The ‘Need’ to Escape

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All daily inspirations can be found in the book Sex and Porn Addiction Healing and Recovery. Used here with permission of the author.

Addicts are people who are trying to escape from a reality in which they are not.

Addiction is often referred to as a disease of perception. Even when the people around us are loving and supportive, we struggle to see it that way. Instead, we choose to feel abused and put-upon by others. In this way, we blame our desire to escape and dissociate (by using an addictive substance or an addictive behavior, such as sex or porn) on the attitudes and actions of other people, thereby using (and often exaggerating) external experiences and connections as a way to justify and validate our addictive behavior.

Task for Today
Think about the ways in which you perceive the world and other people. Are your perceptions accurate?

 

Make 12-Step Meetings Non-Negotiable

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All daily inspirations can be found in the book Sex and Porn Addiction Healing and Recovery. Used here with permission of the author.

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, it’s to schedule your priorities.

One recovering sex addict with a demanding job, a spouse, and three kids says that he still manages to make it to a 12-step meeting every day. For him, meetings are non-negotiable. No matter what else is going on in his life, he finds a meeting and gets there. This doesn’t mean life doesn’t occasionally happen in unexpected ways. A kid gets sick, a tire goes flat, the power goes out, etc. When faced with situations like these, the addict reminds himself that if he is not sober, he is no good to himself or anyone else. He says, “I have to fix myself before I can fix the world.”

Task for Today
Go to a meeting no matter what. And while you’re there, participate.

Why We Lash Out

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All daily inspirations can be found in the book Sex and Porn Addiction Healing and Recovery. Used here with permission of the author.

It is clear that we make our own misery.

In our addiction and as recovering people, we sometimes hurt the people we love by trying to ‘help them’ when we’re really trying to punish them or upset them. Usually, we do this when we feel ashamed, anxious, or depressed. What we want is attention and understanding for how we’re feeling, but instead of asking for a loved one to meet this need, we lash out, hoping to make the other person feel as terrible as we do. This odd and somewhat perverse tendency is not the sole purview of addicts and recovering addicts, but we do tend to engage in this behavior more often than ‘normies.’ And when we do, it pushes people away from us rather than bringing them closer, which is what we actually want from them. The more we are aware of this tendency, the more actions we can take to stop ourselves from doing it. Usually, the best possible action we can take is to tell our friends and family members what we’re thinking and feeling so they can respond with the love and empathy we want and need.

Task for Today
Tell the truth about what you are thinking and feeling. Notice how people respond when you do this.

Triggers

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All daily inspirations can be found in the book Sex and Porn Addiction Healing and Recovery. Used here with permission of the author.

Addiction is not rational. It is culture, habit, and craving.

Triggers are the thoughts and feelings that induce the strong desire—the craving—to engage in an addictive behavior. When addiction cravings set in, it is very difficult to stop the addictive cycle. This is why we sometimes find it so hard to remain sober, despite our best efforts. Unfortunately, almost anything can be a trigger—stress, anxiety, boredom, loneliness, depression, seeing an attractive person, a whiff of perfume, a sexy billboard, a scene in a movie, driving through an area where we once acted out, running into an old affair partner, the noise our phone makes when we get a text message, etc. Triggers are everywhere. In recovery, we must learn not only to identify them, but to combat them.

Task for Today
Identify your three biggest triggers and develop a plan for dealing with them in a healthy way. Make sure that your plan includes talking about your triggers with your recovery support network.

How Do We Get to Carnegie Hall?

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All daily inspirations can be found in the book Sex and Porn Addiction Healing and Recovery. Used here with permission of the author.

Nothing in your life will work unless you do.

Once upon a time, a sportswriter called baseball star Joe DiMaggio ‘a natural.’ DiMaggio was annoyed. The next time he saw the reporter, he walked him to his practice space, where he kept a log of his arduous practice routine. Like other famous athletes, musicians, writers, comedians, etc., DiMaggio was great not because he was a natural, but because he practiced relentlessly. This is also how lasting sobriety and recovery works. We learn skills in therapy and 12-step recovery, and we continually and relentlessly practice those skills. Eventually, as the twelfth step promises, we are able to maintain sobriety and to practice the principles of recovery and healing in all aspects of life.

Task for Today
Pick a tool of recovery and practice it.

Step 7 and Humility

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All daily inspirations can be found in the book Sex and Porn Addiction Healing and Recovery. Used here with permission of the author.

Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness.

Humility is often conflated with humiliation, but they are not the same thing. Humiliation does sometimes lead to humility, but it is certainly not necessary. Humility occurs when we see the truth of our life and our place in the world. Humility is the art of being ‘right-sized,’ neither too big (self-entitled, grandiose, etc.) nor too small (ashamed, unworthy, defective, etc.) Working Step 7 is an act of humility. Often, this is the first time we realize humility is not the same as humiliation and groveling despair. Instead, it is a state of peace, grace, and acceptance of life on life’s terms.

Task for Today
Consider the ways in which humility leads to serenity.