The Desperation of Sex and 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.

Addiction is a half-suicide where you slowly kill your soul with a poisonous substance or behavior.

Sex and porn addicts share certain characteristics. One of these common traits is that the desperate quality of our need (to feel wanted, needed, validated, worthwhile, etc.) makes true intimacy—the one thing that can actually meet these needs—impossible. Rather than searching for and working to develop emotional connection and intimacy with another person, we compulsively seek the quick fix we get with sex or porn. Then, as soon as the sexual action is over, because our needs have not truly been met, we’re back where we started. It’s like trying to fix physical hunger with a bag of potato chips. It may satisfy our craving for food in the moment, but we get very little in the way of lasting nourishment, so we’re hungry again a short while later.

Task for Today
Find a way to nourish your soul, rather than relying on the quick fix.

Developing Non-Sexual Friendships

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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.

Friends are the people you can think out loud in front of.

As active sex and porn addicts, we typically have very little going on in our personal lives other than our addictive behaviors and maybe a badly damaged primary romantic relationship. But we rarely realize this until we’re sexually sober for a few months. Twelve-step support groups and other healing-based communities can help remedy this. But we must do more than just go to meetings. We need to reach out to other group members and form friendships. This means arriving early, staying late, and, most importantly, going to fellowship (usually by getting coffee or something to eat after the meeting ends). When this happens, we can talk about recovery, and we can also talk about other things we may have in common—movies, sports, gardening, theater, raising kids, politics, or anything else of interest. In short, we develop much needed non-sexual friendships that help us heal and recover.

Task for Today
Spend at least a few minutes of purely social time with your fellows in recovery.

Step 8

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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 two most powerful warriors are patience and time.

Step 8 reads: “Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.” Thus, there are two parts to working Step 8: (1) making a list of who we’ve harmed and how we’ve harmed them; and (2) becoming willing to make amends when the time is right. Please note: Step 8 is not where we actually make our amends. That’s Step 9. And we should never embark on Step 9 without first discussing our Step 8 list and readiness with our sponsor, therapist, or spiritual advisor. Jumping the gun and making amends before the time is right often causes problems—problems that require even more amends. So we need to be patient, making our list and discussing it at length before proceeding.

Task for Today
Whatever you are facing or desiring, be willing to wait until the time is right.

Focusing on What Really Matters

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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.

Action expresses priorities.

When asked how life is going, people sometimes say they are overwhelmed, or that there are not enough hours in the day, or that their plate is overly full. This is understandable. Sometimes life comes at us all at once. These times of stress are unavoidable. It’s also possible that we have unintentionally taken on too much responsibility by not judiciously saying, “No, thank you.” So, just as we need to occasionally clear away the clutter on our computer desktops and the physical clutter in our offices and homes, we need to clear away time-eating clutter by saying no to things we don’t want to do or that we don’t have time to do. Clearing away what is not essential reveals our deeper priorities and frees us to act on them.

Task for Today
Think about how many ‘browser tabs’ are open in your life right now. Is some judicious pruning in order?

Sex and Porn Addiction are Not the Same Thing as Sexual Offending

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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.

There is not a crime, there is not a dodge, there is not a trick, there is not a swindle, there is not a vice which does not live by secrecy.

Sexual offending involves non-consensual or illegal sexual behavior. This is not the same thing as sex or porn addiction. Yes, the behavior of some sex and porn addicts does escalate into sexual offending—usually lower-level offenses like exhibitionism, voyeurism, viewing illegal pornography, and prostitution. Nevertheless, sexual offending is not indicative of sex or porn addiction, and sex and porn addiction are not indicative of sexual offending.

Task for Today
Think about the ways your addiction has escalated and whether you’ve engaged in any offending behaviors.

The Pink Cloud

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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 your joy scream across the pain.

Some sex and porn addicts experience the opposite of withdrawal in early recovery. This is known as the honeymoon or the pink cloud. These lucky individuals find that when they embark on the path of healing, they suddenly lose all desire to act out. They are fascinated by the insight they are developing and thrilled to have finally found a solution to their deepest problem. This temporary phase of early recovery is great while it lasts. However, sex and porn addicts who are ‘riding the pink cloud’ should be aware that their desire to act out will return, and it may be stronger than ever when it does. If this eventuality is not anticipated and prepared for, it is easy to either relapse or to think that something has gone wrong in the healing process. In reality, there is no need for relapse, and nothing is amiss with recovery. This is a normal part of the process; the addict is simply experiencing a delayed form of withdrawal.

Task for Today
Create a plan for handling emotional adversity while staying sober. Discuss this plan with your therapist or sponsor, asking for suggestions.