By Floyd Godfrey, LPC, CSAT candidate
This is a very simple tool that we discuss in our program for sexual addiction, although it is a tool that could be used for MANY situations when trying to overcome a bad habit. Usually you have to find replacement behaviors to fill the gap; you’ll need to find new behaviors that replace the old.
First identify your goal. In other words, when struggling with sexual addiction you list out your “bottom lines.” These are the behaviors you are going to stop. This is how you identify abstinence or sober behaviors. Take your list of bottom lines and generate a plan for what you will do when temptation arises. In other words, list several very specific tools that you will implement to keep sober.
Next, set aside specific times to do a “Fire Drill.” This means a run-through. In other words, you will implement the specific tools that you have listed regardless of whether you get tempted or not. This practice of using tools helps them become more familiarized. You will find that when you start doing regular fire drills that you start utilizing tools more quickly in the face of crisis.
It can be very difficult to think clearly when in the midst of sexual temptation. Your brain begins to go limbic and your reasoning goes out the window. However, when you have images of using the recovery tools, and when you have practiced these tools regularly, they happen more easily at times of peril.
In high school I was a captain on the swim team. We practiced relentlessly for several hours each day. I remember the coach would ask us to do flip turns - repeatedly. This often occurred at the end of practice. I remember wondering “Why is he doing this to us?! We’re exhausted.” I can see now that our performance as athletes was improved when we could flawlessly implement a flip-turn even when we were exhausted and beyond thinking clearly. Our mind and body’s ability to recreate the positive behavior was increased. We became faster and more proficient athletes.
If you want to increase your recovery behaviors when struggling, start practicing your Fire Drills daily, then eventually less frequently as it becomes more automatic. Engrain these tools into your psyche so you don’t even have to think about them – they just happen instinctively. The Fire Drill is a technique that embeds the recovery tools more deeply into your brain. You want them to become automatic.
If you need help with these sensitive issues please call us for a free 15-minute consultation. We have specialty programs for pornography and sexual addiction in Mesa Arizona. (480) 668-8301.