5 Lessons Learned From Relapse

Listen to “5 Things A Sex Addict Life Coach Learned From Relapse (Confession From Coach G)” on Spreaker.

     

Read an Edited Transcript of the Show:

Craig Perra:
Welcome to Sex Afflictions and Porn Addictions. And I am your host Craig Perra from the mindfulhabit.com. And this is a podcast to help you create healthy sexuality and a great life. And today we’re going to talk about five lessons from a relapse with the Mindful Habits own fire-breathing dragon. George Morning, a friend, a brother, a certified Mindful Habit coach, a masters of social work candidate. We’ve been brothers for seven years. When he came to me as a client, low, divorce because of his compulsive behaviors with porn, sex and drugs. Honored to have you here, George. Welcome.

George Morning:
Thank you for having me again, brother. Glad to be here, man.

Craig Perra:
Five lessons from a relapse. Now, before we talk about the five powerful lessons, George, tell me about how you lost your edge and let’s set this whole conversation up because it is a mission critical lesson that we need to drive home. And I’m so glad you’re going to help us do that. Take it away. What happened?

George Morning:
All right, let’s go ahead and get rid of the obvious right now, guys. We’re not talking about did Coach G relapse in sex and porn? And was he up all night and was he binging out to sex and porn? That’s not at all what it was, guys. Believe it or not, it was something that I thought would never, ever impact me. Why? Because I grew up in an alcoholic household and I was like, “There’s no way that alcohol is going to be the thing that kind of knocks me off my game after I’ve overcome the addictions to sex, porn and to opioids.” I just knew that that just wasn’t even a real reality.

George Morning:
And the more I let things kind of go and not pay attention to what needed to be paid attention to is what we’re going to talk about today. The more this just became more of a negative part of me than something that allowed me to maybe enhance socialization or enjoy myself at a party. It was the part of me that didn’t allow me to be the best me and ultimately, guys, that’s what recovery is about.

George Morning:
Recovery is not about what we are going to talk about here in the five steps about what most of y’all think is just, “Hey, let me stop this behavior that’s causing all this trouble.” Recovery is about always making sure that you’re going to be aware enough to stay on your game and that you’re not letting other things come into play that sneaks in the space of that behavior you spent so much time trying to get rid of. So we’ve got five good things here Craig. Let me know when you’re ready to rock and roll here, brother.

Craig Perra:
I am ready to rock and roll. Take it away, my man. Number one. Now no, what order? What order are we doing it?

George Morning:
Here’s the deal, guys. These are all number ones. These are all number ones right now, guys. And, just to let you know, this led me to a great space. We’re talking about this today because there was a tremendous, tremendous opportunity that came out of this for me that I’m going to be able to pass on to a lot of you guys. So first thing that we going to look at, guys-

Craig Perra:
Wait, hold on. George, I’m so sorry, but you said something so important and I’m going to do this throughout this lesson. That it is, they’re all number ones. Listen, guys, that’s not a cop out, right? What he means and why this is so important is because there’s no one thing. There’s no one thing that if you do that, that is going to guarantee sanity, sobriety and success. That is why these are all number ones and let’s do it. Number one.

George Morning:
That’s it. First number one that we got here, guys, and this is the one that we all kind of wrestle with at times, but you got to understand recovery is not about just stopping the behavior. There is a very real thing called addiction transference. And that’s when you stop doing one thing, but now you’re spending your time doing something else. We got tons of guys in the program right now who will stop looking at porn, having sex, but they’re spending all their time gaming. They’re spending their time watching Netflix. They’re spending their time doing behaviors that are not contributing in a healthy way to their lives. We’re consumed about this one behavior that we think has just messed up our lives and we let our energy transfer into something else. And here’s the deal, it happens completely accidentally most of the time.

George Morning:
The majority of us are not sitting around here saying, “You know what? Let me go from being an alcoholic to being a chronic cigarette smoker. Let me go from being a porn addict to somebody that’s gaming eight to 10 hours a day right now and sneaking these things out.” It’s never anything that’s understood. But again, if you’re not aware and if you’re not being mindful, message Mindful Habit, if you’re not always being mindful, these things will sneak up on you and get you right when you least expect it, guys. You got to be aware that your recovery is not just about stopping the behavior.

George Morning:
Muted.

