So, an addict has asked for your help.
First, recognize the brave step that person took and acknowledge it to them.
Most people who struggle with a porn problem or a sex addiction don’t want to talk about it.
Second, consider this a test.
The person who wants you to be a guide will be wondering “will they judge me?” or “can they help me?” It’s important to let them know that you will not judge them.
Also, let them know that you recognize that they will struggle to be honest. Tell them “hey, I know there are going to be times you won’t tell the whole truth. When that happens and you feel ready let me know, I won’t be upset about it. I’m just here to help you.”
Third, ask the person you are guiding what their expectations are regarding the info they share.
Ask “do you want me to follow up every week? Or, just let you know I received it?”
If they use the R|TRIBE app and have signed you up for weekly emails, we recommend you follow up and say “got the email, you want to chat about it?” If someone is sending you their stats every week, they are going to wonder if you got it, what you think about it, etc.
Fourth, learn the effective ingredients of accountability.
We recommend you check out “3 Ingredients Every Recovery Friendship Needs.” You’ll learn practical advice for what to do when someone relapses. You will also learn how to ask good questions. Learning those two skills could make all the difference for the person you are guiding. You don’t want to miss out on that.
Fifth, it’s going to be tough at times.
If you haven’t struggled with addiction, you might be confused as to why the person you are helping just can’t stop! (by the way, the person you are trying to help is asking themselves the same question).
It’s like watching someone hold their hand on a hot stove. You want to grab their hand, but you’ll soon realize only the person you are helping can make that choice.
What you can do is point out the smell of burning flesh. You can empathize and say “wow, that must be painful to be burning yourself and feel like you can’t stop.” In other words, being a good guide is a balance of compassion and confrontation.
It’s going to be tough at times. It’s a huge responsibility and we are super grateful for you taking this role on.
What has worked for you when supporting an addict? What questions do you still have? Share your thoughts with the tribe.