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After you’ve gained some skills that help you become aware of the urge to act out, you can start to unravel the inner mechanism, which is your inner addict. But how exactly do you do that? There has to be a next step, and it's not enough to just notice what’s happening. You need action to follow the awareness, a replacement action, instead. This may be going on a walk, getting out of your house, calling a friend or reaching out to your counselor. It’s important to plan ahead, and even make a list: What can you do rather than act out?
You May Not Recognize It Yet, But YOU are in Control
Now that you’ve begun to disrupt the cycle, you’re starting to take authority. You’re recognizing that your mind is your own, your sexuality is your own. If you're living in fear of your addict and you want proof that you are in charge, just check it out. Nothing happens unless you allow it. Until you take some action, nothing happens. The mind can come up with all kinds of thoughts and ideas, but none of that is action. At the end of the day, action resides with you, it starts with you. You are in control.
Your addict is like the wizard in The Wizard of Oz; with all the smoke, the fire, flames, the loud voice, and the floating head attempting to intimidate. Dorothy and her friends are shaking while facing the display. But behind all that was just an old, kind man hiding behind a curtain. He wasn’t evil, but his intentions were misplaced, just like your inner addict.
Your inner addict ultimately has good intentions: the addict wants you to feel better, it wants to take care of you. However, now finally you’re beginning to recognize the trick to getting around your porn addiction, and figuring out that acting out ultimately isn’t making you feel better. You can say to your addict: “We're not doing that anymore,” but your addict can get confused. It can fight you because it still believes that acting out is what you need.
Remember that it doesn’t help to demonize your addict. The intentions of your addict aren't bad. We demonize the addict because we've tried to stop over and over and over. But your addict is not against you. I know it feels like it is, especially when you’re trying to change your behavior. But instead of hating the addict part of yourself, try pulling your addict into the light. You’re now beginning to help your addict self grow up. You’re growing up that 10 to 12 year-old viewpoint of sexuality. That young part doesn’t know about emotions and intimacy, but you can teach that younger part of you by moving away from the old behavior and implementing new behavior.
The important thing to pay attention to as you're going through this process, as you're going through this journey, is that you need to take a different action. Knowledge, plus action, equals recovery. It's a simple formula: the action of implementing your knowledge.
You’ve learned about gaining awareness by using porn addiction support techniques like “First Thought Wrong,” and that’s excellent, but after recognizing the urge to act out, after putting a pause in your acting out behavior, you can take the next step. You can ask yourself, “What action do I need to take now?”
Just recognizing the impulse isn’t enough. It’s a great start, but you have to understand that techniques and recognition alone won’t create real change. You can pause the acting out behavior, but the action that follows the awareness is what solidifies real change to your porn addiction.
We all have parts of ourselves that still need nurturing to grow. There are parts of each of us that still cling to childlike mindsets, like viewing sexuality only as a way to get off. These parts of a sex or porn addict have a very elementary view of what sex is. They don’t understand what’s possible in sex, which is an authentic connection filled with intimacy as an expression of love and trust shared with a partner. This authentic connection starts with being real with yourself, about who you are and what you're doing. Authenticity in sex doesn’t come from copying what you might have seen in porn, either. It starts with you, and it's about being real with yourself in terms of who you are, what you’re doing, and where you’re trying to be.
Knowledge Plus Action Equals Recovery
Change begins in the heat of the moment of temptation. When you're feeling an urge, when you're seeing the temptations come up. When you begin to have awareness, you can engage quickly before that pressure rises and gets worse. You can also be preemptive long before it gets to that point with porn addiction support techniques and information. We all have a threshold where the temptation is extreme, but you can recognize the build up long before you get to that threshold because once you surpass that threshold, the likelihood of acting out is so much greater. Instead, you can begin to handle the stressors or temptations when they begin to creep in, when you just start feeling those urges or temptations. It’s important to remember not to wait too long; don’t wait and debate, because that’s a recipe for failure.
The benefit of gaining the capacity to notice what you’re thinking and feeling is that now you can start to be preemptive. As soon as you notice a temptation or a stressor, dive in and look at it, don’t wait! For example, if you walk into the kitchen and see the stove on fire, you don’t sit back down and start watching TV. If you did that, your house might soon become engulfed in flames! But if you're in the kitchen and there's a grease fire in your pan, you react quickly with towels and a fire extinguisher (or baking soda if you don’t have an extinguisher). You don't just stand there and say, “Oh wow, that's terrible,” you protect your house.
So now that you’re gaining skills in noticing what you’re thinking and feeling, you can dive in and deal with your thoughts and feelings with porn addiction immediately. If you feel an urge, that urge is like a fire in your pan: not the whole house on fire, not the kitchen on fire, just a fire in that little pan. That’s the moment you can take some decisive action to deal with the problem right then and there. Otherwise, the problem can get away from you.
There has to be action, there has to be a game plan. Make sure that there is something that you're doing, because without the action piece, the knowledge isn’t going to create change. It’s a start, and it’s a good start at that, but you need action too. Knowledge plus action equals recovery. Learn more about porn addiction support and therapy solutions from Neulia-Compulsion Solutions today.
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