Pornography

Life After Porn | 5 Steps To Find Help

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Hiya! Today we have yet another great post from Hubs. This week he is sharing the steps he has taken to help battle his addiction to porn.

If you missed out on his other post, check it out here.

Here’s Hub’s Take on Life After Porn.


Life After Porn

THE BEGINNING OF THE END

It was in January of 2013 that I finally started walking away from porn (after 14 years of struggling). I was able to walk away cold-turkey, but it was something I, 100%, could not have done on my own. I’m laying out the steps I took, am taking, and will continue to take for the rest of my life. They’re not necessarily in the order I did them, but in the order of importance.

FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER

This is a REQUIREMENT. You are not the exception. There is no way you can walk away from porn – and stay away from it – without an accountability partner. Because I’ve moved cities and jobs in the last 4 years, my accountability partner hasn’t stayed the same person. It’s not ideal, but the important thing is that you have one. I spilled to my boss at the time in January 2013 about my struggle. I’ve worked in ministry for my entire adult life, so thankfully my boss was very receptive. We met for a few minutes each day (Monday-Friday) for the first few months, then backed off to weekly check-ins. I needed that daily appointment where someone would ask me, point-blank: “How are you doing? Did you look at any porn today?” to keep me accountable.

The man who was my partner at the outset of this journey ended up moving away that summer, and one of my friends at the church stepped into the void and met with me on a regular basis for the next few years. When I met my now-wife in the fall of 2014, my time at the church I was a part of started to wind down as I began attending church with her. I allowed my accountability relationship to lapse during this time period, and almost immediately I began to struggle again. Not with porn, but as my wife has shared on this blog before – we got involved physically while we were dating, and hindsight has shown me that the likelihood of that stumbling block would’ve been reduced significantly if I had kept up my relationship.

When I moved to Texas in late 2015, the very first thing I did was seek out a new accountability partner at my new church. Being alone for the six months before the wedding meant I was tempted on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. I don’t know where I would be today if God hadn’t provided this man to step into my life. He’s actually preparing to move his family to another state in the next few weeks, and I’m not going to let myself lapse again this time. I’ve talked with my wife about who I’d like to ask to step into that role, and I’ve been praying about it over the last few weeks. I’m going to grab lunch with a co-worker in the next few weeks and start that conversation.

An accountability partner is not an option – it is a necessity.

GET RID OF THE INTERNET

This is admittedly a drastic step, but it’s one I took. Note that I said “took” – my wife and I now have internet at home…but I was without for 3 years. Yes – THREE YEARS. I canceled my home internet service the morning after I resolved to walk away from pornography. If I had not done this, I would have relapsed by Day 3 – no doubt about it. If you are serious about beating this, you’ve got to do something drastic. The trap many men fall into is thinking that they’re strong enough to do this on their own. They still have a computer in their bedroom, still have internet access…but guess what? If you could’ve stopped on your own, you would have by now. You can’t, and you won’t.

REPLACE PORN WITH SOMETHING ELSE

Using pornography is an addiction. Just like any other addiction, simply removing a behavior and not replacing it with another one only invites you to relapse. There are so many options, and I will share a few of mine.

Right at the beginning of my recovery, I replaced my porn habit with YouTube. This ended up being perfect for me. I know what you’re thinking – “Didn’t you say you got rid of the internet? How did you watch YouTube videos?” I had a method that was annoying and tedious, but it worked. I bought a cheap external hard drive and took it with me to the public library and/or the office (both places where I would never in a million years view pornography, even on my darkest day) and downloaded almost 2 hours’ worth of content a day to that hard drive. When I got home for the day, I pulled out my computer like I used to, but instead, I watched some nerds playing video games for a few hours off of that hard drive.

I know that sounds a little juvenile, but it was a way for me to ease myself away from watching porn. A few months in, I began to add making music to my spare time. At the time, I worked in broadcasting and I had a studio set up in my bedroom for working from home. I grabbed my guitar each day and would sing, play, and record music for an hour or more. Most of those recordings were not saved since I sound like a Canadian NPR host when I sing, but it gave me something to do.

I also got into cooking in this time, started watching the evening news like a boring old man, and started dusting off some old video games I had when I was younger. The point is – I DID STUFF. I didn’t let myself be idle and it kept my mind from going back to the gutter. What worked for me may not work for you, but at least you have some ideas to get you started.

Life After Porn- 5 Steps to Find Help

ASK GOD TO HELP

Even with all those steps, there’s no way I could’ve climbed out of this hole without God. I was blessed to be a part of a church that was hyper-focused on men in this season of my life. It gave me so many resources and on-ramps to talk to God. I actually have a tattoo on my right wrist (that I got in the lobby of my church – a story for another day!), and its sole purpose is to remind me to not go back to my old ways. Forgive me if this is crass, but I need to say it: the only reason there’s a tattoo specifically on my right wrist is because that was the hand I used to pleasure myself in the throes of my addiction. If I even think about going back, I’ll see that line on my hand. This tattoo is a visual reminder of the covenant I made with God to stay away from porn.

I realize a tattoo also might seem drastic, but it’s been huge for me. I have to ask God for help and strength to stay away from porn on a daily basis.

BE IN COMMUNITY WITH OTHER MEN

This was (and is) the hardest part for me. I’m very introverted, and I have to make the decision to be in community every day – but it’s a decision I don’t have the option of not making. By being open with my past struggles, I’m surprised by how common problems with porn are – even in the church! I’m on a team with 4 other men at my current job, and each one either has (or currently is) struggling with porn. We talk about it and pray with each other . One man is actively trying to walk away right now, and I’m so glad he’s asked me for help as his accountability partner.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE BUT YOU NEED HELP

If you (or your spouse/fiance) struggle with porn, know that you are not alone and that you can beat this with help. Reach out to the people in your life and ask for help. And if you have any specific questions, please don’t hesitate to comment or send us a message.

You can be free of this. But you need help. You can’t do it by yourself – or else you would have by now.


Big thanks to Hubs for sharing his heart once again. Hope you all have a great week and give your hubs a smooch for me!

Emily Heart

1 thought on “Life After Porn | 5 Steps To Find Help

  1. Thank you, ‘Hubs,’ for sharing your struggle. Half the men sitting in the pews every Sunday morning are struggling. My husband shares your battle, as well. These are important guidelines to finding freedom. My Dave has done a great job of finding community where he can. It doesn’t come easy for him, either. We tried to encourage our three sons to develop deep friendships with other guys to hopefully help them find community easier to be a part of.

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