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Trying to Stop Watching Porn? You’re One in a Million

One in a million? If you’re struggling with porn, that’s probably not how you really feel. But how would you feel if you really believed it?

This guest piece was written by Vinny B., an addiction recovery coach at SafeHouse Groups. 5-minute read.

Congratulations—You’re “One in a Million!”

By Vinny “B,” Addiction Recovery Coach

One in a million? If you’re struggling with an unwanted compulsion to porn, that’s probably not how you really feel. But how would you feel if you really believed it?

In recent years, I’ve shared this very thing with many I’ve worked with who are trying to put problematic porn use behind them—and not just as a casual “pep talk.”

I really mean it. Let me explain.

Related: How You Can Take the First Step to Finding Lasting Freedom from Porn

You really are one in a million

Out of all the people who are watching porn out there, how many are actually trying to get away from it? Take your own guess and consider the world population numbers of over 7 billion. How many of those who struggle even recognize this as a difficulty in their lives?

Of those who care about doing something about it, how many are taking real steps? And of those, how many have taken the time, TODAY, to learn something more—like reading an article here, in this moment—that might just spark more fire for healing and move their heart and mind in the right direction?

Yeah, very few. Very few, indeed. My own estimate is about 1 in 1,000,000.

So, it’s the truth! Recognize what a remarkable thing it is that you are seeking freedom in your life, or on behalf of a loved one. Compared with so many who have thrown in the towel, you are still fighting.

You are still standing up. And as long as you keep doing that, you’re going to get there. As long as you keep learning, keep growing, and keep being hopeful—nothing is going to stop your healing from progressing, and your freedom from expanding.

Related: 11 Tips to Help You Quit an Unwanted Porn Habit and Actually Stick to It

Does that boost your spirits? Does it elevate your mood?

Well, it should. And that’s not secondary to healing and recovery.

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Mental health is connected to your healing

Our overall mental health is intimately connected to specific feelings, emotions, and moods.

My own recovery journey has been immersed in finding a resolution for a variety of mental health issues: depression, anxiety, fear, PTSD, compulsive behaviors, etc.

As my time in recovery went from a few months to over 25 years, I discovered how important my own thinking was in every part of my life. By contrast, I’ve observed a recurring response from hundreds who felt stuck in the porn rut despite repeated efforts felt unable to extricate themselves.

Want to hear one of the most common answers given by those struggling with compulsive porn use, when asked why they have been unable to stop?

“Because I guess I’m just a piece of CRAP.”

Related: What Past Issues Are You Trying to Escape From When You Watch Porn?

I’ve heard this so many times that on my desk, directly in front of me, I literally keep a plastic piece of poop I bought on Amazon to use as a humorous (but profoundly serious) object lesson when I meet with clients online. (Yes, something about seeing a physical piece of plastic poop really does make the point!)

And what is that? How many of us have profoundly distorted thinking—where we constantly tell ourselves something toxic over and over and again in our heads. Sometimes we even vocalize these thoughts to others around us.

These are powerfully self-defeating, mood changing, and behavior driving statements such as the one above, like:

  • “Oh my gosh, there just isn’t any hope! I’ve already lost EVERYTHING, so why even try?”
  • “I’ve messed up everything. There really is no point in trying anymore.”
  • “At the end of the day, life is just over for me!” 

Fill in the blank. If you’re trying to quit porn, you probably know a multitude of other thoughts that invade your own mind—each damaging to us and our mental health.

Related: Healthy Ways to Support a Partner As They Quit Watching Porn

One guy told me, “Porn is bad, thus I’m bad. Something must be terribly wrong with me. And because what I look at is dirty, I’m dirty.”

Despite knowing—somewhere inside—these kinds of things are completely untrue, we keep saying these things to ourselves, often for many, many years. And in so doing, we create inside of us an emotion that causes us to FEEL like they’re true—even if they’re not (and they’re not!)

Thus, when I say, “I’m a piece of crap,” I immediately feel that I am. Even though that’s a total lie, the generated feeling serves as validation to me that the statement must be TRUE.

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This kind of emotional reasoning (“If I feel it, it must be true”) prevents us from actually experiencing the fact of our lives. Instead, we walk about, inhabiting a narrative that has become habitual and automatic—a story in our head that sabotages any efforts we try to make in our recovery.

And what is that fact of life? Twenty years ago, a friend gave me some advice that has changed his life and mine: “Vinny, you aren’t a piece of crap. You are a HUMAN BEING WITH ISSUES!”

Can you just feel the difference between that statement—and the others you read earlier?

Set yourself free to be imperfect

As soon as I learned this fact of life—really understood it—my mood soared.

I immediately thought “My gosh, if I’m just a human being with issues, I can WORK on those issues. And if I can resolve them, perhaps I can find the happiness and joy I’ve been seeking all my life in all the wrong ways.”

Instead of feeling so despairing, I started to say things like, “I’m doing alright, pretty good, getting there, etc.” Hope just ran through my veins. I wasn’t a “bad father,” which I had told myself continually, rather the truth was that I was a father who had done some bad things. There’s a gigantic difference between those two thoughts!

Is there a person alive who hasn’t done something they’re not proud of, that hurt themselves or others? Of course not. They don’t exist.

Related: Why You Keep Going Back to Porn After Promising to Quit

So in a sense, this realization brought me permission to join the human race, as just a normal person working on some challenging issues—something found among every single person in the world population.

So, if you’re trying to quit porn, give it a shot. Learn to tell the difference between the lies you tell yourself and the truth, and then practice saying the truth. It will change not only your mood and mental health—but your recovery, too.

And when that thought sneaks into your brain again, “You’re just a loser”—don’t forget: You ARE one in a million, and you are on your way to a happy life.

It’s just ahead, around the corner, up the next slope.

Trust me. It really is!

Fast Facts

About the Author

Vinny “B” is currently the lead addiction recovery coach for Fortify and Impact Suite—and the creator and director of SafeHouse Groups an online support group resource since 2014. After his own double life came crashing down 27 years ago, Vinny lost everything he said he valued most: his wife, six children, job, and even his freedom. With the support of many caring people, Vinny found his own journey to deep transformation in the years ahead—and has devoted his work to helping others find their way out of that dark abyss of compulsive addictive behaviors. Vinny is co-author of Crossing Boundaries, a guide for inmates and therapists supporting addiction recovery in the correctional system. If you would like to explore how an online support group could help deepen your own addiction recovery, contact Vinny at [email protected]

Fight the New Drug collaborates with a variety of qualified organizations and individuals with varying personal beliefs, affiliations, and political persuasions. As FTND is a non-religious and non-legislative organization, the personal beliefs, affiliations, and persuasions of any of our team members or of those we collaborate with do not reflect or impact the mission of Fight the New Drug.

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