Are You Burned Out in Your Own Personal Recovery Program?

It is not uncommon for you to reach a point where you feel burned out as you work your recovery tools. Almost every addict goes through this process and it can be a wakeup call to reinvent yourself or fine extra meaning in the steps that you're taking.


There are 10 tasks or tools that promote and enhance good solid recovery. I have them listed under the tab Hope for the sex Addict. Once you have solidified this solid recovery, you may hit a plateau where your recovery program seems mundane, boring, and no longer gives you that exhilaration that you once felt as you were working a solid program and seeing great results. You may even feel discouraged and begin to question whether what you're doing is really the key to happiness and success.

I recently had a client discuss this phenomenon when he shared how burned out, he felt about going to SAA meetings. Upon leaving residential treatment he decided to go to 90 meetings in 90 days. He then sought 5 to 7 meetings out per week to continue his recovery. He said to me in our last session, "Carol, I am burned out and I no longer want to go to meetings. I feel like I know all this stuff, and yet I have this nagging feeling that if I stop going to meetings, I will begin to sabotage myself."

I absolutely confirmed his thoughts and knew that meetings were essential to this man's recovery so I asked him if we could both brainstorm in the session what he could do to re-energize his feelings for the meetings. After much thought and confusion, he said "Well I could go to different meetings. I could ask someone in the program to go with me to a new meeting. I could ask somebody from my therapy group who does not attend meetings to go with me. I could become an officer in the meetings and lead the meeting as opposed to be a participant. I could bring this issue up as a topic. I could change my focus and ask myself how I might support another 12-step member? I could ask the other group members to do something after the meeting which might increase the depth of support and sociability". And then I suggested because he has good solid recovery, that he could become a sponsor and take his twelve-step work to a whole new level. (He did not particularly care for that suggestion as he does not see himself as sponsor material.)

He agreed to begin the process of trying out some of these brainstorming ideas in hopes that it would jumpstart his enthusiasm.

When your recovery program seems dull and unexciting it's time for you to find ways to mix it up and make it your own again. Talk to your sponsor, your certified sexual addictions therapist, or someone in the fellowship who can assist you at looking at your program differently because when you look at your life differently the things you look at change. It's not what's going on externally that you need to change. Most often times it is that internal process within yourself that needs to be tweaked.

Take a few moments and go over your recovery tools. Decide which tools may need renewal. Go back to my previous blog, reread the 10 tools, and then ask yourself how you might renew your program so that you begin to feel more excitement about it. This process is important as it is an investment in yourself and only you know the changes you need to actualize your recovery be the best person you can be!