Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Current Thoughts on Pornography Addiction Recovery

I am in remission, thanks to the healing effects and power of our savior and lord Jesus Christ.

I have been "sober" of my addiction since April of 2011. Sober to me meaning: that I have not sought out pornography; and when I have come across it in typical internet, print media, and television usage that I have not stayed longer than recognizing the threat and backing away from it. My definition of pornography is anything that incites carnal feelings or desires outside of my marriage (which is literally non-existent at the moment, so virtually anything that incites carnal feelings.)

I will never forget the look on my wife's face when I admitted my addiction. It is seered into my mind forever and still breaks my heart. It was the initial motivation I found to abstain from my addiction. I think that if I had come clean sooner, that if I had told her myself without first getting backed into a corner that she would be here helping me. I think that my child wouldn't be living in two homes, and I wouldn't be losing my two step daughters who were 6 months old and in the womb when I met my wife. I am the only dad they know, their biological father is in prison. My life is literally in ruins because of the damage of pornography.

I am now 8 weeks into attending an Addiction Recovery Group 12 step program put on my the LDS church derived from AA. It has moved me past my initial motivations of getting my wife back, and now I feel truly committed and in it for the right reasons. Technically I am on step 4 working from step 1 forward in the class literature, but I find myself jumping around a LOT, applying principles from other steps as I learn them.

I have found limiting the media in my home has been the biggest deterrent to experiencing cravings, I don't know how much it is the actual media, but rather that the spirit of god can't dwell in any unholy place and I have been working my hardest to make my home a refuge from the world and inviting to the spirit of the lord. I have all but stopped watching R rated movies, I look up all PG-13 movies online to understand their reasons for being rated that way before watching them. I tried turning the internet off on my phone for awhile, but I found it didn't really help me. I found that the key to not indulging in my addiction comes not from impeding my ability to seek it out (internet filters, ect...) but rather recognizing the triggers and getting control of the thoughts as they first creep into my mind. I do this through prayer, scripture study, and spiritual hymns. If I get to the point of wanting to seek out the pornography I have already let it go to far and my addiction is controlling my actions as opposed to myself.

Over time I came clean to a number of people. Wife, Ecclesiastical Leader, Father, Mother, Brother, individually selected extended family, and now a handful of my friends. I have found it easier to address the problem the more open I am about it (within reason). A lot of support comes out of the woodwork as soon as I am willing to be the first one to come out and expose my addiction. A LOT of people struggle with pornography or have at some point, I never would have guessed some of the people who have confided in me with their struggles and/or past once I came forward first.

I heard once, that addiction is like mold. When you tuck it away in a dark damp place, it only festers and endangers our mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical health. As soon as it is brought out into the light, it is a simple problem, it may be deeply rooted and it may require extensive repairs, but its no complicated affair. I firmly believe this.

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