Posts Tagged ‘addict’

067 – The Six Stages of Grief and the Sexual Addict

 104 diagonal

SHOWNOTES FOR EPISODE 067 (10:00)
Click here to download or listen to the show

 

Those of us who are seeking sexual purity and those who struggle with sexual addiction, all have to deal with grief.  Grief is the way we deal with loss.

The Kübler-Ross model, commonly known as the five stages of grief, was first introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. [1]

Those stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, & acceptance

This model is very helpful as we think about our own sexual addiction recovery.  Several people I’ve read, including Dr. Doug Weiss add on a sixth stage… that of shock. 

Let’s talk about these six stages of grief and how they relate to our sexual addiction recovery and our desire for sexual purity.

The Shock Stage
This is the stage where something has thrown you into crisis.  You are off equilibrium. 

The revelation of a sexual addiction can easily send us into this Shock Stage.  Secret behaviors may have been found out or terrible consequences may have occurred.  A life has gone from normal to a car crash.  A bomb has suddenly gone off and carried you with its explosion. 

At this stage, you are numb, and can’t feel or process the pain yet.  

You can’t think straight or see beyond the explosion.

You’re in survival mode, just trying to get to the next moment. 

Denial – The “No, not me” stage
“I feel fine.”
“This can’t be happening, not to me.”
“I don’t have a problem.”

In denial, we shift the blame.  We think it’s normal to do this. It’s a stage where we are trying to make sense of things.  It’s a stage of detachment.  It couldn’t be me.

It’s a stage of minimizing.  Trying to pretend it’s less than what it really is. 

Denial is a defense mechanism that we use so we don’t have to face the pain.  It helps us continue to cope with very difficult situations. 

In our sexual addiction, we can be in denial about our sexual behaviors and how are affecting our life.  Look at your own life.  Are you shifting the blame?  Are you detaching?  Are you minimizing your behaviors? 

Anger – The “Why me?” stage
At the anger stage we start saying things like:  It’s not fair!”; “How can this happen to me?”; “Who is to blame?”

Once in the anger stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.

Our anger could be directed toward anyone:  our self, our spouse, our friends, our parents, our pastor, and God. 

We are wrestling at this stage with the truth of our addiction.  We are realizing that it’s not going away.  The truth is hitting.  The consequences are hitting, and we’re not happy about it.

When are hitting the anger stage, it’s our first movement out of denial and into acceptance and real emotion.  We can’t bypass the anger stage.  It’s not healthy to push our anger away. 

I’ve noticed that for the sexual addict, there’s a lot of anger issues.  Their anger usually stems from being selfish, self-centered, and not wanting to change.  We want the pain to go away.  We want to be able to continue having sex, searching out sites on the Internet, masturbating, and continuing the way we are. 

When anger hits, it’s crucial to recognize it and work through it in healthy ways with healthy, safe people.

Bargaining – The “If I do this, you’ll do that” stage.
This is the stage where you think you can stop your behaviors anytime.  You can stop for a while.  You rationalize that you can do certain things, but not others.  You start bargaining with yourself.  You’re still trying to cope, and to hold on. 

We get very creative with our bargaining. 

You say, “Well, maybe if I tone it down a little.”  Or “if my wife would just be more sexual.”

You want to delay accepting your addiction and working on it.  You want to negotiate for your addictive behaviors to continue.  “If I could just have more time.”

You want to have one foot in your addiction, and one foot out. 

You’re trying to relax the sting.  You try to protest.  You hope that you can somehow postpone or delay the reality of the addiction. 

“Just let me live to see my children graduate.”; “I’ll do anything for a few more years.”; “I will give my life savings if…”

Depression / Sorrow – The “It’s really happened” stage.
“I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”; “I’m going to die… What’s the point?”; “I miss my loved one, why go on?”

At this stage, the reality is hitting.  You begin to understand that you are an addict and are facing a lot of uncertainties and fears. 

You know you’re going to have to change.  You may start going through withdrawals at this stage.  The consequences of what has happened makes you sad and may send you into a pit of despair and hopelessness. 

During all of these stages, you’re learning to disconnect from your old lifestyle and make the transition to a new lifestyle.  Grieving is a very important process, and a sad, sorowful, depressing time is normal. 

Our period of sadness may take a long time.  There are a lot of things we have to let go of and detach from.  It may take a lot of time. 

Acceptance – The “This is what happened” stage.
“It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”

This final stage comes with peace and understanding of our addiction.  We recognize ourselves as an addict, or a recovering addict.  We begin to accept responsibility.  No more blame.  No more avoidance. 

This is the point where we start to become active in recovery. 

We start coming to terms with who we are, and with the recovery process. 

 

THE BEST ACCOUNTABILITY SOFTWARE
We are proud to be affiliated with Covenant Eyes!  They have allowed us to offer you a Free 30-Day trial of their software.  I my and Marsha’s opinion, it’s the best on the market.  They have great filtering software and accountability software. CLICK HERE for a free 30-day trial of Covenant Eyes, and type in the code PURITY when you check out. 

Take this important step and shore up your computer with some filtering and accountability.

 

Resources
www.porntopurity.com  (Main Website)
http://porntopurity.wordpress.com   (Porn to Purity Blog)


Show Music from MusicAlley.com
Show Theme – Derek K. Miller “Hotcake Syrup”
Background - Denis Janglv “Sounds From a Crystal”

 

The 104 Podcast
Top tips for sexual purity.  The meat.   Get to the most important stuff in bite-sized pieces. 