Craig Perra:
Hey what’s… Oh my gosh. I muted my microphone. Sorry about that. So here, listen, here’s what I got to add on top of what George just said. It is the golden rule of behavior modification. It is not to break a habit, you have to make a habit. I inserted some, a few words to make the statement more accurate. To break a habit, you have to make the right habit that meets the right need. Why? Because needs get met proactively or needs get met reactively and your bad habits are meeting often important needs in your life. So you’ve got to meet those needs in a healthy, constructive way. Let’s talk to number one. Number one. Number one!

George Morning:
The second number one that we got here, guys. Listen, recovery is about creating a permanent change in your beliefs, your thoughts and your mindsets. Listen, guys, a lot of us are operating with this fundamental belief that listen, this is the way it is. If I want to get somebody on a plane, it doesn’t matter how much I try to work on their thoughts and mindsets. And I show them all the data there is about the safety of flying in a plane. If there’s a fundamental belief that they have that says that my feet are not supposed to leave the ground. I’m not supposed to be airborne in any sense whatsoever. And I’m going to automatically die. If that’s your fundamental belief, then guess what? We can’t change anything past that.

George Morning:
For me guys, I had a fundamental belief. I was like, “Listen, I grew up in an alcoholic household. I saw people consistently, all through my life, ruin their lives through alcohol. So how am I going to think that I’m going to be the guy that now is going to all of a sudden succumb to anything involving alcohol whatsoever.” It was a fundamental belief that I had going forward that said that, “You know what? Because I’ve overcome A, B and C, the porn, the sex, the opioids that you know what? That’s all I needed to get done. Once I handled that, then my life was good when it came to recovery.”

George Morning:
It wasn’t until I addressed these underlining belief systems that I’ve had about life. And guess what? Not just around the areas of behavior in my recovery, but in multiple areas of my life. What were my real fundamental beliefs around relationships? What was my fundamental beliefs about who I could be and where I was going to aspire to? What did that really look like? Did I really believe on a fundamental level that you know what, I can be A, B and C versus saying, “I’m going to go through the motions of it and we’ll see what happens.”

George Morning:
A lot of us end up doing that, guys. You got to understand if you’re not challenging these belief systems that you have, and we’re going to dig into a lot of areas that will force you to challenge it. But if you’re not willing to challenge some of these beliefs you have, you’re going to be hard pressed trying to change the habits and the behaviors that are associated and stem from these beliefs.

Craig Perra:
Thank you, George. And I’m going to say it again, to break a habit you have to make the right habit that’s meeting the right need. Let’s go, number one.

George Morning:
Number three, number one, guys, here’s the deal. And I’m going to hit a lot of you guys with this one. Recovery is about accepting that your will just isn’t sufficient. Now, I feel a lot of y’all right now that’s about to change the channel and here’s the deal, guys. I know a lot of y’all have heard that from 12 step programs. You don’t like 12 step programs because that’s one of the first things they say is that you got to admit that your will isn’t sufficient. I want you to, again, let’s change the fundamental belief around that.

George Morning:
You hear your will not being sufficient, fundamentally you go to a space that says, “I got to believe in this exoteric higher power kind of deal right now.” Here’s the biggest thing that you got to understand about your will not being sufficient. It’s about letting go of your ego. That’s the biggest thing about this.

George Morning:
Listen, you’re going to join the program because you understand that with the way you went about doing it, wasn’t getting the fucking job done. You’ve been trying to be in recovery and trying to go about it your away for as long as you could. And your way may have gotten you a couple of days. It may have gotten you a couple of weeks. It may have even gotten you some month and years, but eventually your way just didn’t work. Until you get to the space of saying that, “Look, let me put my ego to the side, listen to someone else, hear other information that I wasn’t willing to make myself privy to before.” You’re going to have a hard time, again, still struggling with really being in recovery.

George Morning:
You’re going to go from recovery to relapse, to recovery to relapse. And that’s going to be the pattern that you’re going to be involved in with your own recovery. You have to get to that space of saying that, “Look, if I could have did this on my own, it would have been done.” You wake up on your own. You go to work on your own. A lot of things you do on your own. Pat yourself on the back for. Also pat yourself on the back for recognizing that there are certain areas I just simply can’t do alone.

Craig Perra:
And think about this guys, if let’s pretend your boss goes away on vacation for 30 days. Are you more productive or are you less productive? Or let’s say you’re in a position of leadership. When you take your foot off the gas, if you’re a small business owner and you ignore your accounts receivable, or you have someone who has these different job sites, you don’t have to check in on the different job sites. They got it. No, they don’t. And the reason why that model works is because accountability works and it is not a sign of weakness. It is sign a strength.

