Here is the single most powerful tool I have found in my own personal recovery from the living hell that is sex and love addiction: a rubber band. You heard right. A rubber band that I wear around my right wrist (there’s a watch on my left wrist) and snap when I need to come back to the here and now.
You ever find yourself driving along, catching the last few notes of a favorite song on the car radio? What happened to the rest of the song? The radio was still on. You were still driving. The only thing that was elsewhere was your brain. If you’re like me, your brain spends a lot of time elsewhere – generally, in the past or in the future. “If only I had said that, then he would have said that, and I would have said, that, and he would have said that…” Or, “When he answers the phone I’m going to say this, and then he’s going to say this, and then I’m going to say this, and then he’s going to say this…
It’s like my head is a balloon on a long string, and it floats off constantly. I have to tug on the string and bring it back onto my shoulders. Hence, the rubber band. When I wander off into the past (regret, remorse, guilt) or the future (anxiety, fear, worry), I snap myself back into the present. Literally and figuratively.
They say (whoever “they” is) that you can break a bad habit in 28 days. Nailbiting, tardiness, not taking the clean dishes out of the dishwasher before putting new dirty ones in. Personally, I’ve been trying for 28 years to break my nailbiting habit with limited success, but I’ve gotten damn good at the dishwasher. An addiction is a lot more than a bad habit. But habit can fuel addiction. If it’s your habit to stop off at the titty bar for free fried appetizers before heading home, you’re going to find it harder to heal your stripper addiction. If it’s your habit to live in fantasy… you get the picture.
Try it. Give it a week and report back. Other than a slight reddening of the skin around your wrist, it couldn’t hurt.