Sobriety requires work. There’s nothing easy about it. Yes, it is only by the grace and strength of Jesus Christ that sobriety is even possible, but it also requires much from the addict and his family. Addressing the pain is crucial for everyone involved.
There’s the pain that led to the addiction. Most men and women who turn to an addiction are trying to medicate a wound from their past. Usually they don’t know this until sobriety begins and we attempt to find the source or root of their addiction. For some, the wounds are deep and the pain is real. Wounds from abuse- mental, physical, or sexual, wounds from rejection and loneliness, wounds from broken homes, wounds from broken dreams. Painful experiences that lead the addict to seek a coping mechanism. Some turn to drugs, some alcohol, some shopping or food, and others turn to sex and pornography. The momentary “high” and pleasure experienced from indulging in pornography and masturbation takes the addict out of reality- the reality where the pain is very real- and allows him to feel “good”. For that small moment, the addict feels in control and is able to forget the wounds.
Then there’s the pain of the let down. After an addict indulges in his drug of choice- in this case we’re referring to porn- there is a flood of shame and self-loathing to come over him. He’s reminded of the wounds of his past and on top of that he’s face-to-face with the choices he’s making. Choices to sin against God. Choices to betray his wife. Choices to risk his job or reputation. All for that fleeting moment of psuedo-satisfaction.
There’s also the pain caused to loved ones. When a man (or woman) is addicted to pornography, his family suffers. He cannot offer them his whole heart because he’s giving his heart to porn. He’s lying and deceiving them, he’s defensive and on guard which, in most cases, leads to outbursts of wrath. He spends alot of time isolated from his family and isn’t a “present” husband or father. These are all things that cause a tremendous rift in the family. Let’s face it, a family with a porn addict is a broken family. A family in pain.
Once a man decides to strive for sobriety, all this pain doesn’t just magically subside. No. The pain is intense and very real. And in order to have successful sobriety, all this pain- old wounds, shame, lies, anger, broken families- must be addressed.
Sobriety isn’t easy. It’s hard work. It’s not just setting up boundaries and filters, but it’s also dealing with the heart; addressing all the pain associated with pornography and other dangerous addictions. This may seem like an impossible task. With man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. Jesus can change the heart and mind of the addict, He can heal the wounds of the past, and He can transform and restore the broken families. By His wounds we are healed.