Admitting you have an addiction can be a terrifying thing to face. We tell everyone that has an addiction that the first thing that needs to happen is to realize you have a problem. This is easier said than done. We tend not to want to admit we’re weak or in need of help. We want people to think we’ve got it all together. So getting to that place of admitting you are addicted is tricky for many of us.
I think deep down I always knew I was addicted, even if I didn’t admit it to myself, but there were certainly a lot of signs if I had just been alert enough to see them. Here are five.
1) You Keep Vowing To Quit. It’s a pretty basic question: can you stop? I used to tell myself I could stop any time. (Tweet This!) That this time was the very last time. Of course I told myself that every single time I used porn. It was the fundamental lie I lived by: I had the power in me to quit. But the evidence, even though I didn’t want to face it, said otherwise.
Have you been unable to stop looking at porn for longer than 2-3 days? Do you find yourself repeating the vow to quit for good several times a week? If so, it’s probably time to move onto sign number 2.
2) You Keep Hiding It. There were a lot of reasons my addiction was able to grow, but one of the most important was my amazing ability to hide my porn use. I knew how to cover up everything. I knew how to delete my history, I knew when and where I was able to be alone. I was the master magician of making any evidence of using porn disappear. So the question you need to ask yourself is this:
Would I be comfortable handing over my phone or laptop to someone close to me at any random time?
If the answer is no, then it’s a pretty good sign that perhaps you always have something on there you wouldn’t want someone to see.
And if that’s the case, let’s keep going.
3) You Keep Traveling Through Time. There were countless times when I would sit down at my computer innocently enough to do work or check email, and before I knew what hit me, it was 2 am and I was sitting with my pants down and repeating the vow one more time. Porn was a way for me to escape from pain or from stress or just a feeling of being out of control, so I’d go to my computer and try to get a release.
If this is you, you’ll probably know it. But here’s how you can tell just in case.
Are you so consumed by porn that hours fly by? Are you missing the chance to connect with real people, watching everyone else doing stuff with their life, all because you spend hours a day online?
4) You Keep Getting Harder. When I first started experimenting with porn, it was through run-of-the-mill lad mags you’d find with semi-naked celebrities on the cover. The thought of anything more extreme genuinely disgusted me.
But by the time I was deep into porn, I was viewing increasingly harder images. The very images I swore I would never be attracted by were now my go-to. And here’s the killer: I didn’t see it happening. It was over years of strengthening my addiction and therefore requiring more and harder porn, that I went to darker places. The subtle nature of a growing addiction meant it had crept up on me unexpectedly.
So ask yourself this, are the things you’re looking at now the same as the types of things you looked at a few years ago? Or are they more extreme?
5) You Keep To Yourself. It started to dawn on me that my personality had drastically changed. I was more irritable, more prone to stress or anger, and significantly, preferred not to be around people because it made me feel bad about who I was.
Think about your personality right now in the midst of your addiction. Are you confident in who you are? Do you worry what people think? Has your personality changed for the better? If so, and if at least a couple of the other signs sound like you, then it’s probably time to let someone to help you.
I know that I didn’t want to admit that I was an addict because the word addict held so many weird connotations. Addicts were weak, they weren’t smart, they were pretty disgusting people. I convinced myself that I wasn’t one of “them.” But eventually I couldn’t ignore the signs any longer. I shared my story and I soon discovered that my stories resonated with others.
I wasn’t alone. Others felt what I felt. (Tweet This!)
And this was the biggest sign I could be free.
If you are wondering whether or not you have a sex or porn addiction take our test. It’s easy, fast, and confidential. Get the answer your question in seconds. Take the test HERE.
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