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

Stepping away from porn’s powerful short-term appeal (for real) typically only happens when the motive to change becomes powerful enough.

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This guest piece was written by Vinny B., an addiction recovery coach at SafeHouse Groups. 5-minute read.
You Can Do This—Why to Seek Lasting Freedom from Porn

By Vinny B., Addiction Recovery Coach

Do you want to overcome this?

For those who continually struggle with porn, that depends on the moment, right? But for those of us most successful in finding freedom, it’s usually because we’ve learned for ourselves that compulsive porn use is seriously getting in the way of real joy and happiness.

Whatever relief we used to feel in earlier days with pornography now seems less satisfying. We feel empty, abandoned—even tricked—except for those few moments of intensity.

Afterward, we seem to return quickly to a previous state of feeling bored, lonely, angry, sad, tired, emotional, depressed, despairing, discouraged, or despondent—all of which help create the fertile soil out of which these compulsive patterns take hold in the first place.

Related: 11 Tips To Help You Quit An Unwanted Habit And Actually Stick To It

BHW - General

What can motivate real change?

“Why did I do this? What’s wrong with me? I’m sick and tired of this. Will this ever end? I hate this.”

The psychological rollercoaster leaves those who struggle with an unwanted porn habit worn down, emotionally and mentally. As the pattern continues, we also begin to see more clearly how we are forfeiting other social, recreational, and even career opportunities that might be the very things that bring more lasting joy to our lives.

Stepping away from porn’s powerful short-term appeal (for real) typically only happens when the motive to change becomes powerful enough.

Related: My First Girlfriend Showed Me Porn, I Was Instantly Hooked—Here’s How I Finally Quit

Sadly, most of those who struggle never really seek help until we have bumped into a wall of consequences—some small and some massive. That motivation may include a deeper dedication to one’s sense of self, certain facts about pornography’s harms, and the real, tangible impact of this stuff on one’s own life and relationships.

Those of us who are in committed relationships and have witnessed the hurt our choices cause close-up also have a powerful motive to find deeper freedom.

Don’t we all seek that almost indefinable contentment and joy that comes with true intimacy? By comparison, porn is like a mirage off in the distance; we move closer and closer in hopes it will satisfy, but there is no oasis of fulfillment at the end of our journey.

Store - General

Discovering the true value of recovery

I began my own recovery journey some 25 years ago. Over time, the sweetness and rewards I found along the path prompted me to create a little phrase I’ve shared with thousands of clients and friends: “If we knew how great recovery really was, we’d put our track shoes on and sprint to get there.”

The truth is, few actually know how great true recovery can be. Instead, many remain filled with fear, deep down, wondering: “What will I do if I no longer have this way to find relief? How will I feel without porn?”

Related: Quitting Porn—Even For A Short Time—Can Ease Negative Effects, Review Of Studies Finds

This seems like such a no-brainer to outside observers, but to those of us who know what it’s like to have “fallen in love with porn” as a way to experience pleasure and sexuality, the anxiety and worry about giving up this comfort zone that we know are real.

These fears can be powerful and persuasive. Many end up concluding, “While I hate this and want to stop, I’d rather keep goingeven with its possible negative long-term consequencesbecause at least I KNOW this place. It’s familiar to me.”

My experience has been that until the fear of remaining in this pattern exceeds the fear of giving it up, not much progress will be made.

Taking the first step into recovery can be more daunting than you might imagine. “Yeah, I want help, but there’s no way I can talk about this to anyone.”

Compared with drug or alcohol addiction, it’s true that talking about unwanted sexual patterns remains a very difficult thing to discuss for most. But you can still do it! Once someone has shared what feels like this huge secret they carry, they are able to begin to see they are NOT alone at all.

Related: Drew’s Story: How My Fiancée Inspired Me To Quit Porn Permanently

There is a huge arena of support both online and in person. Googling “Stop Porn Addiction” will bring up hundreds of sites to explore, compared to almost nothing just 15-20 years ago.

There is hope, and there is help.

Get The Facts

Finding freedom by ditching shame

I’ve watched over and over how breaking through the isolation and shame invites a more positive, even eager attitude about getting help—opening people up to support groups, 12-step groups, online training like the Fortify Platform, or working with coaches and therapists.

When someone is struggling with sharing their situation with a parent or loved one because they fear the possible outcomes, when they finally DO share, they are (more often than not) embraced rather than rejected or ostracized.

In my experience, the recipient of their trust expresses gratitude for the courage to share and open up with them. Those who are the recipient of sharing have also frequently experienced similar struggles in the past that makes them more empathetic to someone’s struggle.

For those who have waited months, even years to bring their struggle to another human being, the most common reaction is: “Oh, how I wish I would’ve done this sooner, and gotten started earlier. I’ve already wasted so much time.”

True, lasting recovery NEVER happens alone. Alone is that space we’ve already been in for too long a time. Being alone helps keep us isolated from other people, opportunities, and our own amazing futures.

Related: 3 Ways Facing Shame Can Take Away Its Power & Help You Quit Porn

To get started, make that first connection. Put fear aside and take a leap off the diving board into the deep end of the recovery pool. When you do, I think you’ll find yourself comfortable, even excited, and happy to be swimming in these waters with others. Long-term friendships and associations you could never have dreamt of will form.

Fortify

Which path will you take?

In the end, there are two paths you can go on: Keep learning, keep growing, keep connecting, and keep adjusting (never giving up on deeper healing and recovery)…OR you can decide this is “just going to be your life.”

The first path leads to an ever greater sweetness. The second leads to something very, very different.

Related: 8 Simple Tips To Help You Quit Porn

I can promise you this: If you make recovery the single most important pursuit of your life at this time and do enough daily to stay keenly interested in continuing to grow and make progress, you won’t believe the transformation that is possible.

If my experience with others is any barometer, the only regret you’ll have will be, “Why didn’t I know this before?” Yes, if you knew how great recovery was, you WOULD put your track shoes on and sprint to get there.

You can make a choice today to get started. What do you have to lose?

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Need help?

For those reading this who feel they are struggling with pornography, you are not alone. Check out Fortify, a science-based recovery platform dedicated to helping you find lasting freedom from pornography. Fortify now offers a free experience for both teens and adults. Connect with others, learn about your unwanted porn habit, and track your recovery journey. There is hope—sign up today.

Fortify

Fight the New Drug may receive financial support from purchases made using affiliate links.

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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