Sobriety is an Investment

by Carl Thomas on January 4th, 2013 in Men

Investment is a familiar word but at times an uncomfortable word.  In light of today’s financial markets the idea of investing is unthinkable for some and a reason to cry for others.  How many people flushed thousands upon thousands of dollars down the toilet in the 80’s and 90’s by investing in stocks that only ended up tanking in the 2000’s?  Remember Enron!  However, while financial investment is a risk, investing in yourself always pays off.  Whether it is investing in your health, investing in your education, or investing in your relationship with God, the results are always worth the effort.  Likewise when it comes to purity the same is true … the more you invest in the process the better the results will be.  Unfortunately, so many who struggle with porn miss this incredibly important fact regarding sobriety.

Pornography addiction is a beast and one of the most difficult things to overcome.  So many people who share their stories with us talk of 10, 20, even 30 years of habitual pornography consumption.  One thing you need to realize is that your porn issue isn’t just going to go away by itself.  Addictions don’t just disappear nor does God just bonk you on the head and BAM you’re sober.  The battle for purity is a difficult one and you need to invest in your recovery if you hope to experience sobriety; it’s that simple.  That being said, how do you invest?  While there are many different tools available I want to offer three basic suggestions I believe will help you immeasurably in your search for sobriety.

First, invest in accountability.  Confess your struggle to someone you really trust & who loves you enough to walk through recovery & restoration with you.  It may take time and some awkward conversations to find that right person but it’s worth the effort.  Install accountability software & maybe even filtering software like X3watchPro on your devices/computers so you have that extra mile you need to go when feeling tempted to act out.  The point is this; invest in relationships and tools that will help hold you accountable for your sexual decisions.

Second, learn what makes your addiction “tick.”  Read, ask questions, do research, or participate in workshops like X3pure.  The key here is developing an understanding related to the root causes of sexual addiction and the things in your life that serve as triggers for acting out.  This is a battle in many ways and no good commander or fighter goes into a battle without studying their opponent.  Why do you think football coaches spend hours and hours viewing film as part of their game day preparation?  They want to figure out what makes the other team “tick.”  If you don’t know why you feel compelled to act out sexually then how will you ever develop a game plan to combat your addiction?  Failure to invest in this area of your recovery will leave you in the dark and without a clue.

Lastly, surround yourself with supportive community.  Grant it, for the person struggling with sexual addiction this may be difficult.  After all, if finding a good accountability partner is hard how much harder is it finding a supportive community???  Let’s be honest, talking about the last time you masturbated watching porn is not exactly your typical small group discussion topic.  This is where support groups can be tremendously helpful.  There are Christian options and non-Christian options.  Some are good programs, some not so good.  You may have to do some real investigation and even spend a few dollars to find what works best for you.  Our X3groups program is great choice for those who either can’t or won’t find a local option.  Yes, these programs require an investment of your time and sometimes money but they can be a real asset to your sobriety.  Here’s what one of our X3groups participants recently said:

“I just want to say that this group has given me far better results than I have obtained with any other group/program/attempts to get over my sexual addiction. The weekly accountability and filling out of that sheet, where I have to be honest with myself and the group, has helped me in evaluating my weaknesses and how to cover for them in how I plan my week.  The structure, the consistency, and the follow-up from the group leader has been invaluable to me in fighting this addiction.  My relationship with my wife is vastly improved. My sex life has never been better, even though it is not as frequently as in the past (the quality is eons better). My temperament around my wife and kids is such much more even-keeled and not so reactive and short.”

It may be difficult.  It may cost you time, money, and even some discomfort but long-term sobriety requires investment … there are no two ways about it.  The question you have to ask yourself is how bad do you want sobriety and purity?  If you really want something you go for it!  You do what you need to do and you invest where you need to invest.  If investment sounds like something you rather not bother with then sobriety isn’t that important to you either.  You decide what’s worth the effort and what’s not.          

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