In this article, I continue discussing the seven points of the Integrity Starts Here! recovery program. The next two points are 3) Support and Accountability; and 4) Counseling. Here I provide a description for each of these points.
- Support and Accountability: To be successful in recovery you will need to surround yourself with other men truly who understand your struggle. They will ensure you adhere to your program and help you up if you fall. You will be doing the same for them. It is this kind of teamwork and fellowship that can keep a man sober. Here is where recovery groups, such as Sexaholics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery, are needed. In the support groups, you will find accountability partners. These are men just like yourself who are working on recovery. You work together as a team to support one another and keep each other accountable to your program. In these groups, you will also find a sponsor. This is someone who has at least one year of healthy sobriety and has worked through all 12 steps. He will work with you individually to guide you through the 12-steps. This process is life-changing! It provides valuable tools to achieve and maintain sobriety.
- Counseling: With the first three points of the program you can achieve sobriety; however, if this is all you do, you may end up simply “white-knuckling it.” Eventually you will fall back into acting out. In Alcoholics Anonymous this is known as a “dry drunk.” The reason for this is that you have not identified and resolved the root cause(s) of your addiction. Here is where counseling is important. The goal of counseling is to identify and heal the wounds that led you to use pornography. These wounds can include deep traumas, or they can be a lot of little things that have added up over the years. Whether large or small, these wounds can result in feelings of anger, frustration, sadness, guilt, shame, loneliness, rejection, etc. You may have heard the term “self-medicating.” Often when a person is hurting emotionally, he will use a substance, such as sex or pornography to ease the pain. This is self-medicating. By identifying and healing the emotional wounds, you will no longer experience the painful emotions associated with those wounds. Once this is done, there is no longer a need to turn to pornography to self-medicate. Lasting sobriety can then be achieved. This is true recovery.
In the next article, I will discuss the next two points of the Integrity Starts Here recovery program: 5) Spiritual Plan; and 6) Education.