The halls that led to our breakout rooms were filled with men and women in incredibly skimpy attire--not the ballroom dancing gowns I remember! Even the public restrooms and lobby were filled with competitors with lots and lots of exposed skin, tight-fitting clothing and exaggerated make-up. It created a minefield of danger for our conference attendees.
But an amazing thing happened. Men and women working hard to recover from a progressive disease took extraordinary measures to maintain their sobriety in the face of this unexpected challenge. They found other ways to get to the breakout rooms; they avoided The Hallway at all costs. It was inconvenient and even silly to go outside the hotel and walk all the way around it to get to a door leading directly into the desired room. But they did.
And I learned an important lesson: a man or woman in recovery will do all they can to stay away from The Hallway of temptation. For you see a relapse or slip in sex addiction does not mean a momentary lustful thought, a small window of porn viewing, masturbation or one visit to a strip club. It can and often does lead to a binge of out-of-control behavior. For those of us who do not struggle with an addiction, this may seem extreme or foreign but for those who second-by-second contend with this monstrous disease know it as their reality 24/7.
Staying away from The Hallway means that the person in recovery won't:
- underestimate the severity and complexity of his disease or over-estimate his ability to control it.
- minimize the power of temptation or inflate his ability to resist.
- deny that The Hallway exists or deceive himself into believing that it is safe for him to enter.