In a previous blog, we wrote about the importance of finding your own story, and getting to the roots of your behavior, to address it once and for all. You will be facing down your addict self, and making him spill his story to you, just as though you were interrogating a criminal.
The question many people have after they first get started working with their addict is: “What if my addict doesn’t cooperate?”
What happens during those times where even though you’ve chased him down, and shone a spotlight on him, he is not giving up a confession? In short, what if your addict is tougher than you thought?
Unfortunately for many men, even after they’ve named their addict, even after they’ve gotten him to start talking, their lives still seem to be in a rut. This beginning phase of recovery can often be the hardest. Even though you are committed to moving past your addiction, and getting your life back, your life might be a little slow to meet your expectations.
Perhaps the people around you aren’t being as supportive as you had hoped. Perhaps you are not being met with understanding when you bravely open up to others about your struggles. Perhaps your productivity hasn’t picked up quite like you thought it would. These are all normal feelings, and thousands of other men have had these very same thoughts.
These moments where you feel down, depressed, hopeless, or unsupported can sometimes be the moments where you’re the most vulnerable to being triggered. These feelings are not necessarily new to you, it’s just that this time, you are not turning to porn in an attempt to cope. This can seem insurmountable.
At these times when you feel triggered, at these times when your addict self seems to be taking the wheel again, use the tools you already have. Remember that you can call your addict out any time. Bring him into the amphitheater, or the sports arena, or whatever visual works for you, and make him show himself. Turn the spotlight on him, and demand that he talk.
Begin that dialog with him again and again, until you have taken back control of your own life and actions. Tell him that you are in charge, and that he doesn’t get to call the shots anymore — no, not even when you are feeling triggered. Not even when you are stressed, or sad, or unsure of yourself.
In a way, these low moments are tremendously important to your recovery. You get to assert yourself over and over, even when you feel like you can’t. By simply calling your addict into the spotlight, you have already shown him that YOU are in charge now, and you are taking him to task.
Every addict will tell you that they experience these moments where they feel completely out of control. Remember that this is your addict self, and not your true self. Remember that the two of you are different people, and that you are capable and worthy of taking back control.