Recovery is difficult but definitely possible. Those who are completely committed to doing what it takes to find and maintain recovery are successful.
- Desiring to recover and honestly admitting to others the magnitude of the problem
- Becoming educated about the nature of pornography addiction and the recovery process
- Creating a safe environment where triggers and temptation are less likely to occur
- Continued participation in a 12-Step recovery program
- Seeking professional counseling. This will usually include a mixture of individual counseling, couples therapy, and group counseling (at least eighteen months is typically required)
- Seeking spiritual help by counseling with an ecclesiastical leader as well as seeking help directly from Heavenly Father and applying the power of the Atonement
Pornography addiction is not so much cured as kept in remission. Addicts will have to take proactive measures to prevent relapse for the rest of their lives. With time, remaining in recovery becomes easier. Abstinence is not the same as recovery. Recovery is a life-style change. Long-term recovery requires relearning healthy sexuality, resetting unhealthy expectations and establishing positive patterns of interaction with others. Additionally, recovering individuals must learn to understand how to manage emotions, stress, relationships, and other factors that underlie their addictive behaviors. Individuals must learn to differentiate between lust and real love. Prompt and complete honesty in admitting any inappropriate behavior, daily dedication in working the steps necessary to retain recovery and humbly seeking specific help from Heavenly Father in prayer facilitate lasting recovery.
The following are factors that can be indicative of where addicts are in their recovery:
- Are they completely honest, open and transparent in discussing their pornography problem—past and present with their leaders, parents, spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend?
- What steps did they take to recover? Did they fully disclose their problem, work the 12-Step program and get counseling?
- Do they still acknowledge themselves as addicts and continue to attend 12-Step meetings and work with a sponsor to maintain recovery?
- How long have they gone without viewing pornography? Has it been 7-12 months?
- Have they healed from the effects of pornography, addressed issues that led to pornography use and learned to deal with life in a more constructive manner?