By Floyd Godfrey, LPC, CSAT candidate
If you are struggling with sexual addiction, there are going to be times when it’s important to spend quiet moments alone in personal reflection. This is healthy and appropriate. This is not the same as isolation. Many people find serenity and peace in moments of solitude and quiet.
There may be times you want to keep a journal handy. Even a small notepad might be adequate to write out feelings or thoughts. Recovery stressors can be overwhelming, so taking a time-out to catch your breath is useful.
Journaling has many benefits as a therapeutic tool. It provides a healthy immediate release for deeper thoughts and feelings. When emotions seem overwhelming, journaling can feel like an old friend.
Journaling also provides a resource for you to look back on your progress in recovery. It allows you to visualize success. It also allows you trace back mistakes and establish new injunctions or prepare for triggers that habitually arise.
Another idea for time-out would be to keep an engaging book on hand that you could pick up quickly. When you’re having discouraging or tempting thoughts, you’ll need to quickly move to something else before those thoughts take root. A good book is a good place to turn for a mental distraction.
A final idea for time-outs would be to engage a hobby that you enjoy. Have the activity easily accessible and ready to simply pull off the shelf and start working on it. Perhaps its something you have set up in your garage. Keep it simple so there isn’t too much preparation. You want it to be quick and easy to engage.
Learn to use time-outs as a tool for healthy recovery. Sexual addiction counseling often takes persistence over a long period of time. Don’t get discouraged. Learn to use this tool as a way of pushing through the marathon of recovery.