Making Recovery my #1 Priority

PF56

Member
I'm so sick of the binge and purge cycle?binging until I'm satiated and then making an empty promise to stop! It's like the decision to fast after you've eaten a 7 course meal and you're feeling bloated. Easy to do in the moment! The real test comes when you get hungry again.

I've let myself down again and again and again. I think the reason is that, while I may have given lip service to making recovery my #1 priority, I haven't really done it! I've also told myself, "This time will be different!" And a few day or a week later I'm wanking to porn once again.

This time I REALLY do want to do it differently and here's the difference. I'm going to get specific about what actions I plan on taking and what I plan on doing differently. In another post (in a separate thread) I talked about The 3 Circles and, given what's in my middle circle, I'm going to make these changes:

I'm going to start a Smart Recovery meeting
I moved here to Moab, UT from the SF Bay Area a couple of weeks ago. This is a small town although it has a huge influx of tourists because of two National Parks nearby. I've been thinking about starting a meeting for a couple of years and this time I'm committed to doing it and having the first meeting before my birthday which is in a couple of weeks. Leading the meeting is a surefire way to get me to show up every week!

I'm going to get to bed before midnight
Most of my acting out or indulging (as I prefer to call it) has happened late at night. It seems that my addict's strategy is to keep me at the computer until my defenses drop and I have a "fuck it" moment. This is a very familiar pattern!

I'm going to avoid surfing the web randomly
This is another way that I fool myself. I have a site that I've used which takes me to random sites. While I've discovered some interesting sites that way, if I use it long enough, it will take me to a site where I am triggered. And, somehow, I use this as justification for indulging!

I'm going to avoid following provocative stories from mainstream journalism onto YouTube
I've read printed news magazines and then gotten online to follow the news story but nowadays I read Time Magazine or The Week on my iPad. This makes it even easier to follow these stories by searching on Google. It occurs to me that to aid me in this way a media fast may be in order (at least for the first month). I'm going to give that some more thought and post about it later.

I'm going to get out in nature at least twice a week
I moved here to Moab because of the natural beauty of the place and getting out in nature is?as I see it?one of the two main antidotes to porn addiction. There other one is connecting with other people.

I'm going to go to an event at least once a week (where there's an opportunity to be social)
Because I don't know anyone here in town, I have to make some new friends. That's certainly not going to happen if I don't get out of my home. I don't have the benefit of steady work to make those connections so I have make an extra effort to put myself out there. Last weekend I spent volunteering at a local arts festival here. That was a good start.

I'm going to exercise at least 3x a week
Since I'm getting outside into nature at least twice a week, I'm going to be getting exercise there but I also want to get to the gym at least once a week (since I just joined).

I'm going to develop the habit of planning my days
This involves looking over my plan for the day the night before. For most people, their work life provides a lot of structure but I don't have a steady job. In fact, I'm not working at all right now and that makes planning my day more important. Without having a plan for the day I can find myself doing something which neither feeds my soul or moves me towards my goals.

I'm going to post on Reboot Nation every day this June (my first 30 days of sobriety)
I've also agree to chat online with an accountability partner I have in the Philippines.

Recently, I wrote my goals down and I've set up a timer on my iPhone to remind me to look at them three times a day. I've been doing this for a week. :) Yesterday I changed my number one goal to: My recovery is my number one priority. My goal is to be free of porn for the entire summer so on September 1st I will have 92 days.

 

Porn2Bmild

Member
PF56,

I love the fact that you've set these concrete goals for yourself and had the bravery to post them here.  This way you know we'll hold you accountable and help you stay accountable.

As for myself, I've set the same goal: stay PMO free for the summer.  I'm doing the Hard 90 starting yesterday, so I am on this journey with you.  You are not alone.

Good luck, my brother!  I know you can stay strong!
 

PF56

Member
Yesterday I picked up a book that an ex-girlfriend gave me about 10 years ago. She broke it off in large part because of my porn addiction. Although I wasn't that upset about her breaking it off, I was devastated that she didn't want to see me ever again. Up until that point, I'd always been the one that rejected the women that I was involved with (because they didn't measure up). This was a real wake up call for me but it still wasn't enough for me to end my porn addiction.

The book that my ex gave me is titled Soul without Shame ? A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within.  It's a book that I should have read years ago! I think shame may be the prime culprit in porn addiction. It's responsible for my low self-esteem, avoidance of my peers, self-limiting beliefs and general feelings of anxiety and despondency.

