3 Things You Need to Win the Battle

In anything, you have to have the right tools to get a job done quickly and efficiently. I must admit that I have periodically tried to make do without having to procure the recommended tools for a project . . .  but to be totally honest, I also have to admit that my efforts usually failed miserably. After wasting hours in frustration, I generally end up sheepishly giving in and buying or borrowing the item I was trying so hard to avoid.

Sexual addiction recovery is no different. Bruce and I have  been working with strugglers for over 13 years. Time after time after time, we have noticed that those who continue to falter and fail are trying to avoid one or more of the tools that have been proven to be essential in finding long-term freedom.

These tools won’t be new to most of you, but now that we’re in the middle of the holiday season, which often adds extra challenges for those in recovery, this is the perfect time to take a personal inventory of your recovery toolbox.

This is the #1 indicator of success. Those who have established a good network of friends to support them and provide accountability are by far the most successful in their recovery. True connection requires more than just hanging out with people. We must teach them how to help us. We are smart. We know our tricks and the ways we avoid issues. If we truly want to be accountable, we need to let them in on them. People that try to go it alone, without a growing connection with God and others, rarely find the complete freedom they are seeking.

Deep down most of us know what we need to do. We may not want to admit it, but we know the thought patterns and behaviors that feed our addiction . . . and we know what we need to do to move in more positive directions. So often, the problem is, we don’t want (or don’t thing we should have to) take the risks and make the efforts that will keep us moving forward. Like swimming up stream, doing something new is uncomfortable and, at times, even scary. It’s so much easier to just drift back into old habits. Those that are in active recovery continually monitor whether they are doing the things that lead to life. They let their network provide the encouragement and support they need to stay the course.

“Nothing goes away until it’s resolved.” We are vulnerable to addictions when we don’t have good skills for resolving the issues in our lives. Successful recovery comes, in part, from learning and practicing better life skills. When we know ways to effectively deal with things like fear, rejection, repetitive thoughts, hurt, loss, stress and disappointment we will be less prone to seek out addictive behaviors to avoid the pain they cause.

ADDITIONAL READING: If you would like to learn more about avoiding holiday slips, read Staying Strong Through the Holidays here.

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice and hold fast to him.” Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Whether addicted or not, we ALL need these tools to be active in our lives. Which tool has been the most helpful in your efforts to maintain a healthy, overcoming life? Please comment below.

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