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The 5 Stages of Sexual Addiction Recovery – Where Are You?

March 18, 2010

It’s really helpful in our sexual recovery to know that we don’t have to stay where we are.  There are different phases, or stages of recovery that every sexual struggler goes through. 

Here are five stages and we’ll take more time to talk about the last stage. 

1.  Crisis Stage – This is when the bomb goes off.  Your world falls apart. Shrapnel is spread everywhere.  During this phase, you are in shock and dismay.  You need a high level of attention and care to get through this tough phase.  You need the presence of others more than you need advice.  [Blog:  “My World Just Fell Apart!  Now What?]

2.  Pick Up the Pieces Stage – You start taking inventory of what’s left.  Many things and people are no longer in your life, and you grieve their loss.  This stage feels worse because you are feeling the consequences and the waves of pain.  It can get very intense.  You need to develop strong support systems here.  Presence is still huge, but you also need to start listening to others.  Others can help you survive the waves and not feel hopeless.

3.  Repair Stage – This stage is all about healing and working through the pain.  You take the consequences, wounds, and broken things and start putting them back together.  You spend a lot of time here nursing things.  It is a delicate stage where you have to listen to others and work on things you’ve never worked on before. 

Stages 1-3 require heavy attention.  This is the time for counsel, ministry, friendships, and group to take place.  Finding friends who will walk through the mud with you and stay close to your side are “golden”!  These stages are about getting your life back to functioning. 

4.  Strength and Growth Stage – This is a great stage.  You start to realize healthy in your sexuality and relationships.  You start to see new things growing that have never grown.  This stage requires a lot of encouragement and a little pushing to get you to new levels.  You have established a good structure, and good health and you need to nurture it.  An important principle here is that:  Healthy things grow.  You will start to experience this principle at this stage. 

Now, some may say that Stage 4 is the last stage.  We never stop getting stronger and growing.  I agree with that.  We will continue to learn new things, face new challenges, and go through different phases of our recovery. 

But I believe that there is such thing as a maintenance stage. 

5.   Maintenance Stage – The idea of the Maintenance Stage is to be at a place in your recovery where you are strong enough to do the fundamentals.  You have good systems in place, and you are actively maintain your support system. 

TOMORROW’S BLOG:  Let’s talk more about the Maintenance Stage. 

How do I know I’m at the maintenance stage? 
Can I neglect my sexual addiction and be OK?
If I get to maintenance stage can I drop out of group and counseling?

One Comment
  1. March 18, 2010 11:38 am

    Great post. I’m looking forward to tommorows. I’ve also refered all the guys (11 of us)in my recovery group to your blog for encouragement.

    This last Monday we actually used your movie guide one as a discussion starter.

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