Once a Porn-Addict, Always a Porn-Addict

I kissed my wife good night and the kids were sound asleep. I was about ready for bed since I had to wake up early the next morning. She was headed to the grocery store to pick up a few things for the home. That left me alone in bed for the next hour or two. As I laid beneath my comfy blanket, as so many times before, my iPhone's screen called out to my hand. Once again, I felt the gnawing urge to unplug my smartphone from its charger. The very thought of what I could explore on the device led to the insatiable urge and the urge brought me to an action. An action that I knew would leave me feeling empty again and again. 


Yes, I was addicted to PORN and I didn't know how to stop. I've heard people say if you don't like something "just stop doing it". That's like telling a drug addict to stop doing drugs cold turkey. But it just wasn't that simple. I knew it was robbing my marriage and family of who I was meant to be. I knew the cost of porn use was incredibly high. Pornography was not free; my heart was the pornogra-fee. 


I'm writing to bring you a story of hope. If you are as I was (addicted) you are definitely not alone. People of many walks of life are struggling with this same drug and don't know how to be free. Let's be honest, most of us are afraid to tell anyone "hey, I can't stop looking at porn" because, well, that's just embarrassing. But what I'd like to do here is share the main lessons I've learned in becoming victorious over pornography. 


1. Honesty+Community


Okay, I guess that counts as two. Two are better than one, right?


Most of my life consisted of hiding my struggles. I somehow convinced my porn warped brain that I could overcome any of my struggles on my own. I believed that, I tried that for years. And for years it was an endless cycle. I needed to be honest and completely transparent with someone who would not scold or slap me for admitting I looked at porn and masturbated the night before. I believe honesty with someone (or some five) you can trust is essential in winning this porn fight. 


You can't do this alone. Yes, you are strong but, you are much much stronger when surrounded by mentors and trusted friends who you can be totally honest with. 


2. Roots


It took me years to realize my problem with porn was linked to more than the fact that it provided momentary pleasure. It might take you some time but learning why you do what you do is helpful in overcoming. When you identify the real need inside you, you are then able to meet that need in healthy ways.


My addiction was linked to my desire to feel wanted and accepted. I learned that Porn gave me a counterfeit feeling of acceptance and affirmation. I didn't have to worry that a random woman I didn't know was going to reject me. But it wasn't the women I wanted: I really craved affirmation, acceptance, and feeling valued. Once I found the root I was able to chase healthy ways of meeting my needs. Now, I ask my wife what she thinks if I'm having doubts about myself, and she affirms me. Now, I spend time reading a good book that reminds me of my value or I take a walk with a good friend - all these things give me what I was really craving and are healthy ways of connecting that human beings were designed to pursue. 


Honesty and roots are probably the main lessons I've learned on my journey. I hope and pray this encourages you in yours. I have so much more to share and will continue sharing what has helped me. How I wish the things I share with you were shared with me when I was a teen discovering porn for the first time. But, we all have our own journey and story. My journey isn't yours and yours isn't mine but, each is equally important.


Once an addict, always an addict is the most ridiculous statement I've ever heard. You can win. There is hope. There is freedom. Let's fight, live, and thrive together. 

Check out xxxChurch.com. I highly recommend their online groups - I also lead a group of my own in affiliation with their amazing ministry.

Here's to freedom,

Mark J.

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