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30 DAY PORN FREE CHALLENGE

30 DAYS OF ADVICE TO HELP YOU STAY PORN FREE

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Don’t Be a Victim to Your Porn Addiction

by Forest Benedict on June 29th, 2016 in Men, Women, Students

pornproblemYou are not helpless against your porn addiction. Neither am I. Yet, we so often act as if there is nothing we can do in this battle against temptation, going with the flow rather than fighting for our freedom.

To make matters worse, many remain in a state of blame for their behavior. From the beginning of time, it seems we humans have voraciously sought out someone or something to hold responsible for personal choices.

Heaven forbid we look in the mirror and ask “what choices led me here” or “what choice can I make now?”

Instead, we often remain in victim mode, scanning the landscape for reasons why we had to give in or reasons why we can’t change.

If we look for excuses to look at porn, we will find them. I hear them all the time…

“I don’t get enough sex.”

“I just have a high libido.”

“I’m on vacation.”

“I was alone and tired.”

“I don’t know how to get free.”

“I’m just doing what men do.”

“I’m an addict.”

“The devil made me do it.”

It seems that we’ll blame any feeling, person, circumstance, time of day, impulse, or desire for our choice to give in.

I know this mentality all too well. Most of my life I camped out in the valley of a victim mindset. It did not serve me but instead made me feel stuck when I wasn’t. But I credit much of my success in my personal fight against porn addiction to choosing no longer to be helpless against my addiction or other contributing factors. This lesson did not come cheaply or easily. I invested much time and money to acquire it. The “secret sauce” of my success is taking personal responsibility for my recovery. I don’t always succeed but almost every time I remind myself that I am choosing most of my circumstances and all of my responses, I regain my power. Fighting against victim mentality is a daily battle. I believe this is some of the most significant work for anyone in active recovery.

What keeps us feeling stuck is our addiction to our excuses. Sadly, most do not passionately pursue healing until life “makes” them do it. They face painful consequences of potential divorce, court involvement, job loss, and countless other “wake-up calls.” While these things momentarily motivate change, it does not last. How could it, when they base their recovery on their circumstances not on their decisions? In these cases, once the situation cools down, so does their motivation.

I write this at the risk of sounding insensitive. I really do care about the pain of others. I know many truly are victims of abuse and injustice and I do not want to downplay the sadness of those situations. I have deep wounds of my own. From moods to mental illness, many of us struggle in many ways. But if we’re not careful, we can begin to blame these things for the life we are choosing. This is a trap. These life experiences are not reasons to relinquish responsibility. We still have choices. We can live a life of victimhood and justification but this will never lead to healing.

I share this perspective because I know most people are acting powerless against porn when the reality is they are not. There are many things they continue to do to choose staying stuck on that path. I am not saying they want to stay there. I honestly believe many want to change. But that doesn’t mean they are willing to change; willing to do everything it takes to change.

When we take responsibility for our recovery, we courageously acknowledge our countless choices. We can still admit our weaknesses and deficiencies but they do not mean we are helpless. We can choose to not let those keep us down. We can research alternatives. We can ask questions. We can seek support. We can choose community. We can pursue spiritual connection. We can choose to never give up.

God’s word says there is a way out of all temptations. Yet too often we look for every possible way into temptation. If we believe there is always a way out, how hard will we look for it? To what lengths will we go to make sure we find it?

For those tired of getting tossed around by temptations, I urge you to honestly ask yourself the following questions:

How am I pretending I am helpless against porn?

In what ways am I making myself vulnerable to temptation?

What needs to change in my life to help me tap into God’s strength and the support of others?

What are my blind spots and what resources will help me see the truth in these areas?

What wounds have I ignored throughout my life that are in need of my attention?

What strengths, gifts, and abilities can I leverage in my recovery?

Will I choose a passive or passionate stance against temptation?

Whose hand can I reach out to for help?

When we steadfastly seek answers we will find them. Please note, this is not about blaming or shaming ourselves. Taking responsibility is about becoming empowered. It’s about seeing what we did to get here and what else we can do right now. We will lack the freedom we desire in our recovery as long as we pretend that it doesn’t exist.

Will you take responsibility for your recovery? When you do, the possibilities are endless.

Sure, you can go on pretending you are helpless. That’s your choice. But I believe you can choose a better life than that. I know I want a better life than that.

Be empowered. You are resourceful. You are creative. You have options. I echo the challenge of Joshua 24:15 to “choose this day whom you will serve”. You can choose addiction or recovery; death or life.

May we all choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

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