I’ve written a bit about betrayal trauma recovery on my Instagram (#allietalkstrauma), and now I’ve talked about it on a podcast episode (the Strong + Gentle Podcast is available on iTunes and Stitcher). I’ve had people ask me for resources for recovery, and here are some that I’ve found beneficial.
Friends, doing the work to heal is some of the best work you’ll ever do… it’s some of the best work I PERSONALLY have ever done. If you are just at the beginning of this, if your loved one just disclosed a very difficult thing to you, I’d say, find yourself a support group— the LDS church (of which I am a part of) has spouses and family of addicts support groups all around the world. There are other organizations like Al-Anon for family members of alcoholics that I have heard are great resources. I would recommend not telling everyone, or even most people, because often these things are so delicate for everyone involved. But I highly recommend finding SOMEONE you can confide in—ideally someone of the same gender, someone you trust, perhaps someone who has been in your situation, or someone who can show compassion, love, and support. One of my best support people hadn’t been in my situation, but always listened, always showed loving empathy, and showed love to both me and the other person involved. She was/is an amazing friend and support.
Here are some resources I’d recommend.
Spiritual + 12-Step:
I incorporated a lot of spiritual work with my recovery. Here are some resources and general inspirational words from the church I am a part of, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
Addiction Recovery Program for the LDS Church (+ Spouse and Family Support Program) — Support groups + 12-steps for both addicts and family of addicts.
Healing Through Christ — a 12-step manual from an LDS perspective, but not specifically put out by the LDS Church. This has been my favorite resource, though. My copy is marked up, at least the first few steps 🙂
The Master Healer by Carole M. Stephens — This talk is not specific to betrayal trauma recovery, but it is so comforting, and was one of my regular listens. (I often listened to the audio while I was driving, or when I was in bed.)
Heartbreak and Hope: When a Spouse Uses Pornography (Ensign Magazine, February 2017) — A beautiful article that shares the silver linings to working through this tough situation.
Websites / Blogs:
Bloom — The Bloom program, associated with Addo Recovery in Lindon, Utah, is an online program for partners or former partners of addicts. They have a lot of educational videos, hobby videos (because learning to feel joy again and living your own life is absolutely a thing!), and even yoga for betrayal trauma recovery. — and more!
Scabology.com— Scabs is a life coach, hosts retreats, is a beautiful writer, and sistas, she has BEEN there. I suggest reading through her blog just to even feel less alone in this.
Codependent No More by Melody Beattie— GAMECHANGER. I used to feel shame at the word “codependent,” but this book helped me understand my experience: I loved someone deeply who was dealing with some really dark things, and of course I want to help. It logically makes sense. Does that mean it’s the best approach? Nope. This book still helps me feel grounded if I find myself falling into codependent thoughts or patterns.
The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie — Short, daily meditations to help you heal from and stay out of codependency.
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay — This is the book I universally suggest to everyone ever. It is all about using affirmations to heal your life, improve your circumstances, etc. …which sounds so basic, but she dives into it beautifully. I have the book AND audiobook. It’s just a really good book to help me feel more balanced and hopeful.
What Can I Do About Me? — This book is specific to partners of sex addicts and pornography addicts. It suggests (brace yourself 😉 that instead of trying to change our partners, we should work on our own healing, growth, and lives. Crazy stuff 😉 haha! But it’s the truth. The author has been there, in the crummiest situations, and both she and her husband are a great couple to look at who has gone through the darkness and are now healing, thriving, and helping others.
Out of the Shadows — If you are looking to straight up understand sex addiction, this is a great book for that. While some of it was hard for me to read (and brought up more fears at the time), I know people who swear by it and suggest it to everyone. It goes into not just pornography addiction, but the different levels of sex addiction, some quite severe. But, knowledge is HUGE in this journey. And that makes this book worth at least looking into reading.
Lemonade by Beyonce. 😉 Haha! (But really: Hold Up. It’s a good one!)
And the Strong + Gentle episode about healing from trauma, featuring my friend Tyler Carpenter.