Find the freedom that will change your life forever
When you are in the grips of pornography addiction, it can seem like it is impossible to stop. The good news is, that you are not alone. There are countless men and women who have struggled with viewing pornography but then have committed to a recovery journey to find freedom. Here are some useful tools to assist you in your recovery journey.
Break the cycle of addiction
What is the cycle? How can I be free of it?
Common Emotional Triggers
H – Hungry
A – Angry
L – Lonely
T – Tired
B – Bored
L – Lonely
A – Angry
S – Stressed
T – Tired
S – Shamed
As well as emotional triggers, there are plenty of other triggers that might tempt you back into viewing pornography. It can be very different for every one of us, male and female. Sexy images of a man or woman. Something that reminds of you a past sexual or porn viewing experience. A smell. A taste. Wanting to feel loved or desired.
Most importantly it’s important to identify these triggers so that we can tackle them before they lead us back into the addictive cycle. This is easier written than done! Your brain is wired to remember where your natural drives are satisfied. It’s drive-related neurotransmitter dopamine is released during sexually pleasurable experiences. It forms the way your brain remembers how sexual craving was satisfied in the past, pushing you to seek out the same thing in the future. When you are addicted to pornography, dopamine helps create a sharp focus on finding porn.
So what do I do?
Tell someone else about your struggle. Whether it be a close friend, a counsellor or a psychologist. Getting it out in the open will help relieve some of the stress, knowing there is someone you can talk to about your problem. Plus they are there to help you when you feel temptation taking over. If you chose to go to get some professional advice from a counsellor or psychologist it can really help can give you some goals to move forwards with towards recovery.
Put filtering or accountability software on your computer, smart phone and tablet. Or dare we say it, get rid of them altogether if it is a real problem. Restricting your access will help you put some real distance from your problem and kick some real goals towards recovery. It won’t remove your desire for viewing, but it will allow you to draw a line in the sand and make positive steps forward. Plus it might also give you someone to look out for your so you’re not doing it alone.
Joining a support group will allow you to chat with others who are wanting to get better as well. From 12 step type groups to faith based groups and individual groups run by professional counsellors, getting plugged in will help you realize you are not alone and help keep you accountable to your recovery. Doing the journey with other people will reduce your chance of relapse and give you other people to connect with when your temptations and desires are running high. Fight together and win together.
Getting out and exercising will burn up some of your extra energy and is a great way to “work out” some of your frustrations. Plus it will help keep you away from some of those triggers that keep you trapped in the cycle of addiction. The endorphins released while exercising are often accompanied by a positive and energized outlook on life. Plus it can boost your self-esteem and reduce stress. You might even want to head our for some exercise with other people you know who are struggling and use it as an opportunity to encourage each other. All very helpful!
Sitting down and writing a daily journey can really help your recovery progress. For those of faith, praying during this time, can also really help too. It’s a fantastic way to track your recovery journey and increase motivation. Writing down your thoughts and emotions can help your body and mind to reach balanced, healthy states. This has a huge plus of improving your overall sense of well-being and reducing your chance of relapse! You could also use this time to read some encouraging books and if so inclined, read your bible.
We all mess up at some point in our lives. It’s part of being human. As you go through recovery it’s important to acknowledge the mistakes you’ve made, feel the appropriate remorse, and learn from those mistakes so they don’t happen again. Even if you relapse a few times throughout your recovery continue to forgive, it’s part of the process. Continually beating yourself up way past the point of usefulness is being very unfair to yourself. Learn to pick yourself up, take responsibility for what you’ve done and be confident that you are working to make it better.