Let’s talk about culture of addiction vs. culture of recovery. When I think about recovery, some of the essentials in the “tool kit” that first come to mind are:

  • Accountability
  • Support system
  • Vulnerability
  • Honesty
  • Action plan
  • Difficult Conversations
  • Restoration
  • Building trust

Now there are many other things associated with recovery, those are just some of the first things that are essential. 

You may be looking at that list and be going “wow, those all look difficult”.  Unfortunately, you are correct and that is a uniting factor with all of them. But here’s the thing. They are difficult in the moment. In the long term, not only do they get easier, but they also make our life in general a lot easier to live and experience happiness.

Culture of addiction and pornography would have us believe “I want to feel good now, who cares how I feel later.” Our humanness buys into that, and as I’m sure you’ve experienced, it’s an approach to life that leaves us feeling very empty.

Addictive lifestyle and recovery lifestyle are entire reversals of each other. One forsakes long term growth for instant gratification, the other copes with short term uncomfortability for the promise of long term growth. 

A common tool I’ll give in the therapy room is “play the tape through.” Now for those of us young people who can barely remember tapes, you can play a blue ray through or something… Before making a decision, (such as watching pornography) ask yourself: if I say yes to this, how will I feel in an hour? 5 hours? 24 hours? A week? And please play it alllll the way through, not just until it still feels good.

Let’s go back to the original decision and play it through the opposite way. How will I feel if I say no to this? Play it all the way through that way as well, then you can make a more informed decision. 

Most of my clients come to find that they don’t have to play the tape through very far to see the pay off and that the long term pain isn’t worth it for the instant gratification.