It starts with a trigger that causes stress to rise and causes unfavorable modifications to thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and behaviors. Following that, the addict participates in high-risk activities as a result of both internal and external problems. In these dangerous circumstances, the sex addict’s relapse into sex addiction starts. This could involve sexually suggestive behavior with others or viewing pornographic material. The addict’s desire for change is impacted once these dangerous activities begin to affect them. Due to sentiments of regret, guilt, and shame, they make promises to change both themselves and others. They may then go to a stage where they act proactively and are optimistic about recovering. If the addict cannot deal with their triggers through healthy coping techniques, they will relapse, and the cycle of sex addiction will continue.
1. Partnering – You require a companion through the healing process. This person needs to be an addict, or at the very least, have overcome some addiction.
2. Accountability – comparable to sponsor mentorship in a 12-step program, seeking out help from relatives, friends, peer support groups, qualified counselors, etc. Make sure a few individuals in your life are aware of your addiction, your triggers, and your objectives. This will be beneficial, particularly while resisting temptation in social circumstances.
3. Making predictions – keep a record of your behavior routine; you can say this is a “Guess journal” or any other name that fits your overarching objectives. Reflecting on forward motion versus backward motion is the fundamental goal.
4. Distractions – find what suits you best; everyone has preferred hobbies, passions, and self-soothing methods. Seek assistance if you need help producing productive diversion. Always find something to do to divert your attention from any sexual exposure that might be upsetting.
5. Exercise – this helps to beat depression and acts as a type of antidepressant by causing endorphins, or “happy cells,” to be released in the brain. Exercise can be an alternative to feeding your addiction because it releases endorphins.
6. Securing – We all have possessions that we cling to as a source of comfort. When we have moving objects, we can experience feelings of attachment, security, and safety. Whether it’s a pet or a memento from your youth, these things can be very effective in fending relapse urges.
7. Helping – There is strength in knowledge; try reading some books on the subject, like “Out of the Shadows: Knowing Sexual Addiction” by Patrick Carnes; learn and teach others; become an authority on how to beat sex addiction; you’ll notice a change in your outlook on your struggles once you start helping someone else.
8. Praying – Whether you believe in a god or higher power or not, crying out for help or yelling it will give you a sense of relief. For those who practice religion, you are aware of the effectiveness of prayer. When it’s possible, invite others to pray with you.