Starting Point for Addicts
You thought you had it under control, you thought last time was the last time, but somehow you are back here again. We understand, and we know just how frustrating, depressing, disheartening, and ashamed you likely feel. We have been with many others in your situation and we are here to help.
Recovery isn't easy. There is no simple panacea, and this will likely take a lifetime of commitment and work. However, it does get easier, and there is hope. The best solutions are multi-pronged, and so the more you follow the program, the more likely your chances of success will be. We hope to encourage and equip you in this journey toward healing and getting your life back on track.
First Steps? Here's our strategy for the first 60 days of recovery.
Start Your Detox
Every day you are clean from sexually addictive behaviors, the brain is healing. We start with some practical steps to limit access to unhealthy triggers and behaviors. You fell back into addiction because you allowed yourself access again. You need to close that access.
Clean out your house!
If you have easy access, you are likely to stumble again. You need to limit any access you have to inappropriate materials. This means physically removing any materials from your environment including home, car, and office. This means adding filtering or accountability software to electronic devices, changing phone numbers, adjusting routines, or in some cases, removing electronics from the very premises . Whatever it takes to detox the brain from exposure.
Block people from contacts
If your acting out includes inappropriate communication with others, then having access to those people is a relapse waiting to happen. Not only do those people need to be removed from contacts and social media, they should be blocked so they don't interrupt your journey of healing by trying to connect with you. This should be done with the help of a sobriety partner.
Avoid People, Places, Or Routines
Your brain is used to giving into temptation and will need to be fundamentally rewired. During this time, there will be temptations and triggers all around you that will make you more likely to return to former habits. You are not as strong as you think you are, and shouldn't ever test your willpower. Assume it does not exist, as it probably doesn't. You need to avoid anything that will lead to a set back in sobriety.
Find a Sobriety Partner
A sobriety partner may come from your recovery group, your small group in church or a close friend that is willing to ask the tough questions and support you when you are struggling. The goal for every man in recovery is to develop healthy authentic male relationships. A sobriety partner should know your whole story and understand your specific goals for purity. They will answer your call when you are tempted and support when you have fallen.
Start a Devotional Plan
While the brain is detoxing from old triggers and behaviors, it is essential to replace the old lies with new truth. Engaging in a daily devotional is an excellent practice to renew the mind. Many devotions are geared to helping those in recovery. We recommend downloading the YouVersion Bible app and searching for specific devotions related to "purity" and "sexual addiction".
Start with these Resources:
For All Addicts:
* Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction by Dr. Mark Laaser
* Covenant Eyes - Your Brain on Porn
* Covenant Eyes - The Porn Circuit
For Married Addicts:
* How to Help Your Spouse Heal from an Affair by Linda MacDonald
Get into a Group
Groups are vital to your recovery and healing. Most men have made legitimate efforts to change behaviors. Few men have allowed other men into their life to assist in the battle. This can be the difference in long term success and failure. UG support groups are safe places with others who have similar struggles. Everyone is at a personal stage, but all are working toward becoming authentic , transparent men who live in sexual integrity. These groups provide an environment for accountability, encouragement, healthy relationships, different perspectives, and hope for a new future. Our support groups are offered at no cost and are peer led by men with success in recovery.
Get a Counselor
While groups are integral to a long term healing plan, the reality is that there will not be enough time in the groups to really dig into the personal roots of your addiction and past. Recovery also includes understanding the roots of addictive behavior in the context of your life and experiences. Childhood traumas are a leading cause of sexually addictive behaviors. Personal counseling will work toward identifying triggers, exploring wounds, and focusing on the unique challenges that you have struggled with.
Get into the next available workshop
While counselors allow you the setting to work on your personal struggles, many counselors do not specialize in sexual addiction recovery. Even with specialist, personal counseling can take time to discover and deal with root causes. This is where the workshop can be a dynamic jump start to successful recovery. UG workshops are conducted by trained professionals who deal with addiction as their main focus. They have also identified the trends and tendencies that most addicts share. UG Workshop leaders also have tools, resources, and training to help addicts get to the root of their struggles, and break down some of those barriers that may have hindered successful recovery in their past. Even those who have been to counseling for years marvel at things they have taken away from the workshops. We highly encourage everyone to attend. (click here for more info on workshops)
We recognize that there are people who may come to this site who are not from the mid-atlantic area, and therefore one of our workshops may not be the closest one, or the one that meets their time sensitive needs. We also recommend the following workshop programs for those who cannot attend ours:
Faithful and True Ministries (Minnesota) - Workshops for male addicts, spouses, and couples.
BeBroken Ministries- (San Antonio, TX)- Workshop for male addicts and resources for female addicts
Bethesda Workshops (Nashville, TN) - Workshops for teen, men, and women addicts; spouses; and couples.