May 26, 2017 by Tim Lee
I always wanted to visit Lake Champlain. The story of the great Fort Ticonderoga, situated on a hill overlooking the lake, fascinated me after reading the book 1776 by David McCullough. A few years ago, my father and I traveled from Montréal to New York City via Amtrak. The train skirted all 128 miles of the beautiful lake. It was an amazing journey.
As a 12th wedding anniversary gift, my wife and I finally traveled to Vermont for our own Lake Champlain adventure. We got to the lake in the afternoon, put our boat in the water, and off we went. We were on the southern half of the lake – new territory for me. I was nervous about being in a new place and found myself relying very heavily on the channel markers. We travelled about 30 miles, from channel marker to channel marker! As we were moving along I kept thinking that this was a great analogy for early sex addiction recovery.
There’s No Giant Leap Forward to Sex Addiction Recovery
For most people who are in early recovery, life feels like it’s in complete shambles. Secrets that have been hidden for many years are finally out in the open, yet dealing with them feels like an impossible task. There are many wounded family members on the other side of all the secrets and lies. Overwhelming feelings of shame, despair, guilt, and hopelessness take over. Complete paralysis sets in and taking action of any kind is impossible.
There’s a phrase in recovery that comes to mind – “Take the Next Right Action.” It’s very common for us to want to try to figure everything out in one sitting and quickly “fix” the damage that has occurred over years and years. This doesn’t happen with sexual addiction recovery.
I sometimes compare early recovery to a complete train wreck. There’s so much damage that it’s impossible to know where to begin, let alone rectify everything quickly. Just as I was travelling down the southern channel for the first time, the sex addict in early recovery is in unfamiliar waters. The only thing to do is simply find the next channel marker – the next right action.
Small Steps Set the Course for Sex Addiction Therapy and Recovery
In the case of a sex addict, the next right action can be calling a friend in recovery, attending a support group, showing up for a couples session, completing a therapy homework assignment, showing up for individual therapy session, or engaging in new behaviors in your marriage. All are small steps that help reduce the fear of the unknown and put us on course towards successful treatment and recovery. After days, weeks and months of simply taking the next right action, life starts to change. After telling our story over and over again to our peers in recovery, we begin to accept ourselves more. After we’ve gone through treatment with our partner, our relationships experience new hope for healing. After completing the many homework assignments and therapy sessions, we realize we’ve developed a new self-esteem we never knew existed.
New York Pathways is Your Safe Haven through Sexual Addiction Recovery
If you are new to sex addiction treatment and recovery and not sure what to do, I encourage you to start with small steps; find the next right action – just one right action that will support your recovery – and take that action. Then take another next right action; and another. Simply moving from one action to another, like moving from one channel marker to another, helps you stay the course. The journey may be slow, perilous at times, but the final destination – recovery and sexual sobriety – is worth it.
Take the journey to sexual addiction recovery and sobriety with New York Pathways. Your next right action is a call to 212-244-4447.