One common mistake that those struggling with unwanted sexual behaviors make is hiding their behaviors from everyone, hoping that these behaviors will go away on their own with time. The reason why this is a mistake is because even though after a relapse, or acting out to your unwanted sexual behaviors, you swear to yourself that you will never do it again, you are actually standing on a highway, without any defenses, and waiting for a truck to hit you! How, you may ask? Here’s what brother Muhammad has to say about doing nothing about his addiction: Muhammad” “Purify Your Gaze Member”””] “Most of my 20s I thought that if I just prayed hard enough, if I made dua in the right place, at the right time, my addiction would disappear. Nope. That’s not how this works. Yes, dua is an important element of course. But I had to take the means, too. I can’t expect an 18-year problem to disappear on its own without the requisite work. Recovery is a long journey. It will take time and it takes a lot of effort. More effort than anything I’ve “accomplished” in my life today.” Brother Muhammad continues in his reflection: Muhammad” “Purify Your Gaze Member”””]“After a trip to the Haramain, after Ramadan, anything, I foolishly thought, “that’s it, I’m done.” But then I wasn’t taking steps to do actual recovery work. Refraining from acting out is just the beginning. That’s only when the actual inward recovery work begins.” Hoping the addiction will go away on its own is like ignoring a deep wound on your arm that is bleeding rapidly, and has been for many years, but little or no medical attention has been given to it. After years of falling into these unwanted behaviors, you have been repeating the same pattern of getting up, over and over again. Even though you may have used various external strategies to stop yourself, such as blocking websites on your computer, nothing has changed internally such as the mindsets that are driving you to these behaviors. The same old, same old, conventional way of doing things, or not doing things may make you temporarily feel good that you are doing something about your addiction, but these are what I call first order changes that do not address the root causes of the issue, and instead treat the symptoms. Your inner addict that looks for any opportunity to relapse, is programmed to sabotage you. When the next trigger hits to act out, you almost always look for loopholes to access whatever explicit material you need; whether that be by deactivating your Internet protection software, lying to your family members about what you’re doing late at night, or watching less harmful material. Part of recovery is to holistically understand what is truly driving your behaviors, and how to, in a sense, hack your subconscious that seems so flustered with images of explicit material. There are resources and relevant support available to take the next step in your recovery which is understanding what is driving you subconsciously beyond just the first order changes. There are options. For many individuals, taking that first step towards recovery by joining one of our many programs was a frightening step to take, but nonetheless, it was one giant step towards their healing. Standing still and hoping your problem will go away does not serve you, but rather is a threat to you.