Like any addiction, a sexual addiction is a tough challenge to overcome. The damage a sexual addiction can do to one’s mental health is enough to motivate someone to want to change his or her behaviors. Because it is such a difficult thing to overcome an addiction and all of the bad habits associated with it, it is important to create new and healthier habits to replace them. For many, mantras are great for reinforcing ideas and goals, reminding the healing addict why he or she is trying to quit, and encouraging/motivating when it is more difficult to resist the temptations.
Reinforcing Ideas and Goals
“I will get there.”
“I can do this.”
Repeating one or both of these to yourself is a wonderful, yet simple, reminder of the fact that you will, indeed, get there. The goals you have set for yourself are attainable and letting yourself hear these words coming from your own mouth will help reinforce that fact. You can do this. Unfortunately, many people get stuck hearing negative thoughts about themselves in their own heads, and this will hinder progress. Positive thoughts and words of affirmation to yourself will make a huge difference in the fight against your addiction.
“I am in control.”
“I am not my addiction.”
“My mental health is just as important as my physical health.”
It can be easy to write off mental health problems as unimportant, but this is dangerous. Mental health controls more aspects of people’s lives than many are aware of. Mental disorders can affect your productivity, the relationships in your life, and even your physical health, and that is why they are just as important as physical health. Reminding yourself that you are in control will help you take control. You do not have to let your addiction control your life, stop you from accomplishing your goals, or affect your relationships. While saying “no” to your intense desires and urges can be incredibly difficult, the end result is more than worth it. Try saying those three to yourself when you begin to feel out of control.
Reasons to Beat the Addiction
“Never give up what you want most for what you want today.” – Neal A. Maxwell
This excellent quote reminds us that there is an end goal, that there will be a better day for the sex addict, and that that day is worth more than any fleeting pleasure or satisfied compulsion or impulse. Everyone may have slightly different goals, but in the end, recovering addicts want peace and control over their lives and this can be accomplished through determination and not giving up everything you have worked for one “fix”.
“I will be better for my family (spouse/partner/etc.).”
This one is important for those who have people dear to them who are also being affected by the addiction. They can be a great motivating factor in your journey to sobriety, so it is important to consider them when feelings of weakness arise.
Forgiving and Forgetting
“I am making progress.”
“I will forgive myself.”
“I am imperfect, I make mistakes. But I can learn from my mistakes.”
When overcoming an addiction it is not uncommon to slip more than a few times. While this can be extremely discouraging, it is important to remember that it is a sign of growth. By noticing a slip-up, you are automatically acknowledging a change in behavior that is healthy and positive. Try to notice the silver linings, because when you give in and are filled with the desire to be mad at yourself, you are taking more steps back. Encourage and forgive yourself. The problem behavior is punishment enough. Keep going.
“Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourself a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere, and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles.” – Helen Keller