If you have a tendency toward compulsive or addictive behaviors, like sex addiction or porn addiction, it’s important to learn how to be vigilant and watch for small triggering situations — those seemingly almost “innocent” temptations that you may act on, those situations that in and of themselves are not all that bad.
As you know if you’ve dealt with a compulsive or addictive tendency, big problems or big acting out behavior can begin with the a smallest of actions.
Below a client writes to (dialogs with) the addict part of his personality about one of those situations that he really knows can potentially lead him to act out and potentially damage his relationship.
ADDICT: Hey, did you see that news report on the Today show about the Miss USA YouTube video?
ME: Yeah, I saw it.
ADDICT: Want to go check it out?
ME: Not really, why would I?
ADDICT: Well I mean you saw that brief scene of the ladies in the bikinis at the pool, pretty hot! Apparently they’re allowing women with “enhancements” to be in the competition. Let’s check it out.
ME: Tempting, but no.
ADDICT: Its pretty innocent, nothing major.
ME: It’s small steps that lead to big falls. I’m not interested.
ADDICT: Not at all?
ME: What’s always true?
ADDICT: Not that crap again…
ME: What’s always true?
ME: What is always true and will be for eternity is that that stuff brings me down and provides me with no benefit whatsoever! It never has and it never will. The end result is feeling crappy in the end and I’d like to pass on the despair.
ADDICT: You’re really going to stick to this aren’t you?
ME: What do you think?
ADDICT: You don’t seem to budging, so I’m going to guess, yes?
ME: Bingo, want to get on board with this?
ADDICT: I have my hesitations…
ME: I know, I can tell, especially by you bringing up the Miss USA thing, especially while I’m sitting at my computer. Why are you hesitant?
ADDICT: I don’t like change, who does? That stuff made you feel good.
ME: True, but only for a minute, ultimately it hurt me and my loved ones. I almost lost everything because of it. We’ve gone over this. I don’t need that stuff anymore, that coping isn’t needed. I could really use your energy elsewhere.
ADDICT: I know, I’m just having a hard time with it.
ME: I know, but you’ll get there and I’m helping you. Change is hard I know, but it has to happen. There is no other way. If you promise to at least work with me I promise you’ll get there.
ADDICT: Yeah okay, I’m willing to try.
ME: AWESOME!!! Let’s be on the same team! Some amazing things will happen and already have happened.