He Said: Recovering From Porn Addiction

flickr: Alexis Martín
flickr: Alexis Martín

I remember the first time I saw pornography. I was nine.

The images awakened a sense of wonder at the female body. The sensations it stirred in me were overwhelming, and I was much too young to process them. Very quickly, confusion about those feelings led to internal conflict. I understood that it was wrong for me to be looking at those images, but the desire to see more was so intense, unlike anything I had experienced before. Looking at them made me feel guilt, shame, and fear.

Already in the first few moments of my encounter with pornography, a four-decade battle was underway. Over time, the battle took an enormous toll. Under the influence of the pornography cravings, I became isolated; gradually, I stopped enjoying the ordinary pleasures of life. I came to see pornography as my problem.

As I struggled to fix it on my own, I felt continually defeated; I saw myself as a failure. I longed to connect with my wife, with my family and friends, and with God. Yet, as the shame and self-loathing grew, I withdrew. I berated myself by asking over and over again, “What kind of loser can’t control this urge?”

Professional counseling provided some relief. But multiple rounds of talk therapy yielded the same sad prediction: once an addict, always an addict. Then I sought out spiritual tools – I went to church and met with a spiritual director — in the hope that they would “fix” me. But when they didn’t cure me of my addiction, despair took over. I became deeply depressed. I even considered suicide.

Then came the breakthrough. A group of experts in mental health, addiction recovery, neuroscience, and online technology created a remarkable online recovery program based on the new brain science of behavior change. I was the third person in the world to enroll in it. Where every other attempt for recovery focused on “restraining” my behavior, this program taught me how to “retrain” my brain to eliminate the cravings. Where every other attempt had failed, this one succeeded.

Since the time of my recovery, the program has been tested and proven with thousands of struggling individuals in more than 80 countries. A partnership was created to bridge the tools of faith and this new science for recovery called RECLAIM Sexual Health. Having survived this terrible ordeal, my wife and I are devoting our retirement years to sharing our hard-won truth: pornography addiction can be overcome. We have the resources to help.

 

Written By
More from Bruce

He Said: Recovering From Porn Addiction

I remember the first time I saw pornography. I was nine. The...
Read More