• Dr. Michael Johnson

    Psychologist, Specialist in Problematic Sexual Behavior

  • Dr. Michael Johnson

    Specializing in Sex Addiction Treatment in Austin, TX

Just Right

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Remember Goldilocks? She was this kid wandering around in the forest and looking for someplace safe. Someplace safe. She stumbles onto the house of the three Bears - Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear. There she finds hope for her safety and comfort. There are chairs for sitting, porridge for eating, and beds for sleeping.

First this kid tried out the bowls of porridge. She found Papa Bear's porridge too hot and Mama Bear's porridge to cold, but Baby Bear's porridge was just right. Goldilocks ate that porridge all up. Next the kid wanted to sit down. First she sat in Papa Bear's chair, but it was too hard. Next she sat in Mama Bear's chair, but it was too soft. Finally she sat in Baby Bear's chair and it was just right. So she sat there until the chair broke. Then the kid decided she wanted a nap so she went upstairs looking for the bed. She tried Papa Bear's bed but it was too high at the head for her. She tried Mama Bear's bed but it was too high at the foot for her. Last she tried Baby Bear's bed and it was not too high at the head or at the foot, but just right. So she fell asleep.

By and by the Bear Family returned home and discovered their home disturbed, food eaten, and furniture broken. When they found Goldilocks asleep in Baby Bear's bed, they startled her awake and she ran home to her mother.

At one level, the story is a morality play. The moral is, don't mess around with other people's stuff without permission. But I think there is another message too.

Sex addicts - when they are active - live in extremes. Too hot, too hard, too cold, too soft. Extremes. When acting out addicts are too soft on themselves - too easy on themselves. They live outside of their values. They feel they can get away with anything - that they are Masters of the Universe. When sex addicts are in the shame phase of the cycle they are too hard on themselves. They feel empty, worthless. They burn themselves with their shame brained thoughts and make themselves sit on too hard chairs. Too soft or too hard with no middle ground. That's what active sex addicts do.

With recovery comes balance. Neither to hot nor too cold, but just right. Neither too soft or too hard, but just right. Goldilocks can be nourished by Baby Bear's just right porridge. She can feel comfortable is Baby Bear's just right chair. She can rest easy and feel safe in Baby Bear's just right bed - safe enough to sleep. Balance, nourishment, comfort, and safety - good, healthy goals for otherwise too intense recovering addicts. Goldilocks found the rainbow of possibility between black and white, hot and cold, soft and hard.

I reread the story before writing this and found a delicious, accidental pun that I would like to share. Papa Bear's bed was too high at the head for Goldilocks. It was unlevel. Mama Bear's bed was too high at the foot for Goldilocks. It too was unlevel. But Baby Bear's bed was perfectly level and just right. She could only be comfortable when she was on the level. Recovering people too can only be comfortable when they are on the level. 





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