Question 2: “Am I planning on attending a meeting tonight?”
Dollars-to-donuts some of you read Question 2 and thought, “This doesn’t apply to me. I’m not an addict and I don’t need a recovery program.” But if you are using pornography you are most likely at least a compulsive user, and the line between a compulsive user and an addict is defined by whether or not you have been asked to pay a price you are not willing to pay. Assume for the sake of argument that this Question does apply to you.
Many people using pornography try to ‘quit’ at least once; I tried to quit many times. I didn’t quit my first try, or anything even close to that. Have you tried to quit before?
If you are not in some sort of recovery group and you answered “Yes” to the question above, let me ask you another question: If I told you that by attending a recovery meeting tonight you could start down the road to true and lasting freedom from pornography, would you go? If not, why not? Is it because you think it would be too embarrassing? Is the meeting place too far? Do you have other obligations or plans? Or perhaps you don’t need to go because you’re not like “those kinds of people.” I know what you mean; I’m not like those people either but I go anyway.
That was a joke. We are all, in fact, the same. As Buddha once said, “There is nowhere to stand.” You are no better or worse than anyone else. Or as the Apostle Paul said, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
Why is attending a meeting so important? If I go to a meeting I will get talked out of acting out. I used to act out because my pain reached a point that exceeded the pain I thought I would experience after acting out. It’s simple math: If My Current Pain > Perceived Pain After Acting Out, I will act out. But it is easy to minimize the 2nd half of that equation. It is easy for me to rationalize away the consequences that are waiting for me at the end of the Addiction Cycle.
If I go to a meeting, though, I will hear the pain of others who have acted out and they will remind me of just how great my own pain will be if I act out. That usually puts the equation in my favor again. By attending a meeting I also hear the stories of daily victories others have won in overcoming their pain, not by acting out but by taking life one moment at a time and by relying upon God. These stories greatly encourage me to stay free from pornography.
Today’s challenge: Find seven recovery groups near the places you live and work, one for each day of the week. Record the addresses and meeting times of each group and keep the information in a handy place, like your car. The next time you find yourself in the Addiction Cycle ask yourself: Am I planning on attending a meeting tonight?