Today’s topic comes from a question a brother brought up. He says:
“Hey, J.K. I feel like I might be trying to do too much at one time and it’s making it hard to focus on my reboot. I’m trying to quit smoking cigarettes, quit smoking marijuana, and quit porn, all while trying to navigate my feelings about separating from my partner.
“How can I navigate all of this and remain successful? Am I trying to do too much at once? How do you avoid falling into the trap of, ‘I’m not looking at porn so it’s okay to masturbate as long as I don’t use it’?”
Porn addiction problems are devastating for men to overcome. It leaves you consumed with shame and guilt for your behavior and separated from the people around you. When you struggle with more than one addiction, though, the problem becomes even harder. Plenty of men deal with other addictions alongside their porn problem. What is the best way to approach these issues? How to stop porn addiction along with other addictions?
First of all, this is probably more common than you think. A lot of brothers feel ending their out-of-control behavior creates a great opportunity to turn a new leaf in life. While it is a great opportunity to make some changes, it’s not a good idea to end every single compulsive behavior you have at once.
I’m not saying it’s impossible but it does make it much more difficult. It’s not the most realistic way of approaching a successful porn addiction recovery. You run the risk of overwhelming yourself by doing everything at the same time. In my experience, men who tackle these problems one at a time rather than all at once are far more successful in the long run.
You can still take on too much at once during your reboot even if you don’t struggle with other addictions. I see it all the time. Men in the Porn Reboot group are talking about doing 75 Hard, about reading a book a week, about losing weight, and about starting a business, all while trying manage their erectile dysfunction and end their out-of-control behavior with porn, sex, and masturbation.
Unsurprisingly, the wheels fall off at some point and they end up in a bigger rut than before.
I’m all for becoming a stronger man and building a better life. But that doesn’t happen by sending yourself into a tailspin by trying to juggle multiple major changes simultaneously. Instead, I believe that taking on changes one at a time and committing them to your new lifestyle is a far more effective approach.
This brother also mentions that he’s trying to quit all of these behaviors while processing the feelings of a breakup. This adds another layer of difficulty to the problem because he’s removing every coping mechanism he’s built over the years. Eliminating all these ways of dealing with his emotions at once will only lead to a harder relapse.
Handling emotions is difficult for anyone in the Porn Reboot program. It’s not something that comes easily; it takes time, practice, and dedication. You may think that ripping the band aid off all at once is the best approach but you’re only making things harder on yourself.
Unless your substance use is putting you in dangerous situations or poses an immediate threat to your physical well-being, I recommend starting with your porn addiction. There’s a reason you’re here at the Porn Reboot program, after all. Start by implementing the Porn Reboot system in your life and fully embrace this approach to life.
Once you’ve gained control over your compulsive behavior, then you can shift your focus to other struggles. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to wellness. You must determine which approach is best for you. But taking them on all at once is the least effective approach, brother. I’ve seen it time and time again. Choose one, master it, and then move on to the next.