There’s a term in recovery circles called “Stinking Thinking”. This means that someone’s best thinking has led them to their current situation. For many in recovery, that’s a difficult place to be as usually some great pain or loss has come about because of their own addiction. Especially in recovery from sexual addiction, broken relationships and heartache are very much a part of this process.
Once a man gets beyond the initial pain of admitting that he’s an addict and starts to get help, he may get to a place where he feels he can make his own decisions again. That little voice that tells him he’s still in control is a dangerous one though. There’s a reason that so many recovery groups exist, because it’s only in the context of community that someone can determine whether his thinking is correct, or if he’s simply engaging in stinking thinking again.
Watching certain movies or engaging with certain friends are just a few examples of how a man in recovery may think he’s in control. He might stay away from movies that have sex scenes in early recovery, but once he feels like his recovery is stronger, he may feel like he can handle it again. Usually, he can’t, and the compromise of this choice can cause relapse. There might be certain friends that encouraged his sexual acting out and so he avoids them for a while, but he begins to think things have changed, and he can handle spending time with those friends again. Probably not a good idea, as the old life isn’t where he wants to go. His new friends and connections with group members will continue to encourage him towards his new life.
Exercise is a very practical area in which a person in recovery may experience stinking thinking. If someone is working recovery, going to groups and staying on a strong plan of action, they may think they don’t need to include physical exercise in their recovery. The excuse is that they don’t have any time for it and may think it is a very valid reason. Taking responsibility for your physical health has rewards, just as there are rewards to working a plan of recovery from addiction.
For all of these situations and more, thinking responsibly and getting out of wrong thinking requires wisdom and discernment. Watching and learning from where others have been, what led them into traps, and how to avoid getting stuck in the first place is all part of the type of change needed to live a life of redemption. Planning to keep others involved in the decision-making process is vital to staying on a healthy path of recovery.
Joining a Life Recovery Group focused on sexual addiction may be a very smart choice for a man who is focused on checking his thinking in with others. To stay away from wrong decisions is as simple as expressing those decisions to those around him and making sure he’s thinking correctly.