If you read my post on The Porn Problem: 7 Negative Effects of Porn Consumption, you will have been expecting this. This post is the first in a series of how I overcame porn addiction. I’m going to take it one step at a time to give you enough time to implement each step as I write them. This isn’t a race. It is a process which I hope you take seriously. And it won’t work if you just read the posts then go on about life without ever applying the information. If you’re serious, read on.
I’ll be honest with you, it didn’t happen without God. It doesn’t happen without God. At least not for me. My record of overcoming this addiction in my own willpower is somewhere between one and two months. I have not overcome this on my own, but only by the grace of God.
I put that up front because I know some of you don’t believe in God. My hope is that you’ll see the power of relying on an eternal, unchanging, perfect God to hold you steady, and the truth that this is far more powerful than trying to keep yourself from falling off the tightrope without God. I know it’s not a snap of the fingers and suddenly you go from atheist to theist, but I hope this seed sprouts in you nonetheless.
Now that I’ve said that, there are some practical things you can do, which I did and continue to do, that will help tremendously in overcoming porn addiction. I want to first talk about mindset.
If you’ve got the mindset of an addict, you won’t overcome porn addiction, or any other addiction for that matter. A porn free future starts with you deciding to change your mind and to hold captive every thought that enters your mind. Sound difficult? It is. It absolutely takes practice and you will probably not always succeed, especially not at first, but it is worth it.
I think the best thing I ever learned was that I could control what I thought about. You see, most people are like I used to be, just living in a constant stream of unregulated stimulus from the outside world. Most people do not know that you don’t have to ponder every single thing that pops into your mind. A really good book on the subject is Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer.
Years ago I heard a preacher, Andrew Wommack, say something that has stuck with me ever since. He said, “You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from making a nest in your hair.”
Those words struck me powerfully because I had simply never thought of it like that before. You can’t stop thoughts from popping into your head, but you can control whether or not you dwell on them. Learning this has helped me to overcome not only porn addiction, but also intrusive thoughts. Those little blighters caused by things like anxiety, OCD, and depression.
It is a simple yet powerful shift in mindset that has proven to me to be something which has made my life immensely more enjoyable. It’s not perfect, and sometimes I fail. Often, actually. But the power is in the continued practice of it. Of being mindful of where your mind is wandering and taking back control of the reins.
So start working on that now. You may not overcome porn addiction this very instant, or you might, but either way, start putting effort into controlling where your mind goes. Do not dwell on the thoughts which make you want to go watch porn. You know what they are. If you don’t know what those trigger thoughts are, start paying attention to that. What were you thinking about just before the last time you watched porn? Like I said, if you aren’t sure then you need to spend some serious time working on knowing what thoughts are in your mind, where they’re coming from, and which of those thoughts are triggers for you.
This is not a quick fix.
It is not a bandaid.
It will take time.
If you want to overcome porn addiction, set yourself up for success and work on gaining control over your own thoughts. Read the above listed book. Look for more resources and books that will teach you how to control your mind. It will likely be the best thing you can ever do for yourself.
I can’t stress enough how important this step is. Take it seriously because without gaining control over your thoughts you will not overcome porn addiction.
I will post Step 2 in the near future. See you then. If you have any questions at all, drop them in the comment section below and I’ll respond as soon as I can.
Until next time,