Sex Addiction: Am I Sober, Abstinent or in Recovery?

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There are many views on sobriety, abstinence and recovery that vary from program to program, fellowship to fellowship to fellowship and vary according to who is defining the terms.

Many have the false belief that a sex addict needs to become abstinent from sex all together. It is advisable by many of the 12 step sex addiction recovery programs that in early recovery, the addict abstains from any and all sex for 6 months in order for the sex addict to transition to healthier intimate sexual relations and away from the obsessive and compulsive sexual behaviors.

Here’s a few definitions I found:

Sobriety: abstinence from consumption of…or not having a substance.

Abstinence: a voluntary restraint from indulging in bodily activities that are widely experienced as giving pleasure

Recovery: the act, process, duration or an instance of recovering; to get back,regain, restore to a normal state.

With those three defined from online searches, I’ll put forth my definition of the three.

When a sex addict asks for help and begins the path to healing, to getting better, to moving on the path away from their addiction, I believe they move into recovery.

When a sex addict stops their addictive, unwanted, obsessive, compulsive sexual behaviors I believe they are abstinent from those behaviors or habits. The behaviors I’m talking about here are the bottom line or inner circle behaviors as defined in Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous. These are the behaviors that are more dangerous to the sex addict and/or have serious negative consequences.

When a sex addict abstains from those unwanted, obsessive and compulsive sexual behaviors, when they become totally and rigorously honest, when they make a commitment to their recovery, when they  attend 12 step meetings and work with a sponsor, when they work the 12 steps in recovery from sex addiction, when they work with a therapist, when they study recovery literature and then they work towards being part of a community,  I believe that is when they are sober.

What is your feeling on Recovery, Abstinence and Sobriety? Share your comments below, Tweet, Like and share.

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