Sexual Recovery Blog

The Stages of Recovery

Posted by Alan Godfrey on

 

Has your life been turned upside down by sexual behavior? Whether it is your partner’s behavior or your own, there is a road to recovery. If you are working on yourself individually and really wanting to change your sexual behavior, recovery usually goes in this order: 1) Structure 2) Coping skills 3) Community 4) Healing Shame 5) Making amends 6) Healing underlying causes. You may find these woven together at times, but this general order will help direct your healing.

You need structure to cut off access to acting out behavior, whether that be Covenant Eyes, Net Angel, or another internet blocker, deleting/blocking phone numbers, or getting a “dumb phone” if need be. Structuring your self-care is essential also. Self-care could be prayer, social time, exercise, recovery reading, or anything that helps you better connect rather than disconnect. Coping skills may be through simple things like the Calm App, or other self-care exercises like exercise, mindfulness, and prayer. Until you have some of stages 1 and 2, it will be difficult (not impossible) to have as much success in the other stages. Community can be found in groups online, in person, 12 step groups, Celebrate Recovery, or at CPCC. It can also be found in friends and family who love you. The more you reach out to people it will also help heal shame because shame cannot exist in the light.

There are several ways to heal shame, my favorite is through Image Transformation Therapy because it’s fast and effective, but a real close drawing of oneself to God, working with a therapist, and/or learning to separate your actions from your character are all helpful and sometimes necessary. As said before the more you connect with others, that will be the antidote to shame-filled isolation. Shame cannot exist when brought out into the light. You do this when talking to others in a group setting who encourage and empathize with the struggle you are going through. With the other two categories it would be best to seek the help of a professional and couples counseling if possible. This is not an exhaustive list, but I hope you find it helpful. Reach out if you need additional support.

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