They say that you teach what you want to learn. So, to that end, I'm going to teach a class on this next month. I've led some small groups before but never charged for them. This time I'm going to charge a nominal fee for a six week class and see who shows up. I'll make the session free so people can get a sense of me and an introduction to the material.

Along with the Smart Recovery meeting that I've decided to start, I think that this could really contribute to my own recovery. Just like facilitating a meeting is one good way to get my ass there every week, offering a class will be a really good way for me to immerse myself in this topic!
 

PF56

Member
A couple of years ago I discovered Fortify (fortifyprogram.org) which I think is an excellent online tool. I've made a commitment to go through it again and make it a part of my daily recovery ritual. The fact is that when I went through it the first time, I was very inconsistent. In going through it a second time I realize how many exercises I skipped, so this time I'm filling in the gaps.

Here's a few reasons why I think it's a good program: (FYI, I'm not affiliated with them in any way)
? You can use it on any device
? There are 52 video based lessons (which are really well done)
? You can use it on any device
? It's free for guys between 13 - 20
? It's a modest one time fee for guys over 20 (like myself!)

Why do I share this with you? Well, I really like Fortify's model of offering the program for free to younger guys. There needs to be some counter force to the onslaught of sex in the media, increasingly inspired by porn (ie. American Apparel). And now when many kids have smart phones by the age of 12 or 13 (and probably younger) their adolescent minds are just not prepared for the onslaught of porn that's available through their phones! The other reason I share this is that I think we can help ourselves to find recovery by helping one another find recovery. And, since I think this is a valuable resource, I want to share it with you guys that may not be aware of it.
 

PF56

Member
Low Frustration Tolerance (LFT) is a concept coined by Albert Ellis who developed REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy). REBT is a precursor to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)  which you may have heard of.  I've seen other guys on these forums mention LFT and I think it's really important to consider when trying to get sober. Life can be hard, challenging, confusing AND frustrating! It we don't develop some tolerance for the downside of life, and continue to turn to our addiction for comfort, solace and security, we'll rarely experience the upside of life! I have firsthand experience of this, especially in those "Fuck It" moments where I can't be bothered to push through or overcome my resistance to feeling discomfort.

In my 100% commitment to getting recovery from porn addiction I want to state publicly that I'm willing to feel and experience...

frustration
boredom
anxiety
discomfort
disorientation
confusion
guilt
shame
neediness
restlessness
awkwardness
unhappiness
depression
loss of libido
embarassment
feeling small
looking foolish
feeling ugly
feeling old
inadequacy
remorse
regret

I could probably go on but that's a pretty good start! I've used a number of these feelings as an excuse to indulge in porn, especially feelings of inadequacy (especially in my relationship to women I'm attracted to), anxiety and shame. Once I've indulged in porn, I tend to feel shame around not keeping a promise or agreement with myself to stop and I feel shame about that as well. Thus, the downward spiral perpetuates itself!

I'm making a stand to face down my demons!

This morning I watched Gabe Deem & Noah Church interview one another:
https://youtu.be/wcgJeI7BQcg (Gabe interviews Noah)
https://youtu.be/gzD1O87Ag8U (Noah interviews Gabe)

One of my takeaways was around a response to the question (that Gabe posed Noah): What are your two pieces of advice for getting started? Noah's answer was (1) Get informed and (2) "100% Commitment!. He went on to say that he felt 100% commitment was a lot easier than 99% commitment. That really spoke to me. In the past when I said to myself that "This is it. This time I am really committed!" I would find myself in my middle circle?doing those activities which invariably lead to indulging in porn. Maybe I was 95% committed but I certainly wasn't 100% committed. To me being 100% committed means doing whatever it takes! For some  guys that might mean staying offline and for others it might mean finding a medication that works for them. With experience you'll figure out what that is.
 

RecoveryJunkie

Active Member
Thanks for all this awesome stuff in your journals PF56. I'm 60 days free from PMO and M today and I may look into the fortify site after I'm done the sex addiction workbook. I love the goal setting. I'm having trouble with my discipline for my goals. I'd appreciate any feedback...
 

PF56

Member
Hey RecoveryJunkie! Glad you found my thoughts helpful. It's a good question about self-discipline. My enthusiasm for recovery, and the accompanying discipline to pursue it, has often come in short spurts lasting anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. So, it's not that self-discipline was lacking, just that I didn't sustain it for very long. Inevitably, I would find myself slipping back into old habit patterns which led me right back to porn.

