Last week I mentioned how things have been a little more difficult for me and how I need to get back on track. I want to take this week to share a battle plan of sorts that I have made a commitment to keep for the next month.
Coming up with a plan is advice I got from a podcast called Porn Free Radio. If you click the link you can get more details on making your own plan.
The first thing I had to do was decide what my motivation is for not wanting to go back to pornography. It couldn’t be done for the sake of someone else. I had to have a reason that was internal or selfish so to speak. Basically, I had to say I don’t want this, I want this. For me it was, I don’t want to be and feel isolated, I want to have better and stronger relationships.
Pornography causes a person to not know how to have a real relationship with anyone. And it isn’t isolated to romantic relationships. Watching pornography is all about the viewer. The person watching is solely focused on his or her own gratification.
If we keep feeding that selfish thinking it spills into all other areas of life. That’s what happened to me. The more I watched the more selfish I became, the more selfish I became the more isolated I felt and then I would watch more porn further continuing the cycle.
The next thing was to be aware of things and situations that are potential triggers. It’s important to write them down to make them concrete. Also, it’s good to look back at what you wrote to remind yourself.
This way if you find yourself in these situations or feeling these emotions you can take action to get out, to do something to lessen the emotions or do something to keep yourself from going down the wrong path. Those actions are different for everybody but what works for me is meditation, prayer and relaxing music.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
For me, stress and worry are signs that I may be getting into trouble if I don’t calm down or distract myself. I have stress and worry when it comes to my Healthcare and nursing. I don’t constantly worry about it but when there is change or a nurse needs replaced, then my worry tends to kick in.
The next thing is consequences for relapsing. It can either be not doing something you enjoy or doing something you don’t enjoy. We’re not talking about torture, though. It can be something as simple as doing the dishes for a month. I decided that my consequence is not playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends. I’m such a geek.
Consequences are good but it’s also important to celebrate successes. I realized I haven’t done anything specific to celebrate milestones in my recovery. This makes it a chore. As I grow in my recovery I should feel more joy. This won’t happen if I don’t celebrate once in a while. I decided to go to the movies with a friend after the first month.
The next thing is commitments. More specifically commitments that move you forward in your recovery. The number of commitments will vary but they should be active. Just having a list of things not to do will drive you to frustration. If you know certain activities usually lead to trouble then that probably should be listed. I personally don’t have coffee after 2 pm. I know having it later can cause me to be jittery when I’m trying to get to sleep.
My other commitments are to meditate and pray at least once a day, read the bible daily, contact someone from recovery daily and to stick to my morning routine. My routine is to meditate for 15-20 minutes and then to do a combination of devotionals, Bible reading, and prayer for 40-45 minutes.
The commitments should include things that give you life or joy. You have to include things that you actually enjoy doing. I personally have to make sure I consume some form of entertainment. Whether it be some tv, a movie, a book or podcast.
That is what I am doing this month to get back on track. Once you make a plan you aren’t stuck with it for life. That is why you do a plan for a short amount of time. You can adjust it as your needs change.