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Sex Addiction Recovery Can Seem Impossible

June 7, 2024
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The road to recovery from sex addiction can seem impossible. I started on my journey when I was 13 years old, and I’m still recovering at the age of 44. That’s 31 years of recovery. When I tell that to people, some get discouraged, especially those who are older. When you are 74 years old and just start the process, you might not believe you have 31 years left. Then there are others who say things like, “Do I really have to work on this for 31 years? I don’t want to be focused on this for the rest of my life.”

Of course, recovery seems impossible if this is how you think. It’s not surprising if anyone thought like this and wasn’t an addict. This is really painful thinking. When anyone feels pain, they seek to eliminate it. For the sex addict, sex is the pain reliever. This is how the vicious addiction cycle is created. If you are someone who thinks negatively, you are someone who is seeking to eliminate pain. And if you’re a sex addict, you are someone who relieves pain with sex. At some point, sex causes problems for the sex addict, leading to more negative thinking, more problems, and the need for more painkiller, sex, that just causes more pain. It’s such an insidious process.

I want you to become aware of how old you are. The number of years you have been living is the number of years you’ve been practicing patterns of thinking that produce negativity. If you’ve been practicing thinking like this for all those years, you’ve probably established a pretty good bad habit. We might even be able to call this bad habit an addiction—an addiction to ineffective thinking strategies.

So, is it sex that’s really your problem? Or is it your thinking? It is my understanding that thinking always comes well before sex addiction occurs. For most of us, our addiction started around 12 years old. That’s 12 years of thinking before the beginning of any sex addiction. So to cure sex addiction, we must start to correct our thinking.

My experience is that we can correct a lot of thinking relatively quickly. With help, a majority of it can happen between one to three years. So, if you’re 74, by the time you’re 75, you could be doing pretty well. Maybe it’ll even take you until you’re 78. But that is not 31 years, and it’s well worth the effort. Does this mean you’ll correct all of your thinking? No. But it does mean that most people are not acting out sexually anymore within one to three years of working with me. Their thinking is a lot better, and they’re much happier.

Thinking is a lifetime process. So, if you are alive, you will continue thinking. You can’t necessarily control which thoughts come into your mind, so it’s likely you’ll experience some negative thoughts. But you can learn what to do with these thoughts. If you understand and apply certain skills, negative thinking can be snuffed out in about a second. Then, there is no need for any painkiller and therefore no more need for your vices.

Recovery is not impossible. It just takes time and effort. It is just like learning how to walk or learning to speak a language. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at recovery. There’s no need to stress. Just stay in the recovery process and you’ll find your way, and it is worth it.