I finished my homework for group therapy today. The last exercise was to identify the goals that I hope to accomplish during the first part of group therapy. I want to share that with you all. Here it is:
Write down the goals you hope to accomplish during the Getting Started Phase of LifeStar’s Recovery from Sexual Addiction.
I suppose I have a few goals. One is to understand the mechanics of my brain more completely. In my graduate program we talked about how understanding that there is a problem is not sufficient. In order to move forward, the system must be understood enough that you can formulate a plan to implement that will fix what’s broken. For years I’ve been trying to figure out how to have enough self-control to keep myself from doing the things that I didn’t want to do, but kept on doing. My hope is that through this program I’ll be able to figure out the methods I can employ to rebuild my brain in such a way that those actions will no longer hold any appeal for me.
Another goal is to ingrain certain habits in my life. For the last several months I have been sending my Bishop daily reports about my prayers and my scripture reading. I have not missed a day since I started. Even still, there seems at time to be an emptiness. It feels that I am performing the actions solely because I have agreed to do so. I want it to be more than that. I think that the understanding that there is a therapeutic benefit to it as well may help me to make the needed change. By adding another reason to do them, it gives me more incentive than “I need to because I said I would.” While I don’t think that performing the duties to which one has committed is in any way a lessor act than to do something out of some other motive, I think that it takes energy to maintain such dutifulness in the absence of other motivation. I don’t have that much energy. I need to get some sort of near term utility out of this all. I think that the understanding that there is a mental health aspect of the things I’m doing will also help me to derive additional near-term utility from reading the scriptures, writing, working out, etc.
I’d like to become human. Yesterday my therapist and I talked about the several personae I have developed for different occasions, and how they serve to protect me, but at the same time imprison me and don’t let me experience being human. I don’t want to wear my emotions on my sleeve, but I want to learn to permit myself to feel and to express those feelings in a manner that is compatible with id ego and superego.
I’m sure I’ll have more goals as the process goes on, but for now, the ones I mention seem like they are just barely achievable, so I think I’ll stop there for today.