I want to share with you an assignment that I did in my recovery group. We were supposed to draw our road to addiction or the path we took in life that brought us to addiction. Then we were supposed to do the same thing with our road to recovery. We then explained our drawing to the group.
The purpose was to get our right brain involved in the recovery process. The right side of the brain is the creative side. Doing this causes the whole brain to be involved. Very short explanation but I don’t want it to take up the whole post.
I am old enough that I remember computers without the Internet. When you had to dial in with a phone number to different servers if you wanted to chat and message with people or find information.
I was around 14 to 15 years old so I quickly discovered the one’s with nude and pornographic pictures. If the pictures were any good you’d have to wait twenty to thirty minutes to download one file. A pretty good early sign of a problem starting.
My family wasn’t always christian so pornography wasn’t something we were discouraged from using. At one point it was actually encouraged. My parents bought my brothers and I a strip poker program, signified by the cards. I was probably about 16.
Of course, as with any addiction, I needed something more. At some point after this, I talked one of my brothers into getting one of the x-rated videos from my parents bedroom. I was probably still about 16. I was hooked after that.
When I turned 18 or 21. I went to my first strip club. When I did this assignment a memory sparked that was painful. I remember afterwards crying myself to sleep and wondering if paying someone is the only way I can get a woman to notice me.
Even though I know it was a lie, it’s still painful to remember.
Then about this time or shortly after, the Internet became accessible to most people. This easy access really made my addiction worse. At one point I was using stolen credit card numbers to access pay sites for porn.
Then things escalated even more, when I was about 30 I hired an escort a few times. If you find yourself involved in illegal and dangerous activities to feed your addiction then you probably don’t need to wonder if you’re an addict. You are!
Then a year or two later I became a Christian but still struggled off and on with porn and sex. My porn use went up and down over about 8 years or so. The problem was that I was trying harder and trying to do it alone. Both of these don’t work. I needed to be in a program with others who have been through it and still are fighting. I needed tools to fight.
Then I fell in love with a nice christian girl. When we met I hadn’t looked at porn in close to a year. I told her I had a problem with porn in the past. And I had really convinced myself that it was a thing of the past. I wasn’t struggling at first. But eventually I started struggling again. To make a long story short we had an argument of sorts and I acted like a jackass. She broke up with me. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the first time I had been an ass so I don’t blame her.
I pretty much went full circle. I went on about a 10 day binge. Then I was finally ready to ask for help.
I asked a good friend that I trusted to be my accountability partner. I started with Covenant eyes accountability software and talking to him daily.
My accountability partner wasn’t familiar with porn addiction specifically but did have his own history with addiction. So we started going through some books on porn addiction and sexual addiction. Some were very helpful but others weren’t helpful at all. I struggled with fantasies and masturbation about once a month. Then it was every two months. I was improving but needed something more.
I started going to recovery at my church and found the something more I needed. It was then that I started really feeling different, especially how I feel about myself. I haven’t masturbated in about four months. And as of January 1st I will have not looked at porn for an entire year.
And my growth continues.