Want to Recover From Porn Addiction? Discover the Power of Habit Formation!!

In Addictions, Christianity, Consumption, Contemplation, Culture, Formation, Pornography, Zombies by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

If you want to recover from your porn addiction, you will need to discover the power of habit formation!

Discovering and developing new habits are central to your freedom!

Why?

Many reasons, but one is that the porn habit you are now starving is going to get hungry.

When the addiction or compulsion gets hungry, it’s going to want you to feed it – as you have done so many times in the past.  That’s why the closer you are to your addiction, the more fiercely you have to fight against it!

I am not talking about white-knuckle fighting. Instead, the intentional, yet determined fight that discovers and develops positive habits that will begin (over time) to replace the old ones!

Habit Formation and Freedom

My recovery road is bumper-to-bumper habit formation.  As I review the last two decades of recovery, I see many habits that have come and gone (yes, they can be seasonal) and many more that have continued to serve me to this day.

In this post, I am going to share a few of my personal favorites.

I am also going to recommend some excellent resources.

I will then invite you to share yours with me.

In the early days of my recovery, the battle was, at times, debilitating.

If not for the following five habits, I am not sure where I’d be today, but I know I wouldn’t be here!

Five Essential Habits that Helped Me Get Where I Am Today

  1. The Habit of Time/Schedule/Calendar Accountability.
  2. The Habit of Personal Accountability and Companionship.
  3. The Habit of Screen Accountability.
  4. The Habit of Honesty with My Wife.
  5. The Habit of Sacred Reading and Contemplative Reflection.
  6. The Habit of On-the-Spot Counter Formation.

Okay, I know that’s six, but the last one may be the most important one I discovered and developed as I began to break free!  You will not need all of these.  You may not need any of them.  But you will need to develop some habits, and quickly if you are serious about living free!

The Habit of Time/Schedule/Calendar Accountability

Early on in my journey, I submitted my time, schedule and calendar to Melissa on a daily and weekly basis.  This habit was embarrassing on many levels. It proved, however, to be a valuable step for both of us.  This habit is one that keeps you honest about the use of your time.  That’s important because pornography is a huge time-waster.  I suggest keeping a detailed account of every hour you spend, down to the minute.  It will also help you in a host of other ways.

Melissa and I routinely checked my “log” which would lead to a host of meaningful (and often painful) conversations.   Over time, my willingness in this area helped rebuild the trust required for our union to flourish!

The Habit of Personal Accountability and Companionship

I discovered and developed the habit of personal accountability and companionship in two essential ways:

  • The first, and most consistent, was meeting with a couple of people who knew and understood the depth of my addiction/compulsion.  One of them was my senior pastor; another one was a colleague in ministry.  I still meet regularly with some other men who understand this unique addiction and can hold me accountable!
  • I met with a counselor who helped me explore the nature of my addiction and discover the root causes.  These sessions were less frequent but still incredibly important.  The counselor also worked with Melissa and me as a couple!

The Habit of Screen Accountability

Screen accountability sounds simple enough, but I know of only a few who take this step.  You have to submit your screen time (all of it – work, home, anywhere) to someone else’s oversight.  This habit will mean that you need to let someone else check your history, have passwords that you don’t know, lock screens for you, etc.

Yes, this can be humiliating.  But if you’re too embarrassed about what it takes to be free than genuinely being free, then you will never – EVER – be free!

The Habit of Honesty with My Wife

This habit is the hardest of all steps to take.  I think this one is so tough because of how much pain honesty brings!  But there are no options.  You are going to need to develop the habit of honesty in all things!  Begin with your spouse.

The Habit of Sacred Reading and Contemplative Reflection

Remember, I am a person of faith so developing the habits of Scripture reading, reflection and contemplation are vital!  I suggest beginning and ending the day with a version of the Lord’s Prayer, Psalm 23, the Beatitudes, or the Ten Commandments.  This bookend approach develops habits that help me enter the day well and end the day in peace!

My book, We’re All Zombies Now, which recounts my journey, concludes with a Forty-Day Digital Detox based upon a rhythm of sacred reading and reflection!

The Habit of On-the-Spot Counter Formation

When I say “on-the-spot counter-formation habit,” I mean a specific habit to counter the malformation porn creates.  For example, my most desperate times of battle came when I was alone.  Therefore, early in my journey, when I anticipated times of isolation, I made plans to intentionally be out in the community or with others as much as possible.

You may learn that the best first step you can make is to be out in the community rather than being alone!  Of course, it may also be the opposite for you.  What I am suggesting here is that there is likely going to be a habit that is unique to your personal history and will be critical to your recovery!

Well, those are a few of my favorites.  I hope they help you!

For an excellent resource by Covenant Eyes, check out this new ebook called Hobbie and Habits!

Respond on Facebook or by way of my comment section and let me know about the habits you are developing and discovering!

Disrupting to Renew!



Remember, I am speaking as a practitioner only – not a professional!  While I’ve spent decades of my life experiencing freedom, I am not a licensed professional.  If you need help, please get the help you need.
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