I’ve got another question from a brother in our group today. He says:
“Hey brothers, I have to stay accountable and report to you. I’ve had multiple slips over the past two days, twice yesterday and once today. It started when I was tired from the gym and came home to no one else in the house. I now recognize that isolation and tiredness were two major vulnerabilities.
“I looked at some images first but it quickly progressed into watching pornography. Then this morning I laid around in bed for a while and ended up looking at images on my phone again. It didn’t take long for me to open up a few tabs of porn again.
“This has happened so many times, easily hundreds. It has left me feeling off and scared, scared that I’m not going to be successful and that I’ll spend the rest of my life a complete mess. I know it’s down to me to change it but what if I don’t have it in me?”
I always appreciate it when a brother comes to us and shares where he is at. Growth only comes when we’re willing to ask for help. I know that at face value this might sound like a great share. It seems like it’s full of authenticity and accountability. However, there are some things in here to be wary of.
First, he ends his post by saying he feels off and scared because it’s something that’s happened “hundreds” of times. He feels his life is a “complete mess.” These statements are full of heavily charged emotions.
He also explains he had multiple slips within 24 hours. Here’s the thing, though. If you slip up repeatedly in a day then you’re now in a relapse, not just a slip. He should just say that he relapsed and leave it at that. A relapse isn’t much worse than a slip; you still get the same result.
Second, he did a great job of identifying his mistakes but he did nothing to change the situation. It’s great to recognize where you’re going wrong but recognition does nothing if you don’t take action to change it. Recognition is the first step but action is where the true change occurs. He needs to take this awareness going forward and apply action next time temptation arises.
Third, there are quite a few issues he could have addressed to keep himself less vulnerable. He mentions feeling tired which arises from a problem with self-care. He also says he was looking at his phone which could have been avoided if he kept his phone out of his room. And he also said he came home to an empty house so he could have reached out to someone because he knew he was in a risky place.
All of these things are valid porn addiction problems during your early reboot. If you don’t have much experience applying the reboot system to your life, they’re likely to arise at some point. The system outlines clear actions to take which can help you avoid these things but many of them are inevitable in the beginning.
Learning from other brothers in the group is a great way to recognize areas where you may eventually fall short or need some help. Take his view of his life as a complete mess, for example. How many times have you thought the same thing? How often have you felt like you’re never going to control your behavior?
Most of these experiences are common for all of us. They’re things we struggle with at various points during our reboot. But they don’t have to be things that take us down for the long run. Every man who arrives with porn addiction problems at the Porn Reboot program has a chance to change his life. None of us are hopeless or beyond recall. We all have the opportunity to become better men.
These emotionally-charged statements will hold you back from recognizing your ability to change, though. If you cannot take control of your emotions you’ll find they will drive your decisions over and over again. The sooner you learn to control your emotions the better. And implementing the Pornography Addiction Counseling which is the Porn Reboot into your life is the best place to start.