For most people, entering into sex or porn addiction recovery is a huge step into unknown territory. How do you navigate the “new normal” of being a healthy person with healthy boundaries? It’s not easy, but you’re not alone. Here’s a quick and dirty guide to keeping yourself on the right track during recovery.
Nope, you can’t go to a strip club.
“But I’m just looking! No touching, I swear!”
A strip club is like a molotov cocktail just waiting to blow up your recovery process. You need to be diligent in avoiding any environment that could potentially derail your goals. Strip clubs aren’t healthy for anyone, let alone someone in sex addiction recovery.
Make your smartphone a “dumb phone”.
- Delete any tempting apps. (You don’t need SnapChat or Tinder. Just, no.)
- Get off of social media.
- Get rid of data and turn your WiFi off.
- If needed, get a new phone number and clear your old contacts list.
Text your spouse and closest friends and make phone calls. That’s all you need.
Chuck your porn.
- If you own physical media, burn it in the backyard. No really. Make a fire and burn that garbage to the ground!
- Clear your hard drive.
- Install serious accountability software onto your computer.
Porn has no healthy place in an addict’s recovery.
No, you can’t still talk to “that person”.
That person who just popped into your mind? Yeah. That person. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can dial back an unhealthy connection to “casual friend” territory. Whoever that person is for you, shut it down. Delete them from your contacts. No texting. No chatting. No lunches. Just no. A clean break is the only option.
Don’t keep secrets.
If you have a spouse or partner, institute a policy of radical honesty with them. Tell that person absolutely everything. Maintain accountability with them throughout your day. Don’t keep any secrets, no matter how small or seemingly mundane. Radical honesty fosters and helps to rebuild trust, one tiny step forward at a time.
Focus on what you can do.
Addiction recovery can feel like a long list of “don’ts.” But you can:
- Work out
- Foster intimacy with your spouse
- Eat the foods you crave
- Read great books
- Binge-watch your favorite shows (as long as they don’t foster your bad habits)
- Spend time outside
- Surround yourself with positive people
Focusing on what you can do can make the process easier and less stressful as you achieve your goals.