How to Live in Recovery from Sexual Addiction (14 Straight-Forward Suggestions)

Living in recovery from sexual addiction.

Just that phase can sound pretty vulnerable in addition to something many people probably don’t want to talk about, read about, or even deal with.

Today’s post is a list of suggestions that comes directly from one addicts experience. You can read about it more on page 33 of the new Step Into Action book.

These suggestions really resonated with me. I look forward to hearing your experiences in the comments below.

recovery from sexual addiction

14 Straight-Forward Suggestions to Live in Recovery from Sexual Addiction

“Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 5.

Do you believe this?

Or do you think you can create your own path that works better for you?

I’ve actually tried both options – doing my own thing vs. following a suggested path as closely as I can. My experience in recovery is at least one example of how doing my own thing has never worked for me.

In this suggestions today, I’ve stated what the man in recovery shared in his story. After each suggestion are questions that came to mind as I thought about how the suggestion applied to me.

What questions do these suggestions spark in you? What’s the next step you can take to implement these suggestions into your day to day recovery work?

Suggestion #1: Become open-minded, willing and honest.

 So how do I become “open-minded, willing and honest?”

 What does that look like?

Suggestion #2: Start praying again.

 Have I stopped praying, and if so, how/why?

 Does saying the Serenity Prayer and 3rd Step Prayer count as “praying?”

Suggestion #3: Make phone calls.

 How often to I make phone calls?

 Who do I talk to?

 What do we talk about?

 Do I have questions for those I reach out to?

Suggestion #4: Agree with SA’s definition of sobriety.

 Is being sober the ultimate goal?

Suggestion #5: Come to meetings.

 How often do I go to meetings and why do I go?

 What do I get out of meetings?

Suggestion #6: Get a sponsor.

 Do I have a sponsor?

 How often do I communicate with him?

 What do we talk about?

 Do I ask him questions about the particular step I’m working on?

 What is a sponsor really for?

Suggestion #7: Work the steps, work the steps, work the steps, work the steps, work the steps. (nope, not a typo)

 Why does it say “work the steps” FIVE times?

 How am I working the steps today?

 What am I afraid of when the topic of “working the Steps” comes up?

 Why don’t I work the Steps?

 What stories am I telling myself about working the Steps and how I’m an exception to them?

Suggestion #8: Take direction.

 What does it mean to take direction?

 Why is that important in living in recovery one day at a time?

Suggestion #9: Be a part of.

 What does it mean to “be a part of?”

 How is that living in recovery?

Suggestion #10: Take part in the blessing of the Seventh Tradition.

 What is the Seventh Tradition and why is that important?

Suggestion #11: Serve by carrying the message of my recovery to others.

 How can I serve by carrying the message of my recovery to others?

 What’s holding me back from doing that now?

Suggestion #12: Own the wreckage of my past & become willing to make amends.

 How can I own the wreckage of my past?

 What does making amends look like to me?

 Who am I most afraid to make amends to?

 Have I talked about this with my sponsor to get direction and guidance?

 Am I willing to make a plan and execute on that plan to make true amends?

Suggestion #14: The phrase “I was wrong when _____” became a part of my vocabulary.

 Why is the phrase “I was wrong when” an important indicator that I’m living in recovery today?

Suggestion #15: Have an ongoing conversation with my Higher Power.

 Is it really possible to have an ongoing conversation with my Higher Power?

 How can I do this honestly and openly?

 Do I really believe that it will help?

The Takeaway

I’m grateful for the words of others who have found and are finding recovery in their lives.

To me, “recovery” is equivalent to being “emotionally healthy.” And emotionally healthy means that I’m able to recognize how I feel one moment at a time, pinpoint where I feel the emotions in my body, and cope or deal with them in healthy and mature ways.

I don’t go to blaming, shaming, controlling, or isolating. Instead, I surrender the outcome, talk to God and others, express what’s making me feel off and dig deep to find out why that’s bothering me.

I then am able to do what I can and let the rest go (The Serenity Prayer in action).

I’m grateful for this realization today.

What’s been your experience? How do these suggestions apply to you, or do they?

6 thoughts on “How to Live in Recovery from Sexual Addiction (14 Straight-Forward Suggestions)”

  1. For me, Honesty continues to be the bedrock foundation of my recovery. No honesty; no recovery. I certainly agree with staying in the program: working the steps, staying CONNECTED to God, my wife, and others. Making phone calls to my sponsor and other addict friends in recovery are CRUCIAL to my staying sober. When I can feel my emotional connectedness being threatened, I must reach out and share. Those contacts strengthen me and allows me to reconnect emotionally before I continue down the path to relapse.

  2. Checking in has really help me to break the fantasy / control cycle that is ultimately the source of a great deal of frustration and disconnectedness. I find that when I release that content verbally and hear myself speak the words, especially on a group of like- minded men, more clarity results. The product is connection and more self-awareness. And often, as the result of these”conversations”, my thought processes are challenged, changed.

  3. Hello, 8 days sober and brand new to this, I want to fix my life and begin the road to recovery. It’s time to make things right with the lord. I hope this will help…

    1. I can say that being part of a Christian men’s group WITH accountability has been a complete Godsend…..I got into a group where, unlike the 12 step group I was a part of, the first meeting involved being assigned an accountability partner, and signing a contract requiring daily check-in, daily journaling, and a 90 day abstinence period(for married guys) and no masturbation. We were also encouraged to read Proverbs daily.
      I’ve been in the group for 2 years now, have not acted out sexually, and have become an accountability partner, helping other guys get through the “weaning-off period”. It’s tough but you can do it with God’s help and grace!

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