I think the secret of sustained self-discipline, whether in recovery, business or sports, is related to a daily application of effort. Like brushing your teeth or flossing, your daily rituals became habitual patterns and, while they may have taken a lot of effort in the beginning, once they're habits there's an effortlessness to them. I'm not saying that working out or getting some form of exercise every day (to use an example) doesn't entail some effort and hard work. What I am saying is that once you've committed to doing it, there's no effort in motivating yourself to do it! Overcoming your resistance is half the battle!

So, translating this to recovery from porn addiction, here are a few habits which might be hard to form but which could well serve your recovery if they become daily habits:

Writing in a journal (or on a forum like this one)
Reading recovery literature (Wack and YBOP are 2 good books to start with)
Meditating (even 10 minutes a day could potentially make a difference)
Getting Exercise (as already mentioned)
Connecting with friends or family (addiction thrives in isolation)
Devoting time to a hobby
Getting organized

These are just a few examples. I think the most important thing is to take specific actions related to your recovery?for me it's writing on here daily, which I've vowed to do every day this month. It's a good reminder of what's important and where my values lie. At this point in my early recovery I could very easily slip back into old patterns if I slacked off for 2 or 3 days.

One last thought?helping someone else who's not as far along as you could be a powerful way to stay motivated. There's many ways of doing that from sharing your experience on Reboot Nation or other forums, volunteering at a recovery meeting?I'm starting a Smart Recovery meeting hopefully in the next week to 10 days?or reaching out to someone that you think might be struggling. They don't even have to be struggling with porn addiction. Helping others is a sure way to help yourself!
 

PF56

Member
Today is Day 7 and I'm on track. Here a progress report given the things I said I wanted to do to support my recovery:

? I'm going to start a Smart Recovery meeting
I've got a meeting place and the first meeting is scheduled for June 16!

I'm going to get to bed before midnight
6 out of 7 nights. Last night I was posting on Facebook about an awesome hike and I wanted to finish that up.

? I'm going to avoid surfing the web randomly
I did this and it's definitely helpful. Because I've had full  and productive days I haven't even thought about it.

? I'm going to avoid following provocative stories from mainstream journalism onto YouTube
I avoided this behavior on one or two occasions when the urge arose.

? I'm going to get out in nature at least twice a week
Had an epic 10 miles hike into the wilderness.

? I'm going to go to an event at least once a week (where there's an opportunity to be social)
Went to an Open Mic event.

? I'm going to exercise at least 3x a week
Between a couple of hikes, a couple of paddles down the Colorado River and a visit to the gym, I'd say I've more than met this goal!

I'm going to develop the habit of planning my days
Still working on this one but I'm getting better. :)

? I'm going to post on Reboot Nation every day this June
On target to do that!!
 

PF56

Member
Thanks BlueSun. I'm with you brother! We can do this!! I was on Fortify this morning (fortifyprogram.org) and there was an exercise to create a "Setback Plan." Here is how they put it:

Crafting Your Setback Plan

Even with our best effort, setbacks are a part of the recovery process. Rather than staying down for the count, what would it mean to be able to get up gracefully and powerfully? A helpful part of your Battle Strategy is deciding how you will handle setbacks, if and when they come.

We already asked you to think about what has helped you in the past get back to a good place after falling and what keeps you stuck longer. Based on your past experience, we challenge you to come up with a "setback plan" to have in place.

For some people, the idea of making a plan for potential setbacks might seem like planning for failure. We don't feel that way. In fact, from our perspective, this is a crucial part of being successful. How many times have you fallen down and just stayed in the mud for long periods of time? What would it mean to leverage your stumbles into some forward movement ("falling forward")? Is that even possible? 

Let's find out! Don't get us wrong, if you're someone who can achieve total victory in one day, you have our respect! We'd seriously love to get tips. But for most of us, this is often a process. And by being thoughtful about how you handle a setback can become a driver for more change, rather than something that sinks you.

So, what is going to be your setback plan?

My response:
In the past I might have agreed that having a setback plan was a good idea but, from my current mindset, it does seem like planning for failure. Therefore, I choose not to do this now. Failure is not an option at this point. Am I setting myself up for failure by taking this stance? Perhaps, but I've failed so many times in the past that I don't need any practice on how to do it better.

