fireworks © by bvalium

It is never too early or too late to decide to make positive changes in your life.  However, the New Year is symbolically a perfect time for beginnings, new commitments, and fresh starts.  Take the beginning of 2012 as an opportunity to make changes that will improve your life and help you move forward in your recovery.  These are just a few suggestions.

For Addicts:
  • Face your problem.  Acknowledging, even to yourself, that your pornography use is a real problem can be scary.  Make this the year that you face your fear- and your addiction- head on.  Be honest with yourself.  Talk to someone- your spouse, a trusted friend, a clergy member, a counselor.  Facing the problem is the first step toward recovery and reclaiming your life.  It’s always the right time to reach out for help; if you think that pornography or sex addiction is a problem in your life, resolve to make this the year you do something about it.
  • Start a program.  If you know you have a problem, but haven’t yet sought outside help, now is the time.  Symbolically, the New Year is a wonderful time for beginnings and new commitments.  Find a twelve-step program, a support group, or a therapist or counselor.  Get help and start a treatment program for your addiction.  Make a commitment to attend sessions or meetings regularly and do the followup work.
  • Renew your resolution.  If you are already making progress toward recovery, this is a great time to reaffirm your determination to stay on-track.
  • Be a whole person.  Set goals for yourself in the coming year which are unrelated to your struggle with sex addiction.  Give yourself something positive and healthy to focus on and direct your energy to.  This will help you improve yourself and your life in general, and the chances are good that it will also give you a healthy outlet which may help you in your recovery.

For Spouses:

  • Seek help.  If you are not already in counseling or a support group, now is a great time to start.  Your emotional well-being, mental health, and self-esteem are profoundly effected by your partner’s addiction.  Let the New Year be the moment you decide to let yourself heal and move forward.
  • Get informed.  In 2012, resolve to be the most informed partner you can be.  Knowledge is power- in this case, power to cope with your partner’s addiction by understanding that it isn’t a reflection on you, power to support, encourage, and guide your partner, and power to fight the social stigma around mental health issues in general.  Feed the Right Wolf contains a lot of great material to help partners understand how addiction works, as well as links to other useful resources.
  • Be a whole person.  Remind yourself that “partner of a sex addict” is not the sum total of who you are, and resolve to set goals and seek activities that help the rest of you grow and flourish.  Take a continuing education class, pursue a hobby, or take on a personal project.  In 2012, remember who you are and encourage yourself to grow and improve.

What are your resolutions in this new year?