DIY? Not a Good Approach for Sex Addiction Recovery

No one should go through recovery ALONE!

It is in our nature to want to be independent and establish ourselves as an individual with a mind of our own. From the moment our children are born, they begin this journey of individualization. Parents learn real fast they can’t control these little ones. I remember the night my first child was born. He didn’t waste any time revealing to us his high-strung personality. As an infant, the child had more energy than I could ever fathom having for myself. He cried and cried and cried. Finally after losing what seemed like hours of sleep, we buzzed the nurse – “Please come take this child so we can have just an ounce of rest.” Thank God for quality nurses. The very first night of my son’s life, he made his presence known.

As our children grow they continue to strive for independence. They constantly want to do things themselves even though parents know the outcome would be disastrous. However, although it can be very scary at times, it is our job as parents to raise our children to embrace their independence.

Sex addiction is a problem that gets its strength in darkness.

Our culture also values autonomy. We are very much part of a “Do It Yourself” culture. We have websites (e.g., Pinterest), television networks (e.g., DIY Network), and books (e.g., “self-help” genre) completely devoted to this mentality. We typically don’t like to ask for help because we don’t think we need it.

Well, when it comes to sex addiction, the DIY mentality just doesn’t work. Sex addiction is a problem that gets its strength in darkness. The DIY mentality actually enables addicts to keep their secrets, their traumas, and their pain bottled away in a nice dark corner of their soul. However, that dark corner can’t contain the evil that is addiction. Addiction has to break loose; it has to manifest itself in the world; it simply cannot be contained.

If you are a sex addict and your attempts at overcoming this struggle has repeatedly failed, maybe you are still operating under the DIY mentality. I challenge you with a new approach. I challenge you to bring back the “It Takes a Village” approach. It is extremely important for sex addicts to acquire a healthy and encouraging support system. Your village should include, but not limited to, the following:

  • Your spouse (if s/he is willing),
  • A small group of close friends that you trust,
  • A select group from your church (if you have a church family),
  • Your 12-step sponsor (if you don’t have one, get one),
  • Your therapist (again, if you don’t have one, please consider seeing one).

Overcoming sex addiction is not exactly an easy undertaking. It is an extremely rocky path that usually requires intense treatment and professional attention which can last for years. You should NOT be going through recovery alone. If you have any questions or concerns related to sex addiction, sex addiction treatment, or building your village, please feel free to contact me as I would be more than willing to share my expertise on this matter.

Joshua Nichols

Licensed Marital & Family Therapist
Certified Sex Addiction Therapist Candidate

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