Often, people believe that sexual addiction is simply about sex or pornography use. But note that the cycle starts with pain and shame–not sex or pornography. Most addicts feel unresolved pain and shame that they don’t know how to manage.
Learn about triggers, slips, and relapses in sexual addiction recovery. Learn steps, language, and tools to improve your recovery.
Triggers are the thoughts, memories, emotions, or other things you experience that have the potential to send you into the preoccupation stage of the addiction cycle. Experiencing a trigger indicates that you are at risk for slipping back into your addiction or unhealthy coping behaviors.
It can be difficult to differentiate between slips and relapses. I generally talk about two types of bottom lines — those at the edge of the cliff of relapse, and those further away from the cliff. The goal progress over time and to keep slips from turning into full-blown relapses.
Your bottom lines are designed to help you see when your behaviors have crossed into unhealthy coping or your addiction. You will create two sets of bottom lines: at the cliff and away from the cliff. For addicts, the “cliff” is where you cross into the addiction. When you cross these bottom lines, you cross into sexual acting-out behaviors. For partners, the cliff is where you cross into unhealthy coping that keeps you stuck.
This process of making choices that dig you deeper into danger, interspersed with a string of denial statements that give you permission to continue, happens all the time in relapse.
This video features Dr. Moore answering common questions about triggers, slips, and relapses in recovery.