Becoming Vulnerable

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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.

Real people experience both pain and joy. That’s how they know they’re real.

Vulnerable people are authentic people. Rather than pretending to be someone they are not, they are sincere. They know who they really are, warts and all, and they are not afraid to show that to others. They walk away from situations in which they cannot authentically be themselves. Becoming vulnerable and authentic is a worthy goal for every person, especially recovering sex and porn addicts, because it is the opposite of what we do in our addiction. Addiction leads us to isolation. Vulnerability and authenticity lead us to intimate connection.

Task for Today
Be your authentic self. In public. Consequences be damned.

Step 7: Progress Not Perfection

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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.

Perfection has one grave defect; it is apt to be dull.

Many long-recovering addicts say their Higher Power can and does remove their character defects when asked. The problem is that their Higher Power will also return those defects, without charge, any time they want to re-engage with them. In this way, Step 7 is a prime example of the much-used 12-step adage: progress not perfection. Sometimes our progress occurs in leaps and bounds; other times it is so incremental as to hardly be noticeable. Either way, the primary goal of Step 7 is that our character defects will become less of a problem over time.

Task for Today
Accept that your imperfections are a part of you, but they don’t have to rule you.

Enjoy the Small Victories

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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.

Aim for the sky but move slowly, enjoying every step along the way.

As anyone in recovery knows, the big wins—the massive moments of success—don’t happen overnight. The process of recovery and healing occurs one day at a time. Sometimes one minute at a time. We don’t just decide to get sober and live a better life and repair broken relationships and suddenly our lives are wonderful. We have to do the work. And the work can be a bit of a grind sometimes. That’s why it’s important for us to pause and recognize our small victories. Small wins help us see our progress, however minute, and to stay motivated for the next challenge. Small wins build confidence. Small wins help to rebuild the addiction-damaged circuitry in our brains. When we celebrate a small victory, we’re on our way to another one, and that is the constant progress that pushes us forward to the big breakthroughs.

Task for Today
Identify a recent small victory and celebrate it. Then identify your next small victory and begin to work toward it.

Are You Grateful?

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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 impossible to be grateful and unhappy at the same time.

Dr. Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, conducted thousands of in-depth interviews examining the causes and underlying factors of happiness, and she found one primary difference between happy people and unhappy people. That difference? Happy people are grateful for what they have, and unhappy people aren’t. Dr. Brown further found that people who are grateful for what they have tend to focus on their strengths rather than their weaknesses, are more hopeful, are less stressed out, are less likely to wallow in shame and depression, and are more likely to recover from serious life issues (such as addiction and serious illness).

Task for Today
Find a person with long-term sobriety and ask that person to share his or her most recent gratitude list. Are you grateful for some of the same things?

Minimization

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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.

Pretending that a problem is not a problem will not make it go away.

Sex and porn addicts are masters of denial. We blame, we justify, we rationalize, and we minimize. Essentially, we look at our problematic actions and unilaterally decide that no, they’re not really so problematic. We tell ourselves lies like:

  • I’m no different than any other single person in today’s world. All of us are logged on to hookup apps 24/7, waiting for our iPhones to buzz and let us know that somebody wants to have sex.
  • Being sexual with multiple people in a single day is normal, or maybe I’m just better at hooking up than other people are.
  • What I’m doing with porn is not a big deal, and the people who think it is are just being prudes.

Task for Today
Identify at least one way in which you’ve denied the nature and consequences of your sexual acting out. Then share that with someone in your support network and ask for feedback.

Why Do So Many Sex and Porn Addicts Have Cross and Co-Occurring Addictions?

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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.

Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; great minds rise above it.

Sex and porn addicts aren’t the only addicts prone to cross and co-occurring addictions. The simple fact is that whatever the addiction—sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, eating, spending, or anything else—the motivation is the same. We want to feel better, which actually means we want to feel less (i.e., to control what we are feeling). And addictive substances and behaviors all happily oblige by altering brain chemistry in ways that temporarily distract us from stress, emotional discomfort, and the pain of underlying psychological conditions like anxiety, depression, attachment deficit disorders, and unresolved early-life or severe adult-life trauma. Anything that gets us numb is potentially addictive.

Task for Today
Take a look at not just your sexual behavior, but your use of alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, spending, etc. Do you use any/all of the above for purposes of escape?