Today, three of my clients woke up late and weren’t able to start their morning routines on time.
One of the bad habits we build when addicted to pornography is going to sleep late and waking up late.
It may not have anything to do with porn necessarily. Maybe you just have a habit of watching movies, TV series or playing videogames late at night.
Perhaps you justify it by saying things like: “ I have trouble sleeping.”
One of the things I learned early in my recovery was the concept of managing my schedule. If you learn this, your recovery will become MUCH easier.
You’re on a Ship.
Think of yourself as being on ship in the ocean. The ocean of life, that is.
The different things which are out of your control daily are the storms in the ocean.
For a recovering porn addict, your Morning Routine is your anchor. It keeps you grounded during a storm.
Your schedule is your lifeline. If get thrown off the ship during a storm( a particularly stressful day) , its the rope that is thrown to you to save your life and pull you back to the safety of the ship.
Your morning routine is what you do every morning to prepare for your day. It should involve:
- A recovery Exercise
- Reading a chapter from an Addiction recovery book
- Goals setting for the day
- Reviewing your boundaries
- Reviewing your Statement of Purpose (Why you want to quit porn)
- Meditation or a Feelings Exercise if meditation is not your thing
It COULD also involve:
- Exercise- Lifting weights, Calisthenics or Yoga
- Affirmations or Self Talk
Personally, my Morning Routine involves all of the above because it anchors me for the day. No matter how crazy my day gets, my ship (me) will never sink ( relapse/slip) because I am prepared. You can be too.
With a morning routine, you will know exactly where you are going, why you are doing certain things, where you want to be a few years from now. No one and nothing will throw you off track. Nothing will dissuade you from your goals. You will become what I call “Emotionally Fit”- capable of handling very strong emotions which regular people would collapse under.
Unfortunately, you cant have a morning routine with a bad schedule.
If you go to bed “anywhere between 11pm and 2am”, you will NEVER have a solid morning routine. Your ship will always sink or get damaged in a storm and you will often find yourself drowning.
Again: Your Schedule is Your Lifeline.
Decide on a specific time to go to bed and wake up. At that time, make sure you are in bed- regardless of whether you have problems sleeping or not.
In the early days of my recovery, by 10:30 pm, I was preparing for bed. No TV screens, no devices close by. I was in bed at 11pm. No calls, no emergencies, no homework.
Nothing. It was bedtime, recovery was my priority. If it was a zombie apocalypse, I’d find out in the morning.
I was up by 6 am and done with my morning routine ( including working out, by 8:00 am).
Except for a few days , usually when I was travelling, this schedule did not change. I had a shorter version of the morning routine for days when I travelled and arrived at my destination late or the handful of occasions when I went out with friends to a bar or club. This version lasted about 40 minutes.
During recovery, you either make excuses or you take action.
“ My shift at work changed, so I cant wake up early.”
“ My girlfriend works late at night and we don’t get to spend time together, so I stay up late”
“I’m studying for an exam.”
“I have a paper due tomorrow”
“I was hungover”
“I was at a friends party”
These are all excuses. We can’t be perfect, but if you find yourself using these excuses multiple times a year, then you are slacking on your recovery.
In conclusion, many men screw up their recovery simply because they have no discipline with their schedule. They do not respect time. Once you fix you lifeline and your anchor, you immediately cut down on the emotional incidents, the urges which you experience throughout the day.