By now, you should have completed you personal sexual recovery plan.
Now you know what behaviors you want to stop, why you want to stop, and what behaviors to watch out for.
I also hope that you had a chance to read our introductory article titled “How to Stop Pornography Addiction“.
Please do not continue reading until you have finished your sexual recovery plan and you’ve read through the introductory article.
Now please download and print the ERP checklist. If you don’t have a printer, simple re-create a first row by hand.
Also make sure that you have your sexual recovery plan handy.
Now take a few minutes to identify a triggering situation. Chances are you can use one of the warning signs from your sexual recovery plan. Make sure to create a vivid mental image of a situation where you are most likely to act out (i.e. home alone with a computer) and observe the physiological response from your body.
Note: Please do not try to look at pornography and other sexually explicit material in order to trigger yourself, this will only have a counterproductive effect. Concentrate instead on a challenging situation where you tend to lose control.
Measure your pulse rate as soon as you feel the response. Record it into the table.
Now immediately follow through with breathing exercise. Breathe in for 10 seconds, hold your breath for 10 seconds, breathe out for 10 seconds. Repeat it 10 times.
Now read out loud to yourself all of the positive rewards for staying sober from you sexual recovery plan. Make sure to take your time to imagine each of the positive rewards. Imagine how it would feel to be that person. Try to create a very vivid and colorful image.
Once you are done, measure your pulse rate again. Record the difference in the table. Be aware that there are no right and wrong results; you are simply observing your body to gain a better understanding of how it functions.
I want to congratulate you! You just finished your first ERP exercise!
Well, you’ve almost finished it, except for the most important part.
I want you to shut off your computer and go for a walk. Drop everything that you are doing, and just go. And if it is too late at night, shut off your computer and go to bed. Trust me, this will be the best thing you can do for yourself.
In the next chapter, we are going to revisit the ERP techniques, and look into why it is so important for our recovery.
P.S. If you chose not to do the exercise, I highly advise you to find some time to do it before the end of the day, so you can better understand our next discussion.