Pornography addiction is “…cunning, baffling, and powerful.”
Relapse, while not required, is often a part of recovery.
All too often, I hear the story of chronic relapse. Again and again, despite one’s best efforts to stop, the “dark wolf” of pornography addiction rears its ugly head.
Does this sound familiar?
“I don’t know what happened.”
“I was doing the things I was supposed to do and just ‘found’ myself looking at porn.”
“I seem to just have a cycle of about [name a number] of days sexually sober and then I relapse again.”
“Maybe I just can’t do this…”
Stop. Start. Stop. Start.
Below is the list of 6 ways people stay addicted to porn and keep the battle going.
Here is the list in no particular order:
1. Keep Secrets – If you don’t take the risk of being honest and vulnerable you won’t stay sober. Pornography addiction thrives in the dark. Keeping your secrets will keep you in your porn addiction.
2. Only go to 12-step meetings when you have the time – We understanding being busy. Most people have bust schedules. It can be tough to juggle family, work, and recovery. But if you keep meetings a low priority you will keep acting out.
3. Find a counselor that won’t hold you accountable – A good counselor will hold you accountable. That can be uncomfortable and awkward. Sticking with a counselor who knows less than you do about porn addiction will only be hurting you and push you further into your addiction.
4. Masturbation – Tell yourself that it’s okay to masturbate as long as you don’t use pornography or as long as you don’t “finish.” You have sexual needs don’t you? Masturbate in early sobriety and you will be back to your pornography quicker.
5. Take your time getting a 12-step sponsor – Asking someone to be your sponsor feels pretty weird, calling him is awkward, and having coffee and sharing things with him is stranger still. You say to yourself, Sponsorship is a good idea that you can get to when the time is right or eventually you will find the right sponsor… we hope you heed this warning: delay in this area is very dangerous. A sponsor is a vital part of recovery and acting out is right around the corner without the utilization of a sponsor.
6. Neglect self-care – Now is the time to work as many hours as you can to get caught up. Stay up late working or watching TV and eat whenever you think about food. Exercise is optional. Burn the candle and watch your sobriety melt away.
That’s the list. The six ways people stay addicted to pornography. It’s your choice.
You can be free and stay free from your addiction: First, if your in this hole, stop digging and make a decision to get help. Follow directions. Be accountable. Find a path to a spiritual experience and live your life with healthy sexuality, intimacy, and integrity. Make a decision to do whatever it takes, no matter what it takes, for as long as it takes to stay sexually sober.
You are worth it!