“Who cares to admit defeat? Practically no one, of course.” – Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
I used to hate admitting defeat. Why else would I have pretended for so many years that my pornography addiction was only a ‘bad habit’ I could stop any time I wanted? Acknowledging I was an addict would have been to acknowledge complete defeat, at least the way I was raised. Not only would I have been admitting I couldn’t control myself (blasphemy!) but I would be ‘lumped in’ with drug addicts, alcoholics, and other ‘degenerates’ (Note: I’m intentionally using the stereotypes commonly associated with the word ‘addict’ and ‘addiction’ to point out how hypocritical I used to be with regard to my own behavior). So instead of admitting my addiction I made excuses and rationalizations for most of my life.
Now, however, I am quite literally happier than I have ever been in my life. How did I achieve this happiness in only a matter of months? By admitting that I was completely powerless over my pornography addiction and surrendering myself to God. It’s so paradoxical, but then so much of life is that way. I have more purpose in my life than ever before. Not only am I living one day at a time and enjoying one moment at a time, but I’ve noticed that with each passing day my ability to contemplate and imagine the future has increased. I can actually see my life stretching away before me, whereas before I could only see as far as my next ‘fix’. It is quite amazing.
I know that millions of men and women are suffering today the way I used to suffer, and the thought of all that pain breaks my heart. If you struggle with pornography or any other form of inappropriate online intimacy, I want to suggest an experiment for you to try. The purpose of the experiment is to prove that you have more than a ‘bad habit’, that in fact you are addicted to pornography. If you use pornography and refuse my challenge, I submit that as proof of your addiction…so now you have to try my experiment! Here’s how it goes: I want you to try a ‘controlled pornography’ program. I don’t want you to try to stop using pornography completely, because you will rationalize a way to use it the way I used to. Instead, Iwantyou to use pornography…but for no more than 30 minutes a day. I dare you: Try to use pornography for only 30 minutes or less each day for the next two weeks, and let me know how it goes.