The age-old question for a man struggling with sexual misbehavior is "How does he involve his significant other?" We know that transparency is important, but how much is too much? Is there such a thing or should the woman know everything? Based on experience, there are actually some very clear answers on the matter.
For starters, you should know that I have mixed feelings about this whole "accountability partner" thing. Many of the accountability systems that exist today are deeply flawed. When I was addicted, I had an accountability partner at one point. He was a friend who was also struggling. We signed up for a accountability software that tracked our web viewing and would compile a report of any illicit websites we viewed, and send them to the other. I'm sure you're familiar with these kinds of arrangements.
The problem is that the URLs in the report were hyperlinked, so these reports of my friend's slips suddenly became catalysts for my own slips as I began to click around.
A while back, a movie called The Social Dilemma swept across the world, explaining the dangers of social media at both an individual and societal level.
It was one of the first times I finally grasped the impact of Big Al – or as most know it – the algorithm. The reality is that in this day and age, Big Al is EVERYWHERE.
My Mom was looking to buy a dress for my brother’s wedding. She had a conversation with the mother of the groom who mentioned a little boutique store in the area that was a hidden gem of sorts.
Then Mom went home, and as she logs into Facebook, wouldn’t you know it – there are ads from that very boutique store in her news feed!
“It must have been the Holy Spirit,” my Mom excitedly said as she told us the story.
Damn you, Big Al.
I didn’t have the heart to tell my Mom it was the algorithm that day, although we have had other conversations since explaining that some coincidences are actually more...
Recovery can be exhausting at times. You may find that you have moments of great inspiration and motivation, followed by moments of frustration and hopelessness, and a whole bunch of moments that fall somewhere in between! This is normal, but there are a few tricks to keep you inspired throughout the entire recovery journey.
For starters, understand that motivation is not about psyching yourself up. Yelling feel good statements while you beat your chest like Donkey Kong isn't going to bring the kind of motivation we're after. When I say "motivation" what I really mean is a desire that is deep and strong enough to outlast the resistance(s) you'll face along the way.
Notice that we are not after motivation that louder and prouder than the resistances. We're after depth. Inner strength. Things that keep us grounded and focused on the things that truly matter in life. Here are a few of our best practices in this regard (some of which I still use to this day).
In case you...
"Let's face it, without triggers, we are better decision makers, more present in our relationships, and have a higher quality of life. If you're anything like me, you read that sentence and think, ""How do I live without ever feeling triggered?"" Logic is a beautiful thing. While this thought has merit, it takes a long time and a pile of maturity to reach that point, but there is a much more critical step that must take place first.
I personally believe it is possible to reach a point where you are rarely triggered. This is the by-product of self-care, time, processing, maturity, development, and re-conditioning your nervous system. The way you get there is by learning to manage your triggers first. In other words, the initial goal is not to eliminate triggers, but rather to mitigate our response to being triggered.
Let me illustrate with an example. Let's say that I walk down the street and see an attractive woman who looks like a porn star that I used to frequent. While I wish my...
Your imagination is a blessing.
Read that statement again.
Your imagination IS A BLESSING.
I need to remind myself of this truth on a regular basis. Most of us know in theory that our imagination is God-given. But when you struggle with lust, the imagination quickly becomes a double-edged sword.
Sure, it can help you dream about a better future. It can help you set goals and objectives and view things three-dimensionally.
But your imagination also becomes the source of fantasies, undressing women, and triggers that later on lead to slips.
Personally, I am very visual. It has allowed me to be very successful academically because I can picture a lot of the concepts as they are explained. This not only enhances my understanding, it also crystalizes the concept in my memory.
But on the flip side, 6 years of freedom later and my imagination still goes to lustful places sometimes.
So you may be wondering…does this ever go away? If Sathiya has been free that long and he still deals...
I don’t talk about it much in the newsletters, but I was a local church pastor for 9.5 years, starting at the tender age of 18.
The two biggest times of the year for a local church are Christmas and Easter for two reasons. First, the holidays themselves commemorate significant events in Christian history.
On a more practical level, they are the best attended weekends of the calendar year.
For me personally, it meant dressing a bit better than normal, preparing the songs further in advance, and unfortunately a couple of the churches I pastored did “Sonrise” services…which started at 6am to commemorate the early rising of Jesus.
Now Easter may just be another weekend for you, and that’s fine. But I want to make sure you don’t lose sight of WHAT we are commemorating and celebrating this weekend.
Jesus saves. God redeems. Every single believer in the Body of Christ is chock full of resurrection power. That is good freakin news!
This is one of my FAVORITE questions because if someone is asking, they must be making major progress!! After you begin to go weeks, and then months, without pornography, your life begins to dramatically change. The mind is clearer, your heart is hopeful, and you become more present in your relationships. But anyone who's had an addiction knows just how frail success can be. So how do you know you're truly getting free?
This is the right question to ask as you begin to make progress. Let me start by saying that typically, you don't need to worry about this until you reach about 3 months of freedom. If you haven't gone that long yet, then keep doing the work until you have.
Assuming you've hit the 3 month mark and you're starting to feel good, here are a few things to look for that might indicate you're truly free. You might...
1) Think about porn/not watching porn a lot less
2) Feel confident in your own skin and comfortable with your imperfections
3) Be emotionally present in your key...
One of my friends recently pointed out that as the world starts to settle down from the pandemic (in a majority of places) and we are eagerly awaiting a return to some degree of normalcy, we are now faced with a war that has global implications.
So much for settling down!
I still remember in March 2020, my boss called an emergency staff meeting to explain that we were going to start working from home for 2 weeks. By April 1, 2020, the pandemic would be over and things would be back to normal.
So much for normal!
I told everyone I knew many years ago that I was going to become a psychiatrist – it was my ultimate goal in life. Then I gave my life to Christ and God called me to full-time ministry.
So much for med school!
The only thing that is certain in life is uncertainty.
While that may be frustrating to hear for someone like me who enjoys meticulous scheduling, spreadsheets, and 20-year visions, the reality is we all need to build capacity for flexibility.
If we don’t,...
I had the chance to sit down with Dr. Tamara Rosier recently, one of America's leading experts on the subject of ADHD, specifically from a neurological perspective. She shared something in our interview that really shocked me. The ADHD brain will get addicted to something. Period. No questions asked. As I started to poke around, it turns out that the wiring of the brain is different when you have ADHD, and these differences are subject to addictive and compulsive behaviors.
If you have ADHD (or speculate you have ADHD), you may be thinking, "Oh great. Guess that's it for me." But there's hope, and lots of it!
For starters, protective factors can often mitigate the impact of ADHD on someone's life in the early years, and ultimately reduce their propensity for addiction. What is a protective factor? Here are some examples (this is not a comprehensive list but hopefully gives you an idea):
-Growing up with two parents in the home
-Having an educated parent/parents
Many recovery programs recommend abstaining from all forms of orgasm while you recover from porn addiction – that includes having sex. At DeepClean, we do not uphold that stance (with one exception). I have tremendous value for that approach, but we have a few very specific reasons that we choose a different way to handle the recovery process.
For starters, I want to be clear that I am talking to married people primarily (or those of you who intend to be married one day), because I believe that sex is for marriage. If you are unmarried (single, dating, or engaged) then I believe that abstaining from sex should be part of your recovery.
I am also fully aware that many Christian couples are not waiting to have sex today, and if you are in that camp, you should still read this article.
The basic mindset around avoiding sex during recovery is that your brain and body need a reset. Your body has become addicted to the orgasm – the climax of a sexual experience. So if you want...