Being in recovery for the last seven years and helping guys in recovery for the last five has put me in touch with hundreds of people who struggle sexually. Many are coming out of isolation and sharing their deep, dark secrets for the first time. Or their worlds have blown up because their secret sexual behaviors were found out.
When I talk to someone in recovery for the first time, I want to find out three things:
1. What kind of support team do they have?
2. How strong a structure do they have (mainly boundaries and accountability)?
3. What does their purity strategy look like?
Most of the time, if a guy is slipping and relapsing, it’s because one or more of these are out of whack, so let’s take a look at each of these and how to make them stronger.
1. SUPPORT. I need to build my support team. These are people who know my story (or some of it) and are helping me in the journey with friendship, encouragement, accountability, mentoring and coaching. The stronger my support team, the more I feel like I’m not alone in this battle. It takes a strong support team to find freedom from pornography or sexual addiction.
Support teams are made up of:
General Support – People who care for you and are for you. They are happy when you are around and build you up. They know at least some of your story.
Drill-down Support – Your deepest relationships. They know you, your story and still love you. You give them permission to ask you the hard questions, keep you accountable and call B.S. when necessary.
Specialty Support – People who help you with specific areas of purity and recovery. Counselors, ministers, doctors, etc. They know your story and have special tools in their tool bags to assist you.
Action Steps: Talk to a safe friend about your struggles. Break the ice through a counselor. Seek out someone to coach you or mentor you. Join a support group like an X3group.
2. STRUCTURE. In my experience, I’ve found that most sexual strugglers live a loose life with very little self-control and structure, so you have to reintroduce structure into your life, things like boundaries, accountability, and a fixed schedule of appointments. Filtering and accountability software like X3watch should be on all your computers and mobile devices.
Action Steps: Figure out the lines you don’t want to cross and create some strong boundaries. Join a support group and get some accountability (like in an X3group). Put purity appointments on your calendar: a counseling intensive, conference, or a workshop like X3pure.
3. STRATEGY. A rockin’ purity strategy is both defensive and offensive. For defense, we need to block out bad people, places, and things. For offense, we need to replace them with healthy people, places, and things. Simple as that.
Action Steps: Do an assessment of both sides of your purity strategy, defense and offense. Beef up the defense on your computer with X3watch. Clean house. Get the bad stuff out and figure out healthy alternatives you can use as replacements.
Building your support, structure, and strategy takes time. You can do a quick assessment of it, but developing a strong recovery plan will take a commitment from your part, and the assistance of others.
But take it from me–start with these three ideas and you’ll be well on your way to purity, one step at a time.
Need to find some solid support? Life wasn’t meant to live alone. You need a team. You need people in you life to help you craft the best life story you can. Start with an X3group. Safe. Secure. Online.
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