Addicts need strategies to resist addictive cravings. Without it, relapses are bound to get out of control.
Ray was a porn and sex addict. When he started therapy, he essentially had no strategies in place to manage his addiction.
For instance, the matter of “decoding feelings.”
Ray’s sex is about addiction, not about healthy sexuality. Whenever he feels stressed, he instantly goes for his quick fix.
So Ray must always check for his feelings during moments of craving.
Feelings usually associated with addictive sexuality are: shame, loneliness, fear, pain, or anger.
These feelings need to be decoded. Remember an old aphorism: horniness equals loneliness.
Check out sex therapist Dr. Patrick Carnes.
His other best advice to resist addictive cravings and urges include, among others:
• avoid trigger situations
• forgive your self for the slips
• work on nurturing your self
• avoid keeping cravings secret
• acknowledge your choices
• develop spiritual habits
• find alternative highs or passions
• find guides and ways to promote self awareness
• be proactive instead of reactive
• avoid feeling that you are a victim
• take charge of your program of recovery and your lifestyle
Dr. Carnes writes:
“The field of addiction treatment has long emphasized spiritual healing. Other health care fields, including cardiology and oncology, are now making significant progress toward a more holistic medicine. Pastoral care professionals are also integrating the new findings of behavioral science into their work.”
He adds that Dr. Carl Jung laid bare a real core in addiction treatment:
“to overcome the complex biological, family, and social factors in addiction requires a level of surrender so complete that the only means of achieving and sustaining it are spiritual”
Progress to resist addictive cravings has always been a holistic one, including a spiritual aspect. It’s gradual, daily, and incremental.