GroupsHealing 4 minutes to read

Are you already planning your summer trip or, at least, looking at different ways to get out this summer? With the new challenges in our communities and in our own homes, the way we have been doing things has changed quite a bit over the last few months. And this goes for how your Pure Desire group is run. In a normal year, summer would have its own challenges; and this year, it comes with even more. 

Typically, when men and women get into groups, and gain some traction in their healing, it’s easy for them to stay connected to the group. The group becomes like a power strip: they’re plugged in, fully charged, and ready to face their struggles head on. The group helps strengthen their healing momentum. However, once summer hits, many people unplug from the group and they stop connecting with each other.  

The bigger issue is that addiction, it never stops. It’s always connected—and the power, the triggers, the temptation, and everything else that sexual addiction brings, increases once we decide to disconnect. This doesn’t only happen in summer. Yet, summer is the one season during the year when many people decide to disconnect and then relapse happens!

We get it, we really do. But our struggle with unwanted sexual behavior doesn’t stop just because we take a vacation. The enemy doesn’t stop attacking us just because we are camping in the woods, on the lake, or at the beach with our family.  

What does recovery look like during the summer time? Pretty simple really. Here are four tips that you and your group members can do to not lose momentum and stay connected.  

1. Continue To Meet

Yep, that’s right! Keep meeting. Don’t take a break. Don’t take the summer off. If you are mid-way through the material, the last thing you want to do is take time away. It can set you and your group back and, more than likely, you will need to start over. Summer can be a season of relapse; especially when we disconnect from our group and stop meeting.

2. Continue To Check In

While on vacation, keep the two hours open in the evening or whatever time your group normally meets. Then, you can call in or hop on a video to join the group. Family vacations can be stressful, especially when we have kids. So if you can step out and connect with your group, even while out of town, I would highly recommend it. Don’t give the enemy an opportunity to take back what you have been working on for months.

3. Continue Your Homework

It’s very important that you keep up on your homework. Make sure you commit to staying in the material even while out of town. Keep your foot on the throttle. Be sure to look at your FASTER Scale daily. Even while on vacation, you might be surprised just how low you are on the scale. If you know you absolutely are unable to make a meeting, check in with someone in your group during the week and share your home work with them.

4. Continue Making Phone Calls

Ah yes, phone calls. As it is, so many of us struggle to make calls to our group members. During the summer season, especially, we need to make calls a priority. We all have time to make a quick daily call.  

Here’s a tip: if you think you’re too busy to make a call while on vacation, just look at your phone usage and see how much time you spent on social media: posting pictures, making comments, and so on. If you can spend time doing this, you can make a quick call.

You might not think that taking the summer off and not connecting with your group is a big deal, especially since you have spent several months in your group. But in reality, it can set you back and potentially have some extreme consequences in the case of a relapse. Disconnecting from a group, especially in the summertime, is like disconnecting a train from its track. Eventually, the inevitable happens, which leads to a massive derailment—a derailment that can cause a lot of pain to you and those around you.

And finally, staying connected includes staying connected with God. So many of us, especially in the summer, not only put groups on the side burner, but going to church and spending time with God. Our healing happens best when we stay in community with others and stay connected with our heavenly Father. We need each other to stay powered up and charged to continue moving forward.   

Blessings to you as you step into this next season of staying connected! 

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

John 15:5-7

Rich Moore

Rich is the Associate Director of Men's Groups for Pure Desire and is a certified Pastoral Sex Addiction Professional (PSAP) through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). He has been involved with Pure Desire for over 20 years and is a foundational piece to helping churches start a Pure Desire group ministry. Rich is also the author of The Silent Battle: One Man's Fight for Freedom.

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