by Kyle Beard on Thursday, July 16th, 2015
Addicts can spend months, years, sometimes decades, living in the throws of their addictions. The addiction can often live unnoticed for awhile even while the addict’s life is being torn apart by the addiction. Years of conditioning has taught the addict how to live a seemingly normal lives, while gaining “rewards” of their addictions.
The amount of time that a person spends in their addiction can be shocking, especially to the addict. The time spent acting out, preparing for a sexual encounter, the lies to cover up their actions, the frustration when plans go awry, etc, quickly adds up over time. The addiction infiltrates every aspect of one’s life without the addict ever being aware of the invasion. The addict has spent multiple types of currency on their addiction: time, money, emotional energy, friendships, sleep, creativity.
Many of my clients are overwhelmed by the amount of currency asked to spend towards recovery. But is this truly a surprise? The art of secrecy, manipulation, etc, has been mastered for years to produce the fertile soil for addiction to thrive. Years spent mastering addictive lifestyles are not thwarted by feeble attempts to change. Time, money, emotional energy, friendships, creativity, ingenuity, and more must be spent to achieve true recovery, this is the cost of recovery.
Just as one’s addiction thrived with the right conditions, the recovery of a healthy, happy life can thrive with the right conditions and with the right amount of lifestyle currency. The question often becomes: is recovery worth the cost? Does the result warrant the currency spent? Through my own sexual addiction recovery, I can say a resounding yes! It was worth every book read, hour in a 12-Step meeting, every dollar on therapy, the emotional energy poured into workbooks and journals, and the every other step that it took to get to this point. Recovery was the most difficult and costly experience of my life, and I’d travel the same journey again.