Unfortunately, recovering from sex addiction is way easier said than done. Very often, people who have recovered from sex addiction find themselves in a sex addiction relapse at some point in their recovery. It is important to remember that even if you have gone through sex addiction treatment you can still get triggered to act out and fall into a relapse.
First, I want you to know that this article is not about losing hope, but about learning what things you can do build a solid sex addiction recovery program and prevent relapse in the first place.
At Novus Counseling and Recovery Center we want you to have the best chance at recovery success.
We know, through experience, that once an individual gives in completely to a relapse, he or she ends up often in worse shape than before starting recovery. That is why this is such an important topic. Relapse is not uncommon among those who make recovery. It is often part of the process. It is important to remember that a relapse does not necessarily mean that all efforts have failed.
Anyone recovering from sex addiction should realize that relapse is often triggered by something around you. It might be a place, a person, a memory, or an activity. There are often signs that a relapse is imminent. The key to fighting against the urge to go back to the sex addiction lies in understanding these signs of relapse and acting accordingly. Know your relapse signs and triggers and how to work with them gives you the best chance at recovery success.
Here are the 7 warning signs of sex addiction relapse
Some addicts, when headed for a relapse start to become overconfident. These individuals believe that they have developed resistance towards their sex addiction and now have the power to experiment with old addictive behaviors without facing consequences. There might even be an urge to prove everyone else wrong. But one of the things a recovering addict has to understand is that they are still prone to falling back into the addictive process. Recovering addicts may feel stronger and more able to control themselves, but the truth is they need to stay open to the possibility of relapse.
Cutting off your support network
You may start cutting off your support network. You stop calling your therapist or other group members. There might be someone or some group that might be keeping you anchored. There might be certain activities, like a sex addiction therapy group, that keeps you calm, in control, and working on yourself. A person heading towards a relapse gradually starts removing all the people and things that were important for sobriety. You tend to become lackadaisical and they start exhibiting all the familiar behaviors of when you were an addict. They might find yourself lying to those around you and guilt starts to make every relationship and your life very stressful.
You start developing the irresistible desire to engage your addictive behavior just one more time. You keep thinking to yourself that maybe just once more wouldn’t matter. You convince yourself that you are completely okay and that there is no chance of falling back into the same way of life again. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Relapse is one of the worst things that can happen to a recovering addict and it leaves them worse off than the beginning of recovery.
You cannot tolerate it if friends or family point out what is happening. You get self-conscious and get extremely uncomfortable. This makes a recovering addict very defensive and frustrated. Denial and a sense of self-righteousness can have you asking all your well-wishers to mind their own business and that there’s no way you are doing anything wrong yourself. This is again, a warning sign of relapse.
You may begin to fondly remember the days when you were acting out, leaving out all the consequences of your sex addiction. You do not care to remember the damage it did to your life, but just how wonderful it felt to escape your pain and loneliness. You remember your sex addiction as only pleasurable. This can gradually create a desire to experience those “good times” again. Reminiscing is one of the major warning signs a person is heading towards relapse.
If you are headed for a relapse you may start exhibiting behavioral changes. You become moody, overreact, or get easily frustrated. You become who you were during your addiction days. You may often find that you going back to old behaviors that you had made great efforts to change.
Avoiding Your Therapist or Counselor
You find that you are canceling your therapy session due to an easy to avoid conflict in your schedule. You may say to yourself that you have nothing to talk about and you don’t need so much support anymore. This could be true but most likely you have not talked with your therapist directly about it. You may find you are attending your sex addiction support group less and less. Putting it off to just being too busy.
If you are showing signs of a relapse, it does not mean that you have failed or that all is lost. If a person can recognize these signs, it is possible to act fast and get the necessary help. Be honest to yourselves if you notice a change in the way you behave. Look back to the past, it was not just good days that you had. There were periods of misery, stress, and chaos. Remember that you are working hard to achieve recovery. Don’t ignore any of these warning signs. Catch yourself before you slip back.
If you need more support call Novus Counseling and Recovery Center Today. We can help.