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Pause, Then Replace

Pause, Then Replace


You can't just remove your sexual acting out behavior. Yes, you can stop the behavior for a while, but just stopping doesn’t lead to lasting change. That’s because you can’t just remove something and expect it to stay gone. You need to replace it. You need to replace, not just temporarily distract. You can’t just eliminate your acting-out behavior by banishing it, but you can replace it with healthy behavior. That's because when you stop the compulsive behavior, it leaves a void. So what can you do? Neulia Compulsion Solutions is here to help you free yourself from sex addiction, porn obsession, and shame. We offer effective porn addiction therapy and sex addiction therapy to help you break your cycle of compulsive behavior and discover a healthier, more rewarding relationship with intimacy. Read on to learn more about the "Pause, then Replace" strategy, and contact us today to get help now! 


If you're dealing with a porn addiction or sex addiction and a reactive thought enters your head, take a pause. This is very important. If you act on that first thought without pausing, your risk of acting out goes up. But if you pause and don’t follow that first wrong thought, you can avoid that trigger and take a different, more positive action. Step in and recognize the first reactive thought you’re having. Because often that first thought is a wrong thought. This gives you a moment to simply stop and ask, “Okay, what's the right thought? What is a thought that will serve me well at this moment?”


You can use this as a technique: When you feel the urge to act out, say to yourself, “First Thought Wrong,” and pause. This works like pressing a pause button. It stops the reactive thought in its tracks so you can deal with what’s actually going on. This technique (just like any of the pausing techniques you can learn in our program) is designed to stop you from going into your typical acting-out cycle long enough for you to deal with what's going on underneath the surface. 

Once you’ve paused, you can bring in the more logical part of your thinking and play out what would happen if you followed that wrong first thought. The reason you can do that is that you’ve paused. You’ve recognized the First Thought as a reactive thought that will not serve you in the long run. 


The next step is to take a look at why you wanted to act out. Talk to the addict part of yourself. I think it’s best if you can sit down and write out the dialog with your addict self. Something like this:

Okay addict, why are you here? You know I don't want you here. So if you're showing up and you're sending urges and temptations down my line, you need to explain to me why. What do you need?

Whether you are contending with sex addiction, porn addiction, or both, it's best to approach your addict with authority, not fear. You know your addict can't actually make you do anything. He can make a lot of suggestions, and those suggestions can be powerful, but at the end of the day, you choose what happens. The authority resides with you. 

So take a moment to play it out with your addict. Replace the acting out behavior with imagining what would happen next if you were to act out. Maybe you’ll feel better for a little while like you’ve gone on a great vacation. But what happens afterward? You feel terrible about yourself. You feel guilt. You feel shame. You’re further away from your goal. You disrupt your relationship with yourself. Then you feel guilty. You’re disconnected from your wife or partner because of how you feel about yourself. All the things that you’ve planned, all of your desires and goals, are hindered. 

When you bring reality into the situation by simply recognizing that first thought as a knee-jerk reactive thought, then you can begin to notice your second thought and your third thought. Those are thoughts you can have about how to replace the acting-out behavior with something else. You can really look at what is actually causing you to want to act out. You can replace the acting out behavior that the first thought wants you to do with the examination of what’s driving your mental machinery. What made that “let’s-act-out-now” thought come up in the first place?  

The addict wants you to focus on euphoric recall, wants you to remember how good it feels to act out. But that remembrance only works to your detriment and causes massive problems in your life. When you pause for just a moment, you can begin to understand the impulse, to be aware of it, to be mindful of it. Then by playing out the scene, by imaging the full scene and the full consequences of the acting, you can disrupt the cycle. You disrupt the euphoric recall. You can take authority.

Your mind is your own. Your sexuality is your own. If you're living in fear of your addiction and you want proof that you are in charge, just look at it. Nothing happens unless you allow it. Your subconscious can't take any sort of action on its own. Its trick is that the thought comes up fast and you act without taking a tiny little pause. That tiny little pause can push you past that first wrong thought and help you control your impulses. 

The impulse makes a suggestion, but until you do something physically — until you take some action — nothing happens. Think about it. Again, the mind can come up with all kinds of thoughts and ideas but none of that is turned into action. There is not going to be any motor movement until the thinking mind tells it to do so. The action resides with you, it starts with you. As you will learn in porn addiction therapy, you are in control. 

There has to be a next step. It's not enough to just know, to just pause. There's an action that follows. Maybe you go on a walk. Maybe you get out of your house. Maybe you call someone. If you’re receiving porn addiction support from one of us, you can give us a call. There’s 1000 things you can do. You can plan ahead. Make a list. What can you do other than act out? What are some other options? 


But remember, I’m not suggesting you think of your acting out as evil. Your addict is just trying to help you. His intentions are misplaced, but they're ultimately good intentions. Your addict wants you to feel better, he wants to take care of you. That’s what’s creating that first wrong thought. And when you act out over and over and over again, you reinforce that. 

But when you decide you don’t want to act out anymore, when you seek out sex addiction support or porn addiction help, your subconscious, automatic protection mechanism gets very confused. He fights you because he believes that this is what you need. The intentions of your addict aren't bad, but you demonize your addict because you’ve tried to stop over and over and over. But your addict is not against you. It's not even though it feels that way. I get it. Because you tried it again, you've tried to stop over and over and over again. 

Finally, you come to the realization that there's this kind of separate entity, a separate voice inside of you where the addiction resides. When you realize this, you might become angry because you feel this part of you has become distorted. But what’s actually needed is to embrace this addict part, to pull him into the light. You’re trying to force your addict to grow. Your addict has a 10 to 12-year-old boy’s viewpoint of sexuality—mechanics, orgasms, getting off. It doesn’t understand emotion and intimacy. But we can teach it. 


You can move away from the old behavior by pausing and then implementing a new behavior. Knowledge plus action equals recovery. Recognizing that your first thought is wrong is great. It's excellent. But what comes after that? That's what's important. What actions will you take to teach your addict and cause him to grow up? Pausing is important, it’s the first step, but the action that follows is what solidifies the change. 


Do you need porn addiction help? Neulia Compulsion Solutions is your source for discreet and evidence-based porn addiction therapy and sex addiction therapy. All of our experienced sex addiction therapists and counselors are recovered addicts who have been there themselves, and who know what it takes to create the positive change you so desperately need. Visit our website to learn more about how we can best serve you, and contact us today to get started.  

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