New Attitudes Overcoming Porn Addiction

“Because he lives inside his attitudes, the individual doesn’t see them; he sees only
the physical activity and thinks he’s feeling guilty for that.” (White Book, page 40) Reading this reflection at a recent meeting, lead me to consider what my
attitudes had been and how my changing attitudes brought about through the 12 Steps have enabled me to overcome my porn addiction.

It is true; I have a number of new attitudes. I want to share them.

  1. Sex is optional. I used to think that I had to have sex or I would be deprived. One needs food, water, shelter, hope and love. Without these essentials, a person will suffer. I considered sex to be on that list. I have since learned differently. It is an obvious instance of false reasoning on my part. This was my porn addiction speaking. There are many single people in the world who are apparently quite peaceful and serene. Lust for sex gave me delusions and rationalizations that I would be incomplete without it. Not true. The program literature states that sex is optional, and I have come to fully believe this to be true.

new attitude overcoming porn addiction

  1. Part of healthy living means to bring the inner anguish out and share it with trusted people. I have heard it in the meetings, “One is only as sick as one’s secrets,” and I have found this to be true also. Hiding will keep me from overcoming my porn addiction. I share my pain, triggers and temptations with my sponsor and other trusted members of SA. I am more at peace and serene. This does not mean that I have to be in a crowd and blabbering about. For me, it means that while I have my own quiet, meditation time with my Higher Power, I also share regularly with people in the program my deepest hurts and hopes.
  2. People are not a consumer product. I have to admit that I bought into the consumer society pretty completely. When I indulged pornography, I would say to myself, “Oh, that’s a good picture!” or “That’s good!”, and my pulse would race. I see now that what I thought was good, really wasn’t so. Pornography reduces a person to being an object. In my porn addiction, I objectified people, and treated them like objects I see for sale in the daily newspapers. I was treating people, including even my wife, as objects for pleasure. Aside from demeaning creation, my old attitude led me to loneliness and despair. Love and acceptance flow when people are treated equally. I am more open to that flow now.
  3. My Higher Power is in charge, not me. In isolation, I would order my life so I could control it. This meant backing off close relationships. I became more lonely. I acted out more to medicate the pain. I felt ashamed and awkward when I was with people, because of my acting out, and I acted out more. Where was the relief? I tried to control my circumstances more, and found that lust controlled me more. My disease became the center of my life, and my spirit was drying up and dying. I was way out of balance. Overcoming a porn addiction requires connecting with others in a healthy way. When I started coming to meetings, got a sponsor, and began sobriety, my life began to be in balance. I started acting in ways that put my Higher Power in the right place, the center of my life. I am learning to “Let go, and let God.” I am learning to trust my Higher Power with the details of my life. My lust is no longer the center of my life, and I am much more happy and serene.
  4. It’s not all about me. This attitude is very close to the attitude described above. If my lust is no longer the center of my thoughts and my life, then I can think about the needs of others. Where before in my sex addiction I was greedy and looking for ways to consume what I thought I needed, I am learning patience and trust with my needs and concern for the needs of others. I think about how what I share in meetings can help others. I think about what will strengthen the fellowship. I believe that as I surrender myself more deeply to healthy thoughts and healthy actions, I am able to help others more effectively. Service serves the fellowship and also helps me.
  5. Be sober in the moment. Living in the moment helps me to address the reality that surrounds me. If there are thoughts that are in my head that are lustful, I ask myself “What is going on here? Am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired? I am holding onto resentments? What is triggering my lust right now?” By becoming more aware of my inner feelings and how I am being triggered, I can respond with a phone call to a trusted SA member, or take a nap, or eat something, or exercise to relieve anger. Living in the moment, I can surrender resentments that pop into my consciousness. I can open myself up to the people and circumstance which my Higher Power has brought into my life. I can be sober one minute, one day at a time.
  6. Live a balanced life. I have to admit that I am still growing here. I look at my attitude toward work, and I say to myself “I can’t wait until I finish this work so I can enjoy myself.” This attitude is not quite right. Why can’t I enjoy each moment, even when I am working? Why can’t I take each activity and recognize the good in it for me, even if it’s work that doesn’t hold a favorite place in my esteem? I suspect that my attitude toward work is partly based on my old consumer’s attitude. “Play is good. Fun happens after you finish work. Responsibilities and commitments are obstacles to get out of the way so I can let go and do what I want.” I don’t think these attitudes are in my best interest anymore. Why should I regard the work/responsibility portion of my life, which might take from 50 to 80% of my waking time, as less fulfilling, worthwhile or fun than the time when I can do whatever I want? To have a more balanced view of my life, might mean that I enjoy my work more and not be anxious to get work over and done with. I know I need time to do whatever I want to do, but I also need to fulfill my commitments in a healthy way with a healthy attitude.

– Anonymous

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