What Do Sex Addiction and Groundhog Day Have In Common?
Do you remember the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray and Andie McDowell? Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, is stuck reliving the same day over and over. At first he is anxious and then becomes agitated with the repetition of the same day, over and over, again. With the pattern of repetition set, he begins to manipulate situations to his advantage. The cycle escalates to the point where he hedonistically lives like there is no tomorrow, without consequences. He is relegated to live a pattern that he would prefer not to repeat.
I have heard those who struggle with sex addiction describe how much they can identify with a repetition portrayed in the movie of living the same day, over and over, again. Sex addicts describe a pattern of living hedonistically without care or concern of the consequences and manipulating situations to their advantage. They describe being stuck in a pattern they can’t escape and don’t understand how to get out of to live differently.
Phil Connors begins to live differently when he makes a conscious decision to change the habit of his life. When he consciously makes different choices outside the pattern, his life is not doomed to a cycle he’d prefer not to repeat. Instead of trying to manipulate situations and the people around him, he learns to become present to their needs and offers service to others based on those needs. Until Phil moves beyond his self-centeredness, learns to be authentic, and live with humility; he stays stuck in a pattern he can’t break.
Similarly, addiction gets set up by a series of faulty patterns unconsciously repeated over and over to the point one can’t escape their own Groundhog Day. Recovery begins by creating new healthy patterns, consciously. 12-Step meetings for Sex Addiction are where sex addicts can learn to break the patterns that have plagued them for so long. Sex addicts in recovery recognize their powerlessness over the repetition of their day, and break the cycle by doing differently, one day at a time. Instead of manipulating those around them, they become present to themselves and those to whom they surround themselves in recovery. Living free from addiction requires humility. Living in recovery, means living authentically. The flip side of the addictive cycle is a cycle of presence, humility, and accountability. Sex addicts must be accountable to themselves, those they surround themselves with, and to their relationships. Conscious habits break faulty patterns.
Will you live Groundhog Day again tomorrow?