Quiet Participation in Meetings

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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.

You can listen to silence and learn from it.

The easiest way for a recovering sex or porn addict to be of service in a 12-step meeting is to speak, sharing his or her experience, strength, and hope with others who are present. On days when we are not up for this, there are other ways to be of service. Setting up chairs, making coffee, putting out the literature, and other simple tasks are the backbone of every meeting. But those tasks are not nearly as important as a smile that helps another recovering addict feel welcomed and appreciated.

Task for Today
Find a way to silently be of service.

Liar, Liar

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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.

I could conceive death, but I could not conceive betrayal.

For many active sex and porn addicts, the immediate and best solution to a loss of relationship trust is to continue lying, but to do so more effectively. If our partners either cannot or will not allow themselves to see us as untrustworthy, this tactic can work quiet well. For a while, anyway. And if we choose this path, as we get away with our increasing lies and secrets we tend to think, Great, problem solved. Except our real problems are very definitely not solved. Even when our partners choose to believe our ever-increasing lies, usually because they don’t want to experience the pain of not believing us, they still feel our emotional distance and unavailability, which is not good for our relationship. Plus, we are likely to cheat again and get caught again, and when that happens, our relationship will deteriorate even further. So, if we value our relationship, it is imperative that we stop lying, stop keeping secrets, and start living our lives openly and honestly.

Task for Today
Try to understand the ways in which your secrets and lies are damaging your relationship and causing your partner great pain.

Sexual Integrity

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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.

Try not to become a person of success, but a person of integrity.

A primary goal for most recovering sex and porn addicts is developing what Dr. Rob Weiss refers to as sexual integrity. When developing a plan for sexual integrity, it is important to remember that your sexual desires and choices may be perfectly OK in your mind but a source of consternation for others in your life – your religious parents, for example, or your spouse who didn’t sign up for all of your philandering, or that person you’ve been fooling around with who is deeply in love with you even though you’ve not in any way returned that sentiment. Other sexual integrity questions arise around things like porn use, what and how much you should reveal about yourself and your sexual desires to someone you’ve just started dating, same-sex attractions, bisexuality, kink and fetish interests, etc.

Task for Today
Think about the ways in which your sexual behaviors have impacted the people around you.

Sexual Sobriety vs. Sexual Abstinence

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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 most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.

Sex and porn addicts in the early stages of recovery typically have little to no idea what the term ‘sexual sobriety’ actually means. Sometimes we worry that sexual sobriety mirrors chemical sobriety, where permanent abstinence is the goal. Many of us ask our therapist or sponsor some form of the following question: “Will I ever have a healthy, regular sex life, or do I have to give up sex forever?” This question is usually followed by a statement like: “If I have to give up sex permanently, then you can forget about me staying in recovery.” And who can fault us for this? The good news is that unlike sobriety for alcoholism and drug addiction, sexual sobriety is not defined by long-term abstinence. Instead, recovering sex and porn addicts view sobriety much as it is handled with eating disorders – another area in which long-term abstinence is simply not feasible. Instead of permanently abstaining from all sexual activity, we learn to be sexual in non-compulsive, non-problematic, life-affirming ways. For us, that is sobriety.

Task for Today
Make a list of sexual activities you enjoy (or might enjoy) that do not cause problems in your life and are therefore not part of your addiction. Share this list with your partner, if you have one. If you don’t, share it in therapy, in a 12-Step meeting, or with a friend in recovery.

Overcoming the Shame of Porn Addiction

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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.

A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.

Porn addicts are often reluctant to seek help. Sometimes this is because they don’t view their solo sexual behaviors as an underlying source of their unhappiness. Other times it’s because they’re too ashamed to admit they’re struggling with something that feels (to them) incredibly shameful. If they do seek assistance, it’s often for their addiction’s related symptoms – depression, loneliness, and relationship woes – rather than the porn problem itself. Many have attended psychotherapy for extended periods without ever discussing (or even being asked about) pornography. Unfortunately, until porn addicts talk about their porn use and the problems they’re having as a result, the behavior and its consequences will continue.

Task for Today
Tell your therapist, sponsor, or a friend in recovery one secret you are keeping about your porn use or some other sexual behavior.

Get Gritty

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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.

Over time, grit is what separates fruitful lives from aimlessness.

Research shows that when kids are praised for being hard workers, they do better than kids who are praised just for winning, or being smart, or whatever. So, with kids, the positive message should be more about hard work than success. Learning the value of hard works helps kids develop the kind of grit that will serve them well throughout their lives. The same is true with addicts. As recovering addicts, we need to understand that the key to lasting sobriety is putting in the effort – working the 12 Steps, addressing painful underlying issues, and surrounding ourselves with others who are also putting in the effort.

Task for Today
Be gritty in recovery. Deal with a step, memory, or feeling that is difficult for you.