If you’re anything like me, you’re looking forward to 2022 as a year of change. Things will definitely be better than 2021, right? I’ll be less fat, less lazy, make more money and finally publish that book I’ve always wanted to write. And if you’re stuck in the constant cycle of pornography addiction, you’re probably telling yourself that 2022 will be the year you leave that addiction behind! Why not?
For at least two decades of New Years I think I made a surefire resolution to get rid of my addiction. You know how many of those resolutions actually worked for me? You probably guessed it: none. Because I, like 99% of the population, suck at following through with my resolutions. At least one study showed that most people abandon their resolutions by January 19th. Less than three weeks – that sounds about right based on my personal experience, although I usually start my resolutions on January 12th so my motivation takes me at least into February and I can laugh at all the suckers who are quitting on the 19th.
Motivation is Fickle
This is why I always tell people that recovery is not about motivation. Motivation comes and goes with frightening frequency. Just ask Alexa how many times I tell her to snooze my alarm in the morning. Anyone can white-knuckle recovery for short periods of time. It takes a real transformation and a lot of help to get into stable, long-term recovery.
Now, I’m not saying that New Year’s resolutions are complete garbage. They can be helpful if you are aware of their value. I tend to look at resolutions as nothing more than a pin in a map. That’s where I want to go. It gives me a bit of information, but that’s about it. What’s more important is figuring out: how do I get there? What steps do I need to take to get to that destination? I can put a pin in my map at Columbus, Ohio, but what good does that do me if I don’t figure out how I’m going to get there and start following through? I believe Abraham Lincoln once said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Or maybe it was Albert Einstein?) The key is to take the first step and to keep taking the steps. If you keep taking the steps, eventually you’ll get there.
A Recovery System is Better than any Resolution
So how do we keep taking the steps? If most people quit their resolutions after taking steps for 19 days, how do we become the ones to get into long-term recovery? For me, it took creating a “recovery system” with the help of my therapist and other people in my recovery network. Erasing 26 years of pornography addiction doesn’t happen over night. I had to start overhauling almost every habit that I had created while in my addiction and creating new ones to take the place of the old ones.
My recovery system has now become a way of life for me. I get up every morning and I have a set of activities that I do to support my recovery. I have another set of routines that I do in the afternoon and then ones that I do at night before I go to bed. I also continue to attend support group meetings, report nightly to a sponsor, work the 12 steps, and see a therapist. This may all sound very overwhelming to someone who is stuck in addiction. These are all things that have taken me a while to develop and a lot of help from a certified sexual addiction therapist in St. George, Utah, and from my recovery network. But I will say that my life is exponentially more fulfilling now than it ever was in my addiction and all the things I do in my recovery no longer seem like a burden because I actually enjoy doing them.
Finally, I will say that getting help for my addiction at Desert Solace, an inpatient sex addiction rehab center made a huge difference in my recovery. If you’re looking for the most effective way to move on from pornography or sex addiction, I highly recommend doing residential treatment. Give me a call if you have any questions – 435-673-3333.