The Biggest Misconception About Quitting Porn

by John Doyel

Source: Covenant Eyes

After getting 13 years and 8 months into my recovery, and after helping thousands of people deal with porn, I have one specific answer to this issue. The biggest misconception about quitting porn is thinking it won’t be that difficult.

People struggling with porn often think if they just really make it a priority, and perhaps even invite a couple of friends into their recovery journey as an ally, it will be easy-peesy. They get their hopes up believing that making a decision to stop will enable them to stop. However, good intentions never solved any real problem.

Why Is Porn So Difficult to Quit?

Before we can begin to answer the question about how to quit porn, we need to understand why it is such a big universal problem.

Please understand that this is a global pandemic because porn is now available 24/7 around the world. For anyone with internet access, porn is omnipresent, mostly free, and extremely effective as a means of escape from the stress and pain of life.

Many leading experts in this field teach that addiction to porn and sex are as difficult to stop as drugs like morphine and cocaine. By habitually looking at porn, we have hardwired our brains so that the action becomes almost an automatic response to a triggering thought, image, or person. Anyone with a smartphone can find a very effective and almost immediate relief through porn and masturbation virtually anywhere.

Years, if not decades, of this behavior create hard-to-break habits, and it’s so much easier to find the fix than drugs or alcohol. Plus, there are no telltale signs like the smell of alcohol on your breath or being in a drug-induced stupor.

Imagine if you could literally bring up a glass of scotch or wine with your phone for free and consume it. Or if you could literally bring up a line of cocaine and snort it without having to find a dealer, pay for it, and then use it. We would all probably be raging alcoholics and drug addicts.

So, please understand that addiction to porn and sex is as powerful as any addiction to substances. It’s a chemical addiction to the chemicals released by your brain when you become sexually aroused. The same drugs would be released in your brain if you snorted cocaine and these drugs are addictive.

Overcoming Porn Requires Effort

You need to understand that finding freedom from a sex addiction is a process and will take an immense amount of work on your part.

First and foremost, you will have to work through withdrawal. Experts estimate the timeline for withdrawal will be about 90 days. And as you are denying your brain the chemicals it has been receiving, you will have a battle on your hands.

The first few days might go fine but after a week or two you are going to be feeling very agitated, frustrated, anxious, depressed and have incredible cravings for sex. This is very difficult but is normal for withdrawal.

So, someone starts out with very good intentions and finds the battle “impossible” and gives in and falls again. Now more guilt and shame flood your mind and you feel worse than before which only makes you want to act out again. Welcome to the cycle of addiction.

Getting Through Porn Addiction Withdrawal

There are two key things you need to know to help you get through withdrawal.

First, you will need daily support to get through it. You will need someone or somewhere you can get encouragement to keep fighting every day. This is even a biblical thought in Hebrews 3:

“Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

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