Listen to Your Instincts
July 1st, 2015 by Tim Lee
I find when working with clients, almost all of them will relate to me at least one point in time where they just “knew” that their out-of-control sexual behavior has become a serious problem. There is a point is time when a person becomes aware that a particular sexual behavior is no longer okay for him or her. It may be commercial sex, an affair, one night stands, compulsive masturbation, just to name a few. The inner, healthy voice says things like, “This is no longer okay for me,” “I don’t what to engage in this behavior any longer,” “I think I need to stop this,” or “The last time this happened, I got in trouble.” The voice says, I want to stop going to the massage parlor, going to the bar, watching pornography, and so on.
The problem comes when the healthy voice, or what I like to call healthy shame, is overridden. When that happens, we don’t trust the healthy voice or flat out can’t hear it. The healthy voice is drowned out by the addiction that says, “I wont get caught again,” “I will do it differently this time,” “It’s not really that bad,” etc. Then, the behavior starts again, intensifying, and the cycle repeats itself. The line is crossed again and again, and suddenly there could be bigger consequences resulting from the behavior – an important event was missed, our loved ones found out, or we lost a job.
This is often when the awakening consequence happens. A moment of crisis and clarity has arrived, and this is the time to act. These are actually life saving moments, but we may not see it in such a light. Usually when we are in crisis, we are motivated to act. We are called into action, and we again start to listen to that voice of reason we have long been repressing or ignoring. At some point, the voice may say, “Well maybe it is time to get help,” “Maybe that therapist was right after all,” and “I have a problem with my sex and love life, and it is destroying my life.” I encourage you to listen that part of you that you know is right for you, that part of you that you have been ignoring.
There is psychic pain and neurosis that occurs when we don’t listen to our inner voice of reason. There is a term used to describe this called “cognitive dissonance.” It is the inner clash of the many conflicting ideas swirling around, and we do not know which ones to believe. In this state we feel depressed, anxious, numb and do not know the cause. One of the benefits of recovery is that we no longer have spend our valuable psychic energy denying the truth about our lives and situations, and the pain can be lifted.
If you are in crisis, and that inner voice is telling you that you may have an issue with sex addiction, I encourage you to take the steps your healthy inner voice tells you. It may be telling you to level with a trusted friend, go to that sexual recovery meeting, pick up the phone, or call a therapist, among many other things. I know I wasted much valuable time not taking action for myself when I knew what I needed to do! I wish you well.