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Finding The “New Normal” in Recovery – Looking With Lust vs. Natural Attraction


About the Author


Our mission is to restore the integrity of individuals, spouses, and families that have been affected by pornography and pornography addiction. Integrity Restored provides education, encouragement, and resources to, break free from pornography, heal relationships, and to assist parents in preventing and responding to pornography exposure which is so devastating in the lives of our children. We also hope to be a resource that assists clergy in assisting families at the parish level, so that the domestic church truly becomes what it is, the human space in which we encounter Christ.

Comments (5)

Gregory MONNIN - June 20, 2018 8:59 am

Afraid to say,
Invasive thoughts are no accident;
rather preoccupation then later involuntary recall.
Stemming from my own personal experiences.
Over-sexed stimuli are the hypocrisy of the Hollywood, et. al. agenda,

I can’t thank them whatsoever.

Having been exposed since teenage years,

I redouble my efforts to exterminate p@rn at the reading of good works as

My Imitation of Christ – Thomas a Kempis – C.P.P.S. translation pocketbook,

The 12 Steps to Holiness and Salvation – St. Alphonsus Maire de LIGOURI, TAN Pub.,

and the Angelus Prayer first in act in the morning.

Christ Peace be to you.

May God Grace your ministry, and give big pardon to those struggling with the recovery/addiction de-escalation to ZERO tolerance.

My Very Sincerest,

Gregory In Albuquerque

Fr. Andrew - June 20, 2018 11:27 am

I find this article very practical and very useful . I like, in particular the part that connects the dots and explains what is happening and why – in terms of ” flashes from the past”

Along the lines of what is being discussed in this article I would really like to see, down the road, something similar but focused on how to get rid of intrusive as well as obsessive thoughts of sexual nature ( thoughts that recall sexual events/experiences from one’s youth and early adolescence – and are not necessarily porn related, or sex abuse related but things of sexual nature none the less. I am referring here specifically to things such as in individual or even group “experimenting” with sex in preadolescence and adolescence – things like sexual touching of oneself and each other, masturbation, oral sex, even anal sex etc. Once again, I am talking here about experimentation . However because of the strong pleasure component associated with these experiments but also fear and shame, it seems like these things leave a very deep imprint in one’s mind are very difficult to overcome . Worse yet, these thoughts and feelings associated with them can come back at any give moment and as such become a source of one’s shame and frustration with oneself, which in turn increases the urge to either reach out for pornography or engage in masturbation etc. And so the vicious cycle continues. I have come across this problem numerous times and I am not sure how to deal with it- especially when the individual absolutely refuses seeing a professional counselor for whatever reasons.

Pj martini - November 25, 2018 2:52 pm

Fr. Sean, This is my first time on your blog, found your homily of 5 years ago on talking about pornography from the pulpit and your article (above) both to be well thought out and well articulated, both a result of what I believe is Devine Providence, especially when talking of such a subject. Bravo!
I would like to further comment, just not sure how to do it, how long, etc. But here goes.
I’m a recovering sex addict, almost 9 years sober from my inner circle (I attend SAA meetings (sex addicts anonymous). I’m a student and follower of Patrick Carnes and his method of ‘Gentle Path’ to recovery from sexual addiction. His program, along with my firm believe in “Christ our (my) Hope” (Pope Emeritus Benedict 16th mantra on his historic 2005 visit to the US), got me into and through and presently living in sobriety.
Two comments:
Temptation for me is two worlds. One being a adjective, something that, as you state above, is formed by past memories in my brain. These I’ve worked out many ways, many from Carnes and now some from your post!. It is so powerful to push away from what is tempting to what is ‘good’, my term for nice thoughts. I pray many different prayers to help, but my favorite is Jesus’ words to Peter, ‘Get behind me Satan’. I mean it and visualize actually moving the temptation, being held by Satan himself, behind me and not looking back. This is a ‘tool’ my Catholic CSAT gave me….I’m Catholic too by the way. The second world for me is the temptation that is a verb, an action by Satan himself. I realize i will not be without this in my life, again, from my CSAT, Jesus was tempted, why should i expect not to be! Why am I special? Once I realized this form of temptation was what Christ experienced in the desert, I accepted my life as a human being, as a receiver of temptation from Satan. Again, the phrase ‘get behind me Satan’ works and helps me to fight it at every turn.
I will send you another post as i have an issue with our Church, maybe right or wrongly assumed, but I believe the priest misses the opportunity to help someone in ‘addiction’ by letting him leave the confessional box without a place to go to further help the repented sinner find ways to stay sober and healthy from pornography. Will explain in another post. God bless your work.
Pj M

Pj martini - November 25, 2018 3:02 pm

FR. Sean, here is my follow up to my second comment on my last post.

I’m 61, cradle Catholic, lived and loved my faith for all of this time. Still do by the way. I’m am in a gentle recovery from sex addiction. Not to give a first step here, but pornography was part of my journey, fueling the evil that the devil, that Satan through at me for over 30+ years. When about 22, I went to confession. Confessed my sins, including pornongraphy and acting out (SAA term for my inner circle). I was told to sin no more, etc. I felt wonderful, as I always do when I take part of this great Sacrement.
However, nothing else, like ‘PJ, stop by the rectory today at 4 and meet me so I can give you some things to do to help break the this cycle, etc, etc,….’. I’ve never, over the 30 years of going to confession, had one priest say something that could have maybe offered me the solutions, like Patrick Carnes’ books, a CSAT, a SAA meeting, etc. Not once.
I have looked for something today for an outreach of some kind that I could support as part of my Step 12 work, where I could help the Church with a program that offers this kind of support. This is where the Church could start to support the recovery effort, maybe BEFORE one gets into a very addicted way of life. Hit it at the beginning, so at 55 I don’t begin my recovery, like I had to.
Would love to here more from you on this. I look forward to your comments.
God Bless your mission, and in His Name, Christ our Hope,

    Kim O'Day - February 13, 2019 4:17 pm

    Dear Pj,
    Thanks so much for reaching out. I’m responding on Father’s behalf and invite you to contact me directly so I can share more of what we are doing here at Integrity Restored as well as hear your ideas as a person in recovery
    for what more we could be doing.
    I very much look forward to connecting with you!
    Jim O’Day
    Executive Director

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