Hey everyone, I want to quickly introduce you to the new series titled “21 Questions”. The last time I blogged on the subject of pornography I discussed the 8 Steps you can use to gain freedom from pornography. Those 8 Steps are critical, but as I noted during the series they are limited by the fact that they can only keep you out of the addiction cycle. Once the cycle begins in your brain only Step 8, “make a phone call”, has any hope of stopping you from acting out.
As a refresher, below is a diagram of the Addiction Cycle, as well as a description of the steps of the cycle from the book “Breaking Free” by Russell Willingham.
The Addiction Cycle Steps:
- Visual/Emotional Trigger (this could be an attractive girl, a magazine cover, a video on YouTube, anything that ‘triggers’ your brain into thinking of sex
- Repression of pain with immediate sexual/romantic longings
- Fantasizing/planning stage (This is a critical step; if you can make a phone call at or before this point in the cycle you have a high chance of remaining ‘sober’…once you progress to the next step it becomes extremely difficult to avoid acting out without the 21 Questions)
- The hunt
- The connection
- The act (the part that most guys focus on, but as you can see it’s already too late)
- The letdown (the inevitable shame and guilt we feel after acting out)
- The vow (I’ll never do it again)
- The cycle begins again
The 21 Questions I’m going to cover over the next 21 days are questions that you can ask yourself once you have already entered the addiction cycle, to try to abort the cycle before reaching “the act”. This is very exciting because short-circuiting the addiction cycle is virtually impossible without these kinds of powerful tools. I want to credit my friend and mentor, Mark, with creating the 21 Questions and allowing me to share them with you.
If you are diligent with the 8 Steps to Freedom From Pornography (my previous series), you will most likely be successful at staying out of the addiction cycle. But if you slip and find yourself in the addictive cycle there is still hope. If you ask yourself (and honestly answer) each of the 21 Questions I will cover in the coming weeks you have an excellent chance of aborting the addictive cycle and maintaining your sobriety from pornography.