Naming Your Addict

One of the most important realizations you can come to on your journey towards recovery is that your addict is not you. That might be a hard concept for some to grasp, but when you break it down logically, it makes sense. It’s not that you want to constantly look at porn to the detriment of everything else – it’s that your addict does. There’s a difference between your true self and your addict self; and putting some distance between the two is vitally important to regaining control.

For this reason, one of the first steps we take here at Neulia and Compulsion Solutions is to ask you to name your addict. Naming something is very powerful. It gives it an identity, but more to the point, it separates the thing from you. It has a name now, because it is not you.

For example, our founder George named his addict “Porgie,” as in “GeorgiePorgie.” Porgie is not George, and George is not Porgie. This is a crucial distinction to make.  Likewise one of our therapists, James, named his addict “Jamie.” James and Jamie are two different people.

You are also not your addict.

Think about it this way: when you are in “porn mode,” do you act the way you would normally act in public, or the way you would act when you are just out in everyday life?  Do you feel different during those times than you do while surrounded by loved ones, friends or even colleagues?  Most addicts will agree that they do feel different when they are feeling the pull of porn – so different in fact, that they almost become another person.

There’s your “bingo” moment. That’s your addict, that’s not you. You act, think, and feel differently because it’s your addict in control, and not the real you. The separation has always been there. It’s just a matter of you seeing it for what it is.

Giving your addict a name helps cement the concept in place that he is someone different. He wants different things, and he behaves in different ways. So when choosing the name, make it meaningful to you. Something that says to you “This is not who I am, and not who I want to be.”

Try to go easy on him though.  It’s a very knee-jerk reaction to want to give him a negative name like “Troublemaker,” or a perennial favorite “Shithead” — but it is more constructive to name him something that has meaning to you in a personal way.

Think of the younger, less mature part of you, and name him that. This helps you see that this is not really who you are. It creates some healthy separation. It helps develop your capacity to observe.

Once you have named your addict self, you can begin having conversations with him. This is a huge part of coming to terms with your addiction. Your addict self needs your adult self to talk to him – because what is at the root of the addict’s behavior is an inability or a refusal to grow up.

You are the adult, you can help him.

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