Because of the “all or nothing,” “perfection or failure” mindset many sex addicts tend to have, it’s easy to get caught in the insidious trap that tells you, “I have to overcome this right now, once and for all!” When struggling individuals first begin applying the principles found in the Candeo program, many quickly experience a level of initial recovery success. Then, when this success doesn’t last, they can become discouraged and even hopeless. As a veteran of this rollercoaster ride of temporary success/euphoria and relapse, I know how devastating it can be. One of the keys to recovery success with any addiction or negative behavior is to remember, “Recovery is a journey, not an event.”
Habits, positive or negative, don’t suddenly spring up over night. They take time, repetition and reinforcement to develop. If we desire to change or replace a habit, we must follow the same process that developed it in the first place—time, repetition and reinforcement. Addiction is what I call “habit on steroids.” We develop and reinforce addictions over time—especially sexual addiction. Can we reasonably expect to replace the addiction with healthy habits in the blink of an eye? Here is an excerpt from one of our Candeo Students that illustrates the concept, “Recovery is a journey”—
“Just starting level 8 up again but had to come and do a journal entry. I’m on section 22 and the first few seconds gave me another, “Wow, I can’t believe how Candeo seems to be reading my mind!” kind of moment. It opens by saying, “You are seeing progress and successes you once only dreamed possible.” That was encouraging not only because I needed the reminder of how far I’ve come but also a reminder that the word is “successes” not “success.” That’s significant to me because I do feel like I’m having daily if not hourly successes but I still feel like I’m fighting for my life. I might not have “success” as defined by this addiction being completely absent from my life, but I am having “successes” every day that I used to think would be impossible.”
“The other line I like in section 22 is “Your progress isn’t a fluke.” This one was very powerful and applicable to what I’ve been thinking and afraid of. I’ve been afraid lately that all my successes have just been a control phase and that it can all slip through my hands at any moment; that I’m not doing good enough in the program to deserve the “successes” mentioned above. Again, I love Candeo for it’s ability to put into words, describe, and pay attention to the mindset this addiction puts a person into.”
This Candeo Student really gets to the heart of recovery when he realizes that it’s a series of “successes,” a series of daily steps, one built upon another that allows us to progress down the recovery path. And what you find in recovery is that it’s the journey that becomes the most meaningful—the learning, growing, falling, getting up and continuing forward, and achieving in ways you never dreamed possible. And most important is that along the way you’re learning to be patient, kind and compassionate with yourself; to love and believe in yourself; that you’re a being of infinite worth and potential; and that you ARE succeeding every single day. The Candeo program is designed to be there with you, every step of the way.
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