Obstacles on your way to sobriety – Q&A with Coach Adrian

  1. Should I tell my partner?

The decision, of course, is yours. However, if you want to achieve a deep emotional closeness in your relationship, honesty and freeing yourself from secrets can help you a lot. The decision becomes more complicated when the things we have done in the relationship threaten its existence. In this situation, you have to decide how you want to live – do you want to live every day feeling that you have secrets from your loved one, or honestly, taking responsibility for your actions?

  1. Images from pornographic films do not go out of my head and bully me everyday. What can I do?

Flashbacks from pornographic films you have seen appear to be a natural part of the healing process. After some time of sobriety, these types of reactions seem to disappear spontaneously. Remember that the more you learn new things, the more old paths associated with watching porn are blurred in your brain. That is why it is so important that you get involved in learning something completely new, which gives you pleasure during your recovery. Try to consume media consciously and fill your mind with images, films and experiences that heal you. Sometimes such relapses of “images” from pornographic films are a signal that we are triggered because we have neglected some sphere of our lives, or because of excessive control and supplanting our sexual needs. Acceptance, self-awareness and taking care of yourself are the basis for alleviating these symptoms.

  1. When the moment of slip is approaching, I am unable to force myself to do TRP. Why is this happening?

Whenever a client has a problem with the use of tools that will bring freedom  from the addiction, the first thing I pay attention to is motivation. Often our actions done in hiding will go unpunished, which weakens our motivation. Therefore, being open to our loved ones is such an important process of recovery. The second issue may be postponed reaction – you may have delayed taking action for too long and consequently the tension that has accumulated in you is beyond your strength. That’s why mindfulness and early response to trigger is so important. The third possible reason is the occurrence of deeper psychological problems that require therapy. Focusing on the root causes of our compulsive problems, such as self-loathing, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety disorders makes freedom from addiction a much more achievable goal. Sometimes it takes a handful  of talks with a psychiatrist, supporting our recovery process. Of course, the extent to which we manage our difficulties depends primarily on our internal work and readiness to change in therapy. The formula for success is, in my opinion, internal work, combined with consultation with specialists and sometimes with pharmacotherapy.

  1. Every time I intend to take on something valuable during the day, I am overcome with great fear and postpone it for later. What can I do to break myself?

Of course, the basis of this fear can be complex, but in my experience it is two things. First, I would set goals which I felt I could not achieve, and secondly, lack of my self-confidence. Both of these things can be changed. Remember to set small, achievable goals and celebrate every day for what you have done well. Focus on things that work for you and write them down everyday. Direct all your attention to what you can do and what you get out of your life, and your beliefs about yourself will begin to change. Remember that courage is doing something in spite of fear. Do not be afraid of fear, act!

  1. My family situation / work is toxic and leads me to another relapse. I feel that I am in a desperate situation and the only way to forget about her is compulsive masturbation.

Remember that addiction performs some function in your life. Sometimes it is maintaining the stability of the system in which you operate. There is a good chance that if you start making changes in yourself, your relationships or even your career path will change. Sometimes, however, in order to make a change in ourselves, we must first be free from the environment that is overwhelming us. An important question is what falls within your sphere of influence? Also what part of this toxic situation results from your behavior and what is the result of other people’s behavior? I always assume that the changes should start with ourselves and,  starting from this assumption, we can get really far – even if it would only “change” our way of responding to the difficult situation we have in our lives. However, what if we do everything we can, and the situation makes us deeply unhappy and makes us more  willing to relapse? In such a situation, if we want to free ourselves from addiction we need to make hard choices and change our external situation.

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