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30 DAY PORN FREE CHALLENGE

30 DAYS OF ADVICE TO HELP YOU STAY PORN FREE

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Can Happiness Trigger Your Addiction To Porn?

by Paul R. on October 4th, 2015 in Men, Women, Students

happy-triggerI remember a big day in my life. The day I bought my first iPhone. The iPhone 6, no less! Which isn’t really a big deal now since I officially have the “old” model.

Regardless, I was very excited. My first iPhone. I’ve used Apple products before and in fact I am writing this on a MacBook (and you may very well be reading this on one), but there was something about having Twitter and email and all the usual things I use to keep me from doing any real work, literally right at my finger tips.

But after a couple of hours of getting to grips with my new device, I kind of got bored. Not so bored that I put it down, oh no, but just enough so that the excitement and newness was starting to wear off.

What was happening? This new phone was supposed to open my world to new possibilities and wonders. It was supposed to bring me abundant peace and joy.

But it didn’t.

If you’re like me and currently have or once had an addiction to porn, this will sound all too familiar. I can make you a list of all the obvious times and things that triggered me to look at porn. Things like an argument with my wife, or feeling stressed over money, someone criticizing me, feeling like I am worthless, feeling sick, being lonely, and getting tired.

Less obvious though were all the triggers that weren’t quite so expected. I’m talking about all those times and things that seemed to be good and healthy and should have made me happy.

Things like spending quality time with my wife, feeling secure financially, someone giving me praise for something I’ve done, feeling like I understood and was currently working towards what I was created to do, or feeling healthy, sociable and alert.

Or buying a new iPhone.

I am not supposed to be triggered by those things.

Yet often I was.

But why? How?

Addiction to porn is a complex and difficult topic to deal with, mainly due to how often we don’t really understand what is going on within us. But at the core of any addict is a longing and desire for something that our addiction can’t give us. Something that even all the positive things which I described above can not provide. Not even a new iPhone.

We can get a grip to some extent on our addictions and have some sense of control over them, but ultimately, unless we experience healing and redemption from those things that we carry around deep down, we will find it extremely difficult to be truly free.

This is why when things are going well for us, we don’t necessarily find all our triggers and habits disappear. Usually there is some other unspoken hurt or pain from our past that is driving our addiction as a way of medicating or numbing those things so we can save ourselves from fully dealing with them. Because they hurt. They hurt like Hell.

Take for instance, the common misconception among many men that, once they get married, their porn addiction will disappear. They’ll be able to have all the sex they can imagine and that way they’ll find a release. But it never turns out that way! Porn is still there lurking, laughing at us, knowing we’re still not going to be free through sex alone.

That’s because being married doesn’t magically solve all our problems. In fact, in some ways, it heightens them. Suddenly, we don’t get to be selfish and do whatever we like when it suits us. Now there is someone else to consider, to put above ourselves. Our addictions cause us to feel a deeper shame when we turn to them for comfort because we know we should be turning to our spouse.

We look to porn to deal with our problems. But we also look to healthy, good things that are causes for celebration and joy. But most of those things are temporary, and once they end, we find they have simply covered the pain instead of removing it. So our marriage might be going great, but eventually we’ll have an argument over something stupid and find those old triggers getting louder again.

Or we’ll get a promotion in work that will give us the recognition we feel like we deserve – until we realize there is more responsibility and work and we burn out, leading us to deal with the stress in less than helpful ways.

None of those things are bad, though! They are good and should be celebrated! It doesn’t mean we just give up on our marriage or jobs or communities. Instead, once we find peace and healing from whatever it is we are using those things to cover, we must allow more space for all the parts of our lives to take on new beautiful meaning.

I became free because I took time out each week for a while to talk to someone who could help me figure out what was lurking in the shadows and help me expose it to the light. I became free because I had a community of people who loved me and reassured me they would always do so regardless of anything. I became free because I let go of the demons from my past which had persuaded me every day that the only way to feel good was to have the approval of others.

Then I found that the things that life threw at me – good or bad – could take their appropriate place. I could deal with the bad things knowing they weren’t what named me, and I could celebrate the good times because no longer did I feel the pressure of having those things make me feel good about myself.

So it’s important to discover all the good things in our lives that we are using for something they were never intended. To fix us. Once we begin the work of understanding these things, we can begin the important work of allowing ourselves and others the grace to deal with stuff that’s really the problem.

It’s there and only there where we will find the answers we seek and will true freedom be possible.

Which is something not even Siri can answer.


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