I have just experienced this. I had a few weeks of abstinence from mb and P*rn, and I started to get complacent. My problem was that I didn't take the temptations (which were small at first--not do my reading and capturing being the key one) and use it as an opportunity to change my attitude and find Union with God. Instead I sought through worldly means (distraction, mostly) to avoid it. And while I didn't get to the point of actually engaging in the SA again, I engaged in other compulsions and my heart got harder and my pride puffed me up and I followed after my own will pretty darned quickly."Why do I always feel recovered after each bout and then get caught off guard by the next wave?"
Often, seeing we've stopped acting out our habit for a time, we feel we're free of it forever. This may just be the time it strikes again. So the realization slowly dawns that we may always be subject to temptation and powerless over l~st. We come to see that it's all right to be tempted and feel absolutely powerless over it as long as we can get the power to overcome. The fear of our vulnerability gradually diminishes as we stay sober and work the Steps. We can look forward to the time when the obsession--not temptations--will be gone.
We begin to see that there's no power over the craving in advance; we have to work this as it happens each time. Therefore, each temptation, every time we want to give in to l~st or any other negative emotion, is a gift toward recovery, healing, and freedom--another opportunity to change our attitude and find unio with God. we didn't get here in a day; it took practice to burn the addictive process into our being. It takes practice to make our true Connection. (Sexaholics Anonymous, 67-69. Italics original; bold emphasis added)
I thank the Lord that things didn't get worse than they did, and I thank Him for giving me strength to put on the brakes and get back on track. I want to make sure that I pray to Him and really connect with Him every day, and seek that Connection every time there is l~st or a negative emotion (a big one for me is feeling overwhelmed).
My SA and the temptaiton to indulge in it aren't an indication of what a "horrible" person I am; rather, when the temptation comes it is an opportunity to reach to the Lord and learn have Him change me. I love it framed that way.