In our first day installment, you began the process of facing the problems your compulsive sexual behavior has caused to your marriage and life. Each of these steps requires your fortitude and courage. On Day 2 we move forward in defining what those compulsive behaviors are that you want to be released from.
Decide what you want to leave behind
Today is about deciding what you want to leave behind as you continue your journey toward recovery and away from self-destructive behavior. As you know first hand, compulsive behavior is destructive. By clearly establishing what your negative reactions are, you are beginning the critical task of setting boundaries, which protects you, your loved ones, and your life.
Today we will look at the behaviors you want to be released from. These are the behaviors you wish to stop because they are ruining your life. Compulsive or addictive behavior is like the Sirens from Homer’s Odyssey; they beckon with a sweet voice until your vessel is destroyed by the rocks and you cling to the wreckage.
Think of some of the behaviors that have gotten you to this point and why you are now ready for a change. List these components and be specific. For example, if visiting prostitutes was a problematic behavior for you, put it on your list. If your use of pornography is part of the problem, put this on your list.
What additional actions do you need to get rid of because they are dragging you down? Add these to your list. Some of these behaviors might not be specifically sexual in nature but might lead to problematic sexual behavior. As an example of this behavior, you might look at a swimwear website, that can eventually lead you to a more hardcore pornographic site.
Completing this exercise forms the beginning of your boundary plan. Perhaps you are ready now to live your life without these behaviors. Possibly you need more time until you are ready. This is your journey, so only you know when you are ready to take the next step.
Your boundary plan, or the list of behaviors you wish to be released from, is a work in progress. You should always feel free to add to it as time goes on and you recall or discover other problematic behaviors. Sometimes people even remove things from this list. This is an accomplishment that usually is achieved by consulting with someone like a counselor or a sponsor, a person who knows your whole story and can advise you if he or she thinks you are back in denial about something or making the true progress needed to remove it.
Today I begin the process of defining boundaries. Addiction and compulsion are about the absence of boundaries, which is destructive and depleting. Recovery is about being accountable to myself and a higher principle or higher power. Accountability to myself helps me grow in awareness and to start my healing process.
Great job! This is Day 2 of the First 6 Days of Recovery. You have taken two critical steps; the first was looking at the problem honestly, and now the second was defining the behaviors you want to be freed from.