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Day 19 - Abstinence vs. Recovery

Powerful practical actions to pursue recovery.

Workbook day 19 (PDF content)

Day 19
Abstinence Vs. Recovery

According to Dictionary.com abstinence means:
  • The act or practice of refraining from some action or from the use of something.
According to Dictionary.com recovery means:
  • The act or process of recovering, especially from sickness, shock or a setback; recuperation
  • Restoration to a former or better condition
  • The regaining of something lost

Abstinence is stopping the unacceptable behavior with the expectation that it is gone for good, never to be engaged in, desired, or even tempted by. Abstinence will never get you to that new way of thinking and freedom. Although abstinence is valuable, it is not sustainable without recovery. The following nine recovery practices are for you to study, apply, and live out in your daily life. Recovery is much more than stopping the undesirable behavior.

Recovery is about:

  1. Changing behavior in non-sexual situations. Sexual addiction is like looking at the whole world through a pair of glasses with a sexual tint. Recovery means learning to live in a world that isn’t first and foremost sexual. How do you view the world? Is it through sexually tinted glasses? Is your view of non-sexual situations sexual?

    Q: How will you begin to act in non-sexual situations in a non-sexual way?

  2. Change your way of thinking. The basic definition of the word repent is, “to change the way you think.” Instead of seeing women as sexual objects for one’s own self-gratification, recovery is about seeing men, women, and children as having equal value and worth, and treating in them in that way.

    Q: Have you truly repented for any ungodly sexual thoughts and meditations?
    Q: Honestly, how do you view men, women and children?
    Q: Read Philippians 4:8-9 – How will you put this verse into practice?

  3. Change your attitudes. We are responsible for our own thoughts, attitudes, and actions.

    Q: Take an inventory of each one. What do you want to see changed? Why?

  4. Become less isolated and more relational. It takes a lot of private time to feed a secret addiction. Relationships get in the way
    Q: How important are relationships to you? Describe in terms of unnecessary to necessary.
    Q: Do you find excuses to isolate yourself to pursue the “hobby?” If so, what are they?

  5. Become less self-centered and selfish. Sexual addiction at the core is selfishness. It is all about getting one’s own desires met, at the expense of other things in life or other people. Recovery is about what you can do for others, not what you can get from others, sexually or otherwise.

    Q: How can you become less selfish and involve yourself in the lives and activities of others?

  6. Nurture your physical, emotional, and spiritual self.

    Q: How much time do you give each week to:
    Physical Self? (Exercise, hiking, fixing things)
    Emotional Self? (Arts, reading etc.)
    Spiritual Self? (Church, Bible, etc.)

  7. Become the person you want to become. Recovery is about being genuine and honest with yourself and others. If you don’t like the person you are in some areas of your life, you can change, but change must start with the truth.

    Q: What’s the truth about yourself?

  8. Saying you’re sorry and making amends. Recovery means saying you’re sorry and backing it up with actions. Admit to the lies you have been told and have come to believe.

    Q: What people do you need to “make things right” with?

  9. Identify what you want to recover. Recovery means freedom to dream, hope, and make plans for the future that include the ones you love. It’s about where you want to go, doing what you want to do, because you can finally trust that what you want is going to be healthy, strong, and acceptable.

    Q: What do you want to recover?
    Q: How are you going to go for it?