The Event Horizon
In physics the event horizon of a black hole is the point of no return. Addicts suffer relapse when they reach the event horizon of their addictive cycle. In this analogy, you are the sphere, rolling along the terrain of life. When you stay aware you can avoid most “black holes,” although a few may surprise you.hose unexpected triggers, although upsetting rarely lead to relapse. It’s when your lifestyle become unbalanced and the “black holes” of your addiction begin to look inviting that you are in the greatest danger of relapse.
Life on life’s terms
Addicts aren’t the only ones to miss the danger signs that their lives are becoming unbalanced. Everyone does. The car breaks down, the baby is teething, and you’ve gained some weight; it’s all a normal part of life. Addicts in recovery work hard to keep their reserves high so they can cope with life on life’s terms but sometimes it just gets to be too much. Skipping a meeting to give your spouse a break, taking a few extra shifts to pay for the car repairs – these are not necessarily bad things, some are even necessary – but it’s easy to see how stress can creep up on you. Like everyone else, addicts usually don’t realize things are out of balance when the scale first begins to tip. Unlike everyone else, before a sex addict feels overwhelmed, they feel sexual.
Sobriety usually feels good
No one’s going to sign up for a lifetime of misery and sexual deprivation. Happily, that’s not what you get when you become sexually sober. Usually it’s a pleasant state of existence where you’re living, not resisting. During these times of contented sobriety, addicts become better and better at differentiating between healthy and unhealthy sexual behaviors. They actively seek health and are able to use their support groups, sponsors, therapists, and recovery friends to strengthen their recovery. That’s a good thing because when an addict’s sobriety is threatened it helps if they already have a trusting relationships with people who can help. If the addict has been in the position to witness another’s struggle that helps too. And because everyone’s life becomes unbalanced at times, every addict’s sobriety is threatened at one time or another.
Seeing a trap as liberation
As an addict become more unbalanced, sexual thoughts and feelings crowd in and sobriety feels like a punishment and sexual frustration mounts. Of course none of this has anything to do with sex. The addictive cycle has been triggered because life is out of balance. If the addict regains balance, the sexual tension dissipates and sobriety will feel good again. Otherwise, it’s a species of insanity. The lethal black hole contains what seems to be a satisfying sexual banquet while the rest of space languishes in repressed frustration. It takes great courage and trust to believe that your space map is wrong, that going into the black hole will not be a release, but rather a trap.
Tune in for part two tomorrow.