Did you know that according to Patrick Carnes, Sex Addiction Expert, he reports that relapse happens for most individuals who struggle with sex addiction in the second six months of recovery? Most individuals gain traction in recovery through counseling, support groups and establishing strong boundaries. It is very important that individuals who struggle with sex addiction stay proactive in their recovery and the journey to having healthy and satisfying relationships.
These are three effective ways to avoid relapse in a sexual addiction recovery program:
1. Be humble:
For many individuals who struggle with sex addiction the first six months to a year is the first time in a long time that their mind and actions are not filled with double mindedness including acting out, lying, etc. When individuals start to feel good about their progress, there can be a temptation to loosen their established boundaries. This can be dangerous which is why most individuals who struggle with sex addiction relapse in the first year (second six months) of recovery. It is imperative to stay on a plan that they review with accountability partners especially early in the recovery process. Being humble recognizes that this will be an ongoing battle and that they will need to stay sharp every day to stay consistent and free. By staying humble, one will recognize when temptations or compromise is coming and be willing to take an even stronger stand rather than backing off! If they want to continue their journey, they must stay humble and they will stay on the right path!
2. Stay connected:
There will come a point that the individual who struggles with sex addiction will feel that they can manage the battle on their own, that they have made enough progress to not “bother” other people, and that they want to use their time in other ways rather than continuing the effort of staying connected. Keep in mind; isolation is one of the biggest dangers in relapsing and starting down the road of compromise and deception. The person who struggles with sex addiction was not able to handle the years of trying over and over to get free on their own and they will not be able to maintain this healthy living on their own. It is important for the individual to build a support system. The trap of being over the addiction and dropping their attendance in the group, having less interaction with their accountability partners or stopping counseling before one is truly ready is a slippery slope down the road to relapse. Staying connected with others will lead to having the strength, insight, and wisdom from those that want the person who is struggling with sex addiction to succeed and who will be honest to speak truth into their life.
3. Stay honest:
This is the area that holds the most danger if there are any compromises! Lies, deceptions, hidden plans, and not being real when there is temptation. It is what got the individual who struggles with sex addiction in the frying pan in the first place! Too often, when the individual starts to find success, they will not want to admit that there are still struggles, temptations, and overwhelming feelings. This is the first step toward relapse, hurting themself and damaging their relationships, their job, their family and their future all over again. Not only are they starting to feel freer but others are starting to see a change also and it is much safer and real to be honest, to own the temptations. Being honest about struggles is not failing; it is actually showing humility, character and a real honesty! Lying, hiding and deceiving are failure that leads to relapse and possibly more!
Relapse does NOT have to happen! However, if the individual who struggles with sex addiction does not focus on the specific plan and the steps that were taken to head down the road to recovery, healing and freedom, they can find themselves not only back where they started but with even more damage to face! Stay humble, stay connected, and stay honest and it will bring the consistency, the growth and the integrity that can last a lifetime!
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