Afterthought
When you said "No, better yet: I quit porn forever." it made me think of this recent post on Fortify. In Rational Recovery (rational.org) they suggest that any other plan other than a plan to quit for good is a set-up for further acting out (or using). While I don't agree with everything that Rational Recovery espouses, I can see the wisdom in this. So, while I have a goal to stop using for 90 days, it is certainly not so I can starting indulging in porn on Day 91! I think it's useful to have sub-goals that seem more achievable while keeping the larger goal?stopping for good?in mind!

One last final thought?I think the advice from Fortify can be a useful and appropriate in the beginning of one's recovery but I've been at this recovery game for 20 years! Hence, my different take on it now.
 

PF56

Member
I found a location for my new Smart Recovery meeting here in Moab, UT! I'm excited and nervous about it. Now I have to start promoting it. The only recovery game here in town is AA (as far as I can tell) and I want to give my new community an alternative path.

Smart Recovery (http://www.smartrecovery.org) is based on a 4 Point program that I think get's to the heart of recovery:

1: Building and Maintaining Motivation
2: Coping with Urges
3: Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
4: Living a Balanced Life

It's a science based self-empowerment program that has a very different model than 12-Step programs. I tried for over 15 years to gain sobriety through SLAA and SAA to no avail. I think that these programs work for some people but certainly not for everyone and not even for the majority of people who try one of their programs. (http://n.pr/22Q8jxB)

I chose to become a Smart Recovery facilitator because of their rational approach to recovery. They admit that no program works for everyone, including their own! Their program is based on scientific evidence about what actually works for helping people to recover. I also like the idea that they see the program as a stepping stone to living a healthy, fulfilled life, not as a group that you'll have to be involved with for the rest of your life to maintain your sobriety! Smart Recovery discourages the use of labels such as "addict" or "alcoholic" ?because they believe they interfere with a healthy self-image. Instead, they suggest that people focus on behaviors and how to change them. This, and many other rational ideas won me over.

Even though I've been aware of Smart Recovery for years I haven't found sobriety by practicing its tenets. So, for awhile, I concluded that perhaps it doesn't work. The bottom line is that NO program will work if there is not a commitment to gain sobriety. But Smart Recovery, and other programs (including 12-Step programs) can assist one and that is the point! There is no magic bullet. It's not the program, technique or strategy that is going to get you there. It's you! But picking the right tools and forming the right alliances can help immeasurably!
 
B

BlueSun

Guest
Oh I can't wait to hear about your journey.  I've heard such good things around the program, but I didn't quite connect the few times I went.  Share what you're willing!
 

PF56

Member
Today I created some Smart Recovery Flyers and put them around town. My first meeting is in a week! Nothing like facilitating a meeting to get your ass there every week! And there's nothing like teaching something to learn it thoroughly!

Today I posted my intention to start a meeting on my Facebook page. Of all my Facebook friends, only a handful know that I've struggled with porn addiction. I wasn't specific about the nature of my struggle but it feels good to admit that I've struggled with addiction. Perhaps later I'll be more specific but it doesn't feel necessary right now. Anyway, here is what I shared:

I'm embarking on another kind of adventure! An indoor adventure! An adventure of the human spirit!

For a few years now I've wanted to start a Smart Recovery meeting and I'm finally doing it here in Moab! Smart Recovery (http://www.smartrecovery.org) is a science-based, evidence-based program. It uses tools that have been proven to work. It's open to anyone who is suffering from an addictive or compulsive pattern.

Unlike 12-Step programs, no Higher Power is necessary. This is a program of self-empowerment. But this isn't a program just for atheists or agnostics; whatever your spiritual or religious views are, you're welcome at a Smart Meeting. This spirit of tolerance, openness and reason is what attracted me to Smart Recovery.

I was also attracted by Smart Recovery's assertion that using is a choice. By understanding that using is a choice, and not an inevitable reaction to discomfort, you begin the process of retraining your brain. In my experience with the 12-Steps the concept of powerlessness never rung true for me. Although I was baffled by my apparent lack of ability to change my behavior, it seemed that when I did indulge, I was clearly making a choice to do that. I will concede that under certain conditions it is harder to make the right choice but I'm not powerless to avoid or change those conditions!