 Subscribe to the show on I-Tunes

066 – White Knuckling It

104 diagonal

SHOWNOTES FOR EPISODE 066 (8:57)
Click here to download or listen to the show

 

“White knuckling it” is a phrase you’ll sometimes hear in a recovery group.  It has to do with a person struggling through a sexually tempting situation.  The person is gutting through it, willing himself through it.  Sweating through it. 

In auto racing, you’ll recognize “white knuckling it” as a time when a driver is navigating through a very dangerous situation or grouping of cars.  Grabbing the steering wheel so tight that your knuckles turn white. 

All of us have been there in our sexual struggles.  We want to do well.  We want to do the right thing, but we feel the strong pull to act out. 

These situations come when things trigger us, when we have an edgy day, when we are being bombarded with temptations or when we are emotionally struggling.

When we are going through withdrawals, trying to abstain from our sexual behaviors we will experience very challenging situations where the struggle is great. 

These are all times when a person might try to white knuckle it.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH WHITE KNUCKLING?

  1.  Relies on our own efforts & will power – We’re not going to get very far in sexual addiction recovery when we try to do thing on our own and with our own strength.  We don’t realize how strong an addiction is, and the power it has over us.  We are in bondage to our addiction, and we are not powerful enough to break it on our own. 
  2. We’ve tried it on our own and failed many times – How’s your track record on successfully fighting this battle?  Probably not too good.  Why if we’ve tried 55 times to stop, do we fail the 56th time?  We have an addiction.  We have practiced for years learning to cope with our hurts, needs, and desires on our own.  The neurochemicals in our brains have dug some deep pathways that are hard to break away from. 
  3. We leave others out – We think we can take the private, solo approach to sexual addiction recovery.  Bottom line:  we need others to help us through this thing.  We need to share our garbage with others.  We need others to know our hearts and weaknesses.  We need accountability.  We need encouragement.  We might even need a baby sitter when we’re trying to gut through some of these difficult times. 
  4. We leave God out – God is the only one who can get to the deep stuff.  He’s the only one who’s stronger than our addiction.  He can give us His power and heart during our tough times.  Our struggles are meant to drive us to God so that we will surrender them over to Him.
  5. We have a behavior-only approach -  Don’t forget that our sexual addiction is recovery is an emotional, relational recovery also.  It’s not just about stopping our acting out.  We do need to discipline ourselves, our bodies, and our urges.  But we need to give a large amount of attention to the hurts inside.  Something is always driving our behavior.  Let’s also focus attention there. 

 In fairness, there are some days when we are engaged in the fight and we just have to “gut through it”.  Some days are edgy and we will have to exercise our will power to get through.

Self-discipline is also important to learn.  Two components of our recovery are:

  • Stopping bad behaviors
  • Pouring ourselves in healthy directions

  

SOME TIPS FOR GETTING THROUGH WHITE KNUCKLE TIMES

On another blog, I talked about “How to Get Through Edgy Days”  (Episode 50).  I encourage you to go back and check that show out.  It’s a good complement to this show. 

But what can I do to prepare for white knuckle times, and to get through them, because they will come.

1.  Get around others.  Get others around you.  – If you can leave where you are and go be with other people, that will help.  If they’re recovery buddies, that’s great!  But if you can’t get around your support buddies, get out with some good friends.  Get around healthy people on white knuckle days.

If you can’t leave where you are, get on the phone and talk to some buddies.  Share your struggles if they are safe people.  Get them to pray for you. 

Break the emotional struggle with other people.

2.  Go do healthy things – Get out of the house.  Step away from work.  Get out of your hotel room.  Go to places where wholesome things are happening.  I like to go to the gym when I’m feeling edgy.  Or I’ll get away and write in my journal for a while.  

3.  Yank out your Bible – Get in God’s Word and get God’s Word into you.  If you are praying and filling your life with God’s Word, it’s harder for sexual desires to have their place.

4.  Tell God exactly what you’re feeling – Spend some time in prayer.  Throw up some 911 prayers.  Tell God how your feeling and how edgy it is for you.  He really does care and will bring His strong presence to assist you.

In your prayers, surrender your struggle to God.  Turn it over to Him.  Give it up into stronger hands. 

IF YOU’RE PLAYING WITH MUD YOU’RE GONNA GET DIRTY
I think it’s important to say that if you continue to stay in tempting situations, you’re going to fail.  The goal is not to be able to get through your Internet session, get through your after work party, or gut through the movie you’re watching.  There are definitely times you have to stop what you’re doing, get up and leave.  There are some times when you have to draw a hard boundary, set up big roadblocks, and be radically obedient. 

You can do it.  You have to do it. 

We just can’t be stupid about it.  Don’t think that you can live right on the edge with one foot in and one foot out and not get burned. 

THE BEST ACCOUNTABILITY SOFTWARE
We are proud to be affiliated with Covenant Eyes!  They have allowed us to offer you a Free 30-Day trial of their software.  I my and Marsha’s opinion, it’s the best on the market.  They have great filtering software and accountability software. CLICK HERE for a free 30-day trial of Covenant Eyes, and type in the code PURITY when you check out. 

Take this important step and shore up your computer with some filtering and accountability.

 

Resources
www.porntopurity.com  (Main Website)
http://porntopurity.wordpress.com   (Porn to Purity Blog)


Show Music from MusicAlley.com
Show Theme – Derek K. Miller “Hotcake Syrup”
Background - Joe Little “Crimson Red”

 

The 104 Podcast
Top tips for sexual purity.  The meat.   Get to the most important stuff in bite-sized pieces. 

 Subscribe to the show on I-Tunes

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