When a brother joins the Porn Reboot Intensive program, we always start with a welcome call.
I want to get to know this brother and begin documenting his experience. One of the first things we do is establish expectations that men have when they arrive at our program. What do they want to accomplish? What does their life look like without porn? How do they anticipate getting to that point?
I do this because I want to ensure that we can support you in your journey. While I know that the Porn Reboot system works for the men who apply it, I want to make sure that your plans align with how the system is laid out. I want to see whether your expectations will be met or whether another approach to controlling your behavior is better suited for you.
Developing patience is one of the most common expectations I hear from our potential brothers. Their behavior with porn, sex, and masturbation has finely tuned their need for instant gratification. This leads to significant problems with impatience and a short temper. They want to know whether Porn Reboot can help them develop their patience.
Something most brothers don’t realize, though, is that their compulsive sexual behavior also warps their experience of time. Consider how often you’ve said, “I’m only going to watch porn for a half-hour,” but then find yourself still opening tabs three hours later. You have no idea where that time went, you only know that it’s gone.
This same time warp occurs when you start separating from porn, sex, and masturbation. I see men with around a month and a half in the program convinced they’re in the maintenance stage of their reboot. In reality, they’re still in the early stage of the process. It feels like it’s been months when it’s only been a few weeks.
It’s frustrating to realize how much work it takes to fully rewire your brain. Since you’ve geared yourself for instant gratification, the idea that it takes time to reboot is a foreign concept. You don’t get the benefits of a porn-free life without some hard work and patience.
I like to use the example of a gardener planting a garden. He understands that, while his plants begin to grow as soon as he plants the seed, he won’t see the results for quite some time. He will not see a sprout, a branch, a leaf, or a fruit for many days after placing those seeds. But he trusts that by putting in the work, from planting to watering to waiting, his plants will grow with time.
The same goes for your porn addiction recovery. It may not seem like you’re making progress, but the change begins from the moment you implement some reboot principles. Even when you continue struggling with slips and relapses, the reboot process is in place.
The path to patience in your reboot is paved with bricks that say “progress not perfection.” Your success in the Pornography Addiction Treatment program likely does not mean complete abstinence. But it does mean showing up to work on time, spending evenings with your family, and taking time to better yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Developing patience in your reboot is a slow process, too, but even recognizing the need for it is a step in the right direction. It’s difficult and easy to get agitated. Think of the gardener when bugs and pests begin to infiltrate his newly-sprouted seedlings. He must get frustrated, too. But he still trusts the process and recognizes that every garden comes with its troubles.
As you accept the inevitable presence of pests and move toward their removal, you’ll find yourself closer to patience. Your newfound outlook will flower into the fruits of confidence, diligence, self-esteem, self-awareness, self-compassion, and more. These fruits are available even during the early reboot stage, brother. All it takes is some work and dedication.
Developing patience is an important aspect of your reboot and the Porn Addiction Counseling system will help you get there. Just like the gardener, though, you must recognize that while it won’t happen all at once, you’re already well on your way there.