Our lust began as an overpowering desire for pleasurable relief from an inner pain, emptiness or insecurity that we were not able to cope with in any other way. At first, it did provide the relief we sought. For a time, sex with ourselves or with others dissolved the tension, relieved the depression, resolved the conflict, and provided the means to deal with, or escape from life’s seemingly unbearable situations. Eventually, our quest for relief became an addiction, and the addiction took on a life of its own. Pleasure and relief were gradually replaced with tension, depression, rage, guilt, and even physical distress. To relieve this new pain, we resorted to more sex and lust, losing more control in the process. We were driven to spend more time thinking about and carrying out our addiction. We lived in denial to avoid recognizing just how much of our life was controlled by our addiction. Finally, our addiction took priority over everything: our ability to work, live in the real world, relate with others and be close to God. What began as the cure had become the sickness. The Answer had become the Problem. We were hopelessly addicted to lust.
Are You Sexually Addicted?
If you answer YES to at least seven of these questions, you might consider exploring this area of recovery.
- Do you go from one relationship to another?
- Do you feel the right relationship would fulfill all your needs?
- Do you use sex as an escape?
- Do you make excuses to leave your partner as soon as possible after the act?
- After a sexual experience do you feel guilty?
- Has your pursuit of sex interfered with your relationship with your spouse?
- Do you find you are unable to resist a sexual overture?
- Have you ever sought out help to change your sexual behavior or thinking? Have you ever wanted to?
- Have you ever tried to limit or stop acting out, but have been unable to?
- Do you put yourself, or others, in dangerous situations in pursuit of sex?
- Have you found that you are unable to resist sex or sexual images?
- Do you have trouble concentrating, or completing tasks at work, always thinking about sex?
- Do you spend time on the internet viewing pornographic Web sites?
- Do you take time away from work to pursue sexual activities?
- Do you feel you have lost control of your actions to fulfill the need for sex?
- Have you ever been arrested for a sexual offense?
Overcoming Lust and Temptation
A new loneliness overwhelmed us as we realized that, because of our addiction, we had become increasingly separated from God and our loved ones. We began to seek sobriety, and as we stayed sexually sober for some length of time, we discovered that even though we may not be acting out our compulsion, our obsession was still with us. We began to recognize the many disguises the enemy uses to trick us into lusting. We learned not to rely on our failed and weakened selves, but rather, to turn to God’s pure love and absolute power. With an increased reliance on God, we worked on our recovery with altered attitudes, a changed heart and growing humility, and we gained a progressive victory over lust.
As we yielded to God, temptation began to lose its control over us. When we admitted we were powerless and gave our lives and our will over to God, He worked in us, and we began enjoying a healthy new balance in our lives.
Leaning on and learning from others in the program, we continue to walk in His strength, gaining true freedom from lust and sin through obedience to Christ our Lord.
- Commit to Jesus Christ and the 8 Recovery Principals.
- Form an Accountability Team: Sponsor, Accountability Partners.
- Attend men’s sexual addiction (SA) Open Share and Step Study Group.
- Commit to a daily quiet time in The Celebrate Recovery Bible.
- Read SA materials. Learn about your addiction!
- Identify triggers.
- Avoid cross over addictions—food / eating disorders, alcohol / drugs.
- Avoid people, places, and things that tempt your addiction.
- Understand the root of each core issue you identify with and become willing to experience grief, forgiveness, and acceptance.
- Accept God’s standards for sexuality.
- Allow God total access to our minds (thought life) and through the program and change your belief system towards your sexuality.