, and when you want to stop, you can’t.

There are six stages in the cycle of sex and porn addiction:

  1. Triggers
  2. Fantasy
  3. Ritualization (moving fantasy toward reality)
  4. Acting out
  5. Numbing (emotional distancing)
  6. Despair (shame and remorse)

Typically, the cycle is best interrupted at the trigger stage. When we learn to recognize our triggers, we can engage in contrary action, dealing with those triggers in healthy ways. We can also stop the addictive cycle in the fantasy and ritual stages but doing so becomes progressively more difficult. As we move deeper into the cycle, our addiction gathers momentum like a boulder rolling down a hill.

Task for Today
Identify the tipping point in your addictive cycle—your point of no return.