A primary difference between addicts and non-addicts is non-addicts change their behavior to meet their goals, while addicts change their goals to meet their behaviors.
As active sex and porn addicts, we ignored the life we might have lived had we focused on our true goals instead of our addiction. It is only when we establish and maintain a year or two of sobriety that we begin to see and understand how we were living and what it did to our outlook on life. When we start recovery, we see the obvious consequences—ruined relationships, reprimands at work, financial problems, legal woes, and the like. As we get deeper into recovery, we begin to think about hobbies we used to enjoy, things we wanted to accomplish, how we altered our values to stay in our addiction, and all the hopes and dreams we had for ourselves and our lives before our addiction ran us off the rails. The good news is that these things are not forever lost. With long-term recovery, we regain our missing selves, we reinstate previously discarded goals, and we start to live in ways that just weren’t possible in active addiction.
Task for Today
Identify a goal you once had that you discarded in your addiction. Then create a plan for accomplishing this goal.