Relapsing sucks, we have all been there. Eventually we hit rock bottom and realize we like the sober version of ourselves and life is more clear. On the path of getting clean there are side tracks, slippery slopes and rough weather. We will relapse over the course of our journey. One thing I used to experience is regret, feeling bad— that moment when you realize you messed up and you will be irritable for the next three days. There is no advantage to feelings of guilt, shame, regret and anger. These are natural side effects when we slip and become the fallen again, but in and of themselves they hold no actual benefit, no advantage. Do yourself a favor and cheer up. Stay positive. Exuding self confidence is reassuring, feeling angry or frustrated could possibly lead to a chaser and binge. “Well, I might as well finish the day with another fap since I’m down again.” No, not today. If we relapse we try even harder. We don’t go backwards and binge. As we climb this difficult mountain, we must expect difficulties and set backs, it’s going to happen. But how we make up for it, how we get back up to fight another day, makes all the difference. There is a great learning in a relapse. It proves to our subconscious what it might have doubted. Again and again we learn what makes us happy and what doesn’t. Success is inevitable. Yes, I truly believe that. I believe we are all moving toward success no matter what. The quicker we can get back up, the sooner we can throw that next punch. To those that just relapsed, or recently relapsed or edged to porn, let us take a quick look at what to learn. We can use darkness to inspire us, we can use motivating light to keep us from going dark, but sometimes we need to just step back and think about it. Instead of pumping yourself up and getting motivated, which is fine, think on the situation as a learning experience. Now that it is over we can use reason and logic to determine if what we did was good. Basically you spent some time looking at people having sex. Generally the scene doesn’t change and is repetitive. No one doubts the enticing factor of the actors, no one doubts that. On the outside they have nice features, and we want to see them without clothes. Right? So what is the problem? Well generally for an addict this means binging, opening the floodgates and blowing the whole PMO cycle out of proportion and not stopping until drained and exhausted. Life is affected after that, in a negative way. We aren’t our normal selves; we used to feel better. The current relapse is good. Why? Because it reminds us why we are here. For those of us that have not relapsed in a while, we feel good but eventually we too will get complacent and used to feeling our normal awesomeness. Everyone must be cautious. Knowing we are addicts means we can’t simply enjoy the same luxuries as those who don’t have an issue. We should get rid of apps on our phone that easily connect to porn or get past porn blockers. We should avoid spending an unusual amount of time online as we will tend to start searching. We should not use the web at certain times of day, specifically at night. Use your last relapse as a critical thinking moment. Analytically break it down into parts. What did we really do and how great was it? Also, ask yourself what is the best it can possibly get. Really, what is the limit to porn and relapsing. Does it get better and better as we get more skilled? Or is it something that actually hurts us over time and stays the same in terms of enjoyment? Actually, in my experience, porn desensitizes me to the old scenes and I constantly would search for something even more extreme, like rape porn. Of course, in real life is that something I enjoy? Rape makes me sick to think about, but in the porn world it is okay? Does that make sense? Quite literally an addiction is insanity. We repeat the same thing over and over again, expecting the result to be more fulfilling. Instead it gets worse and it isn’t something that only affects us. After a relapse we are kind of “off” that day, not really sharp. We can heal quickly if we don’t binge but we’re addicted, binging is going to happen. Remember that motivation and inspiration are good, but it is not the be-all to recovery. We have to use a multitude of skills to overcome this habit, and to overcome every other challenge in life. There is no set time for any one tool. We need wisdom to guide us, to help us choose which tool to bring out of our arsenal. Wisdom is the timely application of knowledge. We have gained much knowledge from our last relapse. Learning from the experience means using that knowledge to better ourselves on another occasion, another test. Once you apply this knowledge when needed, you have used wisdom. Each time we use wisdom we become wiser. Wisdom does not take time. There is no “wisdom timeline” that we use to become the sage. We simply observe the current moment with peace and calm, then act from that calmness.