You are NOT Your Addiction to Sex or Pornography

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You are NOT Your Addiction to Sex or Pornography

I’ve talked with many clients who come to see me with a belief that they are addicted to sex or pornography.  The belief is that THEY ARE AN ADDICT. And, that belief is difficult for many of them to separate from any other belief they have about themselves.

“I’m a husband who is addicted to pornography.”  “I’m a father who is addicted to sex.” “I’m less of a man than guys I know because I’m addicted.” “I’m addicted to sex and that makes me a slut.”

As you might imagine, soon the beliefs about addiction become so entangled in beliefs about self that they blend together and the person cannot see themselves as anything other than an addict. This makes it hard to break free from the addiction.

The truth is this: YOU ARE NOT YOUR ADDICTION.

Recently one of our group members was talking about his addiction as a “monster” inside of him. The group built on that concept and we found separation between the monster that is the addiction and the men sitting in the room.  THEY ARE NOT THE SAME.

As you feed the monster, it grows. When you don’t feed it, it gets angry and makes noise (cravings). Many people give in to those cravings and the monster grows more.

If you don’t feed the monster, it dies. It may take a while, and it may be uncomfortable when the monster is screaming and you’re trying to ignore it. The truth is though, if you don’t feed it, the monster will die.

And that thinking (I am NOT my addiction, it is separate from the real me) is a great first step to beating your addiction, avoiding relapse and understanding cravings.

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).