Craig Perra:
And even if you’re too embarrassed to share with your buddy, who’s your best friends, you’ve known each other for a long time. You don’t want to get into the sex and porn stuff. Fine. Set weekly five, 10 minute check-ins where you talk about goals. What it is you want to accomplish because accountability drives better results.

George Morning:
Here’s the big thing that I always tell my guys about this, whenever they start struggling about them being able to do it or they’re upset because they’re not able to do it alone. I’m always go back to the same example. I’m like, “Listen guys, nobody ever doubts the strength of the Incredible Hulk. He is what he is. He’s the strongest guy that’s out. Nobody is challenging the Hulk in terms of his strength. But guess what? There is a point in time when the Hulk does need what? Iron Man. And the Hulk does need Thor. And he needs the group around him. And he recognized that, you know what? I’m still the baddest man out, but I needed the group. I needed the team to get the objective done.”

George Morning:
Ultimately that will alone wasn’t enough. And guess what? Recovery, whatever you’re in recovery against or fighting for recovery right now, that’s your Thanos. Believe it or not, in a blink of an eye, if you’re not prepared right, and you’re not armed right, and you don’t got the right team. He will take everything away from you. You will look up and your entire life will look like dust because it’s gone because you wasn’t able to overcome that addiction that you went after one on one.

George Morning:
When it came time to the group, that’s when they were able to save everybody. And more importantly, that’s when you’re going to be able to save yourself, guys. You got to understand. This isn’t just about you. Get with the right team, get with the right accountability. Understand that your way wasn’t getting it done. Get with the way that works.

Craig Perra:
Boom.

George Morning:
Next up, guys-

Craig Perra:
All right. Number one, number one.

George Morning:
Here’s the deal guys. Recovery is about having a lifelong consistent, progressive life style change. I want to repeat that. It is a lifelong consistent, progressive lifestyle change. So what does that mean? It’s something that’s going to continue forever. It’s consistent. It’s not choppy, it’s not where you engage it for a hard 30 days or 60 days. Craig, we’ve seen that here in the program, right? We’ll call out a guy that’s been in the program for six months or more. And we’re like, “What are you doing?” And because of some other kind of trigger or pressure, they’re like, “Look, I’m not going to have the program in 30 days. Or I’ve been doing this for 30 days.” But shortly thereafter, they’ve fallen back off again.

George Morning:
That’s not what this is about, that’s not consistent. That’s choppy. And progressive, meaning what? There’s an elevation. Guys, listen, it’s not about consistently being on a plateau. It’s not about consistently going down hill. It is consistently progressing your lifestyle. It needs to be that. And guess what, guys? I completely blew consistent and progressive. I wasn’t consistent. I wasn’t. There were times I’d be a ball on fire coming out the gate and I’m tearing everything up. And then, I look and I see a period of success or what I think is success based on my life. And I take my foot off the gas.

George Morning:
And then when I see other struggles around me, whether it’s around finances or about family or about whatever, then all of a sudden I’m thrusting back forward again, almost upset that I’m not getting results with my now forward action that I’m doing when I spent so much time being last.

George Morning:
Progressive, the same thing. I was easy at getting to a space of thinking that because I’m comfortable, that’s enough. I’m comfortable, so now it’s okay for me to kind of relax some. I’m so comfortable that the progression can now be a plateau and guys, it’s on the plateau that that’s where you’re going to meet… It’s so many challenges you’re going to find being progressive. But I promise you the challenges you will find as you are in a plateau state far out weigh what you’re going to come across by trying to make a progressive lifestyle change.

George Morning:
Learn from Coach G. I blew being consistent and progressive, guys. I knew it was lifelong. I knew it was something that wouldn’t go away overnight or any point. I had to keep working on it, but I wasn’t consistent in all areas. And I wasn’t progressive in all areas.

Craig Perra:
But everything was okay because I wasn’t doing the thing. Because I wasn’t doing the thing. And so I want to add to what George just said. I need a system. I need to counter balance the inevitable reality that if I don’t do the things that make me successful, I will ultimately manage my pain in an unhealthy way with opiates. I will numb, cope and escape and lie and get my significant’s need met in an unhealthy way with other women because I’m small. And the key, what George said, is, listen, assuming that that’s going to happen, if you don’t counterbalance it, to me, is also a sign of strength.

Craig Perra:
So I invite you to live your life like you are always in one of two places. Recognizing that progressive nature, because it’s a number one. It is a number one answer. Live your life where you are always either on the right track or on the wrong track. Either towards love or away from love. Either towards success or away from success. And what you do by living that way, you eliminate meh, okay, average, mediocre, everything’s fine, I’m good.