I also like the fact that Smart Recovery discourages the use of labels like alcoholic or addict. Yes, I can cop to my own addictive tendencies and behaviors but by constantly asserting that I'm an addict, it seems to me that I'm reinforcing this identification. I see how this can be useful to assert this when first embarking on recovery?especially when someone has been in denial?but in the long run I think it's counter productive.

So, if you hadn't heard of Smart Recovery, and you, or somebody you know is in recovery, I hope this sparked your interest. There's a ton of great resources on Smart Recovery's website but feel free to write or call if you would like more information.

Peace, love and sobriety!
 

PF56

Member
The idea of reframing porn as poison isn't to demonize it or make it wrong for others. It's just to make it wrong for me, to get some leverage in my resolve to stop using! So, with that in mind, here are 10 great reasons that I thought of to stop indulging in porn:

[1] For the adventure of discovery! To find out who I am without it! I've been using for so long that my indulgence in porn and my attempts to escape porn have become such an integral part of my personality. So much so that I don't know anymore who I am (or would be) without it. I want to find out!!

[2] So I can help others recover from porn addiction (or other addictions)! I went through a year long course in counseling in the last few years. Part of the reason I did it was to help myself overcome this addiction. But part of the reason was so that I could help others. I believe that you can only help others as much as you've helped yourself. So, if I'm going to help others to find recovery, I have to find it for myself!

[3] To focus my energy and attention on a healthy expression of my sexuality with a real woman! Porn has always been a substitute for the love, intimacy and sex that I wanted from a real woman. At some point I forgot this and I began to pursue it as if it were what I "really wanted!"

[4] To rebalance my brain! I've been manipulating my hormones and neurochemicals for so long that I've surely altered my brain! My hope is that by stopping the indulgence in porn I will experience more pleasure and joy from other things besides porn. The science behind the diminished pleasure and joy in everyday things and the ability to recapture that joy is well documented on YBOP. Check it out if you haven't!

[5] To focus energy and attention on my true passions! Porn is a faux passion which has not only diverted energy and attention from healthy life-affirming passions?like wholesome sex with real women?but I believe it's also masked my true passions to such an extent that I've lost touch with them.

[6] So that I can discover deep happiness, joy and bliss! If it's true, as many mystics say, that these qualities describe my true nature then I'm missing out on them by continued indulgence in porn. By continuing to use porn, I am reinforcing the belief that porn (and by extension, sex) offers the ultimate satisfaction. Of course sex is extremely satisfying but making it the ultimate satisfaction, I'm cutting myself off from even higher or deeper satisfaction. Buddhism has a lot to say about this in terms of desire and attachment (which I'll go into in a future post).

[7] So that I can develop my deep orgasmic potential! By continuing to be satisfied with the shallow genital orgasms I experience with porn I forfeit the possibility of developing my multi-orgasmic and full-body orgasmic potential. This is also an opportunity to become more sensitive, attuned to, and in control of my sexual energy. (For a fuller discussion of this, check out The Multi-Orgasmic Man: Sexual Secrets Every Man Should Know)

[8] To restore my healthy motivation and ambition! As Gary Wilson points out on YBOP, extensive use of porn has a profound effect on your levels of dopamine?as I pointed out in another post?and saps a porn addict's motivation for things other than porn!

[9] To stop wasting time! All the time spent looking for porn, downloading and collecting it and trying to escape the negative effects of it has been a colossal waste of time! Not only has it been a distraction from more creative and productive pursuits, it's kept me from my true potential!

[10] To prove to myself that it can be done! I've had faith for many years that I could shift this pattern and stop, either for good or, at least, for some extended period of time (like a year). I've had faith that transformation is possible?given the many other men that have done it?but I've never been fully committed...until now!

More than once I've heard people in recovery state that their recovery was the "most precious thing" in their lives. I imagine that people who've said this can vividly call to mind the lows of their addiction and have a very good grasp of the gifts of sobriety. I'm guessing that the longer one has been engulfed in their addiction, the harder it is to see the benefit of not using. But we have the benefit of other people's experience to look at?what they call "The Promises" in the 12-Steps. I think that they are worth recounting here:

? We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
? We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
? We will comprehend the word serenity.
? We will know peace.
? No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
? That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
? We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
? Self-seeking will slip away.
? Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
? Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
? We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
? We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

I've recounted all 12 of these although I don't necessarily agree with the last one. Being a proponent of Smart Recovery, I believe that we have the power to change, whether or not we believe in God or a Higher Power!
 

