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Unlocking Addiction: A Secret Hidden in Plain Sight (Pt. 2)

by J.S. Park on February 6th, 2015 in Men, Women, Students

Unlocking Addiction Part 2 BlogpostLast time we talked about turning the page on your addiction; but now the question arises: what comes next?

In my book on quitting porn, Cutting It Off: Breaking Porn Addiction and How To Quit For Good , I make the case that quitting an addiction can’t be about running away from something, but running towards something else. It’s a re-structuring beyond recovery. In other words, quitting addiction can’t merely be about quitting, but expelling its force by the power of something greater.

When you finally decide to quit porn or pills or binging or your particular vice, you’ll find that you suddenly have fifteen to thirty hours free every week. The question then is, “What will I do with my newfound freedom?

In Christian terms, we would say the way to stop sinning is not to stop sin, but to ultimately run towards Him. To quote the book:

“We are saved by His Grace — but that’s not the end. We are saved from something towards something better. If you truly want to kick porn — and sin and Satan and the grave itself — you’ll need to know not only what you’re called from, but what you’re called to. Whether you consider yourself a Christian or the furthest thing from one, I hope we can see that the missing component to all our living is often what we’re living for. I believe the Christian faith gives us not only the answer, but the power to live it out.”

As G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “And the more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.”

Whatever your beliefs might be, the larger point is that quitting addiction demands a momentum toward purpose, community, deep intimacy, and renewing your identity. (Tweet This!) Yes this does mean locking onto the right decisions each and every day, but it also means locking our individual wiring to a finish-line.

I know that also sounds simplistic, so before you decide what I’m saying, here’s what I’m not saying.

I’m not saying that the reason your friend or relative is still addicted is because you didn’t provide the right environment for them. You can do everything possible to help your friend out of addiction, but in the end, they still might choose to destroy themselves. You can’t blame yourself if your friend walks away.

I’m not saying that we’re just like rats (see part 1 of this post), because there’s an entire catalogue of variables that influence our vices. Things like trauma, abuse, mental illness, self-image, and your upbringing have a huge role in your direction.

I’m not saying that only changing your own environment or finding the right career will automatically break your addiction. Merely finding a good church or accountability partner are not the sole answers.

So what am I saying? I’m saying that life after addiction requires a holistic, communal thoughtfulness which will stretch our current paradigms.

Recovery in itself, while momentous, is the start of an arduous, lifelong, uphill journey. (Tweet This!) It is more than disease or choice; it is a side-by-side effort to create internal and external security hand-in-hand, eye-to-eye, as connected individuals.

Russell Brand, actor and former heroin addict, brings all sides of this battle into a crystal-clear focus. He writes,

“It is 10 years since I used drugs or drank alcohol and my life has improved immeasurably. I have a job, a house, a cat, good friendships and generally a bright outlook. The price of this is constant vigilance because the disease of addiction is not rational.”

He concludes,

“Even as I spin this beautifully dreaded web, I am reaching for my phone. I call someone: not a doctor or a sage, not a mystic or a physician, just a bloke like me, another alcoholic, who I know knows how I feel. The phone rings and I half hope he’ll just let it ring out. It’s 4am in London. He’s asleep, he can’t hear the phone, he won’t pick up … The ringing stops, then the dry mouthed nocturnal mumble: ‘Hello. You all right mate?’

“He picks up.

“And for another day, thank God, I don’t have to.”

Perhaps, after all, we can meet each other in that gritty space. Together.


 Why do people get addicted to pornography?” Watch this video where Craig Gross explains:

 

 

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  • WAP

    Thanks for posting this article. As the Executive Director of an in-patient treatment center exclusively for men who struggle with an addiction to sexual behaviors, I meet with men everyday who fall in the middle ground between choice and disease. The choice is subconscious and they don’t realize that they are self medicating the disease/trauma, most often sexual abuse or emotional abuse/neglect before the age of 10. Before their brains have had the chance to develop, these men are subjected to a devastating injury that if not allowed to heal will fester and negatively impact their ability to grow mentally and emotionally. Almost to a man, they carry a burden of defectiveness and emotional pain that in their minds can only be numbed through acting out.

    I am pleased to see that the danger of porn is being addressed head on and that we are making progress. However, there is a vast population of men and women who act out sexually through affairs, voyeurism, exhibitionism, and other behaviors that are seen as perverts and freaks instead of men created in the image of God who need healing. These are men who live lives of silent desperation and are filled with shame. It is amazing to see them begin the process of recovery and learn how to live in freedom from the pain and turmoil that has been their experience.

    I write this not only as a professional, but also as a man who shares the experiences of our clients. I know that there is hope and healing. It takes time, but with prayer, therapy, and the support of my community of other men life can and does get much better.

    WAP
    Outer Circle Treatment Center
    Leander Tx

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