Addiction is a chronic disease, and no matter whether you’ve been in recovery for ten days or ten years, relapse is always a possibility. That’s why it’s important to always stay vigilant when it comes to avoiding places, people, and situations that may compromise your recovery. In this blog post, we share five tips for avoiding relapse as a recovering sex addict. If you live in the Austin area and are looking for sex addiction in-person therapy, telehealth, and/or EMDR therapy, then get in touch with me today. As a clinical psychologist and addiction specialist, I work with both active and recovering sex addicts to help them reclaim their lives. I look forward to beginning our journey together.
There comes a point in nearly every recovering addict’s journey where they think they can manage the rest of their battle on their own; this is a potentially catastrophic misstep. Isolation is one of the biggest causes of relapse, and without a proper support system it can be easy for recovering addicts to return to old coping skills. That’s why it’s essential to keep going to your support groups, keep interacting with your accountability partners, and keep up your individual and/or couples therapy, even if it seems like it’s not “doing anything.” Often, addicts don’t realize just how essential these things are to their recovery until it’s too late.
Plan Ahead of Time
Boredom and lack of direction are two other potential catalysts for relapse. Even the most seemingly unimportant decisions you make throughout your day can lead to disastrous consequences. To prevent this, try to plan ahead of time as much as possible, making sure to identify and accommodate for any potential dangers. For instance, if there’s a party you plan on going to later, offer to be the designated driver so that you won’t drink (which can lower your inhibitions) and so that you’ll be held accountable by your friends. If you know you’re going to be put in a particularly triggering situation, such as having to go to a strip club, then plan ahead of time to leave early and let people know of your intentions.
Treat Any Co-Occurring Disorders
In addiction parlance, a “co-occuring disorder,” also known as a “dual disorder,” is any mental health issue that you have in addition to your addiction. Co-occurring disorders are common, and must be treated with the same amount of seriousness that you have given to your sex addiction recovery.. Whether you have bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or any other mental health condition, it’s essential that you seek help with a certified professional to treat the co-occurring condition. As a clinical psychologist, I have years of experience working with sex addicts with a variety of different co-occuring mental health issues.
Incorporate Healthy New Activities Into Your Life
Your sex addiction likely consumes a lot of your time, attention, and energy, and you will need to redirect all that focus towards something else. Invest in a new hobby, sport, or volunteer work that is interesting to you and won’t offer any triggers. Take a class or go back to school or even work towards a new career goal. The more time you devote to these healthy new activities the less chance you’ll have of relapsing.
Never Forget the Bigger Picture
When day-to-day life is going well, it can be easy to forget why you put so much energy into your recovery in the first place. If you haven’t already done so, take some time to develop a clear vision of what you want your life to look like. What goals do you have for your relationships, your job, your personal ambitions? You might even want to write these things down in your phone or create a vision board (if you’re more of a visual thinker) so that you don’t forget them. Whenever the temptation to relapse arrives, return to your list or vision board and remember why your life, your goals, and your recovery matter.
Recovery from Sex Addiction Is Possible
If you’re struggling with sex addiction then you’re not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from this debilitating disease but, fortunately, there is hope. My Austin addiction treatment clinic offers comprehensive counseling services for individuals and couples suffering with sex addiction issues. Today is the day you take a stand against your sex addiction. Schedule an appointment now.