/ By Brandon McDonald

When I was mired in my addiction, I remember thinking how impossible everything felt. Imagining a life without porn addiction seemed like a fantasy. I couldn’t seem to muster the willpower to go a week without giving in to my addiction and asking for even a day of sobriety was usually too much for me to take. Life was hard, and the one thing I always had with me to deal with it was my addiction. Without my addiction there was no way I could handle life. At that time, I had no idea there was such a thing as sex addiction treatment or even sex addiction treatment programs like Desert Solace.

 

With four years of steady recovery under my belt and the days of misery dealing with the consequences of the addiction mostly behind me, I’ve found that life is actually pretty great. My days are filled with more joy, love and connection than they ever were during the three decades I spent as an addict. 

 

Working at a sex addiction treatment facility like Desert Solace, I see a lot of guys who are just getting started in pornography addiction recovery. They wonder is there really hope for them in getting a full recovery from their addiction? They also wonder if recovery ever gets any easier.

 

I believe that it does, because that’s what I’ve experienced in my own addiction. I also know many of our graduates from Desert Solace who are thriving in life now that they don’t have the anchor of porn addiction hanging around their neck. The early days of recovery are not easy. It’s a lot of hard work. And I still have days where recovery just seems really hard. But those days are much fewer and farther apart.

Four Tools for "Easier" Recovery From Porn Addiction:

So I’ve been wondering about what makes recovery feel easier versus the days I’ve had that feel hard. Here are a few things that make my recovery go more smoothly and make it feel “easier”:

1. Keeping in Touch with my Recovery Network

I don’t know many men who are able to maintain steady recovery from porn addiction without having a recovery network. Fortunately, when I spent 90 days in sex addiction treatment at Desert Solace, I was able to attend 90 12-step meetings in a row. Every night we would attend a 12-step meeting. I got to know the people at each of these meetings and I still keep in touch with them to this day. I also got to know the other men I lived with at Desert Solace’s residential treatment facility. These are guys who know more about me than friends I grew up with and have known for decades. I have a regular morning phone call with two of the guys I went through Desert Solace with and I count them as two of my best friends. We challenge each other and hold each other accountable, but we also support each other and celebrate wins together.

 

When I stop connecting with the guys in my recovery network that I know and love, the guys who support me and are there for me no matter what I’m going through, life in recovery starts to get hard.

2. Reaching Up and Reaching Out

Something we teach heavily in our porn addiction program at Desert Solace is the importance of living in consultation with others and with your Higher Power. With an addiction that brings as much shame and guilt as pornography addiction or sex addiction, people tend to hide and isolate. They don’t want anyone else to know what they are struggling with because they are worried they will be judged harshly. Many of them also feel disconnected from their Higher Power because they think He may have abandoned them for being “unworthy” or “sinners.” These are the lies that addiction tells us. These are the lies that keep us trapped in years or decades of pain and misery.

 

The only way to get real sex addiction help is to ask for it. When I finally hit rock bottom, I realized that I couldn’t overcome my sex addiction on my own. That I needed real professional help from a therapist who specialized in treating pornography addiction and sexual addiction. I later learned, after going through porn addiction rehab that I needed to rely on other people, not just my therapist. So I got involved in going to 12 step groups like Sexaholics Anonymous several times a week. Or the LDS Church’s Addiction Recovery Program (ARP), which is also a 12 step based support group. 

 

What I found at these support groups were other men who were struggling with the same issues I was dealing with. I also found people that I could reach out to whenever I was struggling myself.

 

The other part of this is that I learned to “Reach Up” whenever I need to find a connection to my Higher Power. I learned to surrender my weaknesses and temptations to Him when I am struggling and ask for His help. Maintaining a connection to my Higher Power has been crucial in my own recovery.

3. Self-Care

A lot of people who seek sex addiction help don’t understand what real self-care is. Self-care involves taking consistent actions to handle your emotional, mental and physical needs. Many people who come through our sex addiction treatment program have created a habit out of not getting enough sleep. Some of them tend to eat terribly and don’t get much physical exercise. When it comes to taking care of their mental health needs, they usually avoid getting therapy or seeking out support from friends and loved ones.

 

I know I fell into a lot of those traps. I was terribly unhealthy for a long period of my life. I couldn’t understand why I was so stuck in my addiction, but looking back it was clear that I was using my addiction as a very unhealthy coping mechanism to deal with my life.

 

But now I see that self-care is just as important as any other tool in recovery. I now make sure that I get consistent sleep, do some type of physical activity every day, eat a healthier diet, see a therapist consistently and go to my recovery support groups once a week.

4. Maintaining Balance In My Life

This is one that a lot of guys struggle with in recovery. Sex addicts tend to live in the extremes. I know I did when I was struggling with porn addiction. Even when I wasn’t acting out in my main addiction, I would spend a lot of time binging on Netflix, getting terrible sleep, eating horribly and working long hours at my stressful job. Maintaining a balanced life is something that most people struggle with, even when they aren’t trying to overcome a sex addiction. What I learned in sex addiction rehab at Desert Solace was how important balance is to my recovery. I try to do something every day to progress mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. When I keep each of those areas in focus, life seems to go smoother and when life goes smoother, my recovery gets easier.

After going to Desert Solace and getting the sex addiction therapy I needed, I’m in a much better place.  I know that there are several sex addiction treatment facilities, but I believe that if you want the best sex addiction treatment facility, Desert Solace is it. If you want to find out a way to get into a life of recovery that will help you thrive in life, contact us using the form below, or give us a call at 435-291-5355.

Read More Recovery Articles Here: