How To Identify a Craving or Toxic State

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The biggest part of dealing with a sex addiction is fighting the cravings, the urges, the thoughts, that drive you to act out. There are numerous techniques for riding out a craving or making indulgence difficult, but a sex addict must know his or her triggers, or toxic state, in order to deal with the craving effectively.

First, a sex addict should know when he or she is about to have a craving. Addicts of all types report certain behaviors and “ticks” occurring before the onset of a full out craving. Many refer to this as a “toxic state,” and each state is characterized differently for each individual sex addict.

The biggest things to look for when trying to identify a toxic state are “increases.” Fidgeting is an example. A sex addict about to experience a craving may find they cannot sit still. Perhaps they are rearranging items on their desk, around their house, or are getting up to pace more. The urge to move about for no reason can be a sign of a toxic state. Perhaps the sex addict invents reasons to get up and move, such as using the bathroom when they don’t really have to, or washing their hands repeatedly.

Compulsive behaviors are another sign. An individual that is smoking more cigarettes than usual, organizing things, cleaning, could all be indicators that he or she is entering a toxic state. Many of these things can be attributed to other factors so it may take a period of time for a sex addict to identify what signals his or her personal toxic state. Some less common identifying behaviors are extreme thoughts. At this point addicts are in an agitated state and might be prone to excessively negative or even positive thoughts. For example they may decide the best thing for them is a divorce, or at least think about it, or maybe they get the notion to propose the next chance they get. These thoughts are rarely acted on, and some people do have extreme thoughts normally, but addicts who have them frequently may be seeing them when in a state of mind preceding a craving.

Strong emotions, feelings and stressful situations can also create this toxic state. Highs and lows can also cause them. Extreme excitement or success or extreme sadness or failure can also contribute the the toxic state.

Recognition of this toxic state can be used to predict strong urges. Urges and cravings ramp up gradually, peak, and then fall back down gradually. Being prepared for one and knowing how much longer one might last are the keys to beating them.

It is recommended to keep a journal and when the cravings come, and they will, write what they are and what caused them so you can work on shifting the craving away from wanting to act out. This is perhaps the hardest part of the recovery from sex addiction process.

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