In recovery from porn, you may have setbacks from time to time. This should not discourage you from moving forward on the journey. To be honest, there have been a few slips on my own recovery journey. I could have given up and believed those feelings of hopelessness and the lie that I was telling myself that recovery just won’t work for me like it does for other people.
Looking back now, I’m so grateful that I pressed on, ignored those feelings, and chose to believe that my God had all the power in the universe to give to me if I would only ask for it and do my part by using the tools of recovery.
Seeing other sober people also gave me the hope that if recovery worked for them, it might work for me as well. Today, I am completely sober from using porn for over four years (the longest I have ever been sober from porn in my entire life since I first used it).
Here are four ways to turn your setbacks into victories.
Find the Tools for Recovery
I can’t take all the credit for this. I have relied on daily asking God for the power to stay sober for the next 24 hours, staying accountable by having Covenant Eyes on all of my devices and being brutally honest with others in recovery about every slip (even the close calls).
When triggered to view porn, I pray. I ask for God’s help and power and then surrender all the lust within.
Call Before You Fall
Next, I practice reaching out by doing what I learned in recovery: “Call before you fall.” Calling our accountability partners helps us to get out of ourselves when we need help the most.
The sooner we reach out after noticing that we are headed down that path, the more likely we will remain victorious.
Learn from Your Mistakes
On my own journey, I could have let those times when I slipped become the end of the road for my recovery. Instead, I chose to bounce back, learn from my mistakes, make the necessary adjustments to my recovery plan, and keep moving forward! I made these setbacks a learning experience and turned them into some of my greatest victories and breakthroughs in my recovery.
As long as we learn from our mistakes, they are not wasted. Never waste a relapse! To turn a relapse into a victory, we should analyze what went wrong and be curious. Become a little private investigator searching for clues about what happened.
Some questions to ask might be: What was I feeling when I fell? What emotional state was I in just prior to the fall? Was I bored, lonely, angry, stressed, tired…? What recovery tools did I choose NOT to use that would have helped me had I used them? Did I call anyone and “reach out” instead of “reaching in?” Where was I when I was triggered? Is this a dangerous place for me? Do I need to add some extra boundaries to keep myself safe?
Answering these and similar questions can add to our knowledge about ourselves and shed light on the ways we can make positive adjustments to our recovery plan.
Responding to setbacks in this way can bring victories to our future. You may not have a perfect streak of sobriety from porn since you began your freedom journey, but as long as you are seeing progress, you are moving in the right direction.
Remember to stay positive, keep moving forward, and “Don’t quit before your miracle happens!”