In early recovery, the condition of one’s mental and physical state is of the upmost importance to maintaining sobriety from acting out sexually. When stress occurs in a man’s life, especially early on in the healing process, he may have the intense urge to turn back to what has comforted him in the past. If he is mentally or physically drained, the desire to turn to healing and recovery instead of addiction can seem like a very difficult task.
Before these times of stress and exhaustion hit, a man needs to safeguard himself to protect his recovery.
If the time comes when he is tired of fighting the battle for purity, the below suggestions can give him incentive to press on.
- ‘Be Still, and Know That I Am God!’ (Psalm 46:10).
The first thing a man must work on in recovery is grounding himself spiritually. He can set regular quiet times to pray and focus on God. During these times, it’s important that he doesn’t rush through to the end, but quiets his inner talk and just listens. Electronics and media can be such a distraction, so these need to be turned off and put away. This time of prayer should happen in a comfortable, quiet place. Starting this time by taking some deep breathes will help clear one’s mind of the busyness of the day. Then, the promises of God can be focused on with a new perspective.
- Regularly Connect With a Sponsor.
In the Twelve Step Program, a sponsor is usually someone who is further along in their own healing journey and can help guide someone else through their recovery. Having this trusted companion is vital. This person should ideally be a phone call away if any difficulties arise in a man’s daily life. These discussions need to be open and honest, talking about what is actually happening and where the specific weaknesses are. Talking with a sponsor will take power away from tempting situations and build healthy connection in a man’s life.
- Remain On Alert.
When a man becomes tired or weary, he can convince himself that he can handle more than he actually can. Putting on the spiritual Armor of God and keeping one’s guard up is critical during these times to keep the door to temptation closed. There is a spiritual war going on within the mind and the enemy knows the best way to get someone to relapse or fall. He tries to convince them that there is no reason to be guarded and that everything will be fine. For a man in recovery, even realizing that this daily spiritual fight exists is a huge part of winning the battle.
- Exercise Often.
This is one of the simplest concepts in recovery that can be overlooked. A short bike ride, a brisk swim, or even a leisurely walk can be powerful tools in the hands of a recovering addict. These activities shake a man out of laziness and get him refocused on bettering himself. Even just taking time to observe creation on a quick jog can put a man in a new frame of mind that reminds him why he wants sexual addiction out of his life in the first place.
- Eat Well and Diet.
Used in tandem with regular exercise, a man’s diet can change his overall mood in a positive way. He may need to get his doctor involved to get some nutritional advice for his specific situation. If fast food and large meals have become a habit for him, a change in this area can propel him into further recovery. The more he works on the small changes he can make, the bigger changes will come much easier as he gains confidence and mental clarity
- Begin to Help Others.
Everyone has a God-given gift, talent, or skill that can be used for the benefit of others. It doesn’t matter if a man’s recovery is strong, or if he feels weak, he can still help someone else. This will in turn help him with his own recovery. Doing something new, such as asking a friend in recovery how their day is going, can begin to shift a man’s heart from taking to giving.
For more suggestions to overcome exhaustion in recovery, call 800-NEW-LIFE (639-5433).