Craig Perra:
No, no. You need to know when you’re off track, what you may call status quo, it’s an illusion. You’re actually at the start of the downward spiral and you don’t even know it and it gets quicker and quicker and quicker. And before you know, you find yourself down the drain, all starting with mediocre, okay, average. Awesome point, George, what do we got next?

George Morning:
All right guys, we’re getting ready to wrap this up here. Here’s number five, number one for you guys. Recovery is about creating healthy self-love, resolving your fears, anxieties and doubts, and breaking your unhealthy life patterns. Guys, listen, man, here’s a trick for you guys I want you to do. I want you to spend some time, go to your little private place because you never want to tell your fears, doubts and anxieties in a public place. So go to a little private place, bring out the pen and paper. And I want you to write down all of your fears, all of your doubts, all of your anxieties, go ahead and list them off.

George Morning:
Fear, not being good enough. Doubt, your ability to overcome. The anxieties you have around crowds, around growth, around success, around whatever it is that it may be around. The roles that you currently have in your life right now. And then, I want you to write down, right now, what are some of the destructive behaviors that are present in your life? For you guys watching the podcast right now, talk about how you do the sex. You do the porn. Go ahead and jump in the house. You know what? I also smoke and I also drink and I also avoid people. And also, guess what guys? All those destructive behaviors, that’s self-love. Sounds crazy as hell right now, I know. You’re like, “What do you mean that’s me loving myself?”

George Morning:
Because why? That was the actual answer of how you chose to address your fears, your doubts and your anxiety. You didn’t know how to handle your fears, doubts and anxieties in a healthy way. So all these destructive behaviors that you say are ruining your life right now, well guess what? We talk about unmet needs. It’s a reason why they’re there. It’s a reason why there are these positive attributes attributed to these behaviors because they’re addressing things that are central and core to us.

George Morning:
Really take a moment and look at that. Think about how you feel during the destructive behavior. And then think about how that counterbalances your fears, your doubts and your anxieties, guys. Listen, again, like we talked about it throughout this podcast, guys, I took my foot off the gas in thinking about how I was addressing my fears, my doubts and my anxiety.

George Morning:
I was the one that said that, “Well, hey, the porn, the sex, the opiates, the pills. That’s how I did it. So now that I stopped doing that, everything else that I may do, that’s not a real issue right now. That’s not anything.” And guess what? But I had to take a step back and realize that, you know what? If these are some of the fears that Coach G has and the doubts of Coach G and anxieties of Coach G, Coach G feared if he was too old. I doubted if I was going to be able to make an impact. I was having anxiety about even being a parent, sober from sex, porn and with the opioids. It was so much that was wrapped up in it that I just didn’t resolve in a healthy way. And lo and behold, I look up and I’m like, “Wait a minute. This is how I’m now answering these doubts, answering these fears and anxieties.”

George Morning:
Guys, you got to address. It even more so, guys, you got to take a look at these unhealthy life patterns. There are things that happened in your past that as a child you knew was horrible, you knew was bad and you swore you wouldn’t do it and you wouldn’t tolerate it once you got older. And guess what? You’re doing it right now. It may look a little bit different, but the outcome of the pattern is still the exact same. Some of you guys grew up in a household where your dad yelled every single time he walked through the door. That was the only way things got done was when dad yelled. And you said it was horrible that you yelled and when dad yelled, but yet, here you are right now. And yep, you get angry with your spouse. Here you are right now, yep, and you get angry with your children. You’re not breaking these unhealthy patterns.

George Morning:
Same thing that I saw growing up. My dad went from alcohol to other hard… He was on crack cocaine. My dad did cigarettes. My dad did a myriad of things that I looked at and I was like, “You know what? Not me, not the kid, not going to happen.” So did I go out here and do all the crazy street drugs like cocaine and crack? Nope. But I was the one that went to the hospital and knew how to get a prescription drug. That was me. Was I the one that went out here and had children outside of my marriage, like my dad? Nope. But I was the one that, because of my sexual behavior, it still damaged my household the same way.

George Morning:
I thought I broke these patterns guys, but really I didn’t. The patterns just started morphing into something that became more comfortable and acceptable in my life. I didn’t break the pattern. If anything, it was being reinvented through my life. When you find that healthy self-love, guys, what does that look like? And we’re going to talk about that as we wrap all this up right now. But you have to be able to know right now that, listen, you have to create healthy self-love for you. You have to resolve your fears, your doubts, your anxieties, and you have to break these unhealthy patterns.

