BY: CHASE J. MAKIN
Cutting down on any addiction is virtually impossible to do alone. It takes more than one person. Recovery takes a village. It is up to you to seek help, and ask for help.
4 TIPS TO HELP CUT DOWN USE:
FIND A 12 STEP PROGRAM IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Finding a 12 step program in your community is a great first step. Seeking support from individuals going through similar struggles can be life changing. Anyone who has been to any kind of 12 step meeting knows that the hardest meeting to go to is the first one. This first step can be done by Googling “ 12 sexual addiction meetings near me” or if you are looking for a religious based one, such as LDS Addiction Recovery Program, there is a link here.
It can be scary to go sit down in a large group and talk about the problems that create the most amount of pain in your life. Especially talking about something as sensitive as pornography addiction, this can feel impossible. Hitting a meeting can be a massive step to begin to bring your addiction out of the darkness and into the light.
GET A SPONSOR
A sponsor is someone that you can seek help from. Thye are there as a “touchstone” in your recovery. Think about it and pray about the decision. Your sponsor is there to help you, he is not there to shame or bully you. Your sponsor should be someone that you trust. Sit down with them once or twice a week and reflect on who you are and what you want to become.
Sponsors help normalize your experience and teach you how to not sit in shame. Sponsors have a long time of sobriety and step up to help be a safe place to talk and even ask questions. No question is seen as useless to a good sponsor. Recovery is a rocky road and we all need help to learn the language of sobriety. When we have been speaking chaos through addiction for so long, peace in recovery may feel uncomfortable. So, seeking the support of a sponsor can be instrumental to recovery. Sponsors can be found at 12-step meetings.
Avoid isolation with your device that you use to view pornography. Set boundaries for yourself with your technology. Consider giving up your mobile device and only using a watch or a laptop instead. Or ditch the smartphone and switch to a dumb phone. While this may be a temporary fix, even this step could make all the difference in early recovery.
Pornography addiction, like most all addictions, takes place in the dark. It’s so important to bring our shadowed selves into the light. This can feel so vulnerable and beyond uncomfortable, but it will be worth it. There is such a stigma attached to pornography addiction that is unique to any other addiction. Pornography addiction is often not viewed as alcoholism or substance abuse. All behavioral addictions are hard to understand but pornography addiction has a special category as men’s sexual morality is judged. This same judgment doesn’t happen with meth, heroin … any other addicts.
The person that you lie to initially isn’t your loved ones, it's yourself. Be honest with yourself. Get honest with your wife, and let her view your phone, laptop on a daily basis. Come out of hiding. The more tethered we are to the virtual world, the less chance we have to function in the real world.
We hear all of our loved ones around us saying how betrayed they feel. And why this may be true, the biggest betrayal comes from yourself. When you can’t even trust yourself alone with an iPhone, it can drive anyone into madness. In recovery, those small steps of earning trust with yourself make all the difference. Be honest with yourself first and foremost. Then, becoming honest with your loved ones will become easier and people will actually believe you.
I can think of nothing worse than my loved ones not trusting me. Once that trust is broken, it feels like a lifetime to earn back. Like any addiction. Pornography addiction becomes compulsive. Being in denial about our compulsive behaviors harms your recovery.
Your loved ones want you to feel confident. At Bear Creek we believe that trust is key for everything. Trust is the biggest human motivator. It is up to you to change. No one can help you unless you ask for help. You need to look at your behavior and look at the ones that it is affecting negatively. Through study and prayer you can break the chains of any addiction. Don’t go at it alone.