My road to recovery was a number of things. First and foremost I had to have talk therapy. I highly recommend Sexaholics Anonymous because it is free. You can google where you can find meetings in your area, if you can’t make it to a meeting, you can even call in. Sexaholics Anonymous started me on a 12-step program. That included reading “The Big Book”, that was originally written for Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939 for individuals struggling with alcoholism. The primary author William G. Wilson (Bill W.) is the originator of the “twelve-step method”.
I also sought out licensed professionals in my area for counseling. My disclaimer is that this is not cheap and insurance doesn’t cover this type of treatment in a lot of circumstances. Do your research to find the right fit. However, don’t feel crippled by not knowing which therapist to see. Act now. See one in your area and start getting treatment as soon as possible. You can always change counselors if payment is not something that you can maintain or if you don’t like your counselor. A lot of these counselors can work out payment plans. Your counselor is legally bound to keep your conversations private and confidential, so you can trust them. I spent around $20,000 on my recovery with counselors. I know that this is not always possible. I wanted to write this blog and make it available to help carve out a path to recovery. There are also applications popping up that allow you to speak to a counselor through calls or texts. Start by talking to them about your negative emotions and thoughts, not necessarily about your porn or sex addiction. Your thoughts are fueling your behaviors. You have to understand your thoughts well enough to know why you behave the way that you do.
Talk therapy allows you to really start to hear the voices that are in your head. As you start to hear yourself, you can start hearing the lies. It is almost as if you start to see the thoughts in your mind like subtitles or like ticker tape headlines operating underneath your current life experience.
Sometimes we operate in life in a default auto drive. We need to recognize our selfish thoughts. We need to see our ego bulldozing over others to achieve what we want. We need to see the thoughts of justification in our own minds and we need to dissect those thoughts and break them down to the simplest and the smallest parts to find the lies.
Before you can have a personal evolution, you first need deep personal exploration. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
David Foster Wallace- This is Water
Have you ever watched the commencement speech by David Foster Wallace called “This is Water”? He gave it at Kenyon College on May 21, 2005. Please do your future self a favor and watch it on Youtube.
Mr. Wallace challenges the graduates to evaluate their default operating thinking system.
My summary of the video is that as we grow and mature we start to create our own perceptions of the world. Everything that happens in the world is happening to us. We are at the center of the Universe. Our perceptions are our truth and they are our reality. Our view is all we can see because that is all we know.
Our perceptions only change when we allow them to be changed. We only allow them to be changed when we see that our perceptions of the world no longer serve us and we search for more meaning. We will only allow our views to be changed if our former beliefs, philosophies and behaviors no longer make sense, or if they cause enough pain.
My favorite quotes from the David Foster Wallace Speech:
“Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think… It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience.”
It’s a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default setting which is to be deeply and literally self-centered and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self. People who can adjust their natural default setting this way are often described as being “well-adjusted”, which I suggest to you is not an accidental term…
..And I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out.”
“Blind certainty- a close-mindedness that amounts to an imprisonment so total that the prisoner doesn’t even know he’s locked up.”
The main thing for me was becoming more self-aware and more reflective. For that, I needed to find perspective.
Perception: a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something through our senses.
In order to make sense of the world around us. We have to start to attempt to assign meaning and significance to our experiences. In order to do that I had to better understand what my perspective really was.
What were my thoughts, and why were they the way they were?
What teachings and what framework of cultural conditioning helped me to have the understanding that I did?
Only then can you start to see what emotions drive you to seek pornography or sex. What is the feeling that drives you to act?
It is important to analyze yourself without judgement. You are more than the behaviors that you display.
You need to be brave to see what you have been avoiding. It is not easy to look at the worst parts of yourself. It is not easy to admit fault. As humans we have to feel the pain strong enough and long enough to have the determination and motivation to change our perceptions. Grow when you are ready to grow.
You see I never expected to be the guy that was dishonest and sneaking around. I never wanted to arrive to betray people in my life that I loved. I have spent the last few years doing an introspection of my thought processes to see what motivated me to do what I did. Because I have walked this path, I think that I can offer some guidance and introspection to the infected mind. I do this to call attention and awareness to the problem so we can fix it. If you are not part of the solution, you are only feeding the problem. Here is an eye opening statistic. Today in America 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they are 18 years old. Please, let’s stop the pain. Being in pain is not justification to do things that hurt others. Hurt people, hurt people, but that doesn’t make it right. Understand your own mind and thoughts so you don’t end up harming others.
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