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Miracle of Recovery

 

"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle."

-  Phillips Brooks

 

Did you ever see the movie “Evan Almighty”?  Evan was tasked with building an ark in modern times because the flood was coming.  He kept praying for patience, but patience never came.  The situations that allowed him to develop patience kept coming, not the skill or attribute of patience.  Recovery is like that.  The people I sit with in early addiction recovery sometimes sit waiting in abstinence of the acting out for recovery to come….waiting for it to arrive.  It takes some time and “program development” to understand that their consistent work, building the muscle of recovery, if you will, over time to live in the life of recovery.

Sex Addiction, Habits and Winning Recovery

"Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit."    –Vince Lombardi

The Packers have another super victory after Super Bowl XLV yesterday.  Vince Lombardi, former coach to Green Bay, has many books written about his great strategies for coaching and his winning attitudes.  Lombardi was fierce to find principles that work.  The small successful strategies applied over time led to a monumental and admired career legacy.

I was struck by his quote: “Once you learn to quit, it becomes habit.”  To me, there is a double entendre.  I thought of addiction.  any addiction is a series of bad habits going in the wrong direction---heading towards the wrong goalpost, if you will. Recovery needs new habits, a collection of good choices, redirected towards the right goalpost.  Initially I read the quote as: once one learns to quit a bad habit or addiction, a successful new habit is achieved. I thought about people I see who win in recovery.  The addict that quits bad habits can turn their strategy around. Bad habits need to cease and good choices need to be aimed in the right direction. Quitting those habits of addiction forms a good habit over time with successful, and winning, outcomes. 

Sex Addiction, the Partner's Mistrust and Recovery

"To know what people really think, pay regard to what they do, rather than what they say."  Rene Descartes

The betrayal and discovery of sex addiction in a relationship is a betrayal like no other.  As a CSAT, I sit with people who have felt that very unique betrayal.  Sex addicts are great at hiding and living very compartmentalized lives.  Rare is the sex addict that comes forward to proclaim that they have a problem and need to seek help or treatment.  Once the addiction is discovered, there is a dynamic in the relationship that ensues.  Trust is blown.  The partner feels like the only way to be sure that offending behaviors are arrested is to keep tabs on the offending partner.  In shock they feel if they had not discovered, or happened upon evidence of sorts, then they would have never known.  Continuing to seek the evidence results in what is commonly referred to “pain shopping” in recovery circles.  Pain shopping keeps one stirred up internally and as agitated or “crazy” as the addict is with their addiction. Pain shopping is a straight pipeline to enacting the codependency dynamic in the couple impacted by sex addiction.