A person who struggles with compulsive sexual behavior such as use of online pornography can experience many challenges which includes facing the question of whether it is a real thing. It is not something to just ‘get over,’ it is a very real issue which harms people and relationships if left unchecked.
What is Enough
One of the arguments against pornography is the fact that sex addiction cannot be described the same for every person. However, one marker of addiction is that a person does not know when to say ‘when.’ As a person with addiction gains awareness, the realization hits that there is no such things as a little bit and it requires a transition in thinking and behavior to move forward. Just looking at some pornography here and there is not possible for an individual with addiction who can spend hours online and get stuck in a trap of fantasizing about men and women while wasting time, falling into further despair and frustration about the trajectory of their lives.
The Addict Zone
Creatures of comfort, humans find routine safe. People with addiction have predictable patterns of behavior and rituals of how and when things occur. Many people are not aware of this nor is the individual immersed in addiction. Recognizing patterns of how and why the individual enters the ‘addict zone’ can be helpful in moving forward towards recovery.
Some common themes of acting out sexually by viewing pornography may include:
- Being alone or creating alone time
- Having unstructured time
- Feeling stressed or overwhelmed
- Feeling like it is time for a reward or recognition
Make a Plan
Gaining awareness into patterns of behavior is one thing but what can a person actually do is another. An individual who has more structure is better off than one who has too much free time to fall into the traps. Having a plan is called ‘book ending’ the day with activities and people. Isolation can be detrimental to individuals with addiction. Noticing the pattern and how it begins can help build recognition of the need to address the need for doing something constructive and enjoyable while holding the self accountable.
Exploration of the deeper issues surrounding addiction may include making plans and creating structure for one’s day. The feelings underneath it all need to be addressed and understood if things are to be brought to light. To deepen the work and change on a broader level, a person who struggles with addiction should consider working with a trained professional such as a therapist who understands the nature of addiction and recovery to build support for the journey.
Hired Power believes in the ability of people to be resilient in the face of addiction. If you or a loved one are facing struggles with addiction, call us to find out how we can support your journey to recovery.