Porn Addiction: A Few Short Term Solutions to Recovery

Recovery from an addiction to sex and pornography certainly takes some time in getting well and breaking the habit of acting out sexually. We can look at recovery in two phases—short-term and long-term. Short-term recovery may be viewed as getting the behavior to a degree of manageability and control while longer-term examines the deeper, underlying causes that caused the addiction in the first place. Both are necessary to truly stop the acting out behavior. For the purpose of this brief presentation, we will examine the short-term tools and solutions that can help you in your pursuit of sobriety.

Supply and Demand

One immediate action you can take is to control your access to online sources that trigger your acting out behavior. Filters and blocks to Internet sites do provide some level of help in that they are an inhibitor to impulsively launching that web browser on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Accountability software programs have gained in popularity, specifically for waylaying your access to pornography sites, because they not only block your access but also report to your accountability partners (yes, they will know) your attempts to access these sites. One big characteristic of acting out is secrecy so having an accountability partner who gets a report as to your searches may be an extra shot in the arm!

Replacement Behaviors

Think of your compulsive sexual behavior as energy. More specifically, think of it as water…water that is used to flowing in both a certain direction and a steady pace. Attempting to corral or control the water (i.e. building a wall) is often futile…unless you have both a plan and resources. Converting energy and developing replacement behaviors are staples in recovery from compulsive sexual behavior.

Think of yourself as a gatekeeper or traffic cop, determining and organizing where energy (feelings and thoughts) needs to go. Noticing when you are triggered to act out sexually and instead opting to do something else—that’s an example. Instead of looking at porn, or going for a sexual massage and deciding to channel that energy (and time) into another endeavor represents a vital piece of your recovery plan.

Exercise or physical activities (moving) as well as creative pursuits are extremely effective and helpful. Throw yourself into old, existing, or new hobbies…because behind the need to act out sexually is a compulsion that requires direction and something to do. Connecting with people too counteracts the requirement of secrecy and privacy…when you are around others you may find it helps to combat the need to act out.

12-Step Meetings

Participating in a group, like 12-step fellowship meetings, is a great first step in your recovery process. Now these meetings should not confused with group therapy, because they are not, but they do provide you access to other people’s experiences and support as well as provide you an environment where you can be truthful and feel accepted.

These are just a few examples that you can try in your early pursuit of recovery from compulsive sexual behavior. Eventually, participating in personal and/or group counseling likely will be necessary but starting somewhere, somehow may provide you the momentum you need to get there.

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