photo by: StRagisti
I know, I know. You do not have a sexual addiction. You can stop anytime you want. Except that when you try to stop, you find yourself powerless. After a few days you walk right back to the vomit you swore you would never return to. Take heart my friend, there is hope. You can break the cycle of addiction. It’s not easy, but it can be done. How do I know? I have seen it done. A good friend almost destroyed his life because he had to feed the need. When he was caught he decided that he would aggressively leverage everything he had in order to beat the addiction. Fast forward a few years and I will tell you that this guy has put the smack-down on his addiction. His formula is difficult. It is also effective. Here is what he has to say.
7 Practical/Radical steps I used to destroy the cycle of addiction
These are 7 difficult, friendship-ending, embarrassing, and inconvenient ways to change your life for the better.
1. Attend Professional counseling. Period. Do it
2. Read “Healing the Wounds of a Sexual Addict” by Mark Laser. Shut up and read it. Don’t give the “I’m not really a reader” crap. Read it
3. Create 3 circles of friends:
Circle One: (Closest friends who know EVERYTHING about your dirty little secrets.) Two friends who will check in on you every day. They need to commit to check in on you each day for at least a month (Phone, Email, Social Media…but in person at least once a week). Contact these two people when you’re approaching a time of temptation. BEFORE you’re tempted. If you do stumble (which you will) contact these immediately.
Circle Two: (Friends who know most of your nitty-gritty) Three other people who will check in on your once a week. (Phone, email, social media
Circle Three: (A pastor/counselor/Leader) One or two people who check in on your once a month *Make an agreement that you must be 100% honest. If you get caught in a lie…it’s over. No need to be friends with people who will continue to lie. There is no room for lies. Stumbling…absolutely, there will be stumbles, but no more lies. Period.
4. No social media for one week. NONE. ZILCH. NADA for 7 days
5. After a week of being offline: Delete everyone who isn’t also a friends with your spouse Delete everyone who haven’t physically talked to in a year. Delete everyone who isn’t a positive influence in your life. People will be offended. People will be hurt. People won’t understand. It’s OK….Their feelings aren’t worth your compromise.
6. Give all your passwords to your friends in Circle One. Ask them to randomly check your e-mails, facebook, twitter, computer history…everything
7. Attend at least three meetings at Celebrate Recovery. You’ll probably hate every second of this….I did. But what I gained from it was immeasurable. I walked in being disgusted with every person in there. I wasn’t like these alcoholics or drug addicts. I was different. After a few meetings, I realized that I was EXACTLY like them… I had a chain around my ankle that felt impossible to break, and I needed to be with other people who not only had a similar chain, but had the desire to break it. The meetings were intense, graphic, and incredibly personal. I ended up using that experience as a catalyst to change…forever.
These steps took me a year to follow through with. It was the worst year of my life. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and angry. I lost many friends, lost a job, and lost the trust from many near to me. But it was soooooo worth it
– A fellow addiction killer
To the above I would add that you need to confess the sin of porn (1 Jn 1:9) and fall on the help of the Holy Spirit (Rm 8:11). This is a battle that will be hard to fight, but it is possible to win and to be made new in the process.
Check out this video (especially at 19:30), explaining the Sexual Addiction Cycle (adapted from Dr Patrick Carnes and freedomnow.org).