PF56

Member
In addition to the thread that Chip just mentioned (which I haven't checked out yet) I want to share some of the resources that have helped and inspired me.

Many, or most, of you have probably watched Gary Wilson's TEDx talk: The Great Porn Experiment ? http://youtu.be/wSF82AwSDiU

But I bet the majority of you haven't seen these other excellent TEDx talks:

Porn?The New Tobacco ? https://youtu.be/M9pPgIraoOM
Why I Stopped Watching Porn ? http://youtu.be/gRJ_QfP2mhU

Here are some books that I've read that I think are excellent resources as well:

? Pornified: How Pornography Is Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families
? Breaking the Cycle: Free Yourself from Sex Addiction, Porn Obsession, and Shame
? Treating Pornography Addiction: The Essential Tools for Recovery
? The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems Caused by Pornography

I've tried a couple of online programs:
Candeo (http://candeobehaviorchange.com)
Fortify (www.fortifyprogram.org)

Of the two, I prefer Fortify (which I'm still using). It think it's an excellent, comprehensive program. It's completely secular, based on scientific research. Candeo is a good program too, and it's also based on scientific research, but I found that there were some subtle religious overtones. It's not clearly evident by looking at the website but they are affiliated with Elizabeth Ministry International. If you are Christian then this program might be preferable but if you prefer a completely secular approach then Fortify is the way to go!

Lastly, I think Fortify has a couple of things going for it over Candeo?it's definitely a hipper site, most likely appealing to a younger demographic then Candeo. And, it's a one-time fee for life rather than a subscription model like Candeo. It's also FREE for men who are under 21?which I love?even through I'm almost 56! I'm aware that porn is a huge problem for young men and I applaud the choice of Fortify to make this program so accessible for young men!
 

TK-421

Active Member
Welcome to RN. I hope you find success here. You seem to be putting a lot of effort into this, which is good. If you're like me, I have to find ways to maintain the early enthusiasm. This problem requires a long term commitment to changing behaviours and how you think about things. The most important thing is DON'T LOOK AT PORN DURING THE REBOOT PERIOD.  I have found success in keeping that as my primary goal. All of the other stuff is great, but are not the focus. Getting into shape, working more efficiently, setting goals, rekindling forgotten hobbies, etc. are all fantastic ways to become a better person and are distractions when urges hit. And the urges will come, which is why I advise to not forget what your #1 job is.

Wishing you and everyone on here success.

TK-421
 

Gabriel1960

Active Member
Welcome PF56 -

In the U.S. Midwest we have a saying:  "Nothing good happens past midnight."

Good work in your journey so far.
 

PF56

Member
Thanks Gabriel! I'll have a look at your journal soon. Good going on your goal. You're in the home stretch!!
 

PF56

Member
Noah Church gets real in front of a live audience. He tells like it like it is without pulling any punches. What an inspiration! This talk is funny, authentic and powerful. There is power in transparency! I recently came out to my 676 "friends" on Facebook to let them know that I was starting a Smart Recovery meeting. In the process, I also shared of my own years of struggle while trying, and failing, to find sobriety through a 12-Step program. I wasn't ready to share that it was SAA (Sex Addicts Anonymous) or that I was struggling with porn addiction but I'm emboldened by watching Noah Church to do that when the time is right?when I have some real time under my belt.

I've been open about it with my sisters, with close friends, with girlfriends and occasionally with perfect strangers if the topic came up and I thought they would benefit from my experience. I think I would have told my dad if he were still alive when I first entered recovery back in 1996. My mom was alive but suffering from Alzheimers so I didn't think there was any point in sharing it with her.

On numerous occasions I've imagined what that conversation with my Dad would have been like. I would have liked to have asked him why he was so careless hiding his porn videos in the family room of our home. On either side of the fireplace there were rows of books and that is where I found many porn videos, hidden behind the books. Knowing how I loved books, it seemed so incredibly careless of him. I can't imagine that he put them there for me to find! Porn was a topic that never came up. Prior to the videos I had to dig through my dad's closet where I first found his porn magazines. Those were hidden a little better, but not much!

I have forgiven my dad for these transgressions. I still have to forgive myself for all those wasted years and all that lost potential. I suppose that is part of the journey of recovery. Being transparent with others about my porn addiction has helped me to let go of some of the shame around it. I so admire the courage of Noah Church, Gabe Deem and all of the other men who have boldly told their story, and in the process, helped others to tell theirs!
 
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