Porn Addiction Recovery
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I still remember my first encounter with porn. I was somewhere between the age of 9 and 11, and since it was the 1970s, porn was not all too easily accessed. My introduction came through a magazine a buddy stole from his father, or maybe his older brother. Regardless, he wouldn't let me keep it, but he let me rip out any page I liked. I flipped through and there she was. Partially nude and curvaceous, with a set of 'YOU are awesome' eyes taunting me and calling me to her.
I still, to this day nearing age 45, remember the exhilaration of that first exposure.
While I could not keep this 'one page of porn' in my house, there was a wooded area just across the street where I stashed it in a rotted base of an old pine tree. Day in and day out I would take my Daisy BB gun and go to those woods to 'hunt'. Once there, I would forget everything and everyone but her: my personal babe. She wanted me every day in the same way. Even then, at such a young age, I felt I had entered some sort of hellish heaven; a distorted delight.
Those moments with my personal babe, so many years ago, ushered in many other moments that have been far more intrusive and condemning. I have since learned that my pursuit of porn was birthed in a desire for harmony, intimacy and peace; with myself, my God and others. The desire is not evil. Indeed, it is God-breathed and holy.
Yet my desire became distorted and my delight twisted when I ripped out that page so many years ago and consumed the woman on it for personal pleasure. Rather than peace and harmony, I cultivated conflict and disease. Dallas Willard has said that we cannot 'give peace a chance' until we create the conditions where peace is possible. This simple statement has proven a profound truth in my own crawl out of a porn-ridden past.
You see I am not a victim. I chose porn and then I disciplined my body through a set of ritual practices that habituated my desire toward distortion (daily running toward the wood). The way out is to confess my choice and enter into a process of 'rehabituation.' That is, I must incorporate a set of ritual practices that will habituate my desires toward God and His good for me (assuming I trust that He is good toward me).
The singular practice I have chosen and that has become most helpful for me is learning to sit in solitude and silence. It's a means of contemplation and prayer that Jesus performed and, if I am to follow Him, then doing what he did is a good place to start.
Practicing solitude and silence regularly (I know some who practice daily) has helped me see the truth of my porn consumption: it is neither complex nor deep. However, I, the created image of God, am both complex AND deep. Porn hides this truth, while the practice of solitude unearths it and celebrates it.
Once I see clearly that porn denigrates me as a person and solitude celebrates my God given worth, then my desires toward God begin to gain some gravitas in my life.
My journey out of porn continues to be a journey toward myself; my truest and deepest self. (Tweet This) The self that God created. In the practice of silence, I am reminded of my worth and opened to God in new ways. I am also reminded that there is always and ever a need to practice . . . for I am not perfect. Not yet, anyway.
[Editor's note: while solitude and silence are recommended in this post, they are not an excuse to avoid accountability. Instead, they are recommended by this author merely as an extra practice to include in your regular routine, but we are all still called to journey through life together with the help of one another.]
Out Of Porn And Into The Real You by XXXchurch.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.