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The 600 lb Phone

The disease of sex addiction thrives in isolation. In fact, Patrick Carnes has called addiction an intimacy disorder. The nature of sex addiction is to separate you from others, get you to believe your lies, and force you to seek your own destruction one crippling sexual act at a time.

Fortunately, you are not without recourse. One of the most vital tools in your recovery toolbox is your phone. Why? Because the phone enables you to connect with others—an essential in recovery. For many people, though, using the phone is no easy task. Let's break down some obstacles to using the phone so you can take advantage of this invaluable resource.

Dial Them, Don't File Them
The phone numbers you've collected are useless unless you dial them. The problem is your phone feels like it weighs 600 lbs. The first step is to pick it up! Now scroll through your contacts and identify the people who are also in sexual recovery. Helpful hint: add the same prefix to everyone you meet that's on this journey; then just type in the first couple of letters of the prefix. A list of potential people to connect with will pop up. Now dial!

The Fear of Calling
Many people avoid taking this next step because they afraid of being a burden. If the person gave you their phone number, though, it's safe to assume they won't mind being called. This is actually the beginning of the trust process. Plus, by calling others you're actually giving them a chance to help, and consequently feel good about themselves. Paradoxically, by seeking help you're helping someone else.

Another common fear is that the person will not pick up when you call. That's OK. You can leave a message. If you're not sure what you're feeling, leave a message about what's happening in your life. Eventually you'll become more fluent emotionally and be able to pinpoint what you're feeling more easily. Until then just let the other person know what's going in your life at the moment. That way, the next time you find yourself in a tough spot, you'll spend less time bringing the person up to speed and more time talking about the heart of the matter.

What Now?
Alright, you got someone on the phone, but what do you say now? If you are calling people with some sobriety under their belt, there's no need to fret, they'll probably know just what to say. Sometimes saying "I'm calling because it was suggested" is all you need to say and they will take over from there. You're not giving a long-winded speech on theoretical physics; you're just checking in. The point is to make contact, and by doing so you're short-circuiting the disease's most potent strategy: isolating you from other people.

Sex addicts live in a technology-dominated society these days. It can be a double-edged sword for obvious reasons. Learn to use the technology in your life to strengthen your recovery and help you stay connected.

The phone is a great place to start.

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