How Giving Up Porn Changed My Life

Photo Credit: Editors Keys

Let’s talk about one of the most taboo topics known to man. I wrestled with putting this out into the world, but if I’ve learned anything in sobriety and recovery it’s that if my story helps just one person I’ve done my job. I accept that this could be considered embarrassing, and I may even have some judgement thrown my way but I’ve talked about my alcoholism here on this blog before with little reserve, so let’s talk about the addiction that entered my life long before I ever took my first drink.

I first discovered porn when I was in middle school, and this may come to a shock to you but so do most boys. I remember feeling incredibly embarrassed by it but because I was a hormonal teenager I couldn’t turn it off, and I couldn’t turn it off for the next 14 years of my life. I was terrible at building interpersonal relationships for most of my life; I had no idea how to talk to women, hold a conversation or eye contact with anyone, and I was living in constant shame because of my addiction(s). Late into high school my toxic relationship with alcohol began and porn started to become less and less relevant in my life. When I found sobriety and recovery for my alcoholism in December, 2017 I had learned how to let go of the main antagonist in my life; however, the dark side of this was going from using porn as a part time coping mechanism to a full blown addiction all over again.

Even though I was sober and my life had become better than anything beyond my wildest dreams there was still a looming sense of shame behind closed doors. I struggled to let go of porn, and the attempts mirrored the early days of trying to put the bottle down. Waking up every morning swearing I’d stay away from it, maybe I’d even string a few days or weeks together here and there, but eventually I would cave and find myself back at square one with even more embarrassment than I’d felt before. I knew I needed help, I knew I had to end this cycle, and I knew that if I didn’t stop this demon would turn into a mountain and swallow me whole.

The first thing I did to finally start getting this problem under controlled was the same step everyone has to take to overcome any addiction: admit that there is a problem that needs to be solved. Anyone who has been through their own recovery pathway knows how difficult that is, and even after admitting that I’m an alcoholic a little over 3 years ago I still found myself choking on the words as they came out of my mouth. Once that poison was out of the deepest pit of my stomach, the next step was find someone to help me. I sought out a mentor who had some experience in overcoming this brand of addiction and that person continues to help me stay clean from my pornography addiction today. It’s ok to ask for help, it does not make you weak; in fact, no one will ever convince me that asking for help is anything besides the most courageous thing a person can do.

So what is it like now? I’ve been removed from pornography for quite some time now and the changes in my life are immense. I’ve now found the ability to talk to anyone I want, for however long as I want, while maintaining eye contact for the entire conversation. As far as shame goes, well at this point if you can find a way to embarrass me you deserve an olympic gold medal. For the first time in my life I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, and this feeling is one that I wish I could truly put into words.

If you’re struggling with any form of addiction (drugs, alcohol, porn, or whatever you feel has made you powerless), my DM’s are open and I am always available to talk. I definitely don’t have all of the answers, but I will always offer a judgement free ear and help you find a way your way to freedom in your life.

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