10 Questions To Ask Yourself After a Relapse

 

Porn addiction aside, the one thing that sucks the most is relapsing. In my years of living with an addiction to internet porn, I’ve made the decision to quit more times than I choose to remember.

I vividly remember the first time I relapsed after my longest streak without porn or masturbation. At that time, it was such a challenge to even go 1 week without getting on my favorite site. This time, I had managed 2 full months.

I relapsed on Day 92.

After that relapse I felt three main things:

1) Disbelief and Confusion: How did this happen?” “I was doing so well!”.
2) Shame
3) Less confidence in myself. I basically looked at my self as someone who couldn’t be trusted to keep his word.

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you can relate quite well to all three emotions.

I’d like you to do something for yourself for a moment, though…

Think back to your last relapse- specifically, the week BEFORE your relapse.

Now honestly answer these questions:

Did you have a recovery plan?

Did you have boundaries or actions to take if you were triggered?


Were you checking in with anyone regularly?

Was there someone who helped to keep you accountable?

Were you being proactive about your recovery?

Were you being aware of the places you went, media you exposed yourself to and the thoughts you had?  

Or were you a little more “relaxed” about everything?

Did you have a self-care plan?

A support network of people who understood your problem?

Were you meditating, using affirmations, exercising, eating right, managing stressful situations, getting enough sleep or taking time off to relax?

 

The truth is, if you relapsed, there is bound to be a “No” or a couple of No’s in response to these questions.

All those questions above are related to something called RECOVERY.

When you are in recovery, your brain will inevitably REBOOT with time and you will be free of your compulsive behavior with pornography. It’s that simple.

Simple- but not easy.

So why aren’t most guys in recovery?

Well, I realized- after years of relapsing myself, that our way of viewing recovery is pretty skewed.

See,

Wanting to be in recovery”, is NOT recovery
Installing a filter”, is NOT recovery
90 Days NoFap” is NOT recovery

“Changing my habits” is NOT recovery

Those questions you answered earlier? That’s recovery.

Many of us think that a “relapse” is an event. Something that “happened”.

NO.

A relapse is not ONE event!

A relapse begins when you start missing parts of your recovery.

For instance, before your relapse:

Were you aware of your triggers?


Did you feel entitled? Like- “I’ve been doing so well without porn and masturbation. It has been a hard day, I deserve a break to watch porn.”


Were you watching Youtube videos with “sexy” content- you know, those triggering thumbnails?


Did you quit doing something that was really good for you- such as working out regularly, or eating well?


Were you frustrated with a particular situation, or dealing with strong emotions-perhaps a family issue?

When you experience any of the above and don’t fix them immediately, your relapse has ALREADY BEGUN.

Again, a relapse is not an event.

It is a state of mind.

So how do tell exactly when your relapse begins if it isn’t a solitary event?

Well, here is another set of questions to help you determine if your relapse has begun.

Who did you call after you relapsed?


What was the consequence to applied to yourself due to that behavior?


Did you change anything in your environment after the relapse? For instance, if you found out that a certain site on your device wasn’t blocked by your filter, did you immediately block it?


What sort of self-care behavior did you engage in after the relapse to uplift your mind, body, and emotions?

Now if your answer to these is “ I don’t do any of those.” or you only applied one of the four suggested actions, then you are STILL RELAPSING.

By now, some of you may be realizing that you’ve been in a state of relapse for YEARS.

Write this down on a piece of paper and stick it somewhere you can see it:

Your relapse is never over till you bring someone else in.

Having an accountability partner pulls you out of the cycle of relapse and helps your process the events prior to to the relapse while taking the next steps.

As time goes on, you will be able to answer these questions on your own and within moments. Getting to this level will require bringing someone else into your life as an accountability partner.

But what if you don’t have access to an accountability partner, or you don’t know anyone who could help you with accountability?

Well, we’ve got you covered with a solution. Before I get into it, I’d like to share a quick story from a college student who took advantage of this.

Case Study:

I had a college student reach out to me, at his wits end about his repeated relapses- we’ll call him “S.P” for privacy purposes. S.P was 22 years old, had been exposed to porn at 10 years old and been using porn and masturbating daily since he was 12. However, he had educated himself on porn addiction and made some changes in his life. The biggest change he made was installing one of the best internet filters on his laptop. This had managed to keep him off porn for two months.

The main problem was his smart phone which eventually led him to slip.

S.P fully understood the need for an accountability partner and had got on a call with me to find out if I could be his accountability partner for a time. Unfortunately, at the time, I was fully booked and couldn’t keep up with any more clients in terms of accountability.

He was in a permanent state of relapse and desperately needed something to help him in the moments before and after a slip. I gave him access to what a few hundred guys who didn’t have accountability partners or a structure to their recovery had been using and received an email from him two weeks later.

Here’s an excerpt:

“It’s such a change from the person I was 14 days ago who could barely put together a sentence in front of new people to the guy now who can talk with almost anyone without thinking about it. Also,  a couple of people have been telling me I look different, I’m not sure if its the way I carry myself or something else but they said they could barely recognize me from a distance. I do feel different though. I can’t wait until day 30 to see how much more I can change. I’m not going to sit around and wait for the changes though. I’m going to live and have fun and what happens happens.”

So, what got S.P back on track?

I gave him access to our Porn 911 Course. Porn 911 is a collection of actionable step by step videos where I walk you through what do after and before a relapse or when you feel an urge.

Every video equips you with a different skill set to manage your triggers, overcome your urges and make sure that you have control over your porn and masturbation habits

 

If you don’t have control of your urges and haven’t developed the necessary skills to manage them, then this toolkit is for you.

Get access to the toolkit

 

To recap, here are the 10 Questions to ask yourself after a relapse.

1)Were you checking in with anyone regularly? Was there someone who helped to keep you accountable?

2) Were you being proactive about your recovery? Were you being aware of the places you went, media you exposed yourself to and the thoughts you had?  Or were you a little more “relaxed” about everything?

3) Did you have a self-care plan? A support network of people who understood your problem? Were you meditating, using affirmations, exercising, eating right, managing stressful situations, getting enough sleep or taking time off to relax?

4) Did you feel entitled? Like- “I’ve been doing so well without porn and masturbation. It been a hard day, I deserve a break to watch porn.”

5) Were you watching Youtube videos with “sexy” content- you know, those triggering thumbnails?

6) Did you quit doing something that was really good for you- such as working out regularly, or eating well?

7) Were you frustrated with a particular situation, or dealing with strong emotions-perhaps a family issue?

8) Who did you call after you relapsed?


9) What was the consequence to applied to yourself due to that behavior?


10) Did you change anything in your environment after the relapse? For instance, if you found out that a certain site on your device wasn’t blocked by your filter, did you immediately block it?

And if you have a question or comment, please post below – I’m always interested in hearing from you and I love answering your questions.

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