"Manning up is not just managing your sexual temptation It's not just managing your sin, that's not what it means to be a man, because you can try harder and you can do better and you can hang on longer, that's not manning up. Manning up is our ability to lay down all of our effort and all of our trying, and all of our strength,and say I trust in Jesus, I trust in His perfection, I trust in His power, I trust in His resurrection, because He's the only one that can get me through this, and He's the only one that can make me free"
One of the hardest things for me to learn in recovery was to get help. The adversary will tell you that reaching out for help is the LAST thing you want to do, but it is where healing begins. Being a man of courage is not isolating yourself (see left), but reaching out for help.
Jesus Music - What I Listen to Now
Before coming forward with my sexual addiction I was a big hip hop listener..explicit and sexual to say the least. In recovery I've constantly been on the search for great Christian Music. This list is in no particular order and only the tip of the iceberg. If you know of any great music I haven't heard please e-mail me.
He Restoreth My Soul by Donald L. Hilton MD
This book is a great starting place. Hilton does a great job of combining the science and spiritual in explaining sexual addiction. The book's subtitle is a great summary, "Understanding and Breaking the Chemical and Spiritual Chains of Pornography Addiction Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ"
Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
This book really connect God into my recovery. I found that when I connected God in my recovery, in therapy, and with my wife that's when healing really exploded. The premise is that as men we are wild at heart and God designed us that way. We have lost heart and been taken our by Satan. Only with God's help can we get our hearts back and come alive.
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
This book is pretty packed and has a lot to think about. One of the biggest keys to find vulnerability is having awareness of our emotional selfs and how we are reacting. Singer does a great job of helping us understand how to better find that true self.
The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown
Vulnerability is the key to getting out of the addiction cycle. This video is worth watching. Brene Brown is a social worker who has done a lot of research around trauma and vulnerability.
The Tale of Two Sex Talks by educateempowerkids.org
Although we don't address kids or teens this is a great website about how to teach your kids about sex in a super helpful and healthy way. Although this video is pretty fun, it is very poignant. They have a lot of resources on their site.
Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong by Johann Hari
Turns out...everything you know about addiction is totally wrong. Johann is a journalist who has put a lot of research into a book on the war on drugs. This is a summary of his chapter on addiction. Although his focus is on substance addictions it is the same for sexual addiction. "The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection".
Addiction & Connection: Better Understanding on How Addiction Happens and Works
This video is based on the Hari TedTalk (Above). It is a great 101 on how addiction works and why anyone would choose it. If you believe because I saw pornography I am now addicted to pornography then you need to watch this video.
What Should I Do When I See Pornography? by mormonmessages
Most people have come to realize the sad truth that it's not an "if", but rather "when" your kids see pornography. This is great video even for little kids. It teaches what to do when they see pornography.
Therapy & Programs
LifeStar 3 Phase Program
LifeStar is the only group therapy that I currently give my endorsement because it's all encompassing. I have seen other programs that have good pieces, but not the whole package. If you truly put your heart into the LifeStar program (and with God) I would find it hard to believe that you wouldn't find recovery. here is my brief description: (click here for their site)
Phase 1: With spouses, very educational, one night a week for 6 weeks. Confidential group setting. You don't pay for the whole 3 phase program at once, so you could do just phase 1 and then decide if you want to go on to phase 2.
Phase 2: Men and women separate into groups of 4-8 people. You work on recovery skills. This is where the rubber really meets the road. You will get to know your group members as brother (or sisters) and really help each other recover. You'll also learn real life skills from workbooks and therapists. 8 months to 2 years depending on how fast your group moves. I would say my group moved pretty slow and we were 13-14 months.
Phase 3: Usually same group as phase 2, but working on Trauma and general health skills. Phase three isn't so much focused on the addiction. Phase 3 meets as long as the group members want to keep working on stuff, but generally one year. Mine was about 5-6 months, but we moved pretty fast.
Center for Christian Therapy
There are different disciplines in therapy, or different models/practices. The Center for Christian Therapy has a diverse group of therapists. I sought out EFT (emotionally Focused Therapy) for my wife and I. Jennifer is the Utah EFT guru and I would recommend The Center for Christian Therapy for individual or couples counseling. Very helpful, they do a free 30 minute consultation, so you can see what you think for yourself. (click here for their site)
Brian Murdock Counseling
Brian Murdock has been in the mental health field since 1992. His private practice focuses on sexual addiction and working with the traumas around addiction. Great resource for individuals (addict and spouse) and couples. (click here for site)
LifeStar IOP Program
The LifeStar IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) is 6 straight days all day. It's like drinking from the recovery fire hose. This was the first thing I did when I entered recovery. The IOP oriented me for recovery and gave me so much hope right at the start. Lots of education, but also experientially priceless. If you feel hopeless about recovery or like you've tried and tried and nothing works I'd recommend the IOP. Not cheap, but definitely a game changer and worth the cost. (click here for their site)
A Warrior Heart Weekend
This is a men's only retreat based on Eldredge's book Wild at Heart. It's twice a year (once in the spring, once in the fall) and is 2.5 days Thursday-Saturday. The retreat is formatted after how John Eldredge does his Wild at Heart retreats. This one is just in Utah. You will feel so much love and support. If you have a hard time reaching God you WILL feel it here. This was one of the biggest game changes in my recovery. I still go once a year to check in, be with God, and with great men who are also seeking Him. If you read the book and feel anything at all, make sure to go. (click here for their site)
The Heart of a Woman Retreat
The Heart of a Woman Retreat "cracks the Code" for many women looking to restore their trust in God, connect to Him in deeper ways, see themselves as they were created to be, and heal their battered and wounded hearts. This three-day retreat is designed especially for women who are exhausted, numb, and overwhelmed. This is a great resource for women who are facing betrayal trauma and a great things for us as addicts to recommend in the spirit of helping her heal from this. Here is my post about it and here is the website
12 Step Programs & Free Programs
LDS Church (Mormon) 12 Step
The LDS church's 12 step is the same as SA and AA 12 steps, but completely oriented around the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 12 Step meetings are very confidential and can be a great first step. Most people who like the LDS 12 step like it because it is 100% Christian and a little bit more "soft" and less commitment than SA meeting. Also they do 12 Step meeting for spouses/women of addicts. (click here for their site)
SA Lifeline Foundation (12 Step)
SA Lifeline is also based on the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 steps. Held in a non-denominational setting. Men who like the SA meeting the best tend to say they are more "real". Out of all the SA groups Lifeline is one of the best. They have a great website and a lot of resources. (click here for their site)