Recovery from sex or porn addiction – or any addiction for that matter – is about so much more than staying clean and sober. Our journey begins with abstinence and moves into the lifelong process that involves spiritual transformation. Each day we are becoming more of the people we were meant to be. We are learning new ways of thinking, acting, relating, and being.
“Staying grounded” really is another way of talking about living with, or staying rooted in reality. It’s a matter of living life on life’s terms, rather than maniacally trying to fight against it. Staying grounded means we accept our powerlessness over other people, and many of the external circumstances of our lives. We focus on what is ours to control, and leave the rest in God’s hands. (There’s that Serenity Prayer thing again!)
One person writes this about his recovery: “I am not a person that finds serenity easily. My mind wanders, I go down paths that I know are destructive – I fall into bad behaviors that contribute to my defects of character. Serenity is work for me.”
Yes, serenity is work, especially for those of us who grew up without it. But we are learning.
No matter how our life circumstances shift and change, we can stay grounded by knowing that God is actively at work in our lives.
We also stay grounded by being in relationships with people who care about us and are willing to be honest with us. When we spend lots of time in our heads – in rumination, worry, and/or fantasy – we tend to lose touch with reality. Our thoughts drift and spin in circles, and are frequently based on erroneous assumptions or interpretations. When we get out of our heads and start talking with other people, our perspective shifts, and our thinking sharpens. We get grounded.
There is one caveat, however. Not all the people we spend time with are grounding for us. Some people are out of touch with reality themselves, or are so stuck in denial or resentment that they are unable to be open with us.
Some recovery groups call these people “crazy-makers.” They bring confusion, drama, and emotional triggers wherever they go. Getting grounded may involve making plans to limit the time we spend with these people.
Keep this in mind: if you want to stay sober, stay grounded.