Tired – A Trigger for Relapse

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Tired – A Trigger for Relapse

We’ve been looking at the HALT acronym (Hurt, Angry, Lonely, Tired) as a brief review of some of the things that trigger Relapse or use.  This is true of almost all addictions, not just sex and pornography addiction.

Tired.  What are you feeling when you’re Tired?  Low energy? Ambivalence? Don’t Care? Wiped out? Like you just a need a little “pick me up?”

When battling a sex or pornography addiction, any of those things make relapse easier. When you have a plan to avoid your addiction, it’s easier to forget the plan when you’re tired. It’s easier to forget the plan when you just need a pick me up or when you don’t feel like fighting your thoughts or feelings.

Have you ever relapsed when you were Tired?  If so, think about what was going on in your mind.  That “sleepy fog”, the feeling of taking the easy way.  Relapse is the easy way – in the short term.

Tired is a time of “high risk” for relapse. Being aware of this will make it easier for you to do a number of things:

1) Take care of yourself.  Physically, mentally, emotionally. Avoid letting yourself get Tired. Do regular workouts to build stamina. Turn the TV off at a decent hour and go to sleep. Unplug from the internet and the hectic pace of the world. Meditate, relax, chill.

2) Set good boundaries. Don’t allow people into your world that you don’t want in. Avoid the unnecessary stress.  Don’t over extend yourself at work or with your personal schedule.

3) Be AWARE.  If you do find yourself Tired, recognize this is a time of higher risk for relapse. Take precaution – tell a family member, remove yourself from danger (internet, computer, tablet PC, chat rooms, etc.).  Leave the bar and head home – don’t allow yourself to get pulled in because “this is the last time.”

4) When you’re Tired you make poor decisions.  Don’t make a major life decision when you’re tired. This is a major life decision. If you’re aware of being Tired, take yourself out of the position to make a good or bad decision about your sex or pornography addiction.

About the Author:

Dan Gabbert holds a Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology from Avila University in Kansas City, MO. Dan is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Certified Sex Addictions Therapist (CSAT), a rigorous certification issued by The International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP).