In this article, I continue discussing the seven points of the Integrity Starts Here! recovery program. The next two points are 5) Spiritual Plan and 6) Education. Here I provide a description for each of these points.
- Spiritual Plan: A close intimate relationship with God is important for successful recovery. Here is where one finds the strength and grace to persevere. Unfortunately, many addicts do not have a healthy relationship with God. Because of their shame, they believe that God could never love them. Or they might be angry with God because of certain tragedies in their lives. Others may have an unhealthy image of God because of struggles with their own fathers. By developing a healthy relationship with God, you can truly experience His great love. You will also find it easier to discern God’s will for your life. This can provide greater hope, strength and determination to persevere in recovery. Use of the sacraments, scripture, and Saints are an integral part of the program. In addition, I recommend spiritual direction. This is where you meet with a priest about once a month to discuss your relationship with God and how to improve it. Here is where you can talk about your image of God, how you experience God in your life, and even any anger you might have toward God. You can then work with your spiritual director to resolve these issues. This can then enable you to understand just how deeply God loves you and how intimately involved he is in your life and your recovery. This can actually make the recovery process exciting!
- Education: In order to recover from an addiction, you must truly understand it. It’s important to understand how a person becomes addicted to pornography physically and emotionally, the dynamics of addiction, the root causes, and the recovery process. You must also understand how addictions affect personal lives and relationships, and how to protect yourself and your family. Many men who are addicted also need to learn about forgiveness, healthy sexuality and relationships, and healthy self-care. Thus, education plays a crucial role in recovery. Through your therapist, support group, and spiritual director, various books, DVDs, podcasts, websites, conferences, etc. may be recommended for your education on these topics. This will help to strengthen your recovery program.
In the next article, I will discuss the final point of the Integrity Starts Here recovery program: 5) Virtue. I will also discuss how to integrate all seven points into one comprehensive recovery program.