Feeling Trapped by Pornography and How to Get Out
You feel trapped. There's a power holding you back.
You know you were meant for a higher purpose. You may even tell yourself, "Why does this have so much power over my life? How can I get rid of it and how can I finally not give pornography so much power over me?"
You feel like you will be exposed and believe if anyone sees you for who you are, you will be rejected outright.
No one or almost no one knows about your habit -- it may even be an addiction and you are living a secret second life.
You feel alone and hopeless.
These are all feelings I have felt in my journey to freedom from a pornography habit. A friend once told me when he shared with his counselor he thought he was on an island by himself -- the counselor responded by saying, "Well, that is a very populated island!"
What did he mean by that?
My brother, I'm here to tell you, you are most definitely not alone! The friend I mentioned? He began his journey to freedom by creating a class and I was the first student in his class.
As I continued my own journey, including going to more of his classes and more guys went through, I found myself less and less under the power of pornography.
What was the secret?
Besides the powerful concepts and teachings from the class itself, probably the single best way I can tell you is one word: Ownership
When started to tell my story, I realized the more I heard it, the more I believed it! "Pornography had a hold on me and this is how I found freedom" became a way the power structure became inverted.
Owning my own story grew the power of the freedom I possessed. At the same time, the trap that was pornography consumption had less and less power.
Was it instant? No. But one thing was clear: I always had the choice in the moment. When I was triggered, as I gave more space to my own power to say "No," temptation began to lose its appeal.
But not forever and to this day, I am still tempted. I remember one meeting with another guy who told me he thought I wasn't tempted anymore because I had been sharing my story. He was amazed to find that yes, I was still tempted.
So to be clear, because we are men and the way pornography has such appeal (there are in fact very deep reasons why), there will be a part of us always wanting it. But I am here to tell you, the part wanting the unhealthy habit of pornography, over time -- that voice will get quieter and quieter.
In answer to the bold proposal of how to get out of the trap of pornography, my answer is this: start sharing your story.
Quietly powerful? Absolutely!
I will leave you with a great quote by C. S. Lewis:
A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us so we try to fight it.
You are not bad! Pornography is. As a man, your impulses and desires have been hijacked to trap you, but you don't have to stay there.
Together, we can work on a better plan and a better you.