It’s not difficult to understand why addiction is a bad thing.
I’m guessing that you didn’t arrive at the porn addiction recovery program because your life was going great. It doesn’t matter whether you’re addicted to porn or alcohol or cigarettes, addiction in any form is detrimental to your wellbeing.
Pornography addiction and compulsive sexual behavior have the power to destroy your life. They deteriorate your mind, shatter your relationships, break down your career, and more. You don’t have to look very far to see the negative effects of pornography. The same goes for any other addiction you may struggle with.
However, you can’t overcome the porn addiction effects by only looking at the negative aspects. You must also recognize that there are some positive aspects to your porn addiction. I know this might sound crazy, especially coming from a guy who has dedicated his life to helping men end their compulsive problems with porn but stick with me.
Most men who struggle with pornography addiction started watching porn when they were younger, usually during their teenage years. I know that was the case for me. Pornography became my go-to coping strategy to deal with the difficult emotions of adolescence. It helped me handle stress. It provided me comfort when things felt out of control.
Porn also taught me about sex, albeit in a wrong way, but it helped me understand what sex was. It also allowed me to learn about myself sexually during those formative adolescent years when puberty raged. Porn provided me with all these seemingly wonderful things when I was younger. Looking back, I can accept that some positive things came from it.
After a while, though, my pornography use far outlasted its usefulness. It began causing much more harm than good. Once I crossed over that line there were no more positives left for me. But that doesn’t negate the fact that it was useful at a certain point in my life.
Your brain doesn’t get addicted to something because it likes being addicted to things that aren’t good for it. You didn’t start using porn with the intent to develop a crippling pornography addiction. Your brain enjoyed viewing pornography because there was a positive benefit to using it at one point in your life.
It’s important to acknowledge this positive part of your pornography use if you want to overcome your out-of-control behavior. Understanding why you crave pornography is a key to overcoming it. When you only view your use as a horrible, awful, negative thing, it further instills feelings of guilt and shame that keep you trapped in the porn addiction cycle.
You can’t force yourself to overcome your out-of-control behavior by muscling your way through it with willpower. The brain doesn’t work that way. Trying to bully yourself into quitting pornography and masturbation means you’re fighting against your biology. If there’s one surefire way to fail, fighting your biology is the way to do it.
Instead of trying to force yourself into changing you must work with your brain instead. Too many men overlook this approach because it’s not easy to understand. Learning about the biochemistry and neurochemistry involved in pornography addiction isn’t simple at first but it’s crucial for building a solid foundation in your reboot.
There are biological positives and negatives to your porn use and masturbation. Denying this fact will only delay your healing. Once you’re willing to accept this truth, though, you can begin moving forward. You’re taking another step toward working with your brain instead of against it.
Recognizing the positive aspects of your porn addiction problems and the way it helped you make it to this point in your life is not a bad thing. It’s what you do with that understanding that counts. If you decide to stop there and continue acting out, you’re selling yourself short. But if you take that understanding and use it to your advantage, you will continue on the path to a successful reboot.