I so deeply wish that there was a way I could teach you how to stop looking at porn in a way that is quick and easy. But if I could I think we would all think… “Since I know how easy it is to guit … might as well go back and get another taste.” Or I will stop for a while and go back to it at times I feel I really need it…like right now.
Well, we are on day 10 of the New Year and my question is how are you doing so far? As I talk with the men on our Online Support Teams I would say a fair number of them have not been doing so well. Christmas, relatives, travel, expenses, work piling up…plenty of triggers there and if you have survived it and not looked at any porn in the new year then congratulations that is a significant accomplishment.
Have you been doing anything different that is helping? Or are you just as we say; “White Knuckling It.” Holding on for dear life and trying to just get through one more day, or hour, or minute.
Part of the problem is we are hoping for too much. Be honest with yourself now and ask the question how many New Year’s starts have you done and how far have you ever made it. I doubt if anyone is keeping score on how many times they have tried and failed. There are some who have tried and succeeded. I know of a fairly large group of men fighting this battle who have gone from 1 year of sobriety to over 5 years.
The longest I was able to achieve was almost 9 years…and then I blew it…using alcohol and losing control I was easy pickings for the one who prowls about looking for whom he may devour. I looked at some porn and had a fall. However, instead of just focusing on how many days, weeks, months, and years I just keep a running total. And I have had 9 falls since September 9th, 2005.
Now here is my main point…I have learned from every one of my falls. I did not try to hide them or sweep them under the rug…did that for over 8+ years. I have an agreement with my wife that if I act out then I will confess to her as soon as we are in a place where we can talk and work through the entire event. Doing this is one way to begin to rebuild trust if you have a spouse…and the goal should be fewer failures and greater times of sobriety.
So, let’s do that together since you might not be married to someone who is so understanding and struggles to forgive you. And that may be the case for many spouses. Our sexual sins cause them to feel horrible about themselves and thoughts of divorce begin to formulate because they feel they must find a way out…and it seems you are not able to change and get better.
Here is how all of us should learn from a fall. The first step is to get the truth out on the table so we can evaluate it. Here are some critical questions to ask after a fall…
- Did you look at porn or was it fantasy in your mind?
- Either way how much time did you spend doing that?
- Did you act out only once or did you wallow around in it and have several falls?
- What do you think were the triggers that led you to choose to act out?
- How were you feeling before you gave in to have the fall?
- How long did you resist the temptation?
- Did you do anything to try and avoid the temptation?
- To whom do you need to share this information about your fall?
Now to work is to set up a plan to not fall again in that manner.
Are there certain people or places where you are in trouble if you go there?
How can you eliminate putting yourself in that situation?
Is there a boundary you can set up so that if you do not cross the boundary you will not have the fall?
What consequence will you demand of yourself if you cross that boundary and have a fall ….or do you need a higher consequence if you cross the boundary and fall?
Is there a team of people who love you and would be willing to be available whenever you are being tempted?
How can you set it up so that at the very first whiff of temptation you ask for help?
Is there somebody who loves you with whom you can not only be completely honest but can reach out to at any time?
By asking yourself these questions and taking time to think about your answers so that they are not too difficult and can be done at the right time…you will find yourself being helped if that person knows how to do accountability. I cannot tell you have many times I hear guys say that they have an accountability partner…but after a while, they become less interested and tired of trying to help you…especially if you are not making progress.
I know you are scared to share with anyone that you have this addiction…chances are your friends struggle with it too. So, maybe you get two or three of your friends and you decide to try and deal with it and help one another?
I would recommend that you contact me about our 180 Recovery Program Online Support Teams. We have been helping men just like you for over 5 years with a very high rate of success.
Just email me and I will send you the list of all 14 OSTs. You can pick one and sit in anonymously if you wish, and listen to what is taught, hear how the men hold one another accountable and are helping one another with daily support using a texting app.
2022 can still be a great year in your recovery if you take the steps you need to take and get the help you need to get.
That is what we do at 180 Ministries