George Morning:
I hope you’re catching the theme that a lot of this comes back not to your spouse, not to your therapist. And lo and behold, dare I say it? Not to your coach. We’re here to help guide in a lot of different ways, but guys, you are the ones that have to discover what healthy self-love is for you. You are the ones that have to come to the table and say, “Guess what? Deep down, I’m afraid of this. I fear this. I doubt myself in these areas and I have crazy anxiety around these areas that I don’t ever bring to the surface or address.” And you have to be the one that says, “Wow, my history was this. My current is this. And here are the patterns from my history that are now present and still destructive in my current.” You got to get to that space, guys.

Craig Perra:
And you’re not going to get there, I predict, unless you’re able to see that these bad habits are meeting needs. It is one of the most difficult lessons for people to absorb, that these bad habits that George was talking about may not have been the way it was for his parents. He was doing it differently, but every single one of your bad habits is meeting a need. And so often they are critical needs in your life. Thank you, George. So, let’s talk about the opportunity, brother.

George Morning:
Let’s wrap this up guys. So let’s take a look at this for a minute. What was Coach G… What were some of the pieces present in Coach G out of here, prior to making himself really aware of these crucial parts about recovery? Well, Coach G used to live in Washington, DC. Guess what? I’ve lived in Washington, DC pretty much my entire life. That whole DMV area, DC, Maryland, Virginia area. And guess what? Coach G thought that’s where he had to be, thought that’s where school had to be completed, thought that’s where he had to create his new life there, guys.

George Morning:
And guess what? As I looked at it and address that belief, that really was me holding on to negative energy. I got so comfortable with negative energy that I stayed with the negative energy. So then, once I realized about having to change that core belief, guys, well yeah. That’s why I’m in Florida right now. And yeah, I know Florida’s pretty crazy, pandemic and everything going on right now. But guess what Coach G doesn’t have down here? I don’t have negative energy down here. I don’t have some of those pieces that were so present on a daily basis, whether it was in my home, my neighborhood, my community, my mind, my other areas of my other environments that I was accessing there. They’re not present here. And it wasn’t until I got to a new space where I was able to just take a step back and realize the release of that negative energy and the new feeling of being in a more aware and accepting energy right now.

George Morning:
What else did Coach G get out of this, guys? Well, Coach G was the guy before. We talked about this. I did poor self-love. I thought self-love was about hanging out with my friends. I thought self-love was about, “Hey, listen, I got a free weekend right now. Let me go grab a couple of drinks with the fellows.” I thought self-love was about always giving more of myself to someone else than I gave to me. Believe it or not, I thought self love was sacrificial.

George Morning:
What I really learned about self-love was that self-love is really about the investment in yourself. And I had to rediscover what that was, guys. Before these five steps I was possibly in the worst health that I’ve ever been in my life. And I just chalked it up as to the fact that I’m getting older, fundamental beliefs, that I have sickle-cell, fundamental beliefs, that, “Hey, I can’t work out like I need to. So I can’t do A, B and C.” Fundamental beliefs.

George Morning:
All of a sudden I get down here, my age didn’t change, my physical condition didn’t change, but how I can approach my physical health absolutely changed. I am literally in the healthiest space that I’ve been in. The other part about this, guys, is that lastly, for me, is that I reached a brand new level of transparency with this right now, guys. Like it’s nothing now to be able to… It was nothing before to discuss anything about porn, about sex, about drugs. And it was so many areas that I kept trying to hold on to that was questionable. But now it’s like, “Hey, I can now be a different type of person, not just for myself, but in an opportunity way, I have a greater capacity of how I can now give and contribute.”

George Morning:
I can speak now to different populations now because I’ve been willing to accept new areas about myself. These beliefs changes, breaking these unhealthy patterns allows me to just grow in tremendously different ways, guys. I’m healthier emotionally, immensely than I’ve ever been at any point in my life, guys. I’m telling you right now, take advantage of these five steps.

George Morning:
Spend some time with them. And if you need to, check the link at the bottom, schedule some time with me or shoot me an [email protected] at [email protected] Guys, these five steps, mission critical. This isn’t the whole bag, but I promise you if you go into it without these five, you’re shooting blanks.

Craig Perra:
Thank you, George, so much for that powerful testimony. So blessed to learn from our mistakes. And that’s the lifestyle that you need to create. One where you continue to learn from your mistakes, from your failures, where you’re able to find the gift so you can live a purpose-driven life.

Craig Perra:
Thank you so much, George. Bye everybody. See you on the